Early on in this year's campaign, when there were still several Democratic hopefuls in the running, I remember more actively looking for "shout-outs" to the Asian Americans, and being disappointed when I didn't find them.
But I've stopped doing that for months now, I realized. To the point where, if in Obama's nomination acceptance speech the word "Asian" didn't appear once, to my own surprise, I didn't really mind. Okay fine, I noticed -- but even so, oddly it didn't feel to me as though we were being forgotten.
It was clear enough that he was addressing many different audiences at different points -- as if in a big room, he was looking first at you, and then shifted with his next point to address the person three seats over. And he never called us by name, granted -- but I'd wager he addressed us just the same.
True, he grew up in some Asian-heavy places. True, members of his close family are Asian. True, there was a great slate of Asian American representation at the convention (see Angry Asian Man for some nice run-down). And all that is pretty exciting, I will admit. But that's not why he has my vote, and not why I felt addressed -- and heard -- in his speech.
It was the issues I worry about, the things I want this country to be, that I heard him saying he wants, too. It was the principles I stand for, and not the census categories I am, that he called by name.
And yes, it is wild beyond imagining that we have the opportunity to elect a person of color for president for the first time. But that's not why it's wonderful -- remember Clarence Thomas, Ward Connerly, Viet Dinh and the awfulness of having someone from our own communities do us such grievous harm.
So ladies, please remember Condoleezza Rice before you throw in with Sarah Palin. Remember that Palin thinks global warming is not "man-made"; that she wants creationism taught in public schools; that she opposes gay marriage; and yes, that she would make abortion illegal, even in cases of rape or incest. Sure, she's a woman. But we need to move beyond the simple-minded allegiances of identity politics here. Were she and McCain (or quite likely, without McCain) to come into power, it would mean for us (women and country) one step forward -- four decades back.