When I first realized I was going to the Democratic National Convention, I was beyond ecstatic. It was my first convention, so naturally I wanted to make the most of it. Every day I got to go to a different event, attend another party, and meet some great new people.
I started my convention experience by attending the AAPI Caucus meeting. There, I heard from Asian-American leaders from around the country, including a panel introduced by Governor Neil Abercrombie featuring Tammy Duckworth, Tulsi Gabbard, and Mike Fong. My takeaway from that session is that minorities are going to be a force to be reckoned with in 2012. Honestly, that was the theme I witnessed the entire convention. And those of us privileged enough to be Texans felt a personal connection to that particular theme.
For the first time in history, we witnessed a Latino deliver the keynote address at a major party convention. Mayor Julian Castro’s speech was the perfect balance of inspiration and fight, but what really resonated with me was what he represented. His story is America’s story — a family who moved to America in search for a better life, who worked tirelessly to achieve the American dream, who live up to the ideal of America as a mosaic of race and religion, where hard work and smarts are rewarded, regardless of where they may have come from.
His story resonates with me, and in today’s ever-changing America, it resonates with so many others. His selection shows that Democrats are ready to embrace this new era; while at the Republican convention, we were lucky to see any minorities in the crowd. Of course, there is no reason they would be there. While Democrats are showcasing this new generation of minority leaders, the Republicans are doing everything in their power to make sure we can’t even exercise our most basic democratic right.
The rest of the convention did not disappoint. The speeches by Michelle Obama and President Clinton were two of the best speeches I have ever heard, and seeing President Obama speak in person for the first time was as amazing as I imagined. This convention proved to me that minorities are the future of the party and this country. Both parties have made their decision on how they want to handle the future, and after this convention, I know I picked the right party.
The magic of Barack Obama as President of the United States has not faded. The enthusiasm and passion have not faded. The ability of so many Americans to relate to him has not faded. I got to see it first hand: Democrats are fired up, and ready to go!
- Palak Gosar