November 8, 2008

For some, Obama's victory brings joy that 'change is finally gonna come'

The election of America’s first black president is something Lexie Mangum never expected to see or be a part of, but all that changed when Barack Obama won the nation’s highest office last week.

Mangum, 56, said he is “absolutely ecstatic” about Obama’s victory.

“I didn’t think I would see it in my lifetime,” said Mangum. It was made even more special to be part of it by casting his vote for Obama, Mangum said.

“To me, it meant that the change is finally gonna come,” said Nora Anderson, who works in the registrar’s office at City Hall.

Anderson, who is African American, said Obama’s victory meant that people would try to “set aside their racial bias” and work with the new president.

She was “grateful, surprised and overwhelmed,” Anderson said, that the country would elect an African American as president.

Anderson said she believes in Obama’s slogan, “Yes we can!”

“That’s gonna stick,” said Anderson.

It’s already stuck – as a tagline at the end of Carl Swanson’s email messages.

Swanson, a conservationist with the Pequabuck River Watershed Association and Trout Unlimited, said Obama’s election bodes well for the environment.

“It was pretty historic,” said Swanson, who is white. “I’m excited for a change.”

But Swanson said the biggest impact of Obama’s presidency will be that the world’s perception of America will change, for the better, and “bring our country back to where people looked up to us rather than hated us.”

Mayra Sampson, who works in the comptroller’s office at City Hall, said she experienced “every emotion” as Obama claimed victory.

“I’m thrilled,” Sampson said. “Of course, I cried.”

Sampson, who is Puerto Rican, said Obama’s victory isn’t all about race to her, but she said the election this year was an “eye-opening experience” in Bristol.

“I have never seen racism so open in this town as I did during this election,” said Sampson. She said she and family members heard people openly insult Obama and declare that they would never vote for him because of his skin color. “It’s very hurtful.”

Alfonso Pearson, who has been active in the past with the Bristol NAACP, said Obama’s victory may not make a lot of difference locally.

“It’s good that history was made, but what about a town like Bristol?” Pearson said. “Bristol’s got a long way to go.”

Former City Treasurer Patti Ewen, whose mother was a member of the Penobscot Nation in Maine, was pleased with Obama’s victory.

“I’m overwhelmed with the generosity of this country that they could see beyond color,” said Ewen.

Former city Councilor Chet Reed said the past eight years “has been such a disaster” in so many ways, that people were aching for something new.

“The country was just ready for a change,” Reed said. “And what's the right time for someone like Barack Obama to run? When the country is ready for a change. I don't think it mattered who the Democrats ran.”

Still, Reed said, “I guess you can call it progress” that the country would elect a black president.

“It is a nice thing,” Reed said. “That wouldn't have happened in 1940 or 1960 or 1970 or even 1980. All the events were right and it happened. We have our first African American president.”

Reed said it was “kind of heartwarming” to see the massive crowd in Chicago's Grant Park on Election Night, listening with joy to the president-elect.

Reed said he remembers the disastrous riots in the same park during the 1968 Democratic convention, where students were beaten by Chicago cops. “The change from 1968 to 2008,” Reed said, certainly shows a major difference.

Pearson said that for the sake of his children, things will truly change and that young people will believe they truly can be anything they want to be.

“Obama opened the door for so many of us,” Mangum said. “There’s no ‘We can’t’ anymore. It’s up to all of us as Americans to seek the dream and just go after it, make it happen.”

But Obama didn’t make it on his own, Mangum said, because he had the help of those who went before him.

Many people made “a lot of strides” laying the bricks for someone like Obama to walk on, Mangum said. Obama followed that path laid by others, Mangum said, and when he reached the end, “he was able to stand out on his own and make it happen.”

It wasn’t so long ago that all this seemed an impossible dream.

Mangum, a writer and longtime owner of a South Street barbershop, was raised in an African American family of Southern sharecroppers, he said.

“My parents had to go through the back door,” said Mangum.

Ewen said she saw a parent suffer exclusion early in her lifetime, too.

“As a Native American, my mother did not have voting rights,” Ewen said.

On Election Day, Ewen worked for the city clerk’s office, helping people cast a presidential ballot, which is allowed in Connecticut.

Those are people who aren’t registered, but are allowed to vote in the presidential race only.

“There were hundreds that came through,” said Ewen. “You saw all sizes, shapes, colors.”

One, an 80-year-old man, was voting for the first time in his life, Ewen said.

“He was very proud of himself,” said Ewen. She and others signed up a lot of new voters that day, Ewen said. “It was wonderful.”

Mangum said Obama will take the nation in a new direction.

It’s up to Obama to improve the economy and the nation, Reed said, and he should be judged on his success in that endeavor.

“If he can improve the situation, more power to him,” Reed said. “He's going to have a tough time.”

Obama won’t have any honeymoon period, Swanson predicted, because of the economic crisis and other problems he’ll inherit.

“He’s got a very, very tough road ahead,” said Swanson.

The president-elect “gave us a brand new breath of fresh air,” said Mangum. Americans can do great things, Mangum said, if we put our minds to it.

Anderson said Obama is already off to a good start by picking top-notch advisors.

Obama’s family – his wife and two young daughters – are another asset, Anderson said.

As First Lady, Michelle Obama will bring elegance without being stuffy, according to Anderson.

“They’re down to earth people,” said Anderson. She imagined the Obama daughters having sleepovers on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The little girls will “light up that White House like you wouldn’t believe,” Anderson said.

Minorities in Bristol
Bristol has always had black residents -- the first Census, in 1790, singled out one, a man named Bristo -- but never many.

The most recent Census, eight years ago, found that 2.7 percent of Bristol's 60,062 residents were black, or about 1,600 people.

Another 1.6 percent listed themselves with two or more races, while another 6.8 percent said they were of Asian, Hispanic or Latin descent.

That means a bit less than 90 percent of Bristol in 2000 was white.

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at


Anonymous said...

I for one am thrilled that obama won, not because he's biracial but because his ideas are trusworthy and I'm sure will work for the american people.(By the way I'm white). Lets face it the past 8yrs made thing so bad for the nation and economy that we DO need fresh ideas that will work, I hope that one of obamas ideas include putting a tariff tax on major imports, so we can get SOME jobs back.

Anonymous said...

...and for others, it brings nausea and pure terror that the change that's "finally gonna come" is going to be another depression and widespread anarchy...hence the HUGE increase in gun sales across the U.S...

Anonymous said...

nice article....

Anonymous said...

Nice choice of words Patty

Reality Hurtz said...

As a democrat involved since the '56 election , I find it quite upsetting that the current party is so radically opposed to MY beloved party .

As the election results came in , a moment from my past suddenly sprung into my head . I recall seeing Nakita Kruschev sitting in the U.N. beating his shoe on the table and shouting " We will bury you" .

It is quite obvious that a majority of American voters decided to bring his prophecy into reality . All that remains is to rename the Democrat Party to the Communist Party .

I , for one , will greatly miss the America I have grown to love and respect .

Anonymous said...

November 8, 2008 10:46 AM:

Yeah let's put some tariffs on imports and raise taxes so we can really put the economy in the toilet. BTW, when did you buy a new car? I'm sure you'd be glad to pay twice as much for your next TV and five times as much for clothes just so you can put some more union people to work.

Explain to me what Bush did in the last eight years to make the economy so bad? Was it Fannie May and Freddie Mac (two quasi- government companies instituted by Democrat administrations). Fannie May and Freddie Mac contibuted to Obama more than any other Republican.

Top Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Campaign Contributions, 1989-2008

1. Dodd, Christopher J $133,900

2. Kerry, John $111,000

3. Obama, Barack $105,849

Anonymous said...

Looks like the liberal media, national, is already making excuses for him.

Didn't take long.

Anonymous said...

ask how many black people voted for him just because he is black. alot, he sure does have alot on his plate, but i'm sure kenya will be getting alot of our money.

Steve Collins said...

In 2004, 88 percent of black voters backed Kerry against Bush. It appears that Obama got 95 percent of the black vote -- and saw a higher turnout, too.
But that barely made a difference in the outcome.
The real difference is that Hispanic voters, whom Bush carried in 2004, went for Obama by more than 2 to 1 this time around, and increased their turnout substantially as well.
And the GOP itself threw away the Hispanic vote with all of its anti-immigrant talk, which has to rank among the dumber things a political party has ever done given the growing clout of Hispanic voters.
By the way, whites voted for Obama in much greater numbers than they did for Kerry. It doesn't seem that race could possibly explain that. A troubled economy and a long war, however, can.
And 2:13 - What you wrote is amazing. I'd love to know how you think the party has changed since 1956, because when I compare Adlai Stevenson's agenda to Obama's, I'm rather surprised how similar they are (except that I think Stevenson may have more big government oriented).

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely sicken that so many Americans voted this socialist, communist, do anything say anything jerk for president. I barf every time I think that I have to hear his name for the next 4 years.

Anonymous said...

What has this mayor done in appointing minorities?

Anonymous said...

Instead of giving this guy a chance to see what he can do to change things around in Washington and the way they operate, you ignorant people already are vilifying the guy. What a bunch of bonehead sore losers, you must have voted for the COO too.

There isn't enough space here to tell you what Bush has done. As for Fannie and Freddie, they may have been instituted by the Dems., but Bush & Co. took away the regulating that allowed them to cook the books and invest in bad mortgages.

Come to the USA legally said...

Steve, I usually don't respond to your post but this one got me.
And the GOP itself threw away the Hispanic vote with all of its anti-immigrant talk, which has to rank among the dumber things a political party has ever done given the growing clout of Hispanic voters.
If people want to come to this county legally then that is fine by me but NO party should catering to people that break the law. There are a lot of hard working people here that are doing it the right way. I quess you would call me dumb.

Steve Collins said...

I'm not talking about what the country should do about illegal immigration. I'm only saying that the GOP had 2 of every 3 Hispanic voters not that long ago and now the Democrats have them. And they are a growing political force so alienating them is a stupid thing for a political party to do.
That's just common sense.

Anonymous said...


Who is the chair of the Senate Banking Committee?

Hint: he comes from Connecticut, sometimes, and he ran for president.

Anonymous said...

5:50pm - if you are going to be barfing for the next four years, you must have had a heart replacement, 7 heart bypasses, a couple of severe dibilitating strokes, 2 kidney transplants, liver replacement over the actions of George Bush over the last 8 years.
Ooops, forgot about the ingrown toe nail operations resulting from Bush forever keeping his foot in his mouth and up out butt.
Get over it, we had to.

Anonymous said...

I am nauseated about this reverse discrimination. All of these people quoted should realize they are putting up barriers every time they sing about the President-elect's skin color. It should not have to be mentioned. If anyone said they voted for McCain because he's white, there would be screaming. Now that this election is over, maybe some of the black voters will look beyond race.

I disagree with everything the new socialist President stands for. I was happy, however, when he told the youth that they've seen it can be done and to pull up their pants and get to work. I'd love to hear more of that. It actually sounds Republican!

Anonymous said...

"That means a bit less than 90 percent of Bristol in 2000 was white"

--Thankfully this is true. Let's hope it stays this way.

Anonymous said...

12:42 - if it sounds republican, then it is too good to be true and won't happen....

Anonymous said...

I guess Obama is sick of the whining, too. Years ago I was repeatedly attacked by a group of black youths at Memorial Boulevard School: daily sucker punches, head smashed against the lockers, and hair "washed" in the toilet. I was given no reason but my skin color, which is white. It took some time and some black friends to help me get over it, but I did. The whining about slavery and discrimination should also be finished. We have obviously come a long way, and there is no need to hold onto that past.

Anonymous said...

This presidential race wasn't about race, age, sex or experience. It was a referendum against George Bush and his awful policies of the last eight years. Mickey Mouse would of beat him if he was a Democrat. This is why Hillary and Bill hung in there until the very end. Everyone knew whomever got the Democratic nod was a shoe-in. I don't think we need to dissect this issue any further. I am extremely happy for President Obama, but he really just came along at the right time. Lets see if he keeps ALL his promises.

Anonymous said...

There are two Bristols....the southwest corner (excluding Cedar Lake neighborhoods) and the rest including most predominately Chippens Hill....

Anonymous said...

What were Bush's awful policies? And why would McCain have the same policies if they were awful? You drank Obama's Kool Aid.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope he doesn't keep all his promises. There's hope... he was already backing off before Election Day.

Anonymous said...

First of all how soon we forget!!Remember daddy bush and his sons savings bank loan bailout? Which cost us honest americans plenty! Kenya needs money so whats the problem? Do you realize that we americans (thanks to bush) GIVE Isreli BILLIONS of our money which equals to $3thousand per person man,woman and child do they need it more than the rest of the world? I think not.The guns sales your talking about is recent for the past 2yrs on the increase but not because of the democrats!!! Bush and buddies are responsible for the onset of the possible depression, I believe Obama can and will overt this.

Anonymous said...

Why? Do you buy imported cars? I don't I have 4 american cars, BUT if you open the hood of each (any "american made") motor and parts you will see stamped "assembled in japan,china,tiwan,mexico and any other overseas country, but..."made in america not really maybe the idea of the product is american, but parts ect..ect.. are not. SOOOO the idea is to tarrif tax imports so made in america will be true and than there will be jobs!!!!!

Anonymous said...

November 10, 2008 11:46 AM:

Too bad you're too dumb to realize all you have to do is look at the sticker of a new car to see the "North American" parts content of every car sold in the US.

Again ask your new leader to suppoprt all the tariffs you want. That way the American cars will get even more expensive and NOBODY will buy them. Actually the thing the unions when the parts are made by non-union American companies.

On another subject, isn't it funny that only the far lefties in Bristol were quoted in this article like Swanson and Myra (insert new name here). Albeit I've never heard of "Lexie Magnum", but one can assume it's a black person who voted because of race.

Anonymous said...

"there will be jobs!!!!!"

Not at The Press, and not at many other businesses across this country now that Mr. Tax Man has been elected. Unemployment will be higher than we've ever seen. Here's some of your "change", boys and girls. If we're lucky, not having jobs will be the worst of it. But I don't think we'll be that lucky.

Anonymous said...

Very racist article.

Anonymous said...

I've come to the conclusion that you are either very well off (rich) or just plain ignorant, and selfish what are you afraid of? Being proved WRONG? It cant hurt our economy any more than it's hurting now!! Give Mr.Obama a chance to prove himself I (we democrats) think you will be pleasantly surprized.

Anonymous said...

Racist?!? It's about time the black man stepped on whitey! The blacks are the masters now!

Anonymous said...

The economy is not as bad as it will be. People are still eating in restaurants...the new Chilis is really busy, and you have to wait for a table most places on weekends. Though houses aren't selling, it seems a lot of homeownwers are renovating. People were sure spending a lot on Halloween decorations a couple weeks ago. The rest areas on 84 are as busy as ever with all the travelers. Bush has not hurt us.

Sad to say, it probably won't last. Unemployment is on the rise in anticipation of Obama's economic policies going into effect. In my own business, I have put on hold the renovations I was planning. If things get slow and/or taxes increase, I can lay off employees, increase my own hours, forego my vacation, and raise prices. I am sure it is the same way for many, many small businesses. The so-called "rich" will not suffer as much as the "working families" under Mr. Obama.

Anonymous said...

IF I had money and IF I had confdence in Obama, I would be buying stock when it is low (now).

Apparently the confidence isn'there, because the matket keeps going down.

Anonymous said...

The stickers on the cars say north america parts maybe so but the parts are shipped over seas to be assembled and sent back here to install more than 80% of american made cars have these parts, and why are they sent there in the first place? Cheap labor thats why, if all these parts were assembled here in the us, there would be jobs, unfortunately american cars (most) are made so cheap, they don't last, thats why everyone (not me) buy the imports and thats why there should be a tarif tax!!!

Anonymous said...

Thats not obamas fault that the market is going down!!! he's not even in office, lets see... do you remember who is?

Anonymous said...

So the stock market went up when Obama was elected? Not!

Anonymous said...


Investors look to the long haul, and like to buy when the price is low.
The price low, but apparently they do not have much confidence that Obama will improve things that much in the long run.

Anonymous said...

I have gained so much respect for Bush after his hosting Obama's visit to the White House. Here is a man who publicly crucified Bush for 18 months, and Bush welcomes him with a smile and a handshake. I would not be able to stomach it.
Bush truly is a Christian.

I hope that Obama will be equally as gracious.

jay said...

I also respect bush but only as a man and not as a president,being a gracious host for the white house is par for the course, every new elected pres has that invite, and as far as bush being crucified "thats politics" bush himself did the very same thing to his opposition when he ran, I only hope they (bush & obama) can co-operate until the change of command.

Anonymous said...

Hello, jay, Obama was not running against Bush. He just made you think he was...and he bashed Bush... and you drank the kool aid. Bush is a better man AND better president than Obama or McCain could ever be.

jay said...

If you really believe that bush was and is a great prez, then how did "HE" manage to drag our economy into a drepression mode, and destroy 90% of the peoples jobs, hope and dreams?

Anonymous said...

90%...yeah, okay. Isn't it 6% or thereabouts? Plenty of stores are hiring seasonal help, so there's no need to be unemployed right now. But the unemployment rate will climb with Obama in charge, there's no doubt. We've gone through it a hundred times: He will tax businesses, the businesses will lay off employees. It's not rocket science.

jay said...

You can't and shouldn't blame obama for the unemployment rate he's not n office yet, the unemployment diaster started well over 6yrs ago in order for it to be this bad, sure seasonal is good for some people (single) but not for the people with families without insurance benefits! I (we democrats) know that it will take some time to correct all the crap the republicans did and BROKEN promises, it's people like you who are afraid to have good thing happen for other people.

Anonymous said...

Jay, unemployed is not good. And that's what we're getting under Obama's reign. I don't know what "crap" and "broken promises" you're talking about, but for the next four years I'll take Obama's broken promises because he didn't promise ANYTHING that is good for this country.

jay said...

You are s lost cause! your brainwash is so very deep you may never see the light for americans alike again! Think what you will even though you WRONG. When all the promises are met from obama you will feel like the idiot that you are!

Anonymous said...

More lay-offs today..."change is finally gonna come" all right! Can't wait for more, can you?

If you're still getting a paycheck, make sure you've got a warm coat, sturdy shoes, firewood, and a cache of canned goods. Because the "change" is only going to get worse.

jay said...

LAY OFFS..aahh whos president right now as we speak? Obama is not to blame for the recent lay offs, why dont you put the blame where it's suppose to be on Bush and he worthless cabinet?!!!! You should seek professional help to get you head back on.

Anonymous said...

The man promised change, the man ran on change, and so far, all he is doing is going with retreads, from Clintons group especially.

This is change???

Anonymous said...

It is either them, or his Chicago gangsta friends.

Or both.

jay said...

You don't realize how important a good cabinet is the clintons surely would be an asset, look at the pathetic bushes cabinet is, condolisa rice!!! give me a break she more or less instigated the war, call them what you want, but the clintons have the knowledge and connections needed to help get the usa back on track, by guiding obama.,

Anonymous said...


The Clintons are CHANGE???

Why didn't he say he would appoint them during the campaign?


Anonymous said...

Bill clinton reminds me of John Leone:
Clinton thinks he is still president, Leone thinks he is still mayor

jay said...

You know what? You can't handle the truth and don't know the difference of right from wrong in regards to the american people, so therefor I will no longer waste my time with you!

Anonymous said...

Leone never had sex with that woman!

Anonymous said...


If we wanted the Clintons to guide us, why didn't we elect them?

And why didn't he tell us he was going to fall back on the status quo?

Clintons' 3rd Term said...

The Clintons and left/wing radicals are the major reason America has had a difficult 8 years . So it's time to put them back in the White House to finish destroying the remainder of America .