Historic nomination resonates with students

8:20 PM, Jun 4, 2008   |    comments
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When Barack Obama was born almost 47 years ago, schools in the United States were still segregated. That fact is not lost on history students at Washburn High School in Minneapolis, where 74 percent of the students are of African, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American descent. "It's a really big accomplishment," said junior Kristina Amrani. Leyla Sahal, another 11th grader, said "I see Obama as the next big change that this country needs." A group of students talked to KARE 11 the day after Obama proclaimed victory at the Xcel Center in Saint Paul, where he became the first African-American to win a major party presidential nomination. "Obama getting the nomination can actually mean that more young African American boys can grow up and actually do something with their lives," said junior Chris Peeples. Even if students have different political views, their recognition of the moment was the same. "His views are too liberal for me," junior Ian Ingersoll said of Obama. But he called Obama's ascension "a big point in history." Kristina Amrani said she saw two turning points Tuesday night. "I think the way he handled talking about Hillary was really professional," she said, noting the extensive praise Obama lavished on his Democratic competitor, Hillary Clinton. "I think there are other women out there that are really inspired by her and are going to go just as far. But I think Obama is doing a really great thing for minorities and young people and getting his voice out there," she said. Philip Granath, an exchange student from Sweden, said this moment hasn't just been recognized by Americans. "This is huge all around the world," he said. "I can read, in Swedish newspapers, what's going on here." But for American students in particular, this is a moment they won't forget - and their children will study. "(After) years of discrimination and prejudice and slavery," said Leyla Sahal, "I think this country is on the path of following and accomplishing Martin Luther King's dream." The next potential history-making moment is Obama's selection of a running mate. And Wednesday he picked three people to lead the search: Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President Kennedy; Eric Holder, a deputy attorney general under President Clinton; and Jim Johnson, a native Minnesotan who also vetted V.P. candidates four years ago for John Kerry.

By Scott Goldberg, KARE 11 News

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(Copyright 2008 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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