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January 21, 2013

Diversity on Display at US Presidential Inauguration

by Brian Padden

Hundreds of thousands of people came to Washington, Monday, to witness President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.

The diversity of the President’s supporters was on display at the Inauguration.  Ramona Natera from Wisconsin is part of Latinas United for Obama that helped secure Hispanic support in the last election.

“Well, it’s a historic moment, right.  And we are expecting great things from Obama as far as immigration reform goes," she said.

Anna Knudson from the state of Washington says a second term for President Obama means that policies important to her and many other women will continue.

“It reaffirms that the American people want Obama to continue his policies, in particular health care and helping people who are less fortunate and who are not in that top one percent," she said.

Mark Keam, a Korean-American and Virginia State delegate, says the connection Asians feel with President Obama is partly personal.

“He actually lived part of his childhood in Asia, in Indonesia.  He was also born in Hawaii where there is a very large Asian population.  He has a half-sister who is an Asian-American, and he understands our culture and our ways," he said.

For Troy Thomas from Louisiana, and many other African Americans, this inauguration - occurring on the national holiday that commemorates Martin Luther King - is a reaffirmation of the famed civil rights leader's dream of racial equality.

“This is his dream.  Look around and look at all of these people out here together supporting - black, white, everything - unity.  This is very important to everyone," she said.

This display of diversity at the inauguration, these Obama supporters say, symbolizes the underlying strength of American democracy.