January 20, 2009

Random Reactions

On Saturday, we attended a Social Justice Expression Party. Everyone there was white (Jrex couldn't come). We listened to the entire MLK "I have a dream" speech. I'd heard the last part many times, but never the whole thing.

My Mom was at that March on Washington. It happened while she was living in Baltimore. She told me that when they went, they literally expected snipers to be picking them off from rooftops. They truly thought they might die, but went anyway. I asked what she thought of the speech, she smiled, "Well, we'd already been standing there for two and a half hours, so we were working our way out of the crowd and away when he started. We didn't know the Baptist tradition of saving the best for last."

As many people have observed, you couldn't sell this as a script in Hollywood, "OK. The day after Martin Luther King Day, let's have the first black president sworn in."

I'm just so happy that this has happened while so many of the Civil Rights warriors are still alive to see it. At that time, I doubt any of them imagined a black president could happen in their lifetimes.

My office broadcast the ceremony in the lobby this morning. They served breakfast and most of the office sat rapt in front of the three large screen TVs. Jaded Californians were crying. I realized that most Americans DO want to be patriotic, but have been waiting for a reason. Barak's ability to draw sides together and create a new platform for discussion are drawing forth the hope in this country that most people have been afraid to acknowledge. I know he's not the next Messiah or anything, obviously the shine will get knocked off, but I'm really happy today.

The fact that he said, "All are created equal." He included women.

The fact that he reached out to enemies and tried to create grounds for discussion without providing a laid down 'walk-on-me' carpet.

The fact that he wants a discourse based on our common country, common interests, honesty, integrity. That he gives us permission to find those together.

I'm glad to be alive in such a time as this.

7 comments:

OTR sister said...

I listened to his speech on the radio in the car, and of course, cried. My one-year-old kept asking what was wrong.

Like you, he names deep-seated desires that I thought couldn't be combined: a need to serve, the costs of citizenship, pride in our country, our responsibility to this planet, our common humanity, etc.

I love it when he said, "To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy."

I look forward to seeing what we all can build together.

Asianmommy said...

I also love the comment about being judged by what you can build. This is an exciting day for this country.

Rachel said...

I liked how inclusive the speech was.

I really cannot believe this day has come.

What a great day! And how awesome that your mom was at that march.

Mama Nabi said...

It was quite an awe-inspiring day. I can only imagine what it must have been like to listen to Dr. King...

Snickollet said...

I couldn't agree with you more.

Lil Sis said...

Ditto OTRgirl, I wholeheartedly agree sister!

jooliyah said...

amen!