Wednesday, November 5, 2008
A Dream Postponed
It took over forty years but the Dream that Martin Luther King had for this country has come to be.
Thirty years ago, I moved to the South from my hometown of D.C. In my first week I saw a shack which was not fit for firewood with 12 people 'living' in it. It didn't even appear to have utilities and in a field nearby an aged black man was leading a heavy plow pulled by a mule.
I thought to myself what world have I stepped into? How archaic that a group of human being have been treated so outrageously. I hated it. And that feeling did not change until last night.
Last night was a special life changing moment for all Americans whether they believe it, whether they wanted it, whether they voted for it or not.
Last night, years of joy, of hope, of relief, of gratitude filled the eyes of many who felt the sigificance of Barack Obama's election in their hearts and shared it with their fellow Americans regardlessof color, creed and social status. I felt the change today.
Today the African American who put my groceries in my car has a spring in his step and a wide smile on his fac. He carried himself differently, with pride.
The black women who came into my friend's store were confident and happy and seemed to have taken a leap in self esteem. My friend said, "It was good to see. You know 63% of the white vote went for Obama. That tells me that people are realizing we're all in this together, that it's time we pull together as one."
But it wasn't just the attitudes of our black brothers and sisters that I noticed. I saw joy on the faces of many many caucasian citizens, satisfaction in the result which showed we have not succumbed to the dark attitudes of the few, the exclusivists, stooped to the acceptance and promotion of continued prejudice.
I saw relief, felt relief and joy that finally there had been some recompense for what we have done to and failed to do for our fellow Americans, for what our brothers, parents and grandparents and even strangers may have been guilty of. We feel we've taken a step toward heaing - toward a national expression of reconciliation. And it feels so good, we smile. And cry.
Our people of color, this country's Black Americans came of age today and it's long overdue.
Now we really begin to stand together. Black Americans can feel that they have a stake, they've paid their own price. And they've received a reward they never should have had to earn.
I'm humbled. I'm awed. I'm happy. For all of us.