I don’t care what your political persuasion, race, ethnicity, or nationality if you were not moved by today’s inauguration then I am afraid you have no idea what America is about. The America that you stand for is crumbling around you under the weight of its own inadequacies. If your idea of America is based in fear, intolerance, and division the inauguration of President Barack Obama has sounded the death knell to your vision. I hope that the remaining Republican politicians that are left soaked up the spectacle of 2 million Americans from all races and walks of life coming together to witness the changing of the guard and I think in a way to ensure its completion. Let there be no doubt that the people will no longer tolerate politics as usual.
There is a new spirit in America and it was palpable at the inauguration. You could see it on the faces of the people and not just the average person but also the politicians, celebrities, and the security personnel. This level of excitement I personally have not witnessed since the days of John Kennedy. Though still a child at the time I sensed that something was different on that day and unfortunately I have not sensed it since. Not until today.
We as a nation have been given a call to arms and I am curious to see our response to it. Is this generation willing to as President Obama put it; “to pick itself up, dust itself off, and get to work” cleaning up the mess that America has become? Not only are we willing to do it, but can we do it in a way that provides opportunity for all and sacrifice by all? That I think will be the difficulty of our task to be able to put aside the defects and faults of the past and move forward together. Let’s not be fooled there are still those who have profited from our petty bickering and resentments from past wrongs and they will not for a moment just sit idly by while their years of sowing discord is dismissed without a fight. I believe that the election of Barack Obama has demonstrated for those who have eyes to see that the tide has turned. There are now more of us seeking change and reconciliation than there are those who continue to be haunted by the past. There will be no national unity trials for past grievances. President Obama has made it abundantly clear that his focus is on the future and not blinded by the past.
I think the image that stood out the most to me and I think will have the biggest impact in the days and years to come was the image of Malia and Sasha walking into the inauguration. That image was so powerful on so many levels. It spoke to the old in that it signaled newness of life and it spoke to the young that today anything is indeed possible. The image of two little black girls being catered to and fawned over by a nation is mind boggling and in my opinion way overdue. How many times have we had pictures of lost and murdered little white girls splashed across our screens and little if any acknowledgment of their young black sisters who had suffered the same fate? Maybe, just maybe this will demonstrate that we as a nation have enough love for all of our children, even those who don’t look like us.
I don’t know about you but in my sight the Statue of Liberty is standing just a little taller and her flame just a little brighter today.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! – Dr. Martin Luther King
From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth; from the laziness that is content with half-truths; from the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth – oh God of Truth deliver us!- Unknown