Tuesday, November 04, 2008

What Have God Wrought?

Baltimore - "What Have God Wrought?" was the message Samuel Morse sent in his first telegraph message. It ushered in an era that could never be reversed. Tonight we see another moment in time which will never be reversed. The country has elected its first African-American president. This is the country which counted black slaves as three fifths of a person. Who knew?

Time and time again the country ruled against the simple idea all men are created equal. The nations highest court codified the rules which did not allow Blacks equal justice. Heck the nation fought a Civil War to end slavery. Despite the war southern states were loathed to extend full citizenship.

During all this time Black people did not waiver in their support of this country fighting in its wars to maintain democracy. How ironic, because they could not enjoy the fruits of this country.

Frederick Douglass lashed out in the North Star. W.E.B Dubois wrote about "the color line"...Jesse Jackson heard the roar of the crowd say "Run Jesse Run." Obama has fulfilled all of their promises.

I am in awe. When I wrote about him four years ago some of you thought I was crazy. I believe he had something then and he still has it.

We will mark time by this event. Our children inherit a world where they can truly be anything they want. They are a part of the Obama Era.

Grant Park Speech

As a triumphant warrior. the president elect, strode to the stage with his family knowing he had done the impossible. The crowd was estactic, but poised to hear from the new leader of the free world and he did disappoint.

"Let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers — in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people."

Channeling Lincoln following his own election he said, "a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends … though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn — I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too."

The story of 106 years old, Ann Nixon Cooper, made this speech have context. "She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons: because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America — the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can."

The "Yes We Can" becomes the call and response that raises the crowd in Grant Park to a cathedral with him as it's anointed leader. This is a moment in time we will not soon forget.




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