05 November 2008

A Dream to Remember

I never thought I would see such a thing in My lifetime. Born at a time when the self-proclaimed leading democracy in the world did not allow certain citizens to vote because of the dark color of their skin, last night's thunderous election of Barack Obama is a true turning point in history.

Forty-four years have passed between the Voting Rights Act and the new President-elect, 44 years that encompass the needlessly-violent reality of a civil rights movement, the criminal death of its most charismatic leader and the embattled rise of minorities in a nation that calls itself a melting pot, but has always acted more like a centrifuge, spinning components into separate sections.

The reality of Obama's election is a mirror for generations and races. To My generation, it is the acceptance of an arrival long overdue. To those older than Me it is a paradigm shift from when "they" were "less" than "Us." To the younger sets, it is the acknowledgement and long-awaited proof that the fading American dream of rising to success through determination, self-growth and skill still holds true.

To minorities in the U.S., who live marginalized while hearing fancy words about empowerment and inclusion, one of theirs has climbed the mountaintop. To African-Americans, this means far too much for Me to even begin to imagine the response, but I can say this: Obama's father was black, his mother white. My son's mother is black and I am white. To look at Obama, President-elect Obama, is to see My son's future in a way it could never be seen before.

And in the moment of triumph, the camera lingered on the face of Rev. Jesse Jackson, the first African-American to run for the Presidency and a man who was standing next to his mentor, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., when that singular civil rights leader was brought down by a bullet in the tragic months of 1968. Rev. Jackson's tears flowed freely, his hand occasionally pressing against his lips as if to contain even greater emotions. Someday soon I hope to discover his thoughts at the moment, as the years and events tumbled through his mind, hoping his vaunted eloquence can do justice to so monumental a task.

And I can't help but wonder if, within those sharp and lingering memories, he recalled the simple request made by Dr. King on that spiritual day when he spoke for so many of Us: I have a dream...that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

The road ahead is by no means smooth or easy. The nation's first black President inherits a murderous moron's cauldron of chaos, with two mismanaged wars, an economic debacle, shredded Constitution and increased global contempt for what the U.S. of part of A. is, does and stands for. But last night, President-elect Obama, in his acceptance speech, addressed the world. And unlike every other acceptance speech by every other President-elect in history, this time the world was watching and listening.

The first African-American President. The first truly global President. A dream I and many others never thought We'd see. Let's hope--and make sure--than when My son and Our children look back on it, it will be a dream to remember.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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