Thursday, August 28, 2008

45 years in the making

I won't lie - I will be glued to the ol' teevee set tonight (at a friend's house, since there isn't one at home), watching as Obama accepts the Democratic Party's nomination for president of the United States. And I will probably get a bit misty-eyed.

I mean, let's just look at that statement again: Tonight, Barack Obama will become the first ever African American to run on a major party ticket for freakin' President of the United States. I don't care how you feel about Obama as a candidate, or whether or not you intend to vote for the man, you have to admit the amazing and historic nature of the thing.

It's no coincidence that today is also the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech, and frankly, I think it's fantastic symbolism. This goes beyond party affiliation - if this was the Republican party, I'd be just as misty-eyed.

It's almost hard to believe that it has been 45 years since that speech. I wasn't even around for it, but I recognize the amazing progress that's been made in this country since, and also the great deal of work that remains to be done. It's a strange thing: we've clearly come a very long way, but we've also clearly still got a long way to go. Racism, bigotry, and inequality in general are still major issues in this country. Simply nominating the first African American to the highest office in the land won't solve that - but damn if it doesn't help, and damn if it isn't awesome.

I am proud and excited that I get to be around and conscious for this momentous occasion. Someday, I'll hopefully be able to tell my own children, and their children, about this day - and I hope beyond hope that they'll find it almost mundane, because such a thing will be utterly commonplace for them. A girl can dream, anyway.


The CDP. said...

"My fellow Americans. As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball, but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!"

Absolutely perfect speech. Let's freaking do this.

Emily said...

Hell yes!

Especially if we can do it while twirling!

The Lost Albatross