Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Ok, so in the end it was about race after all.

For 21 months we have been told that the Obama campaign was not about race. Well last night MSNBC finally tore the cover off of that lie. It was about race. It was about race and redemption and redress and reparation. And it was beautiful.

It started with Chris Mathews being almost giddy about how different America would be if we could elect a black president. It continued with the interviews of black leaders about how important the moment was. But the true moment, and the one that frankly shocked me, was when Olberman made the call and they spent more than five minutes cutting from location to location to cover the cheering. It was like watching the ball drop on New Years Eve. And every where they cut, from Times Square to Grant Park in Chicago to a college in Georgia to a black congregation to Rockefeller Center, you saw the crowds of people jumping up and down and screaming, as expected, but you also saw people of color in stunned disbelief, weeping, singing, falling to the ground in relief or in prayer. One of the most moving sights I saw last night was the shots of Jesse Jackson, shaking uncontrollably, tears streaming down his face.

This was a man on the moon moment. This ranks up there with the Emancipation Proclamation. Is racism gone? Of course not. But we, after 400 years of systematic oppression and genocide have moved beyond our old prejudices. We have proven that race is *not* an issue for a majority of Americans. And we have proven to the world once again that we are the greatest nation on earth, that the American Dream really means something. Obama did not win the white vote. He lost it 55% to 43%. And he won 95% of the black vote. Both those figures suggest that race is still a big deal. But while racism was clearly present in this election, it was so small a factor that it was inconsequential. Most people on both sides voted on the issues.

And America became a country once again that stands tall in the world. After centuries of exploitation and oppression by Western nations the most powerful, conservative, richest white country in the world has elected a black man as president. We have elected the son of a Kenyan immigrant our president. If that isn’t the American Dream I don’t know what is! We proved, to every one, that we are a nation of hope, of ideals, that we are the land of opportunity, that we truly are the greatest country in the world.

God bless America!



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