Thought #2 — This really sets into motion the need for all of the things that followed. If you really want to get down and dirty to why it appears that some Black people have a heighten sense of discrimination, unequal treatment or even mistrust, you can look to 1862 as a benchmark. Slavery is absolutely apart of it, but the journey to the White House didn’t begin on February 10, 2007 in Springfield, Illinois, it began long before that.
An understanding of this and other events before and after the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s & 60’s may be enough to put into context the jubilation you saw on election day not only in America, not only with Obama supporters of all races and not only with Black people.
I think this is important to include. Historically and symbolically the election of Barack Obama was a fulfillment of a promise and a reality of a dream. What you will see on inauguration of Barack Obama, as President will be more than what it appears on the surface to some. It’s not about Barack Obama. You have heard him say that. Barack is a representative, a benchmark of sort of a larger struggle within Black America and the American society as a whole. It’s bigger than any one person.
Regardless of what he does, to paraphrase a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Barack Obama does not belong to Black people, he belong to the ages. The struggles of yesterday are now the fights of today in hope for a better tomorrow. So all the people who got upset with me throughout this year this is just a touch of what I mean by when I told you that you’re missing the point or you’re uninformed. I was speaking beyond the surface of the moment, but towards the magnitude of the meaning of it all.
Thought #3 — What Barack did was take a different approach, an approach that wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the actions of Americans of all races, religions and creeds.
If it wasn’t for the actions of President Lincoln, Frederick Douglas, W.E.B. DuBois, Dred Scott, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, President Kennedy, President Lyndon Johnson, Rosa Parks, Dr. Vernon Johns, Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, Robert Kennedy, Rep. Shirley Chisholm, Rep. Barbara Jordan, Jesse Jackson and thousands of other unnamed people 2008 would have been the year of the Same and not a year of Change.
Barack is a student of history when you think about it. He understood the message these people were essentially trying to convey, the American Dream.
Thought #4 – The American Dream is a continual quest for freedom, equality and justice for all. The substance of the dream is expressed in the profound words of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. It is expressed the Emancipation Proclamation. It’s expressed in the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. The Board of Education in Topeka, KS. Women demanding equal rights expressed it on the protest outside of the White House. It was expressed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial August 28, 1963. It was expressed by thousands of Anti-Immigration Protesters marching in the streets around the country demanding justice. It was recently expressed in the voting booth on November 4, 2008. It is expressed everyday by people like yourself.
Thoughts #5 — Change is not instantaneous. Change takes more than a coalition of Blacks, but a collaboration of Whites, the cooperation of Latinos the inclusion of Gays & Lesbians the support of Asians, the participation of Jews and the acceptance of Muslims to make good on the promises of America. The proclamation is the emancipation of us all. Out of many came one. In 2008 it was Barack Obama on the surface, but in essence it was all of us. Those who supported him and those who scorn him. We are the dream that makes up America as unperfected as we are, we must always keep in mind the ultimate purpose of America.
Thoughts #6 — I need to conclude here. I apologize for my tangents. It’s like I start out with one thing and 5 other things partially related just flows out of my mind onto the page. I really am trying to focus more, but I wanted to share so many things that I find significance about this year its difficult to summarize.
So I will do spin the bottle again back around to the original topic, Watch Night. LOL. Now that was a journey of thought. I hope I didn’t lose too many of you. If so, just read it in bits.
Watch Night – December 31, 2008 is like its historical counterpart of this day in 1862, but today we share the great anticipation of the emancipation of tomorrow. January 1, 2009 will be the beginning of a new year and new possibilities.
Thank you 2008 and welcome 2009.
These are my thoughts, ideas and suggestions,