Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Good Morning

Well, wow, what a night.

Many people far more eloquent than I will express the overwhelming sentiments we share as we witness the country make history.

For example, the Onion, who tells us that the nation is "finally shitty enough to make social progress."

No seriously, today I read words written by the poet Maya Angelou, which she offered at Bill Clinton's inauguration, and which are perfect for today:

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes, into
Your brother's face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

I was struck last night as I listened to McCain give his concession speech, that he too was moved by the moment in history. And while many people see Obama's (ahem, President Elect Obama's) election as turning point for the youth of the country, I was most moved by reflecting on how liberating today must be for those who grew up in the times before Jim Crow was repealed. As Obama spoke of the 106-year-old woman in Georgia, Ann Nixon Cooper, and as CNN cut to images of Jesse Jackson weeping, I could see and hear a collective and ever present shadow beginning to clear away. I remembered a story I read a few weeks ago about a woman here in Texas, Amanda Jones, whose father was a slave, and who also lived long enough to vote for and see a person of color, a black man, elected to the highest office in the land.

And that is why this election ending with people dancing in the streets.

I think only a hardened cynic, or someone who bought into the worst of the Rush Limbaugh / Bill O'Reilly / Ann Couter vitriol echo chamber, could be unmoved last night by the power of the symbolism of America electing a black president 44 years after we outlawed segregation.

It is indeed a good morning

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