Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Tribute

I would like to take a moment and at least try to acknowledge the significance of what we've just seen happen this week. Yesterday, August 27, 2008, the Democratic National Convention formally nominated the first African-American man as the party's presidential candidate.

For some reason, the importance of the above statement fails to strike me completely. I do not know if it is because we already knew this was coming for a long time, or because there is so much animosity toward Barack Obama and his politics and views. But it feels like the historical importance of what we've just seen occur is not getting much press.

We act as if the civil rights movement happened a lot longer ago than three or four decades. We act as if racism still isn't a part of society today, even when it still is in many instances. Maybe we have too small a grasp on the impact this has in the actual context of our history. Imagine thinking in the 1950's or 60's that the United States of America could nominate a black man to be president. Of course, we always talk about the American dream, and often don't see enough evidence of said dream. Yet here we have the epitome of what the dream really denotes, and it is lost in the politics of it all.

So at least for one day, or for a few minutes at least, I am sitting down, forgetting about the fact that it's Obama who is the nominee. The individual is insignificant. The politics are irrelevant. Just think about the wonder of something happening that people may have never imagined would be possible. And maybe, in some small way, it can help us believe that we can do great things, too.

In connection with this short thought, I would also include the significance of Hillary Clinton's run for the presidency. She didn't win, but she came very close. I think her impact, especially on women, in the context of history, is difficult to measure. Again, forget for a moment that it is Hillary, and just think about the act itself - she came closer to holding the highest office possible in the free world, as a woman. I submit that no one would have imagined it possible fifty years ago, either.

For just a moment......wait for it.......there. Good.
Now let's get back to the "fighting."

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