I don’t know why I cared so much about this election, and about the opportunity for a black man to be elected president. I know I grew up in an integrated community, but discovered that there was still an issue of racism prevalent in the country the older I get. I have hundreds if not thousands of memories; pictures of injustice after injustice that has been perpretated on others simply because of their skin color.
So I watched the election returns last night and was excited as the returns started to roll in and the networks started forecasting the winner. At 11 pm it was over; the major networks called the election with the closing of voting in the western states. Later I watched McCain’s concession speech. I must say he is a class guy. I hope that both Obama and he are serious about working together to bring about needed change (I believe they are serious).
Then it was on to Grant Park and the rally for Obama, the introduction of his family, his acceptance speech. I was fine until they flashed an image of Rev. Jesse Jackson standing in the crowd with tears streaming down his face. I can’t begin to imagine what he was feeling at that moment, but I tell you I burst into tears (and being a guy, I don’t do that often).
I wondered if he was remembering 40 years ago when he was witness to another nation changing event. Whether his thoughts went back to that moment or not I don’t know. I know I thought of it.
The contrast is remarkable. Forty years. To all my black brothers and sisters out there – here’s a huge hug and a few tears that I humbly share with you.