Saturday, August 30, 2008

"Selected" by Acclamation, Dr. King an afterthought as Obama accepts the nomination

Whew!!! It's been a pretty hectic couple weeks as I start out on a path toward realizing a "dream" of my own. It took until today for me to process the significance of all that's happened since Monday when I moved to D.C. to start graduate school after 30 years. As I drove home from my very first class Thursday night, I couldn't help but think, "How fitting is this for me to be in this town, at this time, on this night - the 45th anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech!" I was so overwhelmed, I started to cry. As the tears ran down my face, I said aloud, "This is a huge part of what the dream was about." Though my route was circuitous, it was clear - like the throngs who'd come 45 years ago, I'd come to our nation's capital to cash the check that had previously been marked “insufficient funds." I stopped at an intersection on a narrow Georgetown street and looked around. I could see inside the windows of the houses nearby and then I realized why the streets were so empty. Everyone was watching what I was listening to on my car’s radio - Sen. Clinton asking the convention to stop the count so Sen. Obama could be selected the nominee by acclamation. My emotions were immediately mixed as he gave his acceptance speech. I expected him to acknowledge the importance of the day, to pay homage to the man whose life and death had made this day possible for us both. Not until the last minute of the speech, did he say this:

And it is that promise that, 45 years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream. The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustrations of so many dreams deferred. But what the people heard instead -- people of every creed and color, from every walk of life -- is that, in America, our destiny is inextricably linked, that together our dreams can be one. "We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back." He didn’t even call him by name.

I guess no one would eclipse his big night - not even the Black man who took on a racist America, putting everything on the line so that an African-American, Barack Obama could stand at that podium to accept that nomination.

Quel d├ęshonneur absolu!

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