I never thought I’d live to see this day.
Once in a lifetime you have a chance to witness a truly epochal event. This is that event. Tomorrow at noon, the first black man in American history will be inaugurated President. This is truly a proud and happy day for our country. It’s been a long time coming – nearly 400 years in fact – but it’s finally here.
On November 4, 2008, we demonstrated to the world that we’re serious about ending discrimination and upholding freedom and equality. Tomorrow the hard work begins. White America will finally be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. For far too long, rich old whites have taken for granted that the country was theirs to control. The presidency was as much about privilege and birthright as politics, and no one embodied that attitude as completely as our last president. Well, all that’s about to change. The pillars of the old power structure have begun to crumble, and there’s not a damn thing that can be done to stop it.
That’s what this election means. That’s how serious it is. The time for talk is over. Obama’s inauguration is a clarion call to action. White America has some serious soul-searching to do.
It also means that African-Americans must finally be truly regarded as equals. Instead of thinking of black men and women as sports stars, singers, sex objects and servants, they must now be seen as leaders, Senators, CEOs, Generals, and, of course, Presidents.
But then, those of us who have served in the military (the 1 percent) already knew that. It’s the illiterati on both sides that have had trouble acknowledging it.
So when I say I never thought I’d see this day come, that doesn’t mean I never thought a Black man (or woman) would be capable of leading the country.
I meant that I never thought White America would accept that they are.
It’s nice to be wrong.