Today I sit at the laptop in my sweet, pink kitchen listening to the little, pink TV sitting on the counter (is there any other color than pink?). It's tuned to CNN, and, of course, they are talking non-stop about the significance of the election and the swearing in of our first black president, Barack Obama.
There haven't been many times this past year, and especially now, that I haven't totally crumbled with emotion when I hear him speak. I'm not black. I'm a white, Polish-Catholic gal from Michigan, but the events of last year and now the beginning of this...take my breath away, literally. No matter where I am in my home if the radio brings Obama's voice into a room, I stop to listen, even if I've heard the speech a million times before. If I can, I stop to look and to take in the remarkable significance of his election and the fact that I was alive to be able to cast my vote in his direction and to become a part of history...something that not many of us can claim as an inheritance to leave for future generations of Americans, and, the world.
I remember when Kennedy was shot. I was in my biology class. Over the speaker system an announcement was made that our president had been injured. Then our principal told us John Kennedy had been shot. A few minutes later the voice told us that our youngest, Irish Catholic president was dead. We were let out of class and told to go home. The school would be closing for the day. Afterward, things seemed to spiral out of control. We lost Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X and a host of others that either weren't important enough to be remembered and eulogized by the print media (their opinion) or they were not as well known, so my mind just doesn't recall their loss to humanity.
I've been wondering these past months why I am so, so emotional about the recent election. If I was interviewed, I would have to say my profound reaction comes from my feeling an ownership of sorts to Obama's win. It's as though I was witness to the most miserable conduct of humanity and now feel as though, in some small way, we are turning around...seeing things differently. African Americans are all over the media talking about what this election means to them and how it has changed their view of the future.
What it means to me is that Barack Obama would not be taking the oath of office tomorrow if millions of people that are not of African American heritage had not seen the content of his character and realized that now is the time to slam, and I mean slam, the door on hatred for one another because of the color of skin. There is no color to hunger or happiness or sadness or despair. When we live, if you cut open a chest, all of our hearts are the same color and when we die, our spirit is transparent, any indication of color is washed away.
So, whether you voted in favor of this historical day or not, I hope you take the time to feel immense pride in the fact that our country has finally had an election that HAD NO COLOR at all and if it was seen, it just didn't matter. "We are the world...", at one time an anthem to bring people together, again, rings so, so true. If you don't believe me, take a ride around the web and look at the headlines in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America. Right now, my American pride is bursting from my soul.
The two digital photos you see in this entry were taken this morning. I was listening to MLK's "I have a dream" speech on CNN at the time. I looked down and felt that the two items I was getting ready to set out for Valentine's Day represented the emotion that washes over me concerning our past and present, and the promises we need to keep in order to honor the memories of all the people, living or dead, who brought us to this point in time.
(The photo of Martin Luther King, Jr. was taken from: www.thekingcenter.org)