Published January 20, 2009
Martin Luther King's dream has come to life. Or at least I thought so.
Barack Obama today stepped out of the Capitol building which is filled with art depicting the story of America — and yet somehow only holds one image of an African-American.
There, he was — at the threshold of history. Fifty years ago, a black man couldn't be served at lunch counters in some cities. And today, Barack Obama stood in front of millions of Americans on the mall — black and white, right and left— to take the oath of the highest office in the land.
His speech generally respected the situation —- heavy on those things that bring us together and shed light on specifics that might divide. In the days leading up to the speech, some on the left claimed that division would be coming from that evil minister of hate — Oprah Book Club author Rick Warren. His crime: He agrees with much of Obama's platform on gay marriage. What bigotry there.
However, it was another minister — Reverend Joseph Lowery — who used his benediction, to ask God for this:
"We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right."
Is this how the post-racial Obama administration begins? That someday the brown can stick around, the yellow can remain mellow, and the white will embrace what's right?
Even at the inauguration of a black president, we are being called racist.
Mr. President — I want to believe. I want to trust. I want to hope for change — but I am really failing to see how this is any different.
USA Today reports that you smiled when he said this and shook your head. And it's not like you didn't know what you were getting yourself into. This is the same Reverend Lowery that even made Coretta Scott King's funeral about politics!
America is with you today, Mr. President. We are all tired of the partisan bickering, the racial divides, the greed and corruption.
There are many that didn't vote for you, myself included, that want you to succeed, and that pray for you and your safety. You may be fascinated to learn that we don't hate minorities, and we don't want to starve the poor, and we are perfectly fine with the brown sticking around.
We will do our part. But help us help you. We will argue about politics — but let us expect the best from each other, and chastise those who insist on driving wedges between us on both sides of the aisle.