Setting political viewpoints and economics aside, today I am rejoicing.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve thought long and hard about the issues faced by African-Americans in our culture. As a Caucasian male, I won’t pretend to have any real comprehension of what this is truly like. I spent most of my early childhood years in a suburb of Houston where racism was completely unknown — at least to me.
However, I’ll never forget the year I spent in Montgomery, Alabama. Many of my friends were African-Americans, and while I was completely bewildered by the culture shock I experienced, I did my best to try to develop an understanding for why — even as recently as the 1980s — racial tensions were unbelievably high.
That year changed my perspective forever. The bigotry that existed left an indelible impression on me. And it seemed clear to me that a lot of healing needed to occur — for all races involved — in order for there to be real progress.
And that’s why, today, as I sit and watch the pre-inaugural proceedings, something in me wells up with joy. I feel it in the air… I am thrilled for what the election and now the inauguration of Barack Obama means to my African-American brethren.
A couple of weeks ago, my wife mentioned how much she enjoyed the song “It’s a New Day” by will.i.am. You must admit — it’s got a great hook. I downloaded the song from iTunes and we’ve enjoyed it ever since. The song seems to capture the feeling of victory that we should feel in this nation as an African-American reaches the highest office in the land.
Writing a post like this one may stir up feelings that I don’t intend in any who read it. Perhaps, if you’re an African-American, all I’ve done is reveal my real ignorance. If you’re not, you may feel as though I’m making too much of this event.
I don’t think we can make too much of it, but I’m also not ignorant enough to believe that there isn’t more healing needed. But I’m hoping that this goes a long way.