Embracing today's significance - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-20-2009   #1
 
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Embracing today's significance

Today is an extraordinary day for America. Our first black president will take the oath of office in front of millions of his fellow citizens who thought they would never see the day that such a thing could happen. I am one of them. I remember the Freedom Riders being murdered in Mississippi. I remember when LBJ championed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act and the racist wing of the Democratic Party defected to the GOP. I remember American cities erupting in flames as angry and impatient black people rejected the non-violence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I remember the vicious assassination of Dr. King, and I remember wondering if our country’s racial wounds could ever heal.

Barack Obama’s journey to the Oval Office has been made possible by countless brave Americans: The brave school children in Little Rock who just wanted a decent education; the brave Alabama seamstress who just wanted to sit down and rest on that fateful bus on her way home; the brave marchers in Selma who were savaged by racist cops.

The list is long, and it includes George W. Bush. Surprising, but true. For all his faults and failures, naming Colin Powell as Secretary of State and Condoleezza Rice as National Security Adviser was an act of bravery that helped further erode racial bias in America. It has been said that Bush’s failed presidency helped elect Obama, which is partially true, but Bush’s willingness to appoint two prominent black people to his cabinet may actually have done the most in recent years to “demystify” race and swing open the door to the White House to our new president. Bush’s appointments accelerated the process of national redemption and the realization of the true promise of America expressed in the Pledge of Allegiance: Liberty and Justice for all.

Obama never ran as the “black candidate,” but that reality was inescapable. Today he becomes our first black president, and that too is an inescapable reality.

Whether you supported John McCain or Barack Obama in the campaign that preceded this momentous occasion doesn’t matter. We all can take great pride in the election and inauguration of this non-white president. For those of you who don’t see this as a “big deal,” you are lucky. The lessons of the civil rights struggle are abstract history book chapters to you. You are the beneficiaries of an evolving nation. You didn’t personally witness the incredible upheaval that has allowed today’s dramatic rejection of racism.

The bad old days of racism are on the wane. They’re not gone, and they probably never will be to those stupidly refuse to judge a person by the content of their character, but instead choose to hate a person because of their ethnicity. Thankfully, those people are a dwindling minority of hate-filled dinosaurs. Their days are numbered, and our entire nation should be filled with pride today.

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Old 01-20-2009   #2
 
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I am proud today as well! I was concerned by the election as I have met many closet racists but apparently things HAVE changed in the last 150 yrs or so.

Yay U.S.A!
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Old 01-20-2009   #3
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Well said Steve... Unfortunately many whites in the deep south (members of my own family included) don't see it that way. Since the N word is inappropriate in public now the new code word in Birmingham is "democrat". I have actually heard the phrase ".... like a democrat on a rib bone." In Louisiana before the election I was told "...you just wait, he is acting white now but if he gets elected he is going to turn right back into a ******". And these are educated people talking that trash. The person that said that last one holds 2 masters degrees. Racism down there still runs deep... sad.
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Old 01-20-2009   #4
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Steve- nice speech- it made me feel more emotional to think about the struggle than the actual inauguration did today.
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Old 01-20-2009   #5
 
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All Americans can feel proud today, but this is an especially amazing moment for older black Americans who endured Jim Crow, were turned away from polling places, and were subjected to fire hoses, attack dogs and lynch mobs. Those people have literally seen our country transformed from a land of false promises to one that is living up to the truths expressed by our founders. We're not there yet, but we are closer than ever before of achieving Liberty and Justice for All. One couldn't helped but be moved by the tears of joy we saw as the TV cameras panned that huge crowd on the National Mall.

The entire world saw those potent images and they were reminded, as were we, of the great promise that our nation holds to all of humanity.
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Old 01-20-2009   #6
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Yes it is significant but it shouldnt me. Lets look forward to the day where we only descriminate against slow drivers in the left lane.
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Old 01-20-2009   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DurangoSteve View Post
I remember when LBJ championed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act and the racist wing of the Democratic Party defected to the GOP.
A point of clarification: Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act in higher percentages than did Democrats, (80% vs. 61%). Look it up:
Civil Rights Act of 1964 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I point this out only to help combat the overwhelming negative sentiment on this forum against Republicans/Conservatives. DS, among others, never seems to miss a chance to take a backhanded (or overt) swipe at the GOP.

Anyway, I agree today is a significant and proud day in our country's history and I wish President O'Bama the best.
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Old 01-20-2009   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatnbike View Post
A point of clarification: Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act in higher percentages than did Democrats, (80% vs. 61%). Look it up:
Civil Rights Act of 1964 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I point this out only to help combat the overwhelming negative sentiment on this forum against Republicans/Conservatives. DS, among others, never seems to miss a chance to take a backhanded (or overt) swipe at the GOP.

Anyway, I agree today is a significant and proud day in our country's history and I wish President O'Bama the best.
It's important to note that the GOP of those days, is not the same GOP we have now. The GOP of those days is now more like the current Dems, and our new GOP is just off the deep end. Hence the problem of identifying with one or the other, the product under the packaging changes!
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Old 01-20-2009   #9
 
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I should have made that point more clearly: after LBJ championed the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act, more "Dixiecrats" defected to the GOP. The defection that really started with Reconstruction gained momentum under FDR, continued with Truman's civils rights moves, and reached a climax with LBJ.

Nixon's strategist Kevin Phillips defined the "Southern Strategy" thusly:
Quote:
From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.[3]
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Old 01-21-2009   #10
 
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Even Stephen Colbert was moved...

... by Obama's inauguration.
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