A Moment of Majesty

I watched all of Obama’s acceptance speech before over 84,000 people at Invesco Field. My kids were just as interested as my wife and I were. I was almost afraid he wasn’t going to mention the historic symbolism between a Black man accepting the presidential nomination of a major political party 45 years from the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” speech.

Obama never mentioned Dr. King by name, but in retrospect it might have seemed egotistic to suggest a correlation between his monumental achievement and King’s legacy. He really didn’t need to. I think the significance was not lost upon most of the 84,000 present and the 38 million that watched the speech.

Would 84,000 people show up to hear McCain speak?

Would 84,000 people show up to hear McCain speak?

There are a few moments in our lives when you know  you’ve seen something you may never see again.

I’ve never seen thousands of people fill a football stadium to hear a politician speak.   I never dreamed it would be to see a Black man take one more step to changing the way America deals with it’s seemingly intractable race issue.

The heart of Obama speech came for me here:

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don’t tell me we can’t uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don’t know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America’s promise the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that’s to be expected. Because if you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

And you know what it’s worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn’t work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it’s best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don’t fit the typical pedigree, and I haven’t spent my career in the halls of Washington.

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don’t understand is that this election has never been about me. It’s been about you.

This is a big election.  It’s the biggest and maybe the most important one I’ve ever participated it.

Whatever a moment of history is, it probably feels a lot like this.

5 thoughts on “A Moment of Majesty

  1. No need to worry. By looking at Obama’s campaign contributions from major banks and corporations at http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/index.php
    he is killing McCain by almost double. Seems Goldman Sachs loves him at $653,030 contributions, as well as JP Morgan at $414,760 and Citigroup at $408.299. Lehman and Morgan Stanley go for around $300.000, give or take $50,000. Time Warner and Microsoft about the same.
    McCain is selling off America for only about half this amount with Goldman-Sachs going for only $208,395 and JP Morgan @ $179,975, Lehman at a mere $117,500. CitiGroup kicks in a measly $268.501 and Morgan Stanley @$234.272 hedging their bets. McCain does come in better with the US ARMY @ $102,898 and the AT&T@ $174, 497, losers in the U.S spy network run compared to Microsoft for Obama.

    These are ‘the people’ financing this election, besides hundreds of allegedly ‘unemployed’ or ‘homemakers’….just folks like you and me who have contributed $5,000 or more, and lots of them.
    Now, with all these ‘bankers’ being the highest contributors to election campaigns, do you think you live in a Democracy? Do you think THIS IS CHANGE?
    Is 3/4 of a million dollars, Small Change? No.
    Is Obama a man of ‘The People”? Is McCain?
    NO.
    Looks like Obama could win, and why? Because the American people wanted Change? NO.
    Because he has 50% more backing from banks and corporations than McCain, now WHY would that be? Because he feels for the little man?
    Ya think? ( Because bankers and corporations always want the BEST for us) Certainly.

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  2. I do need clarification here. Of course people WANT CHANGE. Are they going to get it? NO, they are not, because Obama is just another corporate puppet like any other.
    Not until people stop watching the Faux TV and get up off their fat lazy asses and demand real Change, will they get it.
    The Obama is the Messiah factor is not going to save this nation, except allow people 4 more years of laziness, apathy and complacency in an ongoing do-jack-all mentality of more wars, and more war funding. The new boss, same as the old boss, just a better bamboozler of a speaker.

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  3. I saw your post on my blog, Jeff, and I need to correct you on something.
    You don’t need to envy me. Why? Because, you see Jeff, you were there. So were Vanessa, Imani and Kamal.
    We were all there.
    Every kid of color who had been told by their parents that they could be anything they wanted from a journalist to the president of the United States despite not seeing much evidence of it was there.
    Everyone who had endured a beating with a rubber hose or had been chased by a dog just because they wanted to cast their vote or eat at a lunch counter or otherwise be treated like a human being was there.
    Everyone who didn’t live long enough to see this moment in their corporal form, but had wished and prayed for it, was there.
    Every person of color in America, even if they have no intention of voting for Barack Obama in the general election, was there.
    I was just fortunate enough to have a seat in the building.
    And if it weren’t for the advice that I got from a mutual friend of ours, I wouldn’t have allowed myself to take it all in.
    I’ve gotta thank him for that because if I had followed my original plan, which was to sit in that building and pretend that it was just another assignment instead of seeing it as the moment in history it was, it would have been my loss.
    And it’s a loss that I’d never forgive myself for.

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  4. Also, I think that McCain could get 84,000 people to hear him speak. It may require a few wet t-shirts and some bikers, but it is possible.

    Now what he’d say? That’s anybody’s guess…

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