The Dernogalizer

August 28, 2008

So Soon

Filed under: National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 6:31 pm
Tags: ,

Tonight Barack Obama is going to be speaking before 75,000 people, and will have a television audience of millions. He’s going to be accepting the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. I expected that there would be a black president in my lifetime. I believed that unlike previous generations, my generation had been raised in a world where racism has no place. However, over the years I have on many occasions found myself disappointed in the rhetoric of both adults as well as my peers. This built some doubt in myself, that it would likely be many decades before there was a black president.

The only places where the notion seemed to be even entertained was on television. My favorite show 24 had it’s first season centered around the attempted assassination of David Palmer, the first African American candidate with a serious shot at the White House. Ironically, one of the twists during the show was that the threat on his life had nothing to do with his race. Another thing interesting before get too sidetracked was that the qualities and characteristics the produces of 24 had David Palmer embody, especially the deep voice and style of speaking, seems eerily similar. It’s almost as if they figured out how to package a black candidate so that a white country would elect him.

There has likely been some packaging and pandering when it comes to Barack Obama, but I consider him to be for the most part genuine. His ability to inspire people and give them hope(I know cliche) that their government may represent their interests rather than special interests plays a large role in his success. For myself personally, I like Obama not only because I agree with most of his stances, policy positions, and strong approach to alternative energy/climate change, but I believe he is a man of integrity and moral fiber. His skin color doesn’t matter to me, and it doesn’t matter to millions of Americans.

But there is something else about this speech tonight that resonates with me. I do feel a sense of pride that we’ve judged a man by the content of his character, and I can only imagine how people who participated in the civil rights movements and fought tooth and nail for everything over the years must have felt. When Representative Clyburn was being interviewed about what a black nominee when to him, he got extremely choked up. Clyburn fought back in the day and fought for things that a lot of us take for granted. When he said to the camera that he’d never let anyone tell him back in the day that it wouldn’t make a difference, even though what he wanted seemed so far off. He said that today, he’d never let anyone tell him that nothing had changed, and that anyone who says that should “walk in my shoes”.

In the movement I myself am involved in, fighting for policies that cut carbon emissions, and policies that push renewable energy and sustainable development, a lot of times victory feels as though it’s light years away. Some days, it’s not easy to fight for these initiatives, there’s opposition, and there’s a lot of inaction. A lot of talk that isn’t backed up by walk. Some days, it feels as though you’re going nowhere. Hearing Rep. Clyburn talk about something today as if it seemed impossible when he was younger, and unlikely just a few years ago, it’s a motivator.

It shows that you should never let anyone tell you it won’t make a difference. Let no one tell you that you should lay down without a fight. Sometimes things may seem as if they’re moving in slow motion…but…everyone once in awhile when we least expect it, humanity takes a giant step forward. I am proud of my country today. I’ll be clapping from my t.v. as Obama accepts the nomination. I hope to see him get sworn in. I’m rejuvenated to keep on fighting, so that one day, hopefully sooner than most anticipate, we will take another big step.


1 Comment »

  1. Hello. I was reading someone elses blog and saw you on their blogroll. Would you be interested in exchanging blog roll links? If so, feel free to email me.


    Comment by Jeff Atkinson — August 28, 2008 @ 6:37 pm | Reply

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