Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One Fine Day

Ladies and Gentlemen, the first black president of the United States of America. 

As wonderful as this sounds, I like this version better...

Ladies and Gentlemen, the 44th President of the United States of America. 

I think it's a wonderful thing that we have come so far in so few years. I also think it's quite apropos that it was Martin Luther King Jr. day yesterday. And were he alive I'm sure he would be beaming. To think only fifty-some years ago racial segregation existed, and some hundred years before that slavery. And now today, the most powerful office in the world is held by the son of an immigrant from Africa. Today I am very proud to call myself American. This is change. This is progress. This is the future. 

Yet while I am elated for this change I look forward to the day when we no longer are celebrating a racial first. The first Asian to record a Billboard top ten. The first Native American to become a CEO. The first Latino to become a Coach in the Super Bowl. While these are all minuscule parts of the bigger picture of change, to me true change will come when we look past race and sex as a defining features. In the Benediction by Reverend Lowery he recited some very stirring words.
Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get 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.
I hope for that day. And I hope we're all working for that day. But more importantly I hope for the day when we don't need to rhyme race and rationale. The day when we're not white, yellow, red, or black; nor male or female. When we are all just human beings who will morally treat each other as complete equals. Or as the man himself once said, "Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.” That will be a fine day indeed.

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