First, please forgive me for being wordy here, but I got to get this out of my system! As you all may know, today is a milestone in American History, with Sen. Barack Obama acceptance speech later this evening for the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States. Not only is
history is being made with his nomination for being the first African-American nominee by any party for the most powerful position in the free world, but it also coincides with the 45th anniversary of Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s monumental “I Have a Dream” speech, August 28, 1963 at the
historic “March on Washington”.
We cannot allow anyone to distort this moment-it is what it is-historic and paradigm shifting. As we have seen since day one of his campaign, many have tried to do everything in their power to discredit, disrespect, and to dehumanize him and his wife Michelle. Personally, I feel that what is done to the Obama’s is in turned done to me and my wife, Carole, as we have worked hard, sacrificed, and struggled to live up to what is expected of us.
Not since participating in the Million Man March have I felt the internal and external energy that I now feel, and I personally cannot sit by and watch that energy fizzle out as occurred after the march.
It is often said by many that the Obama’s represent rhetoric only and lots of hot air. In the Obama’s story and struggle, I see the same struggle and story of Carole and myself, and that same struggle of so many other couples that are friends of ours. They represent all of us, and it our time, collectively to seize the moment, or better yet “freeze the movement.” It is offensive to my ancestors and yours, considering the sacrifices, they all made and could not live to see this moment. If you take offense to the negativity, then you need to act also!
We have to “freeze the movement” because if we just focus on the moment, we will miss this opportunity. We all need to understand thoroughly that what has just happened is bigger than any of us can even imagine. Beating the Clinton machine to seize power was something that I did not believe I would ever see, but it has been done.
In “Declaring Independence” Howard Zinn states that the rich and powerful will never give up their wealth and power-to do so would be to equate themselves with those whom they feel are inferior. Obama showed us all that power has to be taken, using strategy and numbers. We cannot stop now that he has the Democratic nomination-we now have to mobilize and ensure that we get him elected. We have to encourage everyone that we know to make sure that they are not just registered to vote, but that they know where their polling place is located to ensure that they can cast their vote. If you live in Onondaga County, check this link to verify your registration and the location of your polling place – http://ntsdata.dnsalias.com/onondagaboe/– if you live elsewhere, check with your local board of elections and get everything in writing. Do not take anything for granted-we all know where that got the nation with the last two elections. If you are not able to vote, you can still help-volunteer to give rides to those who do not have transportation, sign up for training to be election inspectors, or contact your local civic and political organizations to find out how you can participate. We cannot let this opportunity slip. We must not just engage in voter registration, we need voter education and implementation! Check out this article that underscores the importance of our collective efforts: http://tinyurl.com/3md8or
We also have to be realistic and understand that it will not be the African American vote alone that is going to get Senator’s Obama and Biden elected. We need to convince all Americans, black, white, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American, Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green, non-enrolled (you can choose to be not enrolled in any party and still vote, but it has to be documented at your local Board of Elections), rich, poor, etc., of the importance of an Obama-Biden presidency to change our nation and changing our standing in the world. Engage people who disagree with you in conversation. Too much is at stake, and we need to do this together!
Here is the real deal: getting the Obama-Biden ticket elected in November is not the end of the road either. We, collectively we, as citizens of our communities, will need to engage ourselves in all aspects of people activity in a way never done before in this nation. Obama has aid the same thing, that he cannot do it alone as President of the United States. We have to help in our own individual efforts post-election while at the same time holding them and all leadership and ourselves accountable. We possess all that we need to repair much of the damage that has destroyed our families and communities.
So please, take some time to read Dr. King’s speech, or watch it. Use that as a reference point to watch Sen. Obama’s acceptance speech. Spend time with your families this evening-have your children participate, watch, and interact with you.
Here is a link to Dr. King’s speech:
Remember, the world is watching us, and looking for leadership! It is time for us to step up!
Peace & love,