Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Eating Jim Crow.
I have to say I was moved by President-elect Barack Obama's victory speech last night. I hate having to say that because I don't particularly like being "moved." I prefer cold irony. It's much less draining. Actually, I wasn't moved so much by what Obama was saying as I was by the reactions of the crowd in that Chicago park. I was moved because they were clearly moved. Jesse Jackson was crying! And I don't think he or anyone else there was particularly moved by what Obama was saying. For all they (or I) cared, he could have stood there and recited "Casey at the Bat." He had made it! That's what was so moving. Especially for the African-Americans in the crowd. After nearly 500 years of various forms of oppression, from slavery to segregation to voter suppression, one of the opressees had risen above all the oppressors. Of course, there were white people in that crowd, too, some of whom were also moved to tears. After eight years of George W. Bush, perhaps they felt a little oppressed themselves.