I hope he can


Written on 7:34 PM by isko b. doo

It's it amazing how just barely 54 years ago Rosa Parks refused to yield her seat in a bus to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama and sparked the modern civil rights movement? With that act of defiance, her name is now forever etched in history while the driver of the bus who threatened to have her arrested will forever be relegated to small script and annotated by an asterisk. The driver's name, by the way, was James Blake.

Nine years earlier, a lesser known act of courage was shown by Irene Morgan, who was jailed in Virginia for refusing to give up her seat to a white person on board a Greyhound bus. She was just 27 years old.

I don't even remember what I did at that age.

And here we are. Standing behind the podium on the steps of the US capitol, a rather lean man in red silk tie. Barack Hussein Obama. The first black president of the most powerful country in the world.

The storied candidacy of Obama from a virtual unknown to the 44th US president has been well-played by the media. Obama knows his history and the significance of his victory. For some, he has ceased to be an individual but became symbol personified. It is to his credit that rather than run away from the overwhelming expectations, he welcomed it. This is evident on his speech, which was filled to the brim with symbolisms, as he weaved from one era to another in the history of America in a preacher's deep voice.

I was impressed by his eloquence but then again, I think part of the reason was watching George W. Bush mangle the English language for the past eight years. That doesn't take away from Obama's command of the language but we have to admit, any politician with an ounce of charisma and articulation will sound like Einstein standing next to Bush (I'm not looking at you Newt Gingrich). Anyway, no sense to step further on already flat shit. Moving on.

Throughout his speech (here's the full text), Obama peddled hope, freedom and responsibility like rare gypsy's potions. I sat in front of the tube entranced, as I watched the crowd cheer while hanging on to his every word like giddy girls over Edward Cullen pasty-white smile.

Yes, I'm even willing to suspend whatever misgivings I had before about how he dropped his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, over his controversial sermons that did not sit well with white America and choosing instead ultra-right Pastor Rick Warren (who himself made inflammatory rhetoric against homosexuals) to deliver the inaugural prayers.

I guess that's the peril of being a president, you have to please each demographic.

At this point, I really hope he can make good on his promise to reclaim the lost faith of the rest of the world on the capacity of America to lead and erase the image of a bully that wedgies school nerds on a whim.

I wonder though, throughout his speech, did anybody notice the color of his skin other than white, red and blue?

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1 Comment

  1. evelyn |

    sa akong paminaw ani nga entry bah,murag didto kaau ka sa Washington naminaw sa speech ni Obama.hehe!


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