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Rob Harper Headshot

Realizing A Dream

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Forty-five years ago Martin Luther King Jr., delivered his famous "I have a dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

Now years later in Denver, Colorado, Senator Barack Obama made a down payment on the dream by becoming the first African American to accept the nomination of a major US political party, which had years ago created Jim Crow laws to keep blacks from fulfilling a dream.

"...I stand here tonight. Because for two hundred and thirty two years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women -- students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive."

Many African Americans, in the mixed crowd of 84,000, openly wept as Barack accepted what many thought they would never see in there lifetime. The son of a white mother and black father, Obama told his supporters, "I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree" a white man with middle-class values.

In his 44-minute acceptance speech, the newly minted presidential candidate promised to cut taxes for nearly all working-class families, end the war in Iraq and break America's dependence on Mideast oil within a decade. He also promised to create better healthcare and address the nations poverty problems among other issues.

Obama said, "For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us -- that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it - because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.

America, this is one of those moments."

Having been judged by the content of his character and not the color of his skin, a forty-seven year old Obama is poised to possibly become the first African American president of the United States if elected by the people in November.

My how far this country has come in realizing a dream.