I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not sold on Barack Obama. I don't like where he gets his money, for one thing. But the day may finally be here.
Barack Obama just might be being judged on the content of his character.
I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and I am old enough to remember when black folks couldn't sit where they wanted in public, were refused service at lunch counters, couldn't go to the city's popular amusement park, couldn't buy houses where they wanted to live, and worse. Much worse.
After Little Rock, when schools were integrated, (Junior High for me) they threw us all in with each other. Most of us had only superficial contact with each other. We had to learn about each other on our own.
So it is obvious that when people are flocking to Obama's candidacy, they are doing so not because he is black. They are also not driven away because he is black, either. It's because of what he's saying...who he is. The content of his character.
Could it be true?
After the last 7 years of hatred and fear and division? Could our better nature, as a nation, actually be coming from within?
Who knows what will follow in the next few months? Who knows, if nominated, whether Obama will bring out America's latent racism?
At this moment it doesn't matter. Speaking as one who has seen leaders whom I have believed in be murdered, practically live, on TV...what matters at this moment is that it appears that as a candidate for President of the United States, a black man is being judged on the content of his character.
Take a minute and consider that.
Oh, I expect to be disappointed in him. This country is too far in the toilet, too controlled by the undemocratic exploitative machinery of the corporations and the Democrats too ineffective for me to believe that Obama could fix things, even if he were so intended.
Many of us, white and black, even in the depths of the Republican nightmares of the past decades, never really lost the dream. We worked in our own towns and states and in our own homes, taught our kids, and their friends...several generations, really, that racism is wrong, respect is right, and that you should judge people as they come.
Always sounded simple to me, you know?
It may be dashed, like all the others, but today the dream has come true.