God bless you.
Well, it's official now. We no longer have to just think or hope it's true. We no longer
have to beg people not to pinch us for fear they might wake us up from one of history's
most delicious dreams. We no longer have to wonder if that day will really, really come.
That day indeed is here.
It's finally official.
The weighty wait is over.
BARACK H. OBAMA INDEED IS AMERICA'S 44Th PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
On Tuesday, my wife Joyce and I watched the inauguration ceremony and adjacent
activities all day on television. I was in Washington with Saint Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
and about 250,000 over civil rights demonstrators in 1963. But this time, I knew my
health issues of fighting cancer and heart failure, among other agonies, would not be
conducive for me making the trip to be in that merry mob of 2 million who had to walk
miles and stand out in the cold for hours.
So I inhaled and exhaled it all from the warmth, quiet and comfort of my home
and, yes, ain't no need of me lying, I cried. I just couldn't help myself. I even cried more
And what about you? Did you cry, too? Did this marvelous milestone also make
you cry just a teeny, weeny bit? I really feel that anybody with a beating heart and
anybody with a love for America, a care for humankind and a concern for our planet had
to at least feel the urge to cry.
I cried tears or happiness, tears of relief and tears of sadness.
I cried because I was happy to see the best man be a black man who was elected.
This is a precedent that I even doubted nobody in my family, before my great
grandchildren, would ever see. That's what being born and raised in Mississippi during
its most racists times will do to your hope.
I cried because I was relieved at what Obama was bringing to the table. His youth
and relative inexperience meant he was much less a part of the Washington sell-outs
who got this country into the pitiful predicament that it is in. Those opponents who had
been in Washington politics the longest stood a much better chance of being part of the
causes of our problems because the pay-to-play politics has not been a monopoly of
Gov. Blagojevich, who carried out his terrible tenure in the finest tradition of the late Paul
Powell, who died and left mysterious millions of dollars in cash stuffed in shoe boxes and
other containers in his home. Now, here comes Obama (thank God!) promising to clean
up our government, our business world, our banking and investment industries, our social
and racial relationships, our air, our water, our entire environment. He's determined to
lead us into remaking America into being the best it can be.
I also cried because I was sad that my mother, my father, sister, brother and so
many other loved ones did not live to see this day. We can only hope that their spirits
somehow got to see it.
I cried when Bono and Stevie Wonder sang during the pre-inaugural concert the
night before. What about you?
I cried when Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, sang "My Country, 'Tis Of Thee"
before Obama's swearing in. What about you?
I cried again when Obama was sworn in. What about you?
I cried again when Barack and Michelle danced at the Neighborhood Ball while
Beyounce sang "At Last" and cried herself. What about you?
So I was greatly thrilled and refreshed by the inauguration experience. But we've
got a lot of work, hard work, to do.
This is a new day. It's time to renew America.
It's time to come to the aid of our environment and save our planet from murder.
It's time to rescue that newest endangered species that is the American worker.
It's time to help millions of Americans get their homes back or get new and better
It's time to stop greedy corporate CEOs from giving themselves undeserved
multi-million-dollar bonuses on top of their unearned multi-million-dollar salaries for
mismanaging companies into multi-million-dollar and even multi-billion-dollar losses.
It's time to make quality health care affordable and accessible and possible
It's time to restore safety, sanity and sagacity to our schools so that every child can
get a quality education.
It's time for the rich to share generously with the poor.
It's time to have another Peace Core initiative where young, selfless, gifted
Americans can travel to help other less fortunate at home and abroad.
It's time to curb the illegal immigration and illegal, underground black-labor market
that is earning billions of dollars in cheap labor and not paying any income taxes
It's time to bring an end to and to stop declaring illegal wars or wars based on lies.
It's time for Americans of all races to come together in brotherhhood from sea to
Then and only then can we really, really celebrate the unprecedented Presidency of
Obama. And for this to come to pass, we all must join in and do our share and maybe
even the share of others who will do a lot of talking but little else.
God bless you.