Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Obama Inaguration

As I write this commentary, Barack Obama has just been sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.

The first black president.

Now, we can begin the process of redemption for our original sin as a nation - - slavery. Obama’s inauguration does not mark the end of white racism, it does not mean that the inequalities and discrimination faced by generations of black people in this country has ended.

It does mean that finally, the process has started.

As one who has long fought for racial equality, openly and defiantly since that day in 1967 when the commanding general at Keesler Air Force base in Bilouxi, Mississippi attempted to cover-up a racial incident and ordered several of us to deny the truth, which we refused to do, I am feeling an overwhelming sense of pride that that a black man will lead this country.

I can still hardly believe it.

I did not vote for Obama. I couldn’t - - not after spending the last eight years protesting the illegal and immoral actions of the United States’ government and demanding the impeachment and prosecution of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Powell and the rest of the criminal conspiracy in control of our government.

I could not vote for Obama because he promised to continue some of those policies and embark on similar crimes.

How could I protest Bush’s illegal war in and occupation of and then vote for Obama who intends to continue that occupation through the too clever by half manipulation of language regarding “combat troops?”

How could I protest Bush’s illegal war in and occupation of Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires, and then vote for Obama who promised during the campaign to escalate that war? Not only escalate the war in Afghanistan but enlarge that war by continuing Bush’s covert invasion of Pakistan Pakistan

How could I vote for Obama when, like Bush, he attempts to erase the Palestinians as if the root of the solution to the crisis in the Middle East did not go through Jerusalem.

The inauguration of Barack Obama holds great promise for our country. I want Obama to succeed. I want our country to succeed as a beacon of freedom and justice. I’m just not sanguine in either case.  I guess I read too much history.

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