Friday, August 29, 2008

The Obama Speech

Barack Obama accepts his party’s nomination to run for the Presidency of the United States of America
by Charlie Leck

I pinched myself last night as I watched and listened to the scene in Denver. America was hoping for a miracle. When the pinch validated the reality of the moment (that is, it hurt), I found myself speaking up toward the stars, to MLK.

“Are you able to hear this? To watch it? Is this the moment you dreamed about? Does it please you?”

A tear plummeted from my eye as King’s words, in his final speech, echoed in my memory. He was certainly contemplating his imminent death on that night, as a prophet might.

“I’ve been to the mountain top… He’s allowed me to look over. I’ve seen the promised land. We as a people will get to the promised land. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
“Martin, was this what you saw when you looked over? Did you see this young, handsome man standing before so many thousands who screamed and cheered and sang? Did you see him speaking to a rapt audience of nearly 90,000 people of all the colors of the human spectrum?”

Of course, no answer came – only a deep, stirring chill slid over me and I trembled from it. I prayed softly.

“Do not let the carriers of hate harm him, O Lord! Protect him with your might and give him your strength!”
He may lose this election. He is likely to lose it because America is not yet where Doctor King saw it when he looked over to the other side from the mountain top. But, our constant prayer must be for his safety. What a lovely family they make. I don’t want to see another little John-John standing along a maudlin parade route. “Protect him, oh Lord!”

The cynics will now have their way with his brilliant speech. The purveyors of doom will surface. The liars of political convenience will spew their hateful froth. And all the frightened people will turn away.

He has only two months to show the nation that he is not to be feared. That his name and his color are not negatives, but possessions of utter beauty. The clock is ticking.

A reader of my blog, who lives in the Denver area, wrote to me about the reaction to Obama among his friends and relatives.

“Here’s what I hear from Mr. and Mrs. America…
    • 'You’re not really gonna vote for a Schwartza [sic], are you?’

    • ‘My son’s an Air Force pilot, and he’ll quit the military before he’d salute HIM.’

    • ‘You know he was raised as a mulim, don’t ya?’

    • ‘I’m not sure who to vote for, but I’m sure not ready to turn my whole life over to people like him!’

    • ‘I’m just gonna go with what I know.’

    • I’m afraid of what he’d let happen to Isreal… he wouldn’t stand up to his own kind!’”
Nevertheless, it was a grand evening in that remarkable outdoor stadium last night. Hope was abounding everywhere. People were believing that America can be grand and good again.

I have only so many more years left to see it happen, but then, perhaps, I’ll sit among the stars with Martin and wait patiently for the nation to come to its senses.

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