11/9/2008 6:43

Black President Tuesday

It's about time, I said. We just elected an African-American to be President of the United States and I wasn't sure that even I was ever going to see that. I flew my U.S. flag the day after the election and I was surprised to see how much more beautiful that flag was now, flying on November 5, 2008, than it was the last time I raised it at my house.

Others said other things:

First time – in a while – I'm proud of our country.

It's like a weight's been lifted from my shoulders that I didn’t realize was there.

I'm still getting a bit of 'lump in throat' from time-to-time myself.

These are all comments from white people of my acquaintance. We believe, from what we hear and see, that the emotion runs deeper for Black Americans and we think that our experience as white Americans is not broad enough to understand the full significance of what we have all done.

I don't pretend that we have entirely achieved what Martin Luther King expressed 45 years earlier in his most famous speech, "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."

We did take a great stride forward toward that dream. What may be most significant fact about this election is that the evidence says that Barack Obama won the Presidency neither because of his racial heritage nor in spite of it. Voters were obviously aware of his race and considered it, but the best information is that it was not decisive.

Indeed, one the the biggest stories for the rest of the week was what kind of dog the Obama family would bring to the White House next year. And perhaps that really was the biggest story, now that the election of November 5, 2008, has finally happened.

The United States has not reached national perfection we we can be happy with what has been achieved. We can celebrate with each other in the way Dr. King opened that famous speech: "I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation."