The best thing about election night 2008, at least the best thing here in the Gold Coast of Florida, was the weather; it was one of those perfect cool and breezy nights when South Floridians turn off the central AC units, and open the windows.
That doesn’t happen very often, and we don’t keep those windows open throughout the night, lest we wake up surprised by a sudden cloudburst pouring in unannounced.
I didn’t really watch the returns past Ohio being called for Obama, I knew that the race was over at that point, but I wasn’t sleepy, and I wasn’t ready to close the windows and retire, so I kissed my better half goodnight with a promise that I wouldn’t “stay up all night”, and I dropped a DVD in the player…”El Cid”, with Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren.
It’s a great movie, and the closing scene, with a dead Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar charging the Moors while strapped atop his great war steed was magnificent and inspiring…and for some reason made me think of Fred Thompson, and whether he may have fared better than McCain against Obama.
But that’s a topic for a different day.
As much as I wished to miss the inevitable concession speech, and the white smoke issuing from Hyde Park, I wasn’t able to. Reality poured in through my open windows.
I live in suburbia, there’s no noises past 10:00 PM in my gated community…but there was noise in our street just after 11:00 PM on this night.
A neighbor, a sweet elderly lady living with her daughter and son in law, a black woman, stood on her back yard, a few houses away and shouted at the night sky…”Thank you sweet Jesus! We won! Thank you sweet Jesus.”
I had mixed emotions…there was no denying her pride, and I couldn’t fault her, after having lived through the humiliation of segregated water fountains, bathrooms, and “Whites Only” businesses, for feeling accomplishment and pride in the Obama election.
I however, saw something different in this election…I saw a nation more deeply divided than ever, a vote more impacted by the color of the candidate’s skin, than by the content of his character.
I must wonder now, now that the culmination of the struggle of Medgar Evers, martin Luther King, Jr. and others ends with a black man being elected as leader of the free world. What of the race pimps and problem profiteers?
When do we begin the process of shutting down the permissible racism of organizations like the Black Congressional Caucus?
Is there even a need for such an organization now?
The NAACP…National Association for the Advancement of Colored People?
They have obviously achieved their goal…will they be closing down now?
Will the Reverend Jesse Jackson finally take to a pulpit, and do God’s work?
The National Urban League…Rainbow Push Coalition…The National Action Network…and the rest.
Do we end “Black” organizations today, just as we ended “White Only” practices decades ago?
America has forever overcome her racist past, will we now see black Americans leave race behind, and simply be “Americans”?
If that happens in my day, I will be the next neighbor shouting to the night sky from my backyard…”Thank You Sweet Jesus…we have ALL seen the light.”
The burden is on Black Americans now, to cast off their own racism, and the race pimps and opportunists once and for all.