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The Victory in Barack Obama

November 10, 2008

America has come a long way from the sordid past of cultural oppression. We aren’t finished yet: a commentary.

winning-the-raceWhether I was growing up in Ft. Worth or the climes of San Francisco, I experienced the touch of racism in everyday life in some way. The simple act of walking to school along a fringe ghetto in a business district was a major act of faith. The stevedores milling at the dock of the local feed store loved to tease the colored kids as we walked back and forth to school. I was a rebellious sort who freely dispensed what was on my mind to the horror of my schoolmates. Many a day was spent running for my life with husky men panting at my heels because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut at their taunts and racial slurs. This came to set me apart. As a result of my early experiences, I became a local track star with the opportunity to try out for the Olympics in the company of Wilma Rudolph. I know that early life experience often prepares you for greater acts in life.

I know what it is like to be kicked out of a Walgreen’s Drug Store because they wouldn’t serve me at the fountain. I steadfastly refused to go to the back door for anything. Like my grandmother said, I wasn’t the shrinking violet of my predecessors. I believed in my right to visit the park of my choice regardless of the signage and quickly rebuffed the taunts of the local police that told me go home and get dressed in more conservative attire. I was a rebel with a cause.

at-the-fountainThat cause led me overseas in the military when most of nation was plunged in a time of racial upheaval and riots. I was quietly separated and protected overseas from the hubbub and confusion of American mistreatment in those times with one exception. Instead I learned the lies that white servicemen told about blacks to so many foreigners. When those foreigners met me, they came to confide that they had originally expected me to be no more than a dumb brute because of my skin color. The well had been poisoned, but through my human witness and experience, I was able to crush and put down the oppression and the poison simply by living my life.

When a serviceman let racism get the best of him by burning a cross on the lawn of my armed forces dwelling, the heavy hand of the government took care of the matter once and for all. I planted flowers in the shape of the cross that had been emblazoned on the hill for all to see. For years, blacks have been planting flowers in the burned out grass and finally we have come to see the results of our patience and endurance as national ignorance and rage has been put down.

younger timesAs I watched Barack Obama standing on stage in Grant Park before what seemed an endless expanse of cheering humanity of all nationalities, I realized that years of planting flowers in the burned out soil of racism had brought the nation to a new place and time even if the nation still bore the unseemly scars. I never dreamed that a man just like my children would someday hold public office as President of the United States. I believe that Barack Obama is the man that God chose to do the job that can deliver this nation from sin and death of the past. This is the nation’s true opportunity to achieve singular greatness despite the plague of a dismal national economy and the hatred of a few. Regardless of what Barack Obama’s time in office brings the nation, we can be confident that God is in control. I stand in amazement of the community that I have witnessed. ~ W.R. Greene

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