Meet Your Democratic Nominee

Right now, Barack Obama is only 10 delegates away from the nomination, and the polls haven’t even closed in MT and SD.

Barack Obama will be the 2008 Democratic Presidential nominee.

Finally.

Racism has long been an ugly stain on the pages of American history.  Africans were brought here as slaves long before the United States of America became an independent nation.  Slavery proved to be so problematic that even our Founding Fathers themselves couldn’t hope to resolve it–thus, for nearly a hundred years after the founding of our great country, slavery was an American institution.

Slavery sparked the Civil War, a conflict so massive, based on such deep divisions that it threatened the very existence of the United States.  Pitting brother against brother, that war would lead to the liberation of America’s slaves at the cost of over 600,000 lives.

For a century after their liberation, blacks in America faced discrimination, bigotry, segregation, lynchings and other forms of racial violence.  Living under the oppression of Jim Crow, African Americans were equal to their fellow Americans in law only.  It would take a massive national movement, made up of Americans from all races and backgrounds, to put Jim Crow to rest once and for all–a movement who would lose many of it’s supporters in the process of guaranteeing freedom and equality for all Americans.  Even now, four decades after that historic movement, racism and bigotry still remain ugly threads woven throughout the thread of Americana.

Now, Barack Obama isn’t magic.  If we are lucky enough to have him as our next President, he will not singlehandedly heal America’s racial wounds.  But it is what he represents that could very well begin a much-needed healing process.  What he represents is hope–hope that new generations of Americans can put the bigotry of the past behind them.  Hope that we can put our differences aside and work together for the good of the country we love.  Hope that–as a great man once said–this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’

Nobody can deny that Barack Obama has broken down barriers. But, I would be remiss if I gave no praise to his opponent, Hillary Clinton.  Women in America have faced discrimination and bigotry all their own–they were not given the right to vote until the early 20th century, and the latter half of that century gave birth to their own movement for liberation and equality.

Just as African-Americans were shut out of the halls of power in America, so too were America’s women.  Hillary Clinton got the closest to the Presidency of any woman in American history–for this, she should be celebrated.  She has broken down walls, yet there is still a barrier to be broken there, as well–a glass ceiling that holds down an entire class of American citizen.  And when the day comes that America inaugurates it’s first woman President, that person will have Hillary Clinton to thank most of all.

The wounds of injustice run deep in America, but we have spent centuries moving toward a more perfect union.  Today, our nation has taken one giant leap toward the formation of that union; my only regret is that we could not have done more to advance the cause of liberty and equality in this beautiful country of ours.

Sleep well, America–you’ve done well for yourself tonight.

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