And yes, I am feeling more excited about the whole thing.
Seeing Bush walk out of the White House to congratulate President-Elect Obama (yes, I too like the sound of that!) -- it made me realize that these next several months mark the end of seeing, not just that man, but any white man walking out of the White House to take his place at the podium and address people as the Prez. For four years -- likely eight years -- every day will be an historic occasion, as Barack Obama arises and conducts the affairs of state. That will be nice -- it's Democrat+. By which I mean, I usually consider having Dems in power nice in that I can hear things I believe in, even if they promptly go on to do many things I do not believe in. But at least they don't insult my intelligence, they give me soothing lies, which is something. But this will be a plus -- soothing soundbites that don't reflect reality, I'm sure, but the additional plus of seeing someone whose public image, at least, people can respect and children admire and look up to, especially young black children, who now have a powerful counter to all the silly portrayals of blacks on TV. That is powerful. Yes, I know, I'm late to the game -- blame it on my thesis (Daktari did =p
I guess my resentment is the feeling among some that "this changes everything", which I can't abide by, cuz it kinda doesn't. The end of slavery didn't "change everything", nor did 9/11 -- but they opened up the possibilities, they changed the long term trajectory of change, and that's worth crowing about. I mean, also in the NYT, Judith Warner wrote a touching but absolutely silly article in some places, in that she says
his moment of triumph marks the end of such a long period of pain, of indignity and injustice for African-Americans. And for so many others of us, of the trampling and debasing of our most basic ideals, beliefs that we cherished every bit as deeply and passionately as those of the “values voters” around whose sensibilities we’ve had to tiptoe for the past 28 years
Umm... it can't possibly be the end of pain, indignity, and injustice if there still exists disproportionate pain, indignities, and injustice for black people. Last I checked, we did not all achieve equality of capabilities, and this brilliant, if cynical/snarky peace did not come true:
What does this promise land look like? This Obamerica? Shortly after Obama is sworn in, the police, instead of subjecting blacks and Hispanics to capricious traffic stops, will only stop them to offer free tickets to the policeman's ball. Throughout the country, they will address blacks and Hispanics as sir and ma'm. The overcrowding prison problem will end, because all of the blacks and Hispanics who've been sent there as a result of prosecutorial and police misconduct - probably half - will be set free. And all of those police who have murdered unarmed blacks only to be acquitted by all-white juries will be retried. Blacks will have the freedom to shop in department stores without being watched.
In the media, all of the black Hispanic and Native American and Asian American journalists, who, according to the Maynard Institute's media watcher, Richard Prince, are being "shown the door," will be rehired. The progressive media will spend as much time on the torture of black suspects in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles as they do torture at Gitmo. Blacks will be liberated from the crime, entertainment and sports pages exclusively and appear in other sections. More cerebral sections as scientists, engineers, astronomers. Jonathan Klein and other cable producers will stop managing black opinion so that it doesn't alienate its white audience and voices other than those of black correspondents from Rev. Moon's church will be awarded air time. Global warming denier Michelle Bernard will be replaced by Jill Nelson.
Jesse Jackson will be appointed lead editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal. and Al Sharpton will assume duties at The National Review. Rush Limbaugh will inaugurate a series called "Great African American Inventors." Spike Lee will be invited to run Columbia Pictures and Amy Goodman will take over at NBC. The Newspaper Society of America will apologize for the lynchings and civil disturbances caused by an inflammatory media over the last one hundred or so years. A choked up Rupert Murdoch will read the statement on behalf of his colleagues.
God, I love that list.
I believe the possible trajectory for what we can do changed on Tuesday. The otherwise largely steady stream of racial status quo had been flowing for a long time, here murkier, here clearer,** one could be excused for thinking it wasn't going to change course. And then it did, a l'il bit. But the possibility of large trajectory changes is there, and that is a good thing, and something to be excited about. (God, maybe D was right about the thesis and my curmudgeonliness... but no, come to think of it, I always get more cynical when I feel like people are getting too overjoyed about something really important... curse my metal heart... =)
You know when the impact of what we have done hit me again, besides the fact that we will see O-fucking-bama* come out of the White-fucking-House every day soon? It was this 'un, on a friend's Facebook page as their picture:
As a friend of mine who's not given to superlatives said when she finished her thesis: "Fuck yeah."
Speaking of finishing theses...
*(These are "good fucks", not bad fucks. Of course, according to the FCC and perhaps the Supreme Court, I apparently inextricably and certainly mean that the O is fucking the Bama and Whites are fucking the House.)
**(Here more eutrophied, here less... couldn't resist, sorry.)