Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tears of joy

I just heard John Lewis, perhaps our greatest living American -- and, no, I'm not kidding, and if you think I am you need to do some reading -- interviewed on television. Listening to this giant of the civil rights movement, I couldn't help but shed a tear when I saw that Lewis's eyes started to mist over.

I cannot even imagine what this night means to Lewis, Andrew Young, Coretta Scott King and so many other African-American men and women who devoted their lives to making this country live up to its self-professed ideals. Not to belabor the point, but I think white folks need to step aside right now and resist congratulating themselves on their "willingness" to elect a black president and instead thank African-Americans for their patience and, yes, their allegiance to a country that made them wait for longer than they should have for something that is now rightfully theirs to share.

2 comments:

Jeremy said...

Your rants about clueless yuppie students are probably the best part of your blog, but, on a different level, your unique perspective on racial issues, born from your upbringing in Atlanta during and after the civil rights movement, is the most important part of this blog.

This is just so beautiful.

tres_arboles said...

John Lewis was wonderful tonight. The difficulty he had processing the moment was palpable, drawing my deep empathy, despite my being a child when he fought in the struggle. This night is so meaningful in so many different ways, for so many of us. But perhaps no more so than for the culmination of that struggle and the sense that it was worth it...so worth it.

Best,

David, Seattle

PS--Go Phils!