Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The race thing

I've been seeing a fair amount of FOD about the transcendent moment in American politics that occurred tonight, how we have moved beyond race. Some of it is even from people whose opinions I respect a great deal.

However, I must respectfully disagree. President-elect Obama shares absolutely none of the heritage of racial repression that has darkened this country's history. A man who has formative ties to Kansas, Hawaii, Kenya, and Indonesia does not know what it is like to have a father who can remember being fire-hosed and attacked with dogs while marching for civil rights. A man who attended Harvard does not know what it is like to work a job while attending night classes to become the first college graduate in his family.

The day we elect a person who grew up in a small town in Mississippi (or Alabama, or Louisiana, or Georgia), who attended a small state college, and who can trace their lineage back to a sharecropper and, before that, a slave, THAT will be a historic day for America.

This one? Not so much.