Despite my pounding headache right now, I just had a moment of clarity that I want to share with you all.
The Inauguration of our 44th president is on tomorrow, and frankly I can’t remember anyone ever really caring about this ceremonial aspect of an election. Until this year.
And, wow, do they care.
D.C is “poppin’ off,” as the kids say. People have been partying all week, and will continue all week. What seems like the entire world is flocking to DC and my campus is on security lock-down, since GW is only 4 blocks from the White House. A huge, free concert with everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Beyonce to Bono was held on the National Mall on yesterday to celebrate. There are legit balls, as in Cinderella balls, to honor this man. Even the Metro tickets have Obama on them. Signs, posters, and more port-o-potties than you can fathom are popping up all over the city. This is big.
It is all strangely reminiscent of the scene in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy accidentally crushes the Wicked Witch with her house, and all the little munchkins are crazy happy. Ding, Dong,
the witch is dead Bush is gone!
As much as I like partying (and Bruce Springsteen!), as much as I want to see Bush retreat to Crawford and stay there forever, this event is really about Obama. Not too long ago, only about 40 years back, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to a sea of people (down the street from my dorm building!) about a dream he had, in which his children would be judged “not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” This was a time, as we all know, when a black person was given less rights than a white person. A black person would not be allowed to eat in certain segregated restaurants, let alone become the leader of the free world. And just one hundred years before that, that same person would not have even had freedom. I know these are heavy issues, but it is so amazing that Dr. King’s prophecy has literally fulfilled itself in the same city of his famous dream’s inception.
Whether or not you voted for Obama (or own multiple Obama tees from Urban, like me), you can appreciate that this year America did something absolutely incredible. People with a belief, a cause and a whole lot of hope, rallied behind a single man and accomplished something I honestly did not think could happen.
During this Inauguration time, I encourage you to celebrate and party hard or whatever, because this is a great time to be an American, but also take this day to seriously reflect on the nation in which you live and what it is capable of. I am proud, and I think it is safe to assume Martin Luther King Junior would agree.