The monumental history we are seeing in the making must have blindsided the Clinton machine. They assumed that Hillary was on an unimpeded path to Pennsylvania Avenue. Instead, Barack Obama has undermined that birthright and halted that coronation.
What is the price of this going to be for him?
I am hoping for a miracle- not that he will win, but that he can stay alive.
Maybe I am being too pessimistic, but I’ll be 50 in a few weeks and I still remember. I was only in Kindergarten at 82nd Street School in Milwaukee on that November day in ’63, but I remember.
During the long, hot summer of ’67, I straddled my banana-seat bike at the end of our driveway, looking down the street to where it disappeared toward Lisbon Avenue- waiting for whatever it was that a secluded 9 yr old white kid imagines a race riot to look like.
In April of ’68 and again in June, I saw news reports of tremendous tragedy and sadness in Black and White.
It was reality TV, way before reality TV.
JFK, MLK, RFK assassinations.
Vietnam and southern “hospitality”.
Political conventions and demonstrations.
A long, hot, summer.
We reached extraordinary heights- a man on the Moon.
We scraped the lowest lows- four dead in Ohio.
The collision of old vs. new that birthed a nascent social order of inclusion.
Its been 4 decades since politics seemed to matter so much; since so much was on the line. The direction of our country, our world, may hinge on Election ’08. We’ve reached a fork in the road…
…is it deja vu all over again?
I don’t care much for conspiracy theories when they cross certain fantasy lines. There’s no single wizard behind the curtain pulling all the levers.
But if there is some mysterious sect of CEOs, or some mutli-nationalist commission of power brokers, or simply an agency of central intelligence, have they taken notice?
Have they straightened up in their comfy chairs in their dark, smoked-filled board-rooms, and are they taking notice and perhaps a deadly look at what is happening?
How long will they let it go on before they determine that what serves their interests may not be what serves ours?
These last couple of years have been amateur hours… Imus, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Kramer, et al. They were just sitcoms for the cloaked society. I am sure none of those issues raised any concern for the keepers of the status quo.
But the stakes are higher now than they have been for decades. Forget global warming, forget trade agreements, forget abortion. Those issues are just busy-work compared to what is unthinkable for so many…
A Black President.
So when I think about how that would change this country, I am reminded of how hard it is to change the status quo.
I am reminded of the turmoil of the 60’s.
When the shots rang out- at a motorcade in Dallas, in a hotel ballroom kitchen in California, on a motel balcony in Memphis, and on a college campus in Ohio.
There were vicious attacks by “Law Enforcment” officials on United States citizens in Birmingham and Montgomery and elsewhere.
I hope this summer is not long and hot, and that we never, ever hear those words, like we heard them once before…
“…my thanks to all of you, now it’s on to Chicago and let’s win there…”
I hope we never forget.