Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Walk In The Park

Up slightly later than usual this morning, after staying awake to watch the miracle of America electing an African-American to be the next President.

A sunny day, as it has been since we arrived in the USA a week ago. Cool, because it was before 7 a.m. Groundhogs still hiding in wait for a bit of warmth. Squirrels slow to get going. Buffalo still frozen in bronze horror at their fate at the hands of man. A walk no more or less invigorating than others. But it felt like a new world out there.

I was pleased to see last night that John McCain, in his gracious and generous concession speech, referred to something I mentioned in my blog a few weeks ago. He drew a comparison between the outrage about Theodore Roosevelt allowing a distinguished black man, Booker T Washington, into the White House as a guest, and the political earthquake which took Obama into the Presidency. I know that somebody from Washington was scouring my blog recently. Also somebody in Arizona. John McCain's speech writers? They have to get their information and ideas somewhere. Why not here? Glad to have been of service.

Another memory came to me as I walked. I think it was 1964 when Lyndon Baines Johnson pushed through the act which allowed African-Americans to vote. At the subsequent election, much was of course made of this in TV and radio coverage. The basic theme was - would these millions of new voters have an impact on the result? But it seemed that so many of the newly-enfranchised black people were reluctant to use their vote, either because they did not like the choice before them (which of course did not include, especially at the higher levels) any of their own people, or because they were afraid. I remember especially one old black woman who, when asked how she would vote, said "I ain't gonna vote on that day, I'm gonna pray to the good Lord, I'm gonna pray to the good Lord!" Well, I hope she is still with us, so that she can pray to her good Lord, to offer thanks for this miracle.

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