Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Enjoy Watching History Being Made: The Inauguration of Barack Obama

While many of my fellow bloggers are continuing to fight against the Obama presidency, I think it is time to take the day off and ponder the history of what is happening. Up until 145 years ago, black men and women were brought to this country in chains and sold into slavery. Although slavery ended in 1865, for over a 100 years African-Americans continued to be denied the right to vote in many southern states.

While laws mandating legal discrimination, known as Jim Crow, are but a memory to most, blacks still live disproportionally in poverty and are incarcerated at higher rates. There still remains an education gap between blacks and whites that limit the progress many African-Americans can make in society. That a black man can ascend to the highest office in the land is a symbol of hope for many African-Americans that any remaining limits on African-American progress have been lifted. As I have stated before, one of the greatest things Barack Obama can do has nothing to do with the powers of the Presidency, but the unique opportunity he has to act as a role model, a symbol of the importance of hard work, education and family to success in life.

Republicans lost the election. But as I've said on these pages before, while many Southern Democrats played a role in perpetuating the legacy of Jim Crow, the Republican Party was virtually united in fighting to end legal discrimination and making today possible. Today is the culmination of what Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, set in motion when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation in the midst of the most divisive war in our nation's history. Let's celebrate the moment.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Republicans got hammered in November, and I still haven't heard an apology and atonement from the GOP for all their Liberal actions that have so terribly harmed this country and diminished freedom.

Until the Republicans change and apologize, they are going to continue to decline.

Protagonist said...

Two things:

First, Obama being elected president is a huge deal not only for African Americans, but for every American as it he is the first minority candidate ever to win. However, this does not mean that "all remaining limits to progress have been lifted." There has been and always will be racism until we are ALL the same race... which will never happen.

Second, let's not get ahead of ourselves and crown Abraham Lincoln the king of civil rights. The only reason he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation was to preserve the Union, which, don't get me wrong, is an honorable goal, but in no means did he free the slaves because he wanted to. At one point he even said that he would "Free all the slaves, free some of the slaves, or free none of the slaves," whichever option would preserve the Union. That being said, I still believe Lincoln was the greatest President in our history.

Although I disagree with a great many of Barack Obama's ideals, I am happy for his victory. It is nice to see that the Dems actually care about Indiana, whereas it seemed McCain thought he had our state in the bag from the get-go. Maybe next election we will get a candidate who cares about our votes.

Anonymous said...

Great for the history part but I do resent the liberals non appreciation of the gracious losers toward his election. Liberals are never good losers they are sore losers and I remember distincly the insults, plain meanness and hatred toward President Bush, the mess they gave him in the transition, and 8 years of nonstop hatred through the media just because he was in the office. Bush started out as a conservative but the constant drumbeat day and out til he capsized into a liberal following their ideas was his ruination and ours. Running the rino McCain was the mistake.
Thanks President Bush for keeping our country safe and for bringing dignity to the office after Clinton. Now we are back to a popculture Presidency who I hope will overcome his Marxist leanings.

Patriot Paul said...

To: anon.
I agree with you. The Rs. put up an aging and lackluster Dole, then got a younger guy from the same traditional mold who may have been popular in Tx., but unknown nationally, and then a POW who inspired few and not the maverick many thought, so who can blame the Ds when they win by default. If the Rs. can return to their liberty roots and pickup the pieces from a shattered 1994 R. revolution, maybe they can make a difference. There simply is a lack of leadership in both parties.

varangianguard said...

Always making me the pedantic one...

IIRC, the 1787 Constitution barred any bans on the importation of slaves until 1808. But, in 1808 Congress banned further importation of foreign slaves. So, it's been 200 years since slaves were imported to the USA.

Still, the system didn't need any further help as a naturally growing slave population, the concept of perpetual chattel, and North to South transfers of slaves kept the whole thing humming until 1865.