Tuesday, January 20, 2009

insert really amazing title here

there is so much swimming in my head today i don't know where to begin.  it was a historic day, one where i'm sure that 10, 15, 20 years from now i'll still be telling my students where i was and what i was doing.  but...

i really wish that this day were historic for the sole reason that it marks the end of an eight year presidency for a man with a low approval rating, who did the best he could with the circumstances that he was given.  i do not agree with everything that former president bush did, i agree even less with much of what he said, however, only history will tell what his legacy was.  i do believe that he believed every second that he was doing the best job he possibly could.  we only know part of the story, until every american citizen is part of the daily briefings of the president, we have only the slightest ideas of the challenges this great nation faces.  i wish that this day were historic for the simple changing of the guard, the perhaps only temporary move from republican to democratic leadership, in all actuality, this peaceful changeover of power in many areas of the world would be a miracle - one that as americans we take for granted.  in the words for ronald reagan upon the occasion of his first Inaugural address:

To a few of us here today, this is a solemn and most momentous occasion; and yet, in the history of our Nation, it is a commonplace occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place as it has for almost two centuries and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every-4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.

but no, while today is a historic day for all of the aforementioned reasons, for many today will be remembered as the day that america's first biracial, read: black, president took office.  it saddens me to think that today, in 2009, we are are not culturally able to get past the idea that a person is more than a color or a gender.  i am sad that as president and mrs obama stepped out of the protection of their armored car this afternoon, the newscaster on CNN remarked that it was a "brave" action.  at this day and age, many of us would like to think that we live in a period of acceptance and tolerance, yet this is not the case.  for our children, i hope that today's events will leave a legacy of open-mindedness and of hope.  that anyone can be elected to our nation's greatest office based on nothing but merit, achievement, and force of personality.  that they will truly be raised in the land of the free and the home of the brave.  

president obama has many challenges ahead of him, challenges not of his creating, nor challenges the sole creation of his predecessor; but problems nonetheless that will need to be dealt with swiftly and decisively.  history alone will be the judge of how well president obama rises to the occasion, tonight i add in my hopes that obama will not be judged a a great black president, but as a truly great president.


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