I went to bed last night hopeful and woke up afraid this morning. What changed? Change changed. November 4th was a celebration. That was the day that America immediately began repairing its image in the world. It was also the moment that allowed us to hope for a better future. It was a moment in such stark contrast to any and every moment brought to us by George W. Bush that it made me among so many others shed a tear. But the gravity of the situation we are in hasn’t hit for everyone yet. This morning it hit me.
We are no longer celebrating like we were - at least we shouldn’be. Its time to get back to reality and the reality is frightening. The time since Nov. 4th has gone by so quickly and now its Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Martin Luther is a man I respect greatly. He was a black man who spoke out against oppression at a time when black people were still considered second class citizens. Many don’t realize this. Even I find myself in disbelief sometimes. This was only around 50 years ago. Many people like to talk about it like they talk about the Civil War (A.K.A. the War of Northern Aggression for you rednecks in denial) or the Revolutionary War - as if it were ancient history. But this sort of thing was going on in the 60’s!
MLK’s dream is being fulfilled every day. This isn’t necessarily all positive, though. The movement Martin Luther King was an integral part of also sparked backlash. There are hateful groups out there who idolize Hitler believing that the “White” race is superior to all others. In most cases like this I would just say “let them believe whatever they want”, but their beliefs aren’t the problem - its their actions. It was a racist who killed the reverent Martin Luther King Jr. A person of low intelligence, filled with fear leading to hate, who has been infected by the propaganda of the white supremacy movement.
These are people who have misplaced anger and fear. Many times something terrible has happened in their lives and their need for an explanation ultimately drives them to believe that a certain race of people are responsible. Speaking of being responsible, these people are anything but.
But this post isn’t about racism as much as it is about Obama. I had to go off on that tangent in order to connect to my next point.
I woke up afraid because of what happened to MLK. While we have come a long way from the 1960’s there are still White Supremacists and just plain racists out there. Some are crazy, and some are perfectly sane but both are capable of ending America’s dream of Hope before it begins. I don’t want to say the word… Assassination.
Assassination is something I fear. Of course there is stepped up security around Obama but all it takes is one bullet. The fact that the Inauguration is the day after Martin Luther King Day makes me even more nervous. Its this coincidence that could really rile up the crazies. The little hamsters in their brains will start running on the wheel and they’ll muster up just enough brain power to create a thought then pervert that thought into a conspiracy theory. Then the conspiracy theory leads to a justification of the action.
We have to stop ignoring the gorilla in the room. There’s a higher risk of losing this president than any other. I was even a bit scared on election night when Barack was in Grant Park.
I think Obama will be good for this country. I think that race relations will get even better (as in some racists will tone it down and see the light). I think four years of Obama would get more done than sixteen years of Bush. I wish I could have dug into Bush in this post since its his last day but whatever. Lets all appreciate what we have in this new president and hope to God nothing happens to him.
(Photo from Boing Boing)