Yesterday, I tuned into Rush Limbaugh as I sometimes do. It was funny at first because it sounded like he would explode trying to understand why everyone was so excited about Barack Obama’s inauguration – or as he called it, the immaculation of the messiah. It was funny at first but then he said this: The only reason this is such a big deal is because Obama’s Daddy was black. So I turned Rush off for the last time. He like so many others has now become a relic from the last century.
What he and Hannity, Coulter, Boortz, Beck, Cheney, Rove, Hasselbeck, Palin and even Bush will never understand is exactly why this is indeed a very big deal for more than just the African-American community. For so many of us, these last 8 years have been a slow, painful near-death experience of something we had held so dear for so long – Faith and Hope. No matter how hard things had been in the past, Americans always held on to their Faith in our country and Hope that better days lay ahead . But 8 years ago we lost Hope and we lost Faith. Elections could be stolen. Personal rights could be taken away. The price of a barrel of oil was worth more than the very lives of our children. Our vote no longer counted and our voices no longer heard. Our leaders – in whom we had given our trust - had failed us.
But with Barack Obama we decided we would not go quietly. We took hold of the last bit of Faith and Hope left in us and we gathered our strength for one last fight. No. We would not go quietly. We would not go quietly at all. We would march and we would call and we would write and we would give and we would listen and we would respond and we would vote. We would rise up and take our country back and we would do it for our children and our grandchildren and for our soldiers and for the world and yes even for ourselves. No. We would not go quietly.
Today as millions stood on the Mall and millions more sat in front of televisions and computer screens, we watched as Hope and Faith placed its hand on the bible and said:
“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
And this time Mr. Limbaugh cannot fool us… nor can Ms. Coulter insult us… or Elisabeth scream over us… or Mr. Rove scare us… or Dick Cheney hide from us… or even President Bush lie to us. Not this time. Because this time it was about Hope and it was about Faith. This time we said, “Yes, we can.”
Thanks for stopping by everyone. I’m going to go now and check on Harold and then call my children and my grandchildren and even Margaret. And I am going to re-live every blessed moment about today with them. Because yes, we can. Yes, we did.. I mean it. Really.