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A white friend of mine who happens to be a pastor asked me recently, “Luke, do you think Obama’s presidency will help with curing or rectifying the racial divide in our country.”  (He is 38 years old and I am 48 years old; that’s important to know because that 10 year differential is important as I have seen 10 more years of ‘stuff’ than my friend.)  I said to him, “Let’s see if he gets elected first.”  (I was thinking to myself, this will never happen.  I am a realist, you see.)  My wife and I watched and heard Obama give his acceptance speech last night in Illinois.  I could see my wife crying; I was shedding some tears.  This morning around 5 am, I thought about our tears.  And I asked why were we shedding tears?  Perhaps, Obama’s election is in part restitution or pay back for how my grandparents were treated during the Jim Crow days in which they had to get off the sidewalk to allow a white person to pass.  Perhaps, it was Obama’s story of that 106 year old African American lady who voted for this first time.  Perhaps, his election is restitution for how my granddad who served in WWII aboard a navy ship was relegated to the mess hall (because that’s all blacks were capable of doing).  Perhaps, my wife was emotional because she remembers being told by an accounting professor, “You people don’t do well in accounting.”   Perhaps, Obama’s election is pay back for all the times a finger was flipped at me, or the times I was called ‘Nigger’, or the time I was called a ‘token’ engineer.  Perhaps, his election is restitution for all the injustices done to blacks in this country (slavery, the beating of Rodney King, Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, etc., etc.).  Perhaps, Obama’s election means so much to my wife and I because maybe, just maybe, African Americans will be judged by their character and intelligence and skills and not by the color of their skin.  Perhaps, Obama’s election means so much because maybe other African Americans will be awakened and rise above their situations and not settled for mediocrity.  Perhaps other African American men will rise up and be history makers!  Perhaps, Obama’s election means so much because now my son who is only 14 years old can one day become president of these United States.  He is glad for Obama’s election but also sad because he wanted to be the first African American president!

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Luke. Beverly and I were very moved as well, and we talked Tuesday night about what this would mean for the Farley children and Sidney (who is now 8, and who we still remember, love, and pray for).

    jg
    Phil. 1:3

    • thanks john, hope you and Bev and kids are doing well.


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