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Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today I witnessed history.
Today I sat among a wide sample of Americans as they prepared to welcome their new president.
Today I held my hand over my heart and felt its steady beat as children of all nationalities pledged allegiance to one flag.
Today I saw Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream come true as little black boys and little black girls held hands with little white boys and little white girls, and it wasn't a performance; they were just playing.
Today I got choked up when an older, white woman said to her African-American, Latino, and Asian-American students, "You don't remember segregation... I wish I could make you understand how important today is!"

No, Obama is not my icon and I know that racism is not dead. However, one cannot deny that our society has made a lot of progress in the recent past. Despite the prejudices that do exist, and we all know they do, we as a whole have managed to put aside our differences enough to work together respectfully. The recent election shed light on the fact that minorities compose the majority, and that the United States of America is and always has been in essence a diverse nation.

Yes, today was definitely an historical landmark, which means, as always, that it is a time for us to reflect on what it means to us. To us, the light unto the nations. Have we lived up to that name?

Can we, too, put aside our differences and unite to achieve our common goal?
Can we see past the externals and realize that we are essentially the same in everything that matters?
Can we reach out to embrace instead of pushing away?
Can we overcome past hurts to build a brighter future?

You have my answer.

(Which, for some reason, still reminds me more of Bob the Builder than Barack Obama... this is what having kids will do to you. Not that I have any, just sayin'...)


The Dreamer said...

well, yesterday, i went to work and the internet was slow so i missed the whole shebang.

but it was still a day that i never imagined, albeit for other reasons.

Frayda said...

Thank you for your lovely post. I wish more Jews shared your feelings instead of making ignorant and racist comments.
BTW, its funny that you mentioned Bob the Builder. I watched it for the first time on Sunday morning with my nephews. I also recognized Obama's slogan. It was really cute when my 3 year old nephew was singing the theme song.

:) said...

We have to remember that we too were immigrants to the land we live in now and we too have suffered segregation and persecution!

nmf #7 said...

LOL on Bob the Builder comment:
Can we fix it? Yes we can!
But what if it wasn't broken? :-D
This definitely is something to break segregation and racial barriers.
However, segregation still exists in the US, unfortunately. Hopefully this will change some of that.

corner point said...

Great, great post, Bas.

In the line of "Yes, we can," I saw the most hilarious thing on and Jerry's ice cream franchise put out an ice cream flavor with a picture of Obama on the front called "Yes, Pecan"

Great, no?! :-D

nmf #7 said...

Bas~Melech- wishing you luck this Sunday!

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

Sounds great, it really is amazing how far we have come with acceptance of others, and I like how you connected it with "us, the light among the nations".

Sharon Wilson said...

It certainly will be a day to be remembered and history in the making.