Sunday, August 31, 2008

Baracky High in Colorado

Going to Denver was like going to the mountain top. There we were on the anniversary of Dr. King’s March on Washington, celebrating a historic moment in American history – the nomination of the first African American as President of the United States. However, in the back of the minds of the Mississippi delegation was the potential destruction of our homes or our friends’ home in Mississippi and Louisiana. You could feel the tangible tension between the high of being in Denver while our eyes were watching the weather way back in Mississippi.

The evening was one of celebration, and the Mississippi Delegation was high on Obama at the Invesco Field party. While the substantive content of the evening can be seen through the traditional media, being on the ground was a very different experience. The Mississippi delegation was seated in the back of the field to the right of the podium and just in front of the CNN stage with MSNBC on our right and ABC on our left. Although we had the side view of the podium at a distance, we had close up and personal contact with the media. We got to watch as the makeup artists touched up the sweating faces of Wolf Blitzer and Campbell Brown. They had their backs to us but when not filming they would watch intently. Joe Scarborough, who is very large in person, was clearly moved by the event although he’s a Republican. Katy Couric stopped by the ABC stage to speak to Diane Sawyer whose hairdresser was desperately trying to fix her hair in the wind. You could really see Sawyer’s dark roots, so we now know she’s not a natural blonde. During the music moments Donna Brazile grabbed a rather stiff Wolf Blitzer and started to dance with him. The Mississippi delegation below the media were also dancing and singing along to the music. For that night we were all celebrities and the media were part of our delegation.

However, it was when Barack Obama actually took the stage that a calm intensity pervaded the crowd and turned the party atmosphere into a moment in which we all felt that history was being made. Obama explained that this has not been a campaign about him; it’s about us. In other words it’s about what we, the American people, hope our country will be. If you read his book The Audacity of Hope, Obama clearly explains why Americans are different; our sights are always on the ideal because we are a country based not on land, not on aristocracy, but on an idea of equality. We are all celebrities, and celebrities are just people like us. The message and the moment merged.

So, the night ended. Contrary to the prayers of some conservative ministers who prayed for rain, it was beautiful weather-- clear, cool, and dry. Considering that hurricanes in the Gulf are taking the spotlight away from the Republican National Convention, we might conclude that someone up there is for the Democrats this year.

1 comment:

Ed Drew said...

Do you mind explaining why you use the term African-American in reference to Obama? It is my understanding that he is 6.25% African, 43.75% Arab and 50% caucasion. He actually has less African blood than 4 or 5 previous presidents. I guess technically he may be 'African-American', but I think it would be more correct to refer to him as Arab-American.