Shawn Williams on the Inauguration of President Barack H. Obama
So much has changed in this world since I started Dallas South (Blog).
In 2007, I -along with dozens of other black bloggers- found out that there were other folks out there who were mad as Hell about what was going on with our communities and with our children. We rallied around the cause of a teen aged girl in Paris, Texas, protesting her excessive sentence and placement in a corrupt juvenile prison system.
A month later, we told Don Imus that you can’t talk about our daughters any kind of way and expect to get away with it. We went on to write about injustice in a small Louisiana town before gathering to rally on behalf of the Jena 6. We demanded that the media give this story the coverage that it deserved.
And while all of those events were still fresh in our memories, we watched our televisions on a Thursday night in January as an African-American candidate made us believe that he could actually be President of the United States.
So much has changed, since he lost that primary contest in New Hampshire. I thought that those five days would be the most hopeful moments the descendants of slaves would ever see.
So much has happened, since the son of a man from Kenya and a woman from Kansas, challenged us to confront race relations in ways that we never had before. Since he made one of the most pivotal speeches in our nation’s history, in the place where it all began.
Even since the nominee accepted his party’s call, 45 years after the preacher cried “I Have a Dream”, much has changed. So many things have brought us to this day, where we are able to celebrate President Barack Hussein Obama.
What has not changed is the idea of America. Even though her citizens have tried their best to , America showed today that she is more that what she had become.
As a high school senior I believed in America. I believed in her enough to look in the camera during a high school project and proclaim that the Bill of Rights is but one reason that “I’m proud to be an American.”
But then things changed for me. I went to college and saw the Confederate Flag displayed outside dorm room windows as I walked to class. I was called “nigger” in the parking lot of Albertson when I just wanted to go in and buy groceries. I saw white frat guys dressed in blackface and grass skirts at a “jungle party” they held on campus.
At the age of nineteen, I was no longer proud to be an American.
But now sixteen years later I can say that I’ve changed. I am willing to look upon America again with he hopeful possibilities of my youth. To accept the images I saw from our nations capital as a sign that together we can make our nation and this world a better place.
Electing a Black President does not somehow wash away the stain of slavery, or absolve or country of its racist past . But because our nation has taken an unexpected step towards reconciliations, I am will to take one in return.
If I were a football player, maybe this would be a good time to call it quits. Maybe I could wrap it up today and say “it can’t get any better than this.” I could log off of my computer one last time riding down the information superhighway and off into the digital sunset.
But to do that, would be to disregard everything that our President is calling upon us to do. As he has said, this is not about any one man, it’s about our children, our brothers, our neighbors, our country. It’s about making this nation better by each one doing his or her part.
So I’m going to keep on blogging. I’m going to keep fighting the good fight -even if that fight is to make sure that I’m better today than I was on yesterday. Our President has inspired me and I am heeding his call.
All I ask is that you continue to meet me at DallasSouthBlog.com to offer your opinion, your views, and your encouragement. You can expect nothing less than my best in return.
God Bless You, God Bless Our President, and may God Bless the United States of America.