Well, it was fascinating sitting in the Pepsi Center last night. It was something I never experienced before.
Watching Michelle Obama so much came to mind. Some positive and some troubling.
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I harkened back that time when I was 18 years old at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City. It was 1964 and Blacks were being killed, injured, and arrested for trying to live free as Americans. They forced to live under apartheid in America’s south.
Out of that in Mississippi came an African American woman, a sharecropper who had been beaten and arrested for fighting for her civil rights Her name was Fannie Lou Hamer and she led the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. We were at the Democratic National Convention demanding to be seated in the hall. MFDP was the true representation of freedom in America. She gave an impassioned speech from the heart of living under the vilest oppression in America.
And there was Michelle Obama standing there beloved by so many. Vilified by those who may never get it and for whom the African American life and experience is so foreign.
Yet here we are at a moment when America’s first lady may be Black. Tears came to my eyes with just the sheer joy of how far we have come.
It was a handing of the mantle to a new generation in that party, from Jesse Jackson to Caroline Kennedy to Chelsea Clinton to Craig Robinson to Barack and Michelle themselves. Ted Kennedy handed off the baton to the next generation while holding to the values he believes the Democrats should hold.
It was, for that party, a historical and moving moment.
There is a lot to question here, though. The power of large corporations loom large over this convention from their logos on the bags delegates receive to the expensive receptions they underwrite. Big Coal is everywhere trying to clean up their image and buy the votes and minds of delegates. Anti union and right wing Coors Beer flows freely for thirsty delegates.
So, while change is soaring through the air, some things have not changed.
Back to the streets and to the Dems.