01/21/2009: "It's a New Morning In America and We ALL Are Overcoming!"
Forgive me for leaving my marketing topics this day and returning to my journalism roots. But today and tomorrow is a special time in my country. I'm watching, as you are, a new day dawning in this great land of opportunity.
I was a high school girl in the early sixties and in college in the middle sixties. I heard my high school teacher tell a young black man that "you people don't know how to talk." I saw bathrooms in the Union Station in Kansas City that said "Colored" and "White" and I say Blacks shut out at the downtown drug store. I asked my mother why that was. She honestly didn't understand either.
I can't pretend to know how that must have hurt black people. I can't pretend to know how it must hurt deep into their old age. I do know that, as a woman, I have suffered a second class placement by society. I do know how that hurts. I do know the tears and pain of not being accepted and of being judged by how you look or from where you come.
But my friends, today in America we are celebrating Martin Luther King and his dream. Moreover, we are celebrating the fulfillment of that dream. A strong, beautiful black man and his brilliant wife will be living at the White House. Oh, how wonderful that is! How truly American that is.
We get to see their darling little girls and their love and their lives unfold before us. And now the Blacks are getting their opportunity at the great power. And yes, they'll know the defeats that the white presidents all have known too.
Blacks have worked by our sides. They have worked hard in jobs to produce the goods that have made this nation great. And yet, they have had second class status for most of that time. Well, no longer.
Yes, I wish a woman had been elected. I want to see women get through that god-awful glass ceiling during my lifetime. But whenever one of us breaks through, it will break for the rest of us.
Mr. Obama may not be able to live up to our expectations. Few people do. But what we feel now is a wonderful, powerful sense of hope. We've been down so long that we couldn't see up. Now, we can. And hope is a very important thing to have. We need it now more than ever.
Yes, I have some doubts. I didn't like his politics. I'm not a Democrat. That doesn't matter. I hope we can all hold hands and love a little bit. What we need now is to come together and fight for each other. We need to forget black and white and all the in between colors. We need to forget male and female. We need to remember we all have dignity and rights and hopes and dreams.
In the sixties, as a young radical, I used a Marxist saying. I'm sorry. But it applies right now. So I'll say it now at this advanced age, "POWER TO THE PEOPLE!" We must never give our power to others. Let's use this day and tomorrow to extend love and respect to each other. Let's make this truly a new morning in America. We shall overcome!!