Senator Barack Obama won the nomination to run for president as the Democratic candidate. It was an historic date in the history of the United States of America and he most likely will be giving his acceptance speech on the anniversary of the Martin Luther King “I Have A Dream Speech.” As of today, Senator Hillary Clinton has yet to announce the end of her campaign and apparently will not make any specific comment about her future plans for several days. As one TV commentator noted last night, Senator McCain gave a speech which attacked Obama, Senator Clinton gave a speech about herself, and Senator Obama gave a speech about the future of America.
I was born in 1930, a time when segregation was common in America and only one Negro served in Congress– he represented Harlem. I served in a segregated United States army and watched it end segregation and put in place a very successful affirmative action program. I lived to see the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case and was part of the college class when our teacher, Dr, Kenneth Clark(he wrote the psychological aspect of the Brown case) entered the room and we cheered knowing we were part of a historic moment. I lived to see the legal end of segregation– it lingers on in other more subtle ways– was among the first Jews able to purchase a home in a suburban St. Louis community, and witnessed the rise to prominence of Colin Powell to head the US armed forces.
We are living in an historic moment. The selection of Barack Obama sends a message to the world that we are the first post industrial nation to have a person of African heritage run for the highest office in the land. In itself, the Obama nomination does not end hate and bigotry, but it begins the end of the old era and marks the birth of a new era which in the coming decades will finally put an end to hatred and bigotry.
I believe Martin Luther King is very happy at this moment.