Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I Saw Obama's Acceptance Speech

I wrote this on November 5th after I saw Obama's acceptance speech on line.

I can see why so many people are happy. He gives hope to the downtrodden and outcast. And of course I am proud of America breaking the racial barriers. He is a man who transcends race and it is a proud moment for all America that it is finally looking beyond color, because definitely Obama was voted into office by a majority that was made up of blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asian, and other groups. I also listened to all the young people saying they felt good to see someone, for once who looked like them going into the office of the President, as the president. It is a big deal. And I respect him for it.

So do I have mixed feelings? Of course. So much to be proud to be an American. Of course my allegiance to my core values are the same but I was dumbstruck and somewhat unprepared to see this event move people to touching pronouncements, moments of awe, and tears of relief. Newspapers were snatched off the shelves, and sold on Ebay. Little black children were saying all that they could be when they grew up. Elderly folks in nursing homes recalled their years of racial discrimination and what had just happened. Most were speechless and in awe of the moment. Others made heartfelt statements. It was then that I got some realization, of the grief of the African-American community. They could not value this historic moment or look forward without first recalling how far they have come and the tears they had shed. Black History Month will no longer be the same.

All that said, I know that I won't agree with everything our future President will do (but I didn't agree with all of the decisions made by President Bush). Nevertheless, I am going to pray for him to have wisdom, and lead this whole country to a place of mutual respect and dignity. I will also pray for his life and his family's to be protected from harm.

Now to the more mundane. Was it just me, but did anybody else notice how stiff President elect Obama looked when he was giving his speech? I don't know if it is the realization of the task set before him, his nerves, the fact that a beloved member of his family died, or the length of this campaign, or all of these factors together? Whatever the case, he seemed strained, hardly ever smiling. Seeing the pictures of him before the results were in, explains his mood in part. (As recommended by Ana, in the comments.) Makes you wonder.

I just heard that Pastor Joel Hunter from Northland prayed with him before his speech. Another enigma. How did that come about? You can read about it on this link. (This last comment was added November 7th)

4 comments:

Ana said...

Why enigma?

You haven't been the only one to note the less-than euphoric tone of Obama's acceptatance speech. Especially compared to those of others in recent memory (including some were the margin of victory was closer).

I think it had to do with the bitter-sweetness of having just lost his grandmother (surrogate mother) while finally achieving something he worked so long for. Also I think it has something to do with how seriously he take the responsibility and how huge a moment that was. You should look at the flickr set of pictures they put up for him, http://www.flickr.com/photos/barackobamadotcom/3008257731/
It has scenes of he and his family watching the results come in. Very very moving.

Elba said...

It was an enigma to me because when I wrote this none of that had come out. If you note what I wrote I assumed two of the reasons were precisely the death of his grandmother and the seriousness of the task before him. I needed confirmation that I was on the right track and that I had observed correctly.

Ana said...

Okay.

How I read I it I thought you were saying that the Obama was enigma for praying with Pastor Joel or Pastor Joel for praying with him with just confused me.

Elba said...

The second enigma to me wasn't that he had prayed with Pastor Hunter, was how that came about. What relationship is developing between these two men for him to be seeking his counsel. I truly believe Obama is a Christian and a man seeking to honor God in his walk. Sometimes, actually your walk says much more than your talk. You look at him with his family, he loves his wife and family and is a man who thinks things through. That in itself says volumes about his values.