When I saw this picture on the Drudge Report tonight, it struck me how utterly mind-boggling it is that Barack Obama is so close to becoming a political party's nominee for the highest office in the land. I have to confess that in spite of strong differences with him on many idological issues, the fact that he's in this position fills me with a great sense of pride in our country.
I was a young teenager during all the Civil Rights events of the 60's. I remember as a young boy seeing those infamous "colored" drinking fountains in department stores and movie theatres. At those same theatres, there were special doors (to the balcony stairs!) for "colored" people. It was the 2nd semester of my senior year of high school that schools were integrated for the first time. I'll always remember my new friend, Lorenzo Wilkerson, who sat behind me in Humanities class. It was such an eye-opening experience to get to know this special young man.
I can't help feeling like this situation's time has come. Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863--145 years ago. The Civil Rights Act was signed into law in 1964--44 years ago. Interestingly, that same year Irving Wallace wrote The Man, the best-selling novel--controversial at the time--about the first black president of the United States. (However, THAT president--Douglas Dilman--assumed the office. As the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, he only became president through freak accidents and a surgery-related death of the President, Vice-President, and Speaker of the House.) Even Wallace hadn't imagined a nominated and elected African-American president.
However this political season happens to unfold, the history books will have a lot to say about it--particularly if the charismatic senator from the "Land of Lincoln" becomes the next POTUS.