Old fears, prejudices erased in one lifetime
November 9, 2008 - Sioux Falls Argus Leader, by Marty Gallanter
When the networks declared Barak Obama the president elect of the
In 1964 I cried when the racist murders in
And so was the racism I saw exhibited even after the shock of the murders became public. There were those who said these young men got what they deserved; that they should have stayed home (James Chaney was home) and not have come south to “cause trouble.” Andy and Michael and James were not the first to die of the disease of racial hatred, nor would they be the last. Another soon-to-become-a-martyr, Dr. Martin Luther King had spoken the summer before about his dream of how his children would someday be measured by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.
That dream came true. Barak Obama, an African-American man was judged by the American voters on his character and not on the color of his skin. No statement could be stronger than to elect him to the highest office in our republic.
I am so proud of this great country of ours, proud enough to cry. In one human lifetime mine racism diminished from a driving force in our society to a withering wart destined now to eventually dry up and blow away in an historic breeze. Every American, whether or not a supporter of this candidate, can, if he or she chooses, take comfort in living in a country where old fears and prejudices may be erased in the lifetime of one person. That can happen only in
We are far from perfect. There is much work to be done in our nation, but this election has proved what I have believed from the time I was a teenager. We shall overcome. So forgive me while I cry.
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