In front of over 84,000 people at Invesco Field in Denver, Colorado, Illinois Senator Barack Obama accepted, "with profound humility and deep gratitude," the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Obama's historic affirmation took place exactly 45 years after Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed over 250,000 people in Washington, DC in front of the Lincoln Memorial with his internationally acclaimed "I Have A Dream," speech.
The 2008 Democratic National Convention culminated on August 28 with the largest audience in political history to show their support for Obama & Senator Joe Biden, his Vice Presidential running mate. A star-studded lineup of musical performers such as Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald, Sheryl Crow, Will.i.am, John Legend & Jenifer Hudson entertained the crowd. Also, there were spirited speeches from community activists, grassroots workers, local organizers, military families & politicians, as well as everyday people affected by home foreclosures, inadequate health care, the recession, unemployment & the war in Iraq.
Obama was fiery, passionate & very specific in sharing his plans for changing the current landscape of American life. The dynamic young Senator proposed affordable health care for all Americans, a world class education from pre-kindergarten through college, to bring home the military troops from Iraq responsibly, cut taxes for 95% of all working families, end American addiction to foreign oil in 10 years, offer women equal pay for equal work & provide young people who commit to serving their community or their country an affordable college education. When Obama shared his heartfelt desire for an end to politicians who attack each others' character & sense of patriotism, the crowd stood in unison.
Senator Obama welcomed a debate with Arizona Senator John McCain, the Republican Party nominee for President. Obama drew laughter from the crowd upon noting how McCain has chided him publicly for lack of judgment, stating, "how can he talk about judgment when he voted for Bush 90% of the time." He added, "I don't know about you, but I don't want to take a 10% chance on his judgment for the American people." Obama spoke warmly about the familial influences of his mother, grandmother & grandfather. Then, in response to a recent McCain ad showing Paris Hilton & Britney Spears in the backdrop of an Obama campaign stump, the African-American said, "I don't know what McCain thinks about celebrities, but these are my heroes."
Throughout the almost 45-minute speech, Obama outlined "eight years of failed polices of the Bush Administration," saying, "America cannot go back, America cannot go back...we must move forward into the future because you can't fight 21st century problems with 20Th century ideas." Obama received thunderous applause when he graciously acknowledged his differences with McCain on such issues as abortion, gun ownership, immigration & sexual orientation discrimination. Also, Obama defiantly challenged McCain's stand against Osama bin Laden stating, "McCain wants to chase bin Laden into the gates of hell, but he won't even chase him into the cave he lives in."
I watched the convention all day, everyday on C-SPAN, occasionally eavesdropping on local news coverage. Since I only have basic cable service, I'm unable to assess the views on CNN, Democracy Now & MSNBC. My opinion of channel five? Fuck Fox News! Real talk. Anyhoo, never did I think I'd see with sober eyes the day when a brotha had a legitimate opportunity to permanently occupy the Oval Office - well, at least for four years. Michelle Obama, who brought me to tears of joy, love & pride with her powerful speech in Colorado on Monday evening, will make a brilliant First Lady. In less than 65 days, the country will decide who should lead the nation: an old, white male or a young, Black male. Hopefully, the winner will do the right thing for the right reason when he takes the solemn oath in January, 2009.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.