Yes, the historic inauguration of Barack Obama has finally proven that race is irrelevant. Or, you know, not.
Some jackass reporter on MSNBC, the day before the inauguration, was talking about how powerful Obama's speech at the Lincoln Memorial was. He said that the image of a black man speaking in front of the Lincoln Memorial was so unbelievably poignant. That's right, moron; any time a black person speaks at the Lincoln Memorial it's an echo of Martin Luther King. After all, all black men in positions of power are basically the same, right? Good God. That's pretty much the exact opposite of what Dr. King spoke about on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. He envisioned a future where it wouldn't matter what skin tone the speaker had. If anyone stands on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and says something that affirms American values, cheer. But don't cheer for "the image of a black man on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial."
Then there was Reverend Lowery. Let's all pray for an America where "black won't be told to get back, brown can stick around, yellow can be mellow, the red man can get ahead, man, and white can finally embrace what's right." What a load of garbage. The fact that you're giving the closing prayer for new president Barack Obama pretty much shows that black isn't being told to get back. And what exactly do you mean "white can finally embrace what's right"? You think we're all riding around in our Klan hoods? News flash: it's not 1935 anymore. It's not 1965 anymore. To the overwhelming majority of the white who can't embrace right, race means nothing at all. You know who's keeping racial tension alive in this country? It's leaders like Jesse Jackson who have very lucrative careers based on claiming "minority victimhood." And they know as soon as they admit how much progress has been made, their tone of moral superiority and long suffering--and the millions they rake in with that image--is gone. And it's people like you, Reverend. What possible purpose could that statement have served, other than to divide and incite tension? I've got news for you: I don't give a crap what color Barack Obama, or anyone else, is. I care that every single one of Obama's policies goes against everything I believe, and that's why I didn't support him.
I worked on Election Day in a tiny precinct of under eight hundred people. At least four walked in and asked a poll worker what the black man's name is. They couldn't be bothered learning the man's name, let alone what he stood for. All they know is that he's black. And that's all that mattered to them. And I'm sure there were at least a few who knew Obama's name, and that he was black, but couldn't have told you anything else. I don't know a single person who voted against Obama just so a black man wouldn't get in the White House; I apparently met at least four who voted for him just so a black man would. That is quite possibly the most asinine thing I've ever heard of.
I know someone else who just named their child "Messiah Obama." Others in the public circle have described him as great Biblical figures ranging from Joshua to the Apostle Paul. Many more compare him to Kennedy, Lincoln, even Washington. Leave aside the obvious--Washington definitely did not think that "spreading the wealth around is good for everyone," Kennedy urged people to "ask not what your country can do for you"--has Barack Obama actually done anything yet? I mean, his speeches seem lofty and articulate, and you can compare his speeches to those of figures like Lincoln or Kennedy. But he's been president all of thirty-one hours. He has not accomplished anything yet, beyond getting elected! Shouldn't we wait to see if his accomplishments live up to JFK's or Lincoln's before we call him a new Lincoln? Aside from the fact that he's the first black president (or 44th white president, since he has an equal claim on that), he has not done anything significant yet! He hasn't even, as his supporters contend, united the country. His total number of votes was almost exactly the same as George Bush got in 2004, and that was hardly a unification of the country. If a white candidate with the same level of experience and accomplishments got elected, it would be a nail-biting experience as we wait to see if he's up to the job. But Obama gets elected, he's the next Lincoln, the next Washington, the Second Coming of Christ!
So don't tell me this proves race doesn't matter. Sadly, it does nothing of the sort. It doesn't matter to me. I voted against Obama because of his policies, not his skin tone, and despite disagreeing with him I wish him well and will pray for him daily. Unfortunately, many of his supporters, and certainly the race-baiting pastor he chose, seem hung up on the black president, not the President of the United States. And I'm sorry to see that.