The Dawn of a New Day in Tears: November 5, 2008
People wept last night, releasing 400 years of emotion. Those who have borne the weight of racial oppression, people of color and whites alike, shed the tears last night when we saw a glimpse of tomorrow. This was particularly true for African Americans. The souls of black folk “knew the humiliation of another person’s spit trailing down their faces, of being treated like children well into their twilight years, of being derided and despised for the beauty God gave them,” writes Charles Blow in the New York Times (November 5, 2008.) The tears were of their humiliations long suffered. The tears were of their hearts weary from disappointment long endured. But the tears were also of the dreams they dared to dream, the dream of all people who are created equal, the dream that finally came true in the election of Barak Obama as the next President. Yes, we have entered a new day. We have seen tomorrow.* Our tears were indeed tears of joy amidst the burden of oppression and injustices long endured.
And yet, people also wept last night because on the very night we celebrated what the American democracy really stands for, we also denied the very equality to another group of people in California. In the name of the “sacredness” of marriage as it has “always been,” we denied the right of marriage to those who ask to be treated equally. We wept because we saw our fellow citizens that dare do injustice to another group of people who have been “derided and despised for the beauty God gave them” even on the very night we ushered a new day in racial justice and equality.
Reinhold Niebuhr’s words rung true last night when he reminded us that we “have always been (our) most vexing problem…. We are both strong and weak, both free and bound, both blind and far-seeing. We stand at the juncture of nature and spirit; and are involved in both freedom and necessity. Disappointment and hope live together in our souls and bodies.” We weep today because we are indeed our own vexing problem. And in this contradiction, we go on. Our hope is that we go on steadfastly clinging to our faith that the shadow in which we live today is still bright enough in the sight of God. We go on fighting every kind of injustices with the compassion toward everyone.
*Creg Parsons, a UCC church member in Chicago, Song: “Barak Obama-I’ve
Seen Tomorrow”-- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7-dUFKp2ko