“we shall be free…” -garth brooks

January 20, 2009

if you know me, you know i’m fairly obsessed with the idea of freedom. my own, of course, but also especially freedom of those who are oppressed. the tough girl inside me RAGES to see any ounce of injustice done to someone else. even to a silly point. i think i can go kick the shins of every bully, and truth be told, i would be ripped to shreds with the first swing of my boot! all that to say this… this white girl LOVES martin luther king jr. day. i love dr. king in general. i mean, dude, the king center itself is called “the king center for nonviolent social change”. the minute i heard that name, i wanted to be there. so what did i do today? celebrated! and what a great city to celebrate in!

as with every monday, i went downtown. but today was purpose-filled. there was a service summit at centennial park this morning and then i stood at the corner of luckie and auburn and waited with a bunch of people for the parade. so many people. and as i looked at all of them with their signs, beating on plastic buckets, their flags, their buttons, their t shirts, their pride… i saw more passion on that street corner than i’ve seen in church in a long time. passion for different reasons and causes. but the beauty of that street corner was that everyone had a voice. me, little whitey, could share in celebration of freedom, peace, love, and life with my brothers and sisters… most of which were definitely my brothas and my sistas! i couldn’t help but wish, all day long, that dr. king were still alive today. that he could tell us how he feels about his holiday. to address all that people do in his name these days. to remind us what his dream actually was. i heard 2 wildly prejudiced remarks today watching that AWESOME parade. remarks that made me realize that we don’t all come together in harmony simply because it’s martin luther king day. but that we fight for dr. king’s dream in so many ways, still, everyday. 

afterwards, i was going to meet a friend at the cnn building. i had some time to kill, it was still dusky but light outside and they were setting up for the inauguration tomorrow. i decided to sit on the lawn. there weren’t many people out and about, so i just sat and watched the tvs they had set up and thought about the day and tomorrow. i had talked to my mother earlier, who had reminisced about segregation and colored water fountains. i then prayed that i would see as much social change in my lifetime as she has seen in hers. wow. then pretty lady with a camera guy and a microphone walked up to me to ask me about being in the park tomorrow for the broadcast. woah. i told her that i felt this was an important election in our nation. not only because of what i had realized about social change, but because of where our nation stands these days. regardless of race, this next president is important and pivotal in our nation’s history. and that i wanted to experience that with people who felt the same hope that i do. long story, short… i was totally on the news. and they mispronounced my last name. and labeled me an “obama supporter” which i never told her. but i am one. you’ll never know who i voted for. my 10 year old nephew is the only one i’ve told. but you can always call me an “obama supporter”. he’s my president and i will choose to trust and respect him. give him the benefit of the doubt, my faith, and my hope. i will trust God and pray that He guides this man as he brings about an idealistic sort of change to our country. 

i went to the cnn building and ate dinner with my friend. while there, naturally, we watched coverage of all that is going on in our nation. and i saw a man, who i respect and would LOVE to meet one day, dr. cornell west. he said this… “dr. king did not want us to be colorblind, he wanted us to be love struck.” wow. all day long i wrote things down. things i never wanted to forget. and as much as i just wanted to crawl into bed when i got home, i knew i had to blog it before i forgot it. today is a big day. tomorrow is a big day. and i’m going to roll around in it. really wrap myself up and take in as much as possible. 

dr. king stood for change. he stood for love. he stood for justice. he stood for freedom. those are 4 words that i hope mark my own life. 4 words that i can only pray mark the life of my next president. i’m excited about tomorrow. about the next 4 years. i was excited today to see people who believe that change is possible and are willing to fight for it. i’m inspired. by so much. 

goodnight friends. tomorrow is a new day. and, at the very least, we can hope. and i love hope. and if there’s any time in any presidency when we have the most hope, it has to be inauguration day.


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