Yes, We Really Can
By Eva Rodriguez
I cried, too, just like 18-year-old Darianne Allen, who teared up when she stepped onto the Mall after a 16-hour bus ride from Selma, Ala. "It's really real," she said.
For me, the moment came when Malia and Sasha Obama, followed by their grandmother, Mary Robinson, were shown on TV wending their way through the Capitol toward the grandstand where their dad and son-in-law would be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. The sight of these beautiful little girls and the distinguished Mrs. Robinson brought home the fact that for the first time in the country's history the White House would be occupied by a family who just a few years ago would have been barred from the lunch counters of five-and-dimes, who would have been jeered at -- or possibly worse -- had they dared to try to learn in institutions reserved for others. That they are an African American family is particularly meaningful for the country; that they are a minority family reverberates powerfully for those of us who also share a heritage unlike those of the Founders.
For us, there was never any doubt that all men and all women are created equal -- not necessarily in talent or riches but in the right to claim and work for the opportunities available in the earliest days only to those with privilege and power. For me, it took the sight of these two little girls and their grandmother to spark the idea that others may now have embraced that simple yet powerful truth.
Posted by: EmilyTroutman | January 21, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse
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