Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Waking Up to History 11/5/08

I’m in my 30’s. I remember when the Berlin Wall came down, when the Soviet Union collapsed. I remember watching CNN and seeing a Chinese boy stand in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square. This election was the most historically significant event I’ve ever been alive to witness.
A few years ago I wrote about a speech I heard a Senator give in front of the State House in Springfield, Illinois (JB Random Report 2/14/07) announcing his candidacy for President of the United States. I said how great I thought he was, but that this country would never vote a black man into the White House. Even before that announcement, I named him my “Politician of the Year 2006” for thinking he had a chance.
Barack Obama never had to win me over; he did that in Springfield, even using one of my favorite Jackie Wilson songs at the end. It was this nation that had to convince me that it would finally vote for the best candidate this time. I was one of the first writers to endorse him (JB Random Report 2/6/08). It only took two terms of the worst US President in history for this country to get its act together, so my faith isn’t totally restored, but I am glad to see that I live in a country that doesn’t let the same dog bite it three times.
We are all celebrating now, but I assure you it won’t be easy for the nation’s first black president. There is a great deal of work to do. The economy, the wars, our international reputation all require his immediate attention. And like Jackie Robinson in 1947, he can’t make one mistake. Like it or not he is representing all minorities, and this nation in its ignorance and impatience will turn on him if he doesn’t produce results.
I wasn’t proud to be an American this morning because we elected the first black president, I was proud to be an American this morning because we elected the best man for the job regardless of his race. I once wrote that racism comes from fear and ignorance, we proved that we have less of those traits, and that might not erase the mistakes of the past, but what an interesting start.
Books can be written about what this election means to minorities, but I’ll mention one thing. While the crowd was loudly cheering Obama on during his victory speech in Chicago’s Grant Park, in the crowd there stood an older black man just staring at the stage quietly, not cheering, not crying, just looking. Just imagine his life’s story, and what this moment meant to him. Growing up not being able to sit at a lunch counter, or ride a bus, or drink from a water fountain in a nation that claimed it was free. Imagine that man now living to see a black president. Of course he was silent. I ask you, who could have words?


Sometimes having a bye week is all you need to move up in the BCS rankings…but not in the case of Penn State. What the Hell? Texas Tech did beat #1 Texas, but come on that doesn’t mean they get to jump a big conference school. If that’s the case, Rutgers should have been #1 a few years ago, remember that? It took until week 9 of the college football season, but that BCS ranking system finally showed its first fuck up. I agree with Alabama being #1 but Penn State should be #2.

The Giants are proving all non-believers wrong yet again. They dismantled the Cowboys last week; I wonder what they are going to do for an encore.

Trading Allen Iverson was a good move by Denver, but once again one is left puzzled by the Knicks. Is sitting over $30 million in salary on the bench in Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry part of the Donnie Walsh/Mike D’Antoni “new system?” Because if it is, that new system makes no fiscal sense. If you hate the guys so much and want to get rid of them so badly, have them play so that their value can be shown to other teams. When it comes time for trade talks, you have a body of work to show the team that you wanna make a deal with. I’m sure the “Fire D’Antoni” chants will be heard at the Garden very soon.

LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS looked at 315,478 users frequenting no-strings-attached dating sites. Since 2004, the number of women seeking only an "intimate encounter" has risen from 9 to 18 percent. where are we meeting up?


Today and maybe only today, there is little wrong with America worth complaining about.

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