This morning at church, our pastor preached a sermon called "I am my brother's keeper." In it, he talked about five murders this weekend (one of a local African American pastor and four others of young blacks in Avondale). He is doing a series on how the church can make a difference to the neighborhoods of Cincinnati by knocking on every door for Jesus.
The sermon made an interesting contrast to the Youtbue he played at the start of the service. We watched a video montage of the history of the African American struggle for civil rights. It included pictures and drawings that traced the history through Jim Crow, Civil Rights, lynchings, MLK Jr., Katrina and more. By the end, when the "Change we need" signs flooded the screen, we were all in tears.
Church ended with everyone reminding each other to vote, offering rides to the precincts, finding out where to get buttons and more. The whole experience was so exhilarating. You could feel the palpable sense of anticipation over what promises to be a historic day... one RFK Jr. predicted on the campaign trail in 1968:
Things are moving so fast in race relations a Negro could be president in 40 years. There’s no question about it, in the next 40 years a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother has. Prejudice exists and probably will continue to, but we have tried to make progress and we are making progress. We are not going to accept the status quo.
40 years later, 2008... here we are, on the brink of that momentous occasion. Don't underestimate the value to our national pride, international identity and internal race relations the election of Obama represents. I'm in awe, to be quite blunt about it. Humbled to be a part of it.
Tonight, Obama speaks to 35,000 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. We're taking the kids. We want them to remember seeing the next president of the United States of America in their own city.