We knew it was coming if he was nominated. The slurs, the innuendoes, the wink-wink nod-nod of subtle racism, the outright attacks of not so subtle racism. There would be whispers about religion and questions about his background. There would be slime and dirt, Swift Boaters and stupid jerks. What the smear-experts didn't know, they would make up. What they didn't make up, they would borrow from others who did. Never based on fact nor substance, the attacks would be relentless and the nastiness would make decent people cringe.
We knew where it would be coming from. We knew the political party that would do it. We thought we knew which rock they crawl out from under and which cable news network they would use. We knew it all...thought we.
The enemy was within..... clothed in familiar suits (and pant suits) we had seen before. We might not have liked them all that well....but they were one of us...the good guys...."The first Black President".....and the champions of the minorities and the downtrodden. We are all brothers and sisters, said we, and we knew who the enemy was.
Oh.....how wrong we were.
They thought that the Black vote in America was theirs for the taking and the poor white folks could be scared into submission as the Republicans had done for years. Victory was in sight....and the road to another Co-Presidency was a sure thing. Then something happened along the way. A young brilliant African-American upstart challenged the inevitable and opposed the "same-old." Ordinary people got excited, ordinary people started to believe again, and ordinary people started to have hope. Ordinary people, rich and poor, Black & white, Hispanic, and Native American started to think that they themselves could actually make a difference in their own lives.
We watched as thousands of people, more white than black, cheered a man of color. We saw the hope in their eyes and saw their dreams of a better America...one no longer divided by race or ideology.
What kind of person or persons would squash such dreams---destroy such hope? What is the most troubling is....are they succeeding?
So here we are with our hopes and dreams and those of the generations before us... and the ones to follow us. It's up to us. It's our job and responsibility to keep those hopes and dreams alive while there's still time.
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
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