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Posted by on Nov 7, 2008 in At TMV, Media, Politics | 2 comments

Great God Almighty, Freedom of the People

This is a strange feeling I am having for the last couple of days, since I woke up Wednesday morning, went out to get the Times, slipped it out of its wrapper, flipped it open, and saw the one-word headline in a huge, fat, boldface font: Obama

I thought: Free at last. Not him; ME! And now I think that’s what Dr. Martin Luther King meant, or at least it strongly and strangely feels that way to me. He wasn’t thinking about a day when blacks would be free at last. He was thinking about ALL of us. Free at last. Great God almighty. As long as blacks were kept in a place, it meant whites were kept in a place, too. No more. For 45 years, I loved that line “Free at last” but misunderstood it so severely that I gave it only half-credit. Now on an early morning in the 60th grade, I finally understand it.

I folded the paper and quickened my step up the walk. Normally I go in, sit down with the paper, look at the sections above the fold, and hand over the front page to Karen. Not this time. I was going to go inside, flip the paper open, drop the paper on the nook table right under Karen’s nose, and watch her eyes. She looked and actually jumped in her chair. That feeling. What kind of national power are we tapping into, when all are free to contribute the content of their character?

Talk about reactions. I keep looking for an interview with Rev. Jesse Jackson. His face, finger to his lips and tears on his cheeks, was to me the most riveting image from the entire coverage of this presidential campaign. I decided his entire life might be passing before his eyes, not flashing by, as at the threat of death, but in some slow pace of one being born again. So far, I haven’t found anything to read about it, which is not really like the old Jesse Jackson. But you know, talking about, or reading about, such experiences can never equal the experience. The first word out of his mouth about it would be too much information.

Very sad, that newspapers are in peril. No other medium this week has delivered the electricity that that Obama headline blasted into me. That is another chemistry whose source I would like to examine. Later on, Wednesday morning, Karen said she would like to get our local San Diego paper – we only take the local paper on Thursdays through Sundays – to see the local and state election results.

For the second time in an hour, I framed a line so as to watch her reaction. I said: “You can get the results online.” She flinched like I had hosed her down with lemon juice. “No,” she declared. “I want the paper.” No way could online results be a matter of record. Later in the morning, we got the local paper. It was the last one in the rack. More have been printed. Newspapers have a long reputation as being the first draft of history. Sure don’t know what’s going to replace that, in the years to come. Hey! Probably Obama can figure it out.

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