Monday, January 19, 2009
DC Harmony for Obama
So, I'm shopping for apples at the Whole Foods in the DuPont Circle neighborhood in Washington DC. Now if you've ever been to the District you know the DuPont Circle is one of the most well-heeled and whitest neighborhoods in town (right behind Georgetown). This young guy starts to stare at me and I'm starting to feel a little uncomfortable. He approaches me, opens up this flannel shirt to reveal his blue and white Obama t-shirt and yell "Obama rules, man!"
This kinds of stuff is happening regularly here in the District now. There seems to be a kind of euphoria now that Obama is about to be sworn in as president. What is also weird is that the usually looks of disdain towards African-Americans from white people here has turned to looks of pure excitement. Never thought I'd see the day. White folks all over DC have been coming up to me just to chat me up. People, this is odd stuff. It's mostly due to the influx of tourists who either voted for the man, support the man or just people who are glad to be relieved of some white guilt.
Whatever the reason, I'm very happy to see this. Don't get me wrong, black folks are happy too. But I think most black people won't truly be able to exhale until the man (Obama) puts his hand on that Lincoln bible and takes the oath. We're mostly in a state of high alert. As Whoopi Goldberg elegantly stated after election night, “I always thought of myself as an American, but suddenly last night, I felt like I could put my suitcase down finally..."
I might just go down to the National Mall tomorrow to see watch the man on the big jumbo screen, depending on how big the crowd is.
Is racism dead yet? No.
But this is progress.