If America somehow had a different history, and were predominantly black, having had only black presidents thoughout our past, right now we would be celebrating Barack Obama as potentially the first white president.
Here is a transcript of the speech given by Obama at Dr. King’s church in Georgia. This is taken from their website, where it is a bit buried, and I figure they won’t mind any extra exposure this can get. These days it’s pretty safe—trendy, even—to speak truth to power, but Obama is the first Democratic candidate I’ve ever seen who has the guts to speak truth to the people.
The Scripture tells us that when Joshua and the Israelites arrived at the gates of Jericho, they could not enter. The walls of the city were too steep for any one person to climb; too strong to be taken down with brute force. And so they sat for days, unable to pass on through.
But God had a plan for his people. He told them to stand together and march together around the city, and on the seventh day he told them that when they heard the sound of the ram’s horn, they should speak with one voice. And at the chosen hour, when the horn sounded and a chorus of voices cried out together, the mighty walls of Jericho came tumbling down.
There are many lessons to take from this passage, just as there are many lessons to take from this day, just as there are many memories that fill the space of this church. As I was thinking about which ones we need to remember at this hour, my mind went back to the very beginning of the modern Civil Rights Era.