August 29, 2008
DNC: Last Night I Waved An American Flag
I was one of the 80,000 people who packed into Invesco Field to see Barack Obama claim the Democratic Presidential Nomination last night. It is hard for me to believe that a man of African ancestry is this close to becoming the President of the United States. I have to be honest: while I knew last night would be an extraordinary historical landmark, I did not expect to leave Denver as a proud and joyful American. But I did.
Last night, for the first time in my adult life, I waved an American Flag. It was just a little thing; a stick and fabric symbol, the same kind ancient veterans in immaculate uniforms hand out on the 4th of July. In my hand, it felt as light as air. It was something to be careful with.
I wasn't waving the Red White and Blue because I am a Democrat, Republican or Independent. This wasn't about party; it was a personal celebration, shared by the 80,000 different Americans who crammed into that stadium. We came because we see this election as a chance to shrug off the partisanship of politics as usual. We came to display our pride, together.
I waved that flag because I believe that change is finally possible in our country. For too long the people who form the bedrock of our nation have been left out of the American Dream. Our greatest leaders have been murdered and destroyed, our institutions broken. We, our friends and families, work ourselves to the bone to make ends meet and can expect each day to simply be more of the same.
After last night's historic event, I woke up convinced that we can realize our beautiful dream. It wasn't the candidate that changed me. It wasn't the speech. It was the faces of those around me showing me that we, as Americans, are sick of the status quo. We are tired of inequality. We are ready to step up to be leaders in the greatest tradition of the men and women who placed this flag, this land, into our hands.
I believe that we have what it takes to tackle the contradictions that continue to divide us. We can truly become the "Change Generation." We face problems unprecedented in human history, and we must meet them as brothers and sisters. We are going to have to work harder every day, to convince the skeptical, and demonstrate the power of the Beloved Community over and over again. If we want it, we can do it. Last night we proved it.