Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama Inaugruation: Beyond Words, We Wait for Deeds

The inauguration of the first U.S. president with African ancestry is a very deeply emotional day for millions of Americans. History will show whether this represents the turning point in the centuries-long oppression of black people in this country, or of people of color in general, or not. It will not be the symbol but the reality of such equal rights and opportunity that will count.

Meanwhile, the following words from President Obama's inauguration speech is greatly appreciated. As with so much else, we wait to see how such high-sounding words are implemented. But after eight years of dedication to torture and injustice, in the name of "saving" Americans, these were very welcome words indeed.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.
The best way to demonstrate this rejection of such a terrible choice would be to show that Democracy is on the level, and no one is beyond the law, by prosecuting the war criminals who so lately held office in the United States government, as well as any that still inhabit the halls of the people.

Barack Obama was right to emphasize one important thing in his speech, that the responsibility to change things rests with us. Are we all up to tremendous deeds, to changing history?

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