“The time has come”, the Walrus said, “to talk of many things, of shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings.” We have oft quoted the lines that appear above. This is indeed the beginning of the saga of “Alice in Wonderland.” Sen. Barack Obama has brought us here to experience a miracle. It is the same Sen. Obama that we’ve been talking about for 21 months now, the man who has the audacity to believe in himself and the possibilities that exist in America. Whether Obama succeeds in his belief, and ours, that he can really become president of the United States is not to be argued now.
It is here, sitting on the cutting edge of history–which way it will go we do not know. We can hope; and we do. We hope for a change in America and in ourselves that welcomes a new kind of century politically and a new kind of hope humanly. What to do? The polls are already open in many states of the union. There is no excuse for any of us that should keep us from voting short of severe sickness and death. It is so important that we believe first of all in the possibility of Barack Obama and secondly of the promise in us. Personally, I did not know slavery, but I knew a life very close to it. I knew hunger and a fear that was not contained, and yet it never spilled over so far as to endanger what little life I had left to live. On second thought, that was a time of slavery, having left a real life to live without spilling your own blood to make sure that there would be a real tomorrow, whether we lived to participate in it or not. In our DNA, yours and mine, there has always been a revolution aborning. That revolution started long before 1854 and it has continued: sometimes as a news release, sometimes as a crime so heinous, so awful that we dare not speak it’s name. We read in a paper today where some half-crazed group calling themselves the Evangelicals has now predicted the apocalypse if Sen. Obama is elected and comes to office. It was the same apocalypse that has been predicted for America on every occasion when Blacks have been promoted as halfway decent, worthy of democracy. It will be, we hope, that this prediction of another apocalypse will be ignored by all of us as the slobberings and leavings of some thoroughly crazed, right-wing nuts that even the McCain camp would reject, but not so Sarah Palin. Her insanity or ambition has spilled beyond the pale. “Where will I be when the first trumpet sounds? Where will I be when it sounds? When it sounds so loud that it wakes up the dead, where will I be when it sounds?” “Where Will I Be” is a religious song from my mother’s childhood that she sang always when it was appropriate and she was saddened by the news of the day. There was a lament named “In The Garden.” “I come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses. And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses. And He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am his own. And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.” If the apocalypse that has been predicted by the nuts of this country crying for Sen. Barack Obama’s death does not succeed, those of us who were instrumental in getting Obama to this place at this time will, indeed, tarry with him in the garden, seeking peace and solace in order to bring us the energy and peace to seek another day. Go out to vote. You can, you know.