From eleven o’clock last night until noon today, November 4, I’ve been getting calls from friends and relations around the world, calling back, hearing the joy, feeling the relief. I didn’t go to Grant Park–I’d been working for the campaign in Indiana earlier in the day, and didn’t have the stamina for standing in crowds. Friends who went were thrilled by the presence of people of all ages, races. This morning it hit me, finally–I lived to see this day. My journey began forty-two years ago as a community volunteer on Chicago’s south side. The white kids in my neighborhood program came from families who worked hard for civil rights and social justice–and from families that went to Marquette Park to throw bombs and bricks at Martin Luther King and other Civil Rights advocates. I could not have imagined this day back then, when Barack was five years old.
He faces enormous challenges–a disintegration of civil liberties at home, a global economic crisis not seen since the 1930’s, a Justice Department riddled with pro-torture, anti civil liberties ideologues, an Interior Department riddled with anti-environmental ideologues, and on down the list of the ten thousand federal jobs appointed by the president. Undoing the massive damage of the last eight years won’t happen overnight, but Barack has the brains and the cool to do the heavy lifting. I’m exhausted–off to bed for me! Maybe I’ll write something more coherent later.