Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Did Obama's inauguration speech match the moment?

Some critics believe President Obama’s inauguration speech was somber and simplistic. Is there some credence to this?

Obama’s speech on race in Philadelphia was filled with substance. His acceptance speech in Denver was on point and the one he gave in Chicago after beating John McCain was short and effective.

Obama’s inauguration speech was average at best when one considers the gravity of the occasion. I was prepared for a riveting speech that never came. The President merely restated most of his rhetoric from his campaign: he left out items that should’ve been addressed while he had the world in its collective seat.

I think his speech should’ve gone something like this:

“For centuries people who look like were largely excluded from pursuing the American dream. Not anymore. Only in America could my dreams manifest. As look out at all you beautiful people here today I’m blessed. Nothing worthy of lasting accomplishment can be done alone. As I stand before you as your President of the United States I thank you for your time, energy, and your votes.

Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of Martin Luther King. In 1963 King stood at the other end of this mall (pointing) at the Lincoln Memorial and delivered his moving “I Have a Dream” speech. King’s dream called for us not to be judged by color but by the content of ones character. Today a part of his dream lives. Unfortunately in 1968 we buried this great man. But today indicates we’ve continued his plan. We’ve happily and peacefully gathered here today and rallied around a common goal and that goal was to make me the President of your United States.

Today I’ll begin residing in the White House. It’s a home built by the hands of slaves. Slavery was a horrific part of our history that’s yet to be critically addressed. Collectively our social consciousness still isn’t where it should be but today demonstrates we, the American people, are on our way. Due to your open minds and your votes today I’ll walk through the front door of the White House as your President.

As I look out and see people from all walks of life and from around the globe it’s beautiful to see. But I still need your help. I want you to bottle this warmth and love you feel for this moment; go back to your homes and share it with your neighbors. Take the love back to your communities and try display it the rest of your days. Believe in your fellow man, woman and child like you’ve believed in my ability to restore this country.

We can fight social ills like racism the same way we banded together to make history today. We often think African American and white when talk about racism. It’s bigger than that because racism ultimately affects us all. There are some dark truths we must face about the historical development of this country. We’ll one day get to a point where African Americans being the “first” will not be a big deal. My being President won’t diffuse racism but I can help slow its spread.

Freedom fighters like Harriet Tubman endured slavery but she had help. Post-slavery African Americans were still treated as second-class. The likes of W.E.B. Dubois, A. Philip Randolph, and Jackie Robinson, suffered so we’d have a better country today. But they had help.

African soldiers fought for freedom in the Civil War, World War I, World II, and the Vietnam War: they were fighting for first-class citizenship while being treated second-class. Over time the oppression subsided because African Americans had help.

What am I saying?

There has never. I repeat. There’s never been a movement in this America where some white people didn’t lay down their lives for us. My Presidency wouldn’t be possible without all of you. We won this election together. Today represents what the United States of America should be about. We all UNITED in a loving STATE to make AMERICA better!

I know we’ve been engaging in an unpopular war far too long and the economic conditions are bad. But ladies and gentlemen those problems are miniscule compared to the social diseases that have hampered our ability to live as one for centuries. They fail in comparison to finding a cure for cancer and AIDS and living together as one! The various social, political and economical diseases have dwelled in this country far too long.

The time has finally come for us to truly unite like we’ve done today to build a better America for us all tomorrow.”

Sounds good to me, what do you think?

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