The Last Have Finished First

[Straight From The Maverick] The Last Have Finished First

From slavery to civil rights, the message of hope was something that could not be seen, but it was embraced from afar. It was the reason for comfort and assurance by those who valiantly fought for a better tomorrow.

I certain to say that what I saw today was the application of another spiritual axiom that was made clear by the presidential victory of Sen. Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., symbolizing for him and black people in this country: the last shall be first.

Better yet, the last have finished first.

For once, blacks have to say that they crossed the finish line victoriously, and the detractors and critics can't deny it.

I personally took a deep breath when I recognized that Obama had already compiled 200 electoral votes, and the western states voting polls had not closed, knowing that he was a lock to sweep Califorinia, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii to give him at least 272 and the presidency.

I was also slow to exhale. Perhaps it was a moment taken to enjoy the significance of what this nation had just exercised. Then again, it might me taking in a moment to make a quick reflection of my life while being mindful of those who have come before me.

It's easy for me to go on a mini-diatribe of how blacks in this country have been seen to be among the first to die, the first to be fired, among the first to drop out of school, to experience economic and social hardship, and among the last in almost everything else. To sum it up in one word: fail.

Many of us grew up facing such a gruesome reality and struggle. I would be remiss to say, however, that there were also people in my life who were much wiser and sober minded that often told me better days were ahead. They were like the apostle Paul. They chose to have a different perspective by being resolute to affirm that in no matter what situation they were in that they learned how to be content and rejoice.

Even for their optimism for my future, these same people reminded me about the chilling reality that no matter how far I got along in life and no matter how much I might succeed there would always be people in this world that will choose to see me only in terms of black and white.

I have experienced more than my share of situations in which my race may have been a factor in preventing me from realizing certain aspirations. But I've never allowed it to stop me. I've always chosen to believe that I would be a participant and not a spectator; a winner rather than a loser. Now I hope the same for my daughter, and I've conveyed to her my expectations that she achieve more than I've achieved.

If there is anything that is most symbolic of Obama's victory it is that blacks can no longer be seen as also-rans. He executed a campaign that was twice, even three times better than all of his rivals over the past two years; it is my belief that it will be the paradigm that future elections for this half of the 21st century will be run.

Obama has now become this nation's face to the world. It would not surprise me that nations abroad are probably saying that it's about damned time that the United States finally showed its diversity by electing somebody of color to its highest office.

This is truly a time to celebrate, but the hard work also begins. Blacks now have to be vigilant to stay ahead of the pack, for there are no more excuses.

Posted By Sam B. Redd to Straight From The Maverick