Thursday, November 27, 2008


As an unreconstructed 1960's liberal, I tried to remember the last time I was so proud of my country as I watched President Elect Obama's first speech.

It was August 6, 1965, the day President Lynden Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. For if there was one gaping hole of shame in our body politic for those of us working for civil rights, it was the refusal of our national government to allow an entire segment of its populous the right to vote.

Yesterday's election put a period on that day forty-three years ago when that evil vestige of second class citizenship for African Americans began finally, to crumble to dust. It was a long wait between such moments of pride...but it was worth it.

Originally published in NY Times, November 8, 2008
Also published in Daily Herald, November 27, 2008