I’m remembering on this day, honoring the great Dr. Martin Luther King, of a moment on the campaign trail this spring in Texas, when I first really _understood_ that the Obama candidacy was bigger than any hopes that I had for it, and that it was truly balanced on the arc of history….
It was a mid-afternoon, weekday rally at the Plaza de Guadalupe in San Antonio’s heavily Hispanic, downtrodden West side. An overflow crowd of 3,000 that packed into in this public square — in the shadow of a three-story tall replica of a votive candle dedicated to la virgen de Guadalupe.
To put the matter squarely: This was not a latte-sipping crowd. This was not a bunch of college educated liberals projecting their white guilt on a post-racial chameleon. This was the authentic and much changed face of America, circa 2008.
It looked like what Dr. King might have glimpsed from the mountaintop: A middle-aged, working class African American couple sat next to a graying Asian man with hearing aids. Next to him: a young Hispanic man with slicked back hair, a bushy mustache a red T-shirt decrying the deaths of immigrants at the border. At his side was a white man with close cropped hair, his blond toddler daughter fidgeting on his lap.
And so on. And so on. Down this row. And the next. Like so many snapshots from an Obama family reunion.
Ok. It’s true. They didn’t join hands and sing “Free at last.”
But as the first African-American front-runner in the history of our presidential politics took the stage, they did raise their voices in unison to chant, Si, Se Puede.
Yes We Can.
We could. We did. We will.
God bless America.