Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mango Goes Obama

This weekend started on Friday night when the Mango tribe headed down to the Obama rally at Philly’s Independence Mall. This was the first time we’ve checked him out in person and it was an unforgettable experience. According to the Obama camp, we were 35,000 strong, his largest rally to date.

It was also reminiscent of my childhood when my activist grandmother, Veronica, would take me on her journeys as a civil rights worker. Veronica was beyond progressive and was on the front lines of demanding equal opportunity for all people. She worked tirelessly for both of Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns and was elected as an alternate delegate for Jackson in both 1984 and 1988.

As we approached the rally site on Friday, I couldn’t believe the number of people standing in line to get into Independence Mall. I began to see so many people I knew, especially from the kids’ school. The school’s principal was there with her family. Diversity doesn’t begin to describe the crowd. It was beyond diverse. The vibe was warm and festive and I was both overwhelmed and affirmed to see so many folks coming together to check out and celebrate Barack.

I, like millions of others, am fed-up with the current tone of the opposition's campaigns and the orchestrated manipulation of the media. During the antics at last Tuesday’s debate, a dark, dense cloud positioned itself over my spirit and I again began to doubt Obama’s chance to win this nomination. But now I’m happy to report, my Mango tribe and I are not alone and a shift is underfoot and as long as Barack keeps his head up, I will too. Friday’s rally proved there are more of us than I realized and if I didn’t know, I bet there are lots of others who have underestimated our numbers, just like they initially underestimated Obama’s ability to take it to Clinton, and the element of surprise may be one of our greatest assets.

No comments: