By: Julian Harris Gibson / Photo: AP
Barack Obama came to tears in this video taken the day after election day. This touching video shows a man looking back on his life and out in the crowd at his future. The President says, “I’m really proud of you.” Mr. President, We are extremely proud of you for making the right moves even when everyone around you had their doubts.
In fact, It is your ability to trust your moral compass that makes us all proud. Years ago, when you were a community organizer those whistling winds on those cold nights on Chicago’s South Side streets had to have whispered to you,” Are you sure you want to do this?” Thankfully you trusted your compass and stuck on your path. When you referenced Bobby Kennedy‘s phrase about those ripples of hope I want you to know that I am one of those many ripples.
We all have moments when we reflect on the choices we made and the hardships we faced on our way to victory, but your story has inspired the world in a way that has changed it forever. A thousand years from now when our descendents review this era, they will see the obstructionism you faced and the disdain for equality you overcame. They will see the successes and the shortcomings, the highs and lows of a first presidential term that had everyone in the country learning on the job. Respectfully put, your first term was a sculpture made without a template.
While anyone who knows me and a David Axelrod quality google search will show I haven’t always agreed with you on certain issues, I feel your overall conviction to do the right thing is what attracted me to your campaign in 2008, 2012 and beyond. Moreover, I feel that is the real progress you made possible by winning the election in 2008.
While the world knows how historic your inauguration as the first African-American President was from a cultural perspective, I feel it was the reaction to it that transformed the world.
When children from around the world saw you and your family walk across that stage in Chicago on election night 2008, we entered a new phase of societal conciousness no less significant than the launch of Sputnik I or Neil Armstrong’s first step out of the lunar module.
Real equality means not just electing an African-American to our highest political office, but critiquing him or her by the same metrics any other politician would face. I feel this way because in the America you boldly and beautifully told us about in 2004, your election was not only possible– it was probable.
Now as we move forward still, I want you to know that you have revitalized your fellow Americans and earned your re-election. Your moral compass took you from Occidental to Columbia to Harvard and then to the South Side. I wish you the best and salute you Mr. President you’ve got the compass so
let’s move forward still…
Follow me on Twitter: @JulianHGibson / @ForwardStill