What a great word, inauguration. It’s based on the word augur. No, not a big hand-powered drill bit for boring holes in wood or ice for ice fishing. Those are augers. The augurs were religious officials in ancient Rome who would choose lucky days for installation ceremonies into political office. They supposedly gained their mystical insights by observing the flight patterns of birds, or by studying the entrails of sacrificed animals. Washington these days is crawling with modern-day augurs who wish to help the government in its disbursement decisions for the mammoth cash bonanza that everybody wants and expects.
President-elect Obama will be inaugurated on January 20, almost four-score years to the day after the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King. Regardless of your politics, regardless of whether you voted for him or not, regardless of whether you are a Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian, socialist, or Bircher, this is a day to celebrate. After centuries of racial inequality, America has elected a black man to be president.
This mighty achievement shows that our country has made real progress in racial reconciliation. Black folks can now chant “Yes We Can” and mean it, without bitterness or cynicism.
Remember that cool TV commercial where a guy sitting in a corner office is gloating that he put one over on “The Man” and his aide coughs and reminds him, “Sir, you are the Man.” The inauguration of President Barack Obama has now removed an excuse that has held black folks back, the self-paralysis that “The Man” would prohibit their success. A black man is now “The Man.”
Straight talk. Real hope.