Lincoln Freed the Slaves, King Freed the Nation…

And on a day when we commemorated both, Barack Obama, the first black president of the United States of America, was sworn into office for a second term. I’m not broadcasting this as breaking news. I’m not making a sweeping affirmative statement about Obama and his politics. I’m broadcasting it because the concurrency of these events and figures on yesterday’s Inauguration Day is too great to ignore.

 

Our country still has lots of progress to make—but yesterday was a symbol--a mark on the timeline--signifying how far we’ve come in 150 years, since Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, and how far we’ve come in almost 50 years, since King and the Civil Rights Act of 1968. It’s a reminder that never have we progressed forward at a constant rate, toward an ultimate, unified goal. It’s a reminder that progress costs lives. It often evokes hostility and discord. But yesterday’s take-away from Obama’s speech was the proclamation that we need to “seek common ground.” It echoes the sentiment that such is the way of progress: it’s an ongoing seeking of common ground, of finding what is right for all, not just for some. It echoes King who echoed Lincoln who echoed the slaves who had no voice, just a right to be free. 

 

Here's to seeking that common ground, no matter our current stance, in the next four years and beyond.

 

 

Jane at Nomad

 

 

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