Oh, Yesterday Went Suddenly
Leonard Pitts Jr
How fitting that
A 44-year-old poet raised in
But there's another reason Blanco's choice made sense. The dawn is the symbolic beginning of the new day and thus, the symbolic end of the old.
Keep that in mind as people parse
Keep it in mind, because Blanco was, perhaps, righter than he knew when he invoked an inclusive new American dawn, with its implied farewell to an exclusionary American yesterday.
Indeed, a collective shiver climbed through some of us when the president invoked places made sacred by the freedom crusades they saw.
"We, the people," he said, "declare today that the most evident of truths -- that all of us are created equal -- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through
There was more to that passage than sibilant alliteration. There was also a reminder that there was nothing predestined about this American dawn, that we come to it by way of struggle and blood, courage and vision. Yesterday, 1848, at
These are some of the yesterdays that have made up this today. And as much as Obama's speech was a political document, it was also a needed statement of principle at a time when some of us seem determined to repeal progress, a time when battles about women's rights, voting rights and gay rights have again become -- or in the case of gay people, remain -- as fresh as tomorrow's headlines. Indeed, much of the
To which the best response may be a hymn the civil rights marchers once sang: "Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around." Wish though they will and try though they might, the
The president's inaugural address drove nails into the coffin of a dead era when progress and power, rights and right were reserved for those who were male, those who were white, those who were straight. It remains to be seen what actions he will put to his words, what new forms of obstruction his political opponents will take.
But the message itself was clear. We stand together in the promise of a new dawn.
And yesterday is gone.
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