The election of Barack Obama and his
inauguration were tremendous historical moments. They were
emotionally moving events for both those who supported him and those
who did not. These historical moments affected black Americans, white
Americans and all Americans of other ancestry. They were significant
for Africans, Europeans and people around the world. Over the last
quarter of a century, CORE has insisted from this venue – and from
other venues where our voices were not blocked – that the civil
rights revolution was a shining success and that the dream of Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was not a mirage but in fact an expression
of prophetic optimism.
civil rights revolution had won a tremendous victory through the efforts
of Dr. King and the great leaders of the ‘50s and ‘60s and those who
struggled for civil and human rights throughout the decades before. This
revolution was one of the greatest and most successful social and
political liberations of a people in the history of mankind. It was
achieved with relatively little violence and in a relatively short
period of time. We pointed out that the critical point in this battle
was the passage of the 1964 and 1965 civil rights bills and that the
effect and power of those bills were manifested in the ‘70s and ‘80s. We
stated that the American people in general were part of this great
We, all of us, must
accept the fact that we have won the revolution of the ‘50s and ‘60s.
Americans must not allow the historical trauma of racism to blind them
to this victory. Excessive paranoia on the part of blacks and excessive
preoccupation with guilt on the part of whites interferes with the
proper realization of the extent of this victory.
The victory was
achieved before Barack Obama won the Presidency of the United States.
His triumph just made that reality more visible.