Friday, January 4, 2008
"This Defining Moment in History"
Barack Obama has won the Iowa Caaucuses by 38% (about 8% over Edwards and 9% over Clinton). In his own words, he has said:
“They said this country was too divided, too disillusioned to ever come together around a common purpose. But on this January night, at this defining moment in history, you have done what the cynics said we couldn’t do.”
I continually tell my students that the Civil Rights Movement did not happen that long ago--that only 50 years ago, the nation was in a state of racial disharmony; segregation and Jim Crow were only starting to be challenged.
Who would have thought that in 50 years we'd be seeing a truly viable candidate who identifies as both African American and mixed-race. Who has transnational and transracial ties. Who has invigorated voters across the spectrum, especially independent voters like this journalist (click on link).
I think we have to wait and see what will happen in New Hampshire and South Carolina and, of course, the Democratic National Convention and the election in November 2008. But no matter what else, Obama is right--winning Iowa was a defining moment in history in terms of race in America.