Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"I like my coffee black.... our next president," said the man I was serving coffee to a few weeks ago. The man and I laughed until he noted that maybe he should quiet down because not everyone was laughing at his comment.

You can't avoid it though. Coffee and politics go together like trees and soil. I'm not sure which nourishes which, but I know they help each other out a lot. When I trudged across the parking lot with my partner at 4:15 a.m.'s chilled darkness, the one thing I could see before we walked in the door was the huge headline that simply read "OBAMA." The last time I'd seen a headline that big it read IRAQ. Whether welcomed or not, this was morning's headline broke the patterns of history. As NPR touted on their program the day before, Obama's parents couldn't even have legally been married in most states at their time of marriage because of their skin colors.

I realized as I served coffee starting at 5 a.m. this morning that I might be the first person people had a chance to rebound their reaction to the elections with.

"It is what it is," said a spiky gray haired man as I sold our last paper to him just shortly after 6a.m. "I just hope he makes true everything that he said he would in his speech last night," finished the man.

An hour later as my german co-worker joined us at the register beside me, she cheered, raising her hand fisted around a black Sharpy before marking the cup of a woman flaunting an Obama t-shirt.

"We are so glad in Europe," said my german partner. "The change is very good for the US."

Obama's mantra of change was primarily about policy. Now that change is imminent, we're touting it most as a change in the color of our president's skin. Will the fact that a black man is holding the most highly respected position in our country change the hearts and minds of those who have yet to be unmoved by historical policy's racial progress?

My hope is that 50 years from now the front pages of newspapers that sold out by 6 o'clock this morning are still framed and preserved as the day when my country marked a change toward the better in both hearts and policy.

1 comment:

a.cup.o.joe.c said...

You are sneaky, but I figured you out :-) Welcome to the world of blogging! Love you!