That is the final line of The black president no longer by Eugene Robinson in today's Washington Post
I am going to strongly recommend that you take the time to read it.
It begins like this:
President Barack Hussein Obama’s second inauguration was every bit as historic as his first — not because it said so much about the nation’s long, bitter, unfinished struggle with issues of race, as was the case four years ago, but because it said so little about the subject.Yes, I know that the President's black skin is still the basis of much of the hatred spewed against him by extremists. Robinson is certainly aware of that. His point is different - that our primary discussion about the speech is about its content, not the skin color of the man making it.
Reflect for a moment: A black man stood on the Capitol steps and took the oath of office as president of the United States. For the second time. Meaning that not only did voters elect him once — which could be a fluke, a blip, an aberration, a cosmic accident — but then turned around and did it again.
Please keep reading.
There is much more to this column, and I neither want to violate fair use nor do I wish to do anything except encourage you to read it.
There is one more paragraph which I want to quote in its entirety.
The setting - Robinson is describing the First Family crossing Pennsylvania Avenue to ente St. John's Episcopal Church. He says the pictures " were charming but unexceptional — and almost made me cry."
And then he offers this remarkable paragraph:
I have always believed that those quotidian pictures of family life are one of the most important legacies of the Obama presidency. For most people, visual information is uniquely powerful. What we see has more impact than what we hear. Pictures of an African American family enveloped by Secret Service protection, ferried down Pennsylvania Avenue in armored limousines, returning at night to sleep in the grand residence of the nation’s head of state — these images show us something new about what is possible, something new about ourselves.My nephew has a Black wife, and two charming daughters my great-nieces, who like the President are half-black, but in the eyes of most Americans simply Black. That they are able to see as normal "an African American family enveloped by Secret Service protection" is something of a testimony to how far we have come as a family. The protection is because of the high office held by the man, an office that certainly has led to many threats. In my younger days the Blacks I saw protected by police were solely because of threats against them because they were "uppity" and threatening a settled order which considered them lesser creatures. In fact, armed security personnel were far more likely to be taking Blacks into custody rather than to be protecting them, and it could be children as well as adults - think Birmingham.
We certainly should not be oblivious to the racial animus that is still too much a part of American society.
We should not let that animus blind us to the progress we have seen.
For better or worse there is a Black Senator from South Carolina. No, he was not elected, but he is a conservative Republican. That actually represents some progress.
The first Black in the Cabinet was not until Lyndon Johnson. Now we have had two Black Secretaries of the State and a Black Attorney General, as well as blacks in many other high appointive positions.
We have seen an African-American man chosen by his peers for leadership among the Democrats in the House of Representatives.
We have had a Black governor of a former Confederate state, Virginia, in Doug Wilder, and now a Black governor of a state with a relatively small African-American population, Massachusetts, in Deval Patrick.
And the nation has twice elected Barack Hussein Obama President of these United States, each time with more than 330 electoral votes and more than 51% of the popular vote. In my lifetime, born in 1946, the only man to have achieved that was Dwight Eisenhower.
Please read and reflect on what Eugene Robinson offers us today.