It is the political season and Birdsong has been observing the putative presidential candidates, Obama and McCain from the sidelines. Birdsong will proudly cast his vote for Obama if he does, in fact, win the Democratic Party nomination for president. It will certainly be historic to cast a vote for president for the first African American candidate of a major political party in the United States. Such a vote will say a lot about how far we have come in race relations in this country since the first Africans were brought to America’s shores in 1619 and sold as slaves in Virginia.
But this post is not about slaves, African Americans or about Barack Obama. It is about John McCain.
Birdsong does not plan to vote for him, but that does not mean that Birdsong is a McCain detractor. No, no, no.
McCain is a man of character, a war hero of sorts, and a United States Senator for 25 years. McCain showed yesterday, July 16, 2008, that he is truly a man of courage. McCain had the courage to travel to the 99th Annual Convention of the NAACP and address the group and ask them for their votes for him to become president! Not only did that take courage for a 71 year old white Republican from Arizona to do so, it is the other side of how far we have come in race relations in this country.
Birdsong recalls that when McCain was first in the Senate he voted against Congress authorizing a national holiday recognizing the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King. That was about 1984. McCain has changed his views on race relations since that time and he has openly admitted he was wrong about the King holiday and other racial issues in the country. He now wants everyones’ vote. Even the votes of African Americans, who will undoubtedly vote for Obama in large numbers. John McCain has come a long way. He finally gets it. That takes courage. Many other Republican candidates write off the black vote.
We’ve come a long way baby! Let’s hope it keeps getting mo’ betta.