Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A plea to 44 and me

Some said your inaugural words were condescending
I say prophetic
Your words were a call to service
A call to take responsibility
Critics said there was no memorable line,
like
Ask not what your country...
or
We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.
But you encapsulated both JFK and FDR when you charged me to fight poverty
I heard you charge me to educate the poor

Who are the poor?

In my world
they are children
they are boys of color
and while everyone around me wonders when will I arrive
When will George take a Church of his own?
Why?
So I can give up teaching and learning from the least of these,
adolescent boys who the world says are more likely to obsess over Wiis and Weapons?
No, they are going to school by God and they are learning on my watch
And I'm learning from them
Soaking up all they have to teach me

Will all your political goals be achieved?
Probably not. But we can do some things—end this war and feed the poor. Yes We Can. That's a start and if it is all we do, I'd be proud of these eight years.

Will the world ever be set to rights?
Setting the world to rights is the sole role of the Chosen One and you’re not Him.
But you are both a prophet and a leader. In you I see a rare combo of a King and a Judge. Stay faithful to both of these gifts. Don't cynically become one at the expense of the other.

Stay radical. That does not mean simply stay on the Left, no, stay radical. Remain prophetic, inspire us, lead us, plea that each one of us takes action and does our part.

There’s a knock at the door of humanity right now and it feels like midnight is the hour
or even later
maybe 4am
the darkest hour
but it is always darkest before the light
As the martyr said, we shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

The arc of light is bending toward and even breaking on the shores of the horizon
Towards a time when things will be better
Where the poor will have rights and food and care
Where war will be no more

And for those who said there was no line for our memories, try,
With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come.

Valley Forge was a dark time, darker even than now, and they got back in the boat. They crossed over. That line reminds me of the sea that's Red. We face fears. We get back in the boat or we cross with walls of water on both sides.

Thank you Mr. President.
Written by Rev. George E. Linney, III on January 21, 2009, a day after a watershed moment in our history, the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America.
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