Political Cartoonist Ann Telnaes of the Washington Post captured the spirit of the About, Face! executed by the country this week. (About, Face being a military drill term describing a turn 180 degrees facing the opposite direction, executed to the right, but in this case, ah, to the left.)
My favorite is this one on the closing of Guantanamo:
Not only does this cartoon play off the images of political detainees, but it also captures the feeling I’ve had this week of getting my country back. Shackles have been taken off not only those who would be tortured by our own government, but they have been taken off us as well. We as a people seem ready to cast off a government of, by and for the privileged and powerful. We are ready to unmask those who sit in high places and have no regard for reason, rights, or right and wrong, not to mention the constitution, the balance of powers, and every American ideal that is supposed to make the American experiment worthy.
Watching the inauguration with my staff at our church offices Tuesday, our Director of Religous Education, who grew up in Texas, remarked as she watched Obama take the oath of office that she remembered when there were separate drinking fountains for blacks and whites and now she’s watching Obama become president, she just never thought it would happen in her lifetime.
Obama becoming president did not end racism in America, but Tuesday was major in ways so profound their implications are only still being imagined. Rev. Lowery begining his benediction quoting from the opening lines of Lift Every Voice and Sing (which we had just sung on MLK Sunday in church a few days ago), wouldn’t have been possible a decade ago, never mind forty or fifty years ago – and then there was Obama himself mentioning that “a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.”