First published in The Huffington Post
Life is Sweet today. The California sunshine is bright and full and there’s an easy, warm breeze helping to relax the lump in my throat.
My pride in my country today put some life back into my step and took the hitch out of my get-along.
She did all that—that fresh-real-woman at the Democratic convention–Michelle Obama.
“Did you see her?” My daughter called to ask.
“Mom, dad said watching her made him cry.” (Her dad is a psychologist from the deep south.)
“I’ll watch her online right now.” And thus the unplugging of tear ducts began.
It’s hard not to get sentimental. My editor says it’s a sappy form of communication–my tendency toward it is rarely effective in writing.
Keeping that in mind, I will only say this: Racial hatred here and around the world has consumed me with anger. After 25 years of reporting on it, my eyes needed a doctor.
As a young girl growing up in the south, police were called when a neighbor saw black friends swimming in my family’s backyard pool.
The quarterback of the football team at my high school in Texas was thrown in jail and beaten to a pulp after he was found at Lookout Point in Tomball, Texas with a white girl.
There are still hanging trees in antebellum front-yard courthouses in the south with proud plaques explaining what those trees were used for.
Sins committed on those southern branches against those hanged there usually far outweighed any perceived crime–the real culprit was Melanin levels.
In my lifetime, it seemed unimaginable that a strong, intelligent, loving, articulate African American woman would be standing on the stage of the Democratic convention—giving a speech that could help heal a country bruised and battered and divided. It covered me with hope.
It also made me wonder if the plaques from the old hangin’ trees could be taken down in her honor.