CommunityLaura Flanders

The F Word: We Have Become the People

What to say.  Inhale/Exhale. Hope.

November 4th 2008 was quite a day. Where I live, we still use mechanical levers to cast our vote and the day began with hundreds of thousands of people giving those levers a little push. People pushed passed their doubts and fears and skepticism and hung their hopes on Barack Obama –and on each other, in faith that they’d be met. And as it turns out, nearly sixty three million Americans took the same leap.

President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama is not flattering anyone when he says his victory isn’t his alone. The last four years have taken me across the country, on a hunch that something hopeful was in the works. Obama grasped a possibility that others presented – and now is when the work really starts.

I can’t think of better words for today than those that sit on the dedication page of my book Blue Grit. I’ve read them in  an awful lot of church basements, bookstores, and schools these past twenty four months. They’re June Jordan’s. Poet, essayist, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants. June would have enjoyed this moment. A lot.

She wrote:

“And because revolution always takes place on the basis of great hope and rising expectations, I am not too worried about the future. One way or another a whole lotta change is gonna come. Through happiness realized or through and beyond the pain of betrayal, we will become the beneficiaries of our faith.

"And even without revolution, we will prevail because we have proven to the world and to ourselves, that we are not “fringe elements” or “special interest groups” or so called “Minorities.” Without us, there is no legitimate majority: we are the mainstream. We have become the “people.”

"And let our elected leadership beware the awesome possible wrath of a mighty, multifoliate and faithful people whose deepest hopes have been rekindled and whose needs have not been met. " 

Previous post

Get the government out of the marriage business

Next post

Madonna, Mellencamp on Obama Victory

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders, author, and host of RadioNation on Air America Radio, has built a reputation for courageous investigative journalism coupled with compassion and a sense of humor. In writing her last book, Blue Grit, she traveled the country reporting on grassroots success stories and broadcast live to over 150 radio stations from community centers in places including Helena, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Miami, Las Vegas, and Milwaukee. In her television appearances (Lou Dobbs, Larry King Live,) on radio and in her many books (including Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species) and articles (The Nation and others,) Flanders calls for a new politics of fairness, equality and citizen action. Articulating the human dimension of American communities in trouble, her programs have become destinations for those seeking the skills and the will to make a difference. Flanders is a regular contributor to the Nation Magazine and CNN. Before joining Air America, where she was part of the original lineup, and hosted “The Laura Flanders Show” for three years, Flanders was the founding host of the award-winning “Your Call” weekday mornings on public radio, KALW in the Bay Area and CounterSpin, the radio show of the mediawatch group, FAIR.