Barack Obama was in Philadelphia and a friend got me a ticket for the supporters rally. It’s been a very long time since I went out of my way to see someone running for office in person. Political rallies, at least for my generation, bring back memories of Robert Kennedy’s assassination. But this was fairly peaceful. The worst I saw was a security guard being a little bit churlish with a large African American man of my generation who I had been chatting with just moments before. The guard was younger and more stressed, the hour was late and cool heads prevailed. It was both annoying to have to stand in a long line, wonder if I’d have to take my shoes off, get my handbag searched and body scanned, but it was also reassuring.
The crowd reflected Philadelphia in its diversity of gender, race, age and even style, from the business suits to the students to the occasional parent toting a baby in a backpack or holding hands with the youngest generation, the ones we are supposed to be leaving this country to in the not too distant future.
Obama spoke of that time – the future. His message was of hope – the hope that my generation felt in the sixties. And the audience was with him, committed to that vision that we can have peace and justice, caring and growth. I, who rarely use the camera in my phone, had to record that moment.
May this be a time of hope for you too.