Back in April, I posted this picture of the Obamas and noted: "Barack Obama would, if nominated and elected, be the first Illinois legislator to occupy the White House since Abraham Lincoln. That's some fucking bookends right there."
He's now the presumptive Democratic nominee. The first ever person of color in his position in the history of this nation, which, upon its founding, would not have acknowledged his freedom, his citizenship, or his very personhood.
And now he stands in a position where he is very likely to be this nation's next president.
Following on the heels (I originally mistyped that "hells," which is scarily accurate) of George W. Bush, the importance of the color of Barack Obama's skin, and everything that means in terms of shaping the soul and intellect that inhabits it, is all the more starkly drawn. The Bush administration has been homophobic, trying to codify LGBTQ second-class citizenship into the constitution, misogynist, attacking the bodily autonomy of women of every color, and racist, repeatedly invoking the stawman of "brown people" who don't want democracy and waging an immigration war that is both obliquely and overtly hostile to Latin@s.
And they have been catastrophically incompetent in every endeavor. Criminally incompetent. Fatally incompetent.
And the lingering images of this incompetence disproportionately include people of color.
Images from the victims of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are strewn with brown-skinned bodies. Images of our soldiers who have died in these wars include many faces of color—including Latin@s promised citizenship in exchange for going to war and Pfc. LaVena Johnson whose mysterious death still has not been fully investigated. And images from Katrina's aftermath—from NOLA's Lower 9th Ward, from the convention center, from the Superdome, from rooftops—the people in these images, the bodies floating in the water, were mostly black.
They didn't look like George Bush. They looked like Barack Obama.
In a big fucking way.
Not just to people of color who are vulnerable, who were targeted or abandoned by the Bush administration, but to all people of color, the daughters and sons of wealth who are told they can be anything they want but have known it's not quite true. It matters to them. And it matters to white racists (though they don't know it yet, or care), and it matters to white allies of people of color, all of whom need and want to see a person of color leading this diverse nation at long last.
It matters to me.
I am awed and excited and moved to witness this history-making moment.
Senator Barack Obama, from the Land of Lincoln.
That's some fucking bookends right there.