These words juxtaposed with Obama’s face on the Chicago Sun Times unleashed a torrent of tears on Oprah today. She held up the soon to be iconic covers during her interview with James Smith, the Page One Editor of the Sun Times.
The front page featuring the Bushes greeting the Obamas with the caption “welcome” was a tearjerker too.
This is what Smith said of what he was thinking when he created the headline: “Slaves built the White House.”
And I wondered at the sudden mood of racial reconciliation. Where did it come from, in an era where national discussion of race have been confined to a few series on CNN and in the New York Times? This marvel that Obama was elected because of his qualifications, and his appeal, not because of his race?
Has it been simmering under the surface this 10 years now, simmering like our apparent national shame of the Bush administration, unleashed in a torrent of flag waving on the mall as Obama was sworn in?
I’ve always loved the idea of America. I am simply amazed to see that I wasn’t alone in that love, and for the first time, this week, I felt proud of the actuality of the U.S.