- Last Updated: 4:15 AM, April 26, 2008
- Posted: 4:15 AM, April 26, 2008
OUR chests swell with pride each time Barack Obama speaks of hope. He could be president, we tell ourselves - the change Sam Cooke sang can soon be real.
Then there's a reality check, and it smacks us in the face.
So, go ahead, anoint this new black savior. That won't mean your brothers and sons will be safe when they drive at night.
Make all the history you want. That doesn't mean a cop's bullet - or 50 for that matter - will be any less discriminating.
It's inspiring to see Obama at the edge of glory. And if a verdict like the one from Queens doesn't inspire black people to vote, nothing else will.
But how far have we come really in the face of an insult like this?
What could President Obama say about a country in which a black actor can get three years in prison on a misdemeanor tax charge, but black victims can't get any measure of justice for a state-sanctioned execution?
As news helicopters hovered yesterday above the grave where Sean Bell lay, it was hard to imagine a different world, even with an Obama.
How do you hope when the system gives police yet another license to kill?
How do you dream when a judge says a life isn't worth even one conviction?
If that isn't at least reckless, then nothing is. Ever.
Still, against all this, we vote for change and maintain what Obama calls the audacity of hope. One day, it will be even stronger than the power to acquit.