November 4, 2008, may well be one of the most significant days in our life. Indeed, other than the worst day in my lifetime--September 11, 2001--tomorrow, a day in which the United States of America will, in all likelihood, elect an African-American as its President will be be long remembered but for much different reasons. From the Constitutional Convention to the major crises of the first half of the nineteenth Century culminating in the Civil War to Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Movement, the issue of how this nation treats African Americans has been the central problem it has faced. (Over the past 230 years, the US has faced numerous international threats, from Britain to Germany to the Soviet Union to Islamic fundamentalism, but no one international threat has lasted the way the question of race has plagued the United States.)
The election of Barack Obama will spell in many ways an end to this American dilemma. No, tomorrow (assuming the polls are accurate) will not end racism or magically end the socio-economic problems minorities disproportionally face, but it will erase any doubts, both here and around the world, that the promises made in this nation's charters are not mere words on a page. That we will seemingly witness this, well before many thought that this nation could take a giant step, is something that deserves to be long celebrated.
Yes we can.