Thursday, November 6, 2008

USA 2.0

When a major revision of a computer program is released, that version is called 2.0. A 2.0 release is an improvement over 1.0 because the known bugs have been fixed and new features added. Windows 2.0 brought improved graphic support and overlapping windows. Web 2.0 is the “next phase of the evolution of the Internet.” A 2.0 release is a major break or change from the old version. Now that we have elected Barack Obama as our country’s 44th President, the United States of America has a chance to release our 2.0—the new, improved, more user-friendly version.

The great experiment of representative democracy, formed in the minds and souls of our founding fathers and mothers over 200 years ago, professed that all are born equal and have the same opportunity to rise to the top. The founding of our nation represented a break from the past. Yet this version of America was released with a major bug in the system, a fatal flaw, a stain,
The Birthmark upon its beautiful face. That was slavery.

Stolen from Africa, sold by their own kind into a vile Slavery-Mercantile Complex, Africans survived the Middle Passage and their descendents endured centuries of oppression and discrimination under USA 1.0. While the birthmark may be faded, it yet remains, compelling people to look away in disgust, denial, guilt, and fear. But with the election of President Barack Obama, the stain can all but disappear. This bug that has escaped fixing even up to the present day, we can address in USA 2.0.

I don’t think we should forget our history as a slave-holding nation. On the contrary, we should build museums, mark historic sites, remind people of the fundamental wrongs of slavery. We should also appreciate the strength and endurance of this new race of people, African-Americans, mestizos, a mixture of Africa and America. They survived, endured, and helped build this nation. And today one of them, Barack Obama, LITERALLY an African-American, will become President of the United States of America.

Nor do I think all racial tensions will be resolved with this election. Far from it. However, I do have greater hope that my grandchildren will inherit a better nation, one that truly lives up to Dr. King's dream that people should be judged by the content of their character. I want Sun and Raine to know every time they see a picture of President Barack Obama just how great this country is. For that to happen, I believe, we must all take part in this new release. For those of us who look at other Americans and still see the birthmark, take this opportunity to be released from your old, tired attitudes. We don’t have to look away. Instead, we can engage each other, discuss, exchange, and basically, GET OVER IT!

Instead of fixing our gaze upon the mark, let’s look each other in the eyes and embrace USA 2.0.




Raine as Sarah Palin: "Now can we all just get along?"







See the Dayton Daily News article about our Bus Trip to the Inauguration. Contact me at jabarnes937@gmail.com if you'd like to go along.

1 comment:

Supa said...

Yes!! America 2.0 - I'm lovin' it!

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