In a few days, an African American man will move from his private
residence into a much larger and infinitely more expensive one owned
not by him but by the taxpayers. A vast lawn, a fence and many
security specialists will insulate him from the rest of us but the
fact that this man will be residing in this house should make us all
stop and count our blessings – it proves that we live in a nation
where anything is possible.
Many believed this day would never come. Most hoped and prayed that
it would, few of us believed we would live to see it. Racism is an
ugly thing in all its forms, there is little doubt that if this man
had moved into this house fifteen years ago, there would have been a
great outcry – possibly even rioting in the streets. Today, we can be
grateful and proud that no such mayhem will take place when this man
takes up residency in this house.
There is little doubt that the majority of us believe that this man
has earned both his place in history and his new address. His time in
this house will not be easy – it will be fraught with danger and he
will face many challenges. There will be many times when he asks
himself how he ended up here and like all who have gone before him,
the experience will age him greatly.
But I will not waste an ounce of worry for his sake – because in
every way a man can, he deserves this. His whole life for the past
fifteen years appears to have been inexorably leading this man toward
this house. Today, I give thanks that I am an American and live in a nation
where wrongs are righted, where justice matters and where truly anything is
Who is this man?