"This is a Moment"

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Apparently today is one of the greatest moments in American history: a black man will receive the presidential nomination for one of the two major political parties.

I do not feel like this is a special event. I do not feel, as a pundit said this morning on MSNBC, that "this is a moment." I feel like it is no different from any other nomination. I do not care one whit what color Obama's skin is.

I know that this is meaningful to a lot of people, just like it was meaningful for people when Lieberman and Ferraro got the VP nods, and when Kennedy got the nomination for President (and then won). Any time a minority group, especially a formerly oppressed one, gets "one of their own" into a position like this, it's a big deal for many people.

Not to me. Some people compare it to Jackie Robinson becoming the first black major league baseball player. But the comparison is weak because with Robinson, becoming the first was a difficult process: he was not widely lauded, he had to win over most people to the idea.

But with Obama, the fact that he is in this position means we've already become comfortable with the idea. If a ton of people were opposed to it, it wouldn't have happened. This obviously isn't the case with Jackie Robinson.

That Obama is the nominee is a signal that we've already gotten beyond race, whereas Robinson was a courageous attempt to get past race.

To use another baseball analogy, to me this is like making a bigger deal out of the parade for winning the World Series, than the World Series itself. It's anticlimatic. I do not care whether a black man is a major party presidential nominee, I care that a black man -- or woman of any color -- is ABLE to become a major party presidential nominee, and that was something that's been true for quite awhile now. slashdot.org

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