Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Democratic National Convention

Aiden's Mom forwarded this email to me from her BFF Jewel (future President), who works on Capital Hill for the governor of Boston:

I got here on Thursday night and have been working with the Democratic Convention Committee on handling the speakers and their movements backstage. This year, there are a lot more people on the podium operations team which has freed me up to enjoy the rest of the convention activities and take it all in. I vowed to myself that for this convention, this historic convention, I would experience it all - the parties, the hall, my friends, the speakers, etc.

Ladies and Gents, I have a confession to make...hold on to your seats...Jewel James actually cried. As I watched the video of Michelle and her family I was moved by the similarity of her story to all of our stories. Here was a black family, struggling to make it, who poured everything that they had into their children so that they'd have bigger and better opportunities than
the parents could ever dream. And here was Michelle...the manifistation of that investment. As I looked around the hall, and saw the the entire place was full of other people who could also relate to that same story, I was profoundly touched. I was also moved by the fact that here you had all of these people, thousands of people, waiting with baited breath to hear from this woman - this black woman - about what she and her husband working in concert hope to unite all of us to achieve. Win, lose, or draw in November, this was already one of the most moving displays of national unity that I've ever seen. I really was just overwhelmed by it all and as Michelle spoke, I pulled out a notebook and wrote this (this is exactly as I wrote it last night in the middle of her speech no editing)...

"The only limit to your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your
willingness to work hard for them" - Michelle Obama

This is a truly amazing moment. My chin is quivering and I can feel the tears on the brims of my eyelids. This entire coliseum is packed to the rafters (literally) with men & women, white men & black men, hispanics & asians - people of all ethnicities & backgrounds - all here cheering, whistling, screaming, smiling, for Michelle

I am utterly moved. Michelle's story is so similar to that of many black women and families. And here we all are, relating to that story united by its similarity to our own stories and inspired by what our shared inspiration means for our country. This is an amazing day, and amazing moment, and I am thankful to be present - alive - to witness it.

After the speech was over, I just d
idn't quite know how to process all that I was feeling. I ran into Congressman Elijah Cummings, who many of you know is a mentor and spiritual uplifter of mine. When I saw him, we began to talk about what all of that meant and he could relate...he felt it too. Some of you know that Congressman Cummings is the son of a preacher. It doesn't take long for the two of us to start having church once we get together. Looking back on it, I think it was providence that he was one of the first people that I saw. As we talked, I began to cry. Those of you who know me know that I don't just break out crying in public very often so of course, I tried to get it together and I walked away. Then, I ran into Michael Moore, Congresswoman Maxine Waters Chief of Staff. Mikael and I are the same age so we get each other. We talked about it for a minute and I couldn't hold it in any more. I literally broke down crying in his arms. Me...crying...in an arena filled with thousands of people. All I can say is God is good and this is an awesome country. ~ Jewel

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