Barack Obama is President, Let Us Celebrate!

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Monday January 19, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Prejudice dies hard and old prejudices die even harder; that is what makes the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States all the more meaningful. It is the death of one of the oldest prejudices in the United States.

The United States is a country that promises its citizens life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but that does not mean it is free of prejudice and blacks have a long history of discrimination in the United States from the founding days through the Civil War to the present. With Barack a milestone has been reached in that regard.

Yes, Barack Obama's inauguration is one more national milestone in the long process of the country striving to provide life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to all as well as a life free of prejudice. John Kennedy's inauguration was a smaller milestone, but a milestone nonetheless. After his inauguration the question of whether a Catholic should be president ceased to be brought up. While blacks have held many other national offices, the question of whether one should be president will also die with this inauguration.

This does not mean that prejudice is dead in the United States and it does not mean that there are many other milestones to be achieved. A female president, an Islamic president, you name it, they are there. But it does mean that progress is being made and that too is a cause for celebration, so let us celebrate.

As Obama becomes president, he faces a formidable task in rejuvenating the country, and the duties of that task will shortly come. Right now however, it is a time for celebration, for new life, for new hope and for the death of one more prejudice.