On track: Barack Obama's conjunction junction
Can't get enough of Obama's January 17 train ride. Here it is again.
Even before today's inauguration, Barack Obama's whistle-stop trip to D.C. brought the best of two worlds to America.
Besides being just a really cool thing to do — complete with speeches by the mellifluous new president to cheering crowds — that trip was truly astonishing.
As a Oklahoma boy who used to ride his bike to the train station to see the 8:55 Oil Flyer pull into Bartlesville in the '50s, I would sometimes sneak into the "colored" waiting room just to try to soak up the inequality.
I did it when I thought no one was looking, and then I raced outside to take a quick sip at the "colored only" water fountain.
It's not a protest if no one else sees it. I didn't face danger. The worst that could have happened was a scolding by the stationmaster. Big deal. A black person who refused to sit in that waiting room and tried to take his or her place in the regular waiting room would have earned much more than a scowl.
Still, that was as much rebellion as I dared, and it wasn't much, because I was overcome by fear — unlike Rosa Parks, who had to fight off mortal fear to risk the consequences. Nearly a century after "emancipation," she dared to keep her bus seat on December 1, 1955.
And now there's a black president? And he took the train to D.C. in a great, old-fashioned whistle-stop tour? That really is the best of two worlds and just as significant a victory for white Americans as it is for blacks.
No more separate waiting rooms. Black Americans aren't being forced to ride out of town on a rail.
A black president is riding into town. The day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A conjunction that your imagination couldn't have invented.
If you feel like tearing yourself away from today's historic moment, here are some clickables:
NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
N.Y. Post: 'CONEY IS. PLAN BITES NATHAN'S'
Jewish Daily Forward: 'Who Won the War? Israel Touts Overwhelming Victory, Critics on the Right Disagree'
New Yorker: 'A Lonesome Death' (The Wire's David Simon)
Crain's New York Business: 'Is Cablevision meddling in Newsday's coverage?'
N.Y. Daily News: 'Student auctions her virginity, bids reportedly reached $3.7M'
N.Y. Post: 'GOV: I'M CLUELESS ON SENATE CHOICE'
N.Y. Times: 'For the Jobless, Hope and Fear for a New Day'
N.Y. Daily News: 'New York to lead U.S. in job losses'
N.Y. Daily News: 'NY, TX top list of states with strong housing markets'
N.Y. Post: 'TEEN STABBED AT GORY 3-D HORROR MOVIE'
New York: 'Barack Obama, Party of One'
Wall Street Journal: 'Fiat to Take Stake in Chrysler'
Crain's New York Business: 'BAM launching $300M capital campaign'
New Yorker: 'Back Issues'
Wall Street Journal: 'Gazans Rally Behind Hamas'
N.Y. Daily News: 'Inauguration means big bucks for prostitutes, coke dealers'
N.Y. Times: 'Bush Commutes 2 Border Agents' Sentences'
Wall Street Journal: 'Deficits Restrict Obama as His Promises Come Due'
N.Y. Daily News: 'Nearly 1/2 of all women and 1/3 of men prefer the Internet to sex'
Jewish Daily Forward: 'Hebrew School for All?'
From the Wall Street Journal's Brody Mullins:
Jewish Daily Forward: 'The Gargantuan Gonif'
Wall Street Journal: 'Cuomo Subpoenas Madoff Investor'
Wall Street Journal: 'Vienna Banker in Spotlight as Madoff Fallout Spreads'
Jewish Daily Forward: 'The Long Arm of Halacha: Jewish Law and the Madoff Scandal'
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