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'
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.