Monday, January 7, 2008

A good start

The past week has been a political flurry in Philadelphia. Not only does the Iowa caucus -- and Obama's victory -- have everyone talking, but at 10 a.m. this morning, Mayor Michael Nutter was officially sworn into office.

In a move that would have been unheard of ten years ago, the face of the city and the country are turning to two black men. The fate of this bleeding city and distressed country rests on the shoulders of a nerdy Penn grad from Wynnefield and a young candidate with the middle name Hussein.

And in a society that still sips on racism juice with their Cheerios, that's pretty damn important. Obama still has a long road -- and 49 states -- in front of him, but as Nutter takes office today, my hopes for a "new Philadelphia" are high.

The gears are already turning at City Hall, and Nutter's new apointees are out back, whacking the dust of the past eight years of Street's era out of the carpets. Nutter has a huge job in front of him, most important being reducing the violence that has penetrated our city from North Philly to Center City.

With last year's murder rate flirting with 400 victims, we have many more years of scrubbing blood of the sidewalk before things start to stay clean. And 400 isn't even touching on the thousands of others that were shot, stabbed, beaten, and robbed.

But I believe -- very slowly, with training wheels on -- Philadelphia will change. We're a scrappy city filled with people who won't cower from a fight. And as frustration over the rising list of young black men being carried out in coffins tips the tops of thermometers, more and more people are willing to fight for change.

The same goes for this country. While Nutter promises change to the cracked sidewalks and tired Philadelphians, Obama is staring down the beast of foreign policy, the domestic marketplace, the war in Iraq, and all those can't tell the difference between the right hand and their left ass cheek politicos of the current administration. I just hope the rest of America catches on to what Iowa -- and an overwhelming amount of the younger generation of voters -- has already seen.

Hope is the bedrock of this nation -- the belief that our destiny will not be written for us but by us -- by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is -- who have the courage to remake the world as it should be. - Barack Obama

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