Newport News cancelled school today because it MIGHT snow this afternoon. It snows so rarely in our area that it generally doesn’t take much more than a dusting to cause people to panic. But it is unusual for them to cancel school before it actually starts snowing— especially when 9 times out of 10 when the weather people predict the snow, we don’t get any. Maybe it will snow, but that isn’t likely the reason they canceled school.
Today history is being made 3 hours up I-95 (it might take you a wee bit longer to drive it today). Not long after I post this, Barack Obama will become POTUS (President of the United States). The school system was already expecting half of their people to be out of school-- either in Washington itself or glued to their TV sets. Some of the people Lynn works with were going to Washington without tickets or even places to stay. History is going to be made today, and people want to be part of it. So when the weather man predicted a “probable snow storm” (which around here means “possible snow flakes”), the powers that be canceled school.
In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made the bizarre prediction in an interview with BBC that within the next 40 years “a Negro" would be elected president. His prediction was off by only 4 years! I know there are some who view the new administration with skepticism and cynicism. This is, after all, politics, and there are always different sides of the aisle. I read an interview with some Republicans from Wyoming, and they just couldn’t see the big deal!
But it is a big deal. The biggest disgrace of our history and the biggest cause of ongoing conflict in our country was slavery and the inequities that it brought. (Randy Tanner, who is part Native-American, would want me to add that there have been other national sins in our past). The presidency of Barack Obama will not end our struggle for equality and harmony among the races, but it does feel like a new beginning. That is why so many people are so excited about today. For the first time, someone who looks like them will be their leader. It does have the feel of history. May God bless our new president and his family and keep them safe. May this truly be a new beginning of a nation less divided.
We can use a new beginning. But ultimately, the dividing walls between people cannot be torn down by a president or a Constitution. That will take a cross.