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Seven Years Ago

12 September 2001: the morning after

Seven years ago today there were no blue states or red states. Seven years ago today there was no white America or black America. Seven years ago today there was no urban-rural divide. Seven years ago today America woke up as a united community. We woke up with tears still in our eyes and disbelief in our voice. We woke up to a new world, a world forever changed. We woke up to a world that grieved with us, as we tried to care for each other.

That is America. That is my America. We are better than what we have become. Some people will never be able to understand this, but my patriotism manifests in my disappointment, my anger, and my passionate belief that we can once again be the nation I know and love. We have the capacity for infinite compassion. We showed the infinite measure of that compassion seven years ago.

A statement from Barack Obama on the commemoration of September 11th: "On 9/11 Americans across our great country came together to stand with the families of the victims, to donate blood, to give to charity, and to say a prayer for our country. Let us renew that spirit of service and that sense of common purpose."

Rather than honor that collective spirit of unity to move us toward a better world - a more compassionate, environmentally respectful, hopeful world - the Bush administration fanned the fires of fear, hatred, and frighteningly dangerous xenophobia. On 12 September 2001 we were faced with a profound turning point in the history of our planet, not just our country. We could have come together. We could have been proactive in creating the diverse post-American world that is now being forced on us anyway. Rather, we were encouraged to shop. Spoon feed the people reality television and commercials for trucks and white strips, disrespect our intelligence and our desire to unite, and go about your solipsistic business of selfish greed.

I believe people are ultimately good. I believe the world is a beautiful place. I also believe the collective energy of the human race and of our planet herself will ultimately calibrate toward harmony. This recalibration has allowed a community organizer like Barack Obama to rise to the occasion, to lead. "What the naysayers have never understood is that this movement has never been about me. It's about you," he says.

He's absolutely right. Obama is simply a manifestation of our yearning to be better, our desire to make it right, to be the country we know we can be. This movement, his movement, our movement is about finding the community we lost. The community that, seven years ago, we showed the world was possible.

Monday Madeleine

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