Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Live From Denver #2


As you can imagine, Michelle Obama's speech was the anticipated highlight of the night but I'm sure you could feel the love for Ted Kennedy through your TV screens. It was NO joke to be on the floor the moment he took the podium.

Kudos to the DNC marketing team for including the "Kennedy" cards. As I stood next to actress and politico Susan Sarandon taking it all in, you could feel that history was being made.

Moving on to Michelle's speech. I think one can't help but be impressed by her poise and grace. For me however, I feel like as the months pass they are truly grooming this woman to be less and less feisty and more "good wife" and "mother." Is that what it takes?
And for that matter, is that also what it takes to basically make no reference to being African-American to ensure a White House win. One can't help, between the lily White, midwest family we see balancing out the image of the Black family on stage coupled with the Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen performances scheduled after Barack Obama's upcoming speech on Thursday, just what this all means in a larger sociological aspect.

It's certainly nothing that many executives in our country have had to do before but if that is the case, then where is the "history" as Blacks have always been notoriously known for being given "gifts" once they assimilate well. Ah, but this is a topic for exploration in a much more expanded context, I suppose.

All this going on while Spike Lee, Gov. Bill Richardson and Will.i.am move easily through the crowds and concession stands just taking it all in.I can't help smile, as I make my way after the convention through Denver's busy downtown 16th street, as I listen to a White guy expound about how Black athletes are too apolitical today and need to take a stand like Muhammad Ali.

This all going on next to a clearly delinquent kid who just got a $65 ticket for skateboarding that only serves to build up his rebellion.

And if you think the police are joking here, just try it. Sweet as can be, even posing for pictures, they are in full body armour with a rumor that there is one policeman for every five people. A new friend here says that her friend's husband is just one of many cops brought in from neighboring cities to "man" the event--6 straight 15 hours shift days. Whew!

But official organizing ain't the only thing going on here. Every enterprising entrepreneur is selling T-shirts, buttons, bags--even baby clothes!--is here, too. My personal favorite? A baby nightie that says "Barack-a-bye Baby." Gotta love it.

And what is a convention without parties!? So I hit the TV One event, complete with open bar and Biz Markie spinning. A little tame, but nice. NPR's Farai Chideya and I exchange thoughts about the political event, then I grab and champagne and I'm out.

In just a few hours, it will be time to be on the air again!

However, just before I make it to my rented condo (which I hear is not that far from Oprah's rented mansion), I meet a Black woman who asks if I've been to the convention. When she hears I was even "on the floor," she exclaims, "Gir-r-r-rl, how did you do that?" Turns out she is into the history making aspect of this. From the original civil rights generation, this woman is beyond into it. She flew from Nashville just to be in the mix. Not a credential or hook up in sight. She says she asked to volunteer but was turned down. I can't help but remember all the fresh-faced young White kids I've encountered who are volunteering and continue to wonder, in this day of new media meets multiculti prez nom, just how much history is still really being made....


On floor saw Speak of the House Nancy Pelosi, Jesse Jackson Jr., former President Jimmy Carter among a sea of flags.