I am blown away that today Barrack Obama and Michele Obama, or as it said on the official program – The President & First Lady Michelle Obama – had a State Dinner. It brings tears to my eyes.
Years ago I heard a speech given by Pat Schroeder, then the US Representative from Colorado’s First District. In the speech, she talked about taking some sort of government trip to India aboard an Air Force plane. The Air Force, sort as a RF according to Schroeder, sent along a ground crew composed of women and racial minorities. Schroeder talked about how the diversified and hard working (no George Bushes at Yale there) crew impressed the Indians.
The Indians saw the diversity as a strength that only the United States had. It was what, in their eyes (and mine), made this a great country. And now, years later, the Obama Administration’s first State Dinner is to honor India and it was a showcase of diversity. Starting at the top!
And, Wow!, did the Obama look like they were having fun.
Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India and his wife Ms. Gursharan Kaur were there, of course; along with expected guests such as Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Deepak Chopra and his wife Rita Chopra, and Secretary of the Department of Energy Steven Chu and his wife.
Steven Spielberg should be expected, I guess, but Alfre Woodard (I’ve been in love with Alfre ever since Passion Fish) with a black guy named Blair Underwood is a surprise, and I had to Google Jhumpa Lahiri and Alberto Vourvoulias to find out she is an American Indian author and he, her husband, is the editor of the nation’s oldest Spanish language newspaper. Of course, Colin Powell and his wife, Alma Powell were there. And Katie Couric and Obama’s sister, Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng with her husband, and Mrs. Marian Robinson. Think about that, a white woman who probably helped Obama get elected just by doing her job; a half Indonesian woman teacher; and a black woman from Chicago’s south-side. These were people who were invisible when I was growing up.
Maybe the important things aren’t the bogged down Healthcare Bill, or Afghanistan, but the fact that Obama is changing what it means to be an American. No wonder the birthers are going nuts.