Hark! A new day dawns. Shame is banished from the White House. Even Maureen Dowd, the man-independent New York Times pundit of political cynicism, sees respect restored to the White House by the heir of President Lincoln.
The day after the election, on the quad of the university where I teach, a young lady wore one of those t-shirts with a visage of The One that has grown ever larger, with profile turned increasingly upward towards the heavens, as the campaign went on. The latest fashion statement was emblazoned “Commander in Chief” in shiny gold. She gathered with a professor, also in an Obama t-shirt, and other similarly attired students as they blared rap music from a boom box. Seldom have we seen such entrepreneurial spirit in the name of the advancement of peace and justice through a new leader. Obama’s image, in various artistic renditions, on my freshman students’ t-shirts has been sending me messages for months now.
So anxious were the people for their leader that on election night, the young scholars of George Washington University clanged on the fence of the White House. They carried signs saying, “Evict Bush Now.” Young men bore large “O”s painted on their chests. Obama Girls Gone Wild bared their backs painted also with the “O.”
In humanities departments a celebratory atmosphere prevailed, with secretaries joining tenured faculty members who had led student groups for Obama, raising a toast.
Michelle Obama can finally be proud of her country.
Conservatives for reasons too numerous to mention are depressed, but there are some bright spots.
Will there be protests now at the White House? Against whom will college students spill their venom? Will they become well-mannered now and proceed to the White House respectfully, like ladies and gentlemen?
And what about their professors? How will they invigorate their class discussions centered on the eternal verities regarding race-class-gender without the jumping-off point about the Bush regime? What about training teachers in social justice? How will education schools train teachers to make their charges aware of the social injustice poisoning this country that emanates straight from the Capitol? Toward what power will students be taught to apply their “critical thinking” skills? Will the hegemony be dissolved, thereby ending 95% of the scholarship now produced?