The staggering attention to Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration has reached even the cobblestone streets of SoHo. In stores and shops, restaurants and bars, offices and residences nearly all televisions were tuned to the inauguration.
More city Democrats will be seeking the unglamorous positions of Comptroller and Public Advocate than Mayor this year. The reason is fairly obvious. Democrats will fill the two non-mayoral offices. But standing in front of City Hall this fall will be Daddy Warbucks and his $60 million bankroll, his candidacy due to the dispensation granted him by the City Council.
We are going to miss The Cheyenne. The closing of its doors last April was made bearable by the hope that it would be relocated to a different part of the city—it being a diner and thus portable and all. And indeed, plans surfaced to move it to Red Hook.
Most of us want to see Bush leave the White House yesterday, not a week from yesterday. His time as our president is something we’d like to forget, but that would be a mistake; we don’t want his errors to be repeated. Some awareness is needed. Yes, indeed—serious, sober reflection is called for in these final days.
Twenty-four years ago Jonathan Pollard was indicted on one count of passing classified information to an ally (Israel), without intent to harm the United States. The usual sentence for such a crime is 2-4 years. Neither the American or Israeli governments wanted to get involved in a long trial, so a plea bargain was offered and accepted. The problem is that Pollard is still in jail; he was sentenced to life with no hope of parole.
The prospect of the first black president to take the oath of office on Lincoln’s bible brought to mind a broad range of memories in our long struggle for civil rights: examples of outright bigotry, of courageous actions, of stereotypes, zealotry, redemption and exhilaration.
What follows is a collection of incidents in this unfinished struggle to “overcome” and fulfill King’s dream for America.