Today is MLK Day, and to commemorate the day the NAACP held the King Day at the Dome Rally. It was cold, first off, but I was happy to see a substantial turnout of young and old, black and white. We heard songs from the Claflin University Gospel Choir, speeches from both the state and national presidents of the NAACP, a lot of talk about taking down the Confederate flag, and- the biggie- the three front runners of the Democratic presidential race all spoke.
Our friend Melissa was visiting from NYC.
I tell you, I am thoroughly undecided on who to vote for at this point. I am also fairly uninformed. I've followed the race, but with everything going on lately, the race kinda hit the back burner. I have one week to make a decision. That being said, I really like all three. Obama gave the first speech. His was inspiring and the crowd was all about him.
Edwards followed, and his speech was more of a stump speech with very little fine tuning from his other campaign ralliy we attended on the January 9th. This is not necessarely a bad thing, as he has focused on domestic issues that mesh easily with MLK's legacy. Given his substantial third place standing, he was nonetheless well-received .
Clinton was last, and she was also well received (hell, it was an NAACP rally- let's be real, it was a crowd of Democrats). Clinton spoke in a fairly laid back manner that sent the aura of "Y'all know who I am, I don't need to stump. Let's talk about MLK." She had the most first-person-ish experiences involving civil rights (and MLK, whom she saw when younger), and I think the crowd recognized that fact.
I have no idea who will win between Clinton and Obama. The crowd went nuts for Obama, but there were a LOT of Clinton signs in the audience.
The best line of the day, IMHO, came from the opening prayer. The pastor stressed how divisive race relations and the neglect of the most needy in our country has led America down the wrong path. He stressed the need to unite as one people, and he made the following statement: "We may have come here [to America] on different ships, but we are all in the same boat now." It went over very well. It may not sound so great on this blog, but it's rare in my experience for a prayer to get applause.
And finally, it seems THIS guy is often spotted around political events...is a political junkie? An intrepid reporter? Or perhaps, a lunatic?!! (Perhaps all three...)