Today, President Barack Obama was publicly sworn into his second term as American President. The historical importance of this day – and the positive message that it sends to young people, and adults, of all backgrounds and lifestyles – can not be underestimated.
He used his inaugural address to “issue a powerful call to action, as he embraced an unashamedly liberal agenda and urged Americans to reclaim from conservatives the spirit of the founding fathers… and before a crowd of about half a million he pledged to battle against poverty and prejudice, deliver equality for gay people, tackle climate change and give young undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship.”
By fitting co-incidence, it took place on the US’s annual Martin Luther King day. Additionally, one of the bibles used to swear him in was previously used by the great anti-slavery campaigner, President Lincoln, in his own inauguration in 1861. Another bible used had been passed down through his wife Michelle’s family, over the years.
And then, The Star Spangled Banner was sung by Beyoncé.
I wish him the best of luck in his fight over the next four years. Sadly, he’s definitely going to need it. For some reason we still live in a world where the idea of equality and justice is too much for some people to bear. And that’s before we even get into the issue of gun control, which he finally started to really tackle last week, after yet another teen shooting. There are many, many people who have a vested interest in seeing him fail. I hope, for all of our sakes, that they don’t succeed.
As a chilling aside, my friend, Chris Abbot, has just posted this image on Facebook. As sad as this image is, it’s a wonderful and important reminder of just how far we’ve come in a relatively short period of time.