I was so pleased to see Eugene Robinson win the Pulitzer for his columns following this past election. I went to the Washington Post to read them. They are wonderful, and I urge you to go and take a moment to read them and travel down memory lane from last year’s exciting and challenging election ups and downs.
My personal favorite is the one following the election night. Paragraphs such as, “Then, when Michelle’s mother, brother and extended family came out, I thought about “the black family” as an institution — how troubled it is, but also how resilient and how vital. And I found myself getting misty-eyed again when Barack and Michelle walked off the stage together, clinging to one another, partners about to embark on an adventure, full of possibility and peril, that will change this nation forever.” He saw through my own tears in that moment and put the perfect words to them.
What does it all mean? This mild-mannered man who patiently waits for Joe Scarborough to finish his narcissistically long-winded tirades on MSNBC’s Morning Joe always seems to be pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of his expression of the obvious. I always look forward to him on the show; and I always marvel at his calm. Is it real? Or, is he just so guarded that he knows better than to show emotion around those of us who mistake emotion in a person of color as anger?
My father built a large resort in St. Maarten in the mid seventies. Arthur Ashe was one of the touring pros. I had dinner with him twice, and he exhibited that same calm no matter what the conversation held. He also suffered from bleeding ulcers which are often brought on by keeping emotions buried. I noticed it in Obama all through the campaign. Where was his passion? His anger?
We might see a change. Robinson’s column today calls for Obama to be angry, which in view of his own demeanor is interesting indeed. Be bold great people of color. Find the passion now and let it show.
Regardless of what all this calm brilliance means or costs those who should not have to watch their words, I wish you congratulations Eugene Robinson, and I also have a sense of pride for this new country and world that is looking beyond color, or maybe within color, to see what is brilliant and best for us all.