Racial issues are the last thing I usually tackle. The reason is obvious when you see my face: I am white.
Yet yesterday on the National Mall in DC, amidst all the preparations for Barack Obama’s inauguration Tuesday, I saw an older black man holding a sign “From Slavery to History,” I flashed him a thumbs up as I choked up for the thousandth time this week.
And DC just has such an aura of jubilee and jubilation right now. Like the racial balance of power and equity is being righted. Those who have blindly had power and access and visibility are now watching as others take the stage and take a turn.
It feels like a restitution or redistribution that smacks of jubilee to me.
That’s why I’ll be among the volunteers at the inauguration on Tuesday. My job (as one of the 13,000 volunteers) is to be the face of DC and the face of the administration to welcome the world to our city. But it was said best at volunteer training when we on the “crowd control” team (i.e. we will direct people to the bathrooms) were encouraged and pumped up with the reminder that we are there to serve all of those people who do not have tickets.
Those who traditionally have not had tickets to anything. Those who can’t afford tickets. Those without power and access. What a privilege to serve them.
Even if I’m only pointing out the bathrooms.