By Woody Henderson
people gathered in the muddy fields of Stanton Park in
our nation's capital on the morning of January 20 2001.
They had come from so many parts of America, mostly in
caravans of buses from places like Chicago, Detroit, New
York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Boston, Florida, South
Carolina, Virginia and other cities and states across
They had not
come to witness the installation of George W Bush as the
43rd president of these United States. They had not come
to witness the Inaugural parade that would take place
on Pennsylvania Ave. or the ceremonies outside the Capitol
building or in front of the White House. They had not
come to dance at one of the many balls that were scheduled
to take place that evening. They had not come to see George
W. Bush installed as commander-in-chief of the world's
most powerful army. In fact they had come in defiance
of those things.
come to say to the Republican Party, we would not stand
idly by while you take from us what so many had fought
and died for us to have, "the right to vote, and the right
for that vote to be counted."
in Florida on November the 7th 2000 was much like the
raping of democracy. The results of that rape were pregnant
Chads. What was happening on January 20th was the birth
of the child conceived by that rape, an illegitimate C-lected
president. Although democracy may have been raped and
the birthrights of the legitimate 43rd president of the
United States will never be realize, this presidency will
always be known by the votes stolen by the omission of
justice for "one man one vote."
stood in a steady downpour of rain not to pay homage to
George W. Bush who was being sworn in that day or hear
his inauguration address. They were in another part of
town at a Shadow Inauguration and their numbers had swollen
from hundreds to several thousand. They stood in reverence
and honor of those who had asked them to come They listened
to many powerful speakers as they reconfirmed their commitment
to their right to vote and their responsibility to protect
that vote once it had been cast.
who gave the inaugural address, made one of the most moving
speeches in recent memory. Then they marched down Maryland
Ave to the Supreme Court where they formed a human chain
around it symbolically saying Justice belongs to the people.
Yet, I couldn't help but wonder what makes one man get
up at 4 o'clock in the morning while another man lay sleeping
snuggled in the warmth of his bed? What makes a mother
get up, get dressed and go out into the early morning
rain before the early morning light and stand in the cold
and the mud and rain? It's the realization that no man
is an island. It's an appreciation for what our forefathers
and ancestors suffered and died for. Its that something
that Micki Grant wrote about in a new play she premiered
at Cannan Baptist Church during black history month last
year, titled "You're Not Just Riding On A Metro Card But
Somebody Else's Shoulders." As that great black news commentator,
Roy Wood, use to say "Now run and tell that"