And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.
And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men [were] heads of the children of Israel.
And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this [way] southward, and go up into the mountain:
And see the land, what it [is]; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they [be] strong or weak, few or many;
And what the land [is], whether it [be] fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time [was] the time of the firstripe grapes.
And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.
And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land.
And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this [is] the fruit of it.
Nevertheless the people [be] strong that dwell in the land, and the cities [are] walled, [and] very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.
And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they [are] stronger than we.
And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, [is] a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it [are] men of a great stature.
And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, [which come] of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
Numbers 14:1-5 and 14:11-12
And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.
And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!
And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?
And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.
Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.
And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?
I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they. BLB (KJV)
Toni Morrison’s statement that Bill Clinton was our first black President has been quoted and debated during the 2008 election campaign. Part of Morrison's quote from the October 1998 article in the "New Yorker" that is not getting the attention that it deserves includes: “Years ago, in the middle of the Whitewater investigation, one heard the first murmurs: white skin notwithstanding, this is our first black President. Blacker than any actual black person who could ever be elected in our children's lifetime.”
I believe that Morrison like many of us could not imagine that this country could or would elect a black man as President during our children’s lifetime. We could not imagine or dream of a black person serving in the White House because of hundreds of years of racism and oppression.
“America can no longer deny or ignore the living legacy of racism. Today, a strong racial divide still exists in the United States because racism is alive and well in this country.
Recent events in America that support the fact that racism has once again raised it’s ugly head includes: the Jena 6 case as well as the September 20, 2007, march in Jena, LA, the appearance of nooses around the country, police brutality based on racial discrimination still runs rampant in 2007, and black women are called ‘nappy headed hoes’ on national television.” Additionally, we must not forget Hurricane Katrina and the hundreds of black lives lost after we were abandoned by our President and our government.
Black people are one of the most religious people on the face of the earth. For hundreds of years we have cried and prayed, prayed and cried to GOD concerning unfair treatment based solely on race. Black people truly believed that if it was GOD’S will that He would intervene on our behalf and correct discrimination and racism in America.
GOD has given us the perfect time and opportunity to trust in him and vote for a man that looks like us and who will be a President for all Americans including us. We have the chance to witness the manifestations of the promises made by God to Martin Luther King and to our forefathers. Promises of fairness, racial equality, justice, due process, and equal protection under the law are just over the horizon.
During the Civil Rights Movement all ages and all classes of black people fought for a common goal. We can change this country and the world because our GOD is an Awesome GOD who can do all things.
Trust and believe that GOD did not bring us this far to leave us. Let us not act or talk like the Israelites. It is time for us to believe GOD, unite, endorse, and vote for Senator Barack Obama in his historic quest to become “our” first Black President..
Vera Richardson is the author of “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined.”