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Kyle, On the Road South, Obama’s Pinckney Eulogy, and “Up the Hill”

Posted by | June 26, 2015 | BAMBINOS | 4 Comments

 We are on the road to our Southern home away from home today.  Driving toward South Carolina, Braydon and I put on the car stereo Barack Obama’s eulogy for Clementa Pinckney. Two of our three bambinos don’t have the attention span, but one, of course, does, in large part because the speech strikes at the center of his deepest passions. Kyle listened intently to the entire thing with us from the backseat.
I have a feeling this might be — for him — one of those formative memories he’ll  always hold: that time, when he was 11, driving to South Carolina for our southern summer, listening to Obama give this speech.

There is so much that I could say, because I have a million thoughts on the speech myself, but I’m posting this for Kyle, instead, in case I’m right that he will remember this, and in case it is as formative as I think it might be for him.

Kyle’s reactions:

“I know one thing, he [Obama] did that from his core.”

“I believe we, the United States, are going uphill not downhill. For gay rights and for race — for Civil Rights — we are going up the hill. It’s a big mountain, but we’re going up it.”

“He wasn’t letting this thing go. Now we need to make something happen. We can’t just be sitting here watching this this happen. Now we need to change this thing. This thing is racism.”

From this mama: Thank you Mr. President. My boy — and all of us — needed to see you do that today. Thank you.  


  • PoetrysTruth says:

    Today has been a day of so many emotions. When the ruling was announced I screamed so loudly I woke my kiddos. I just began to cry so hard. My baby sis now has the same rights and protections as everyone else. Our father and I just had a conversation last month on how he wanted her to have what I have, family, a spouse, “the dream”. He feared it would always be legally beyond her reach. Today I cried for her and for ALL the couples who had to live in fear and for those who lost their partners before they could make it legal.

    As a black woman married to a white man, I truly understand what today means. Not so may decades ago, our marriage would have been illegal.

    My heart is full of joy and relief.

    As for the POTUS, he went back to his black church roots. Again I cried. I cried for the senseless acts of hatred and I cried for what seems to be lost far to often…Hope. I’m trying to hard to keep hope alive, but I must say most days I’m terrified for my kiddos and my loved ones. I don’t feel safe anywhere. I try to fight it, but some days are harder than others. I just feel “hunted”.

  • Gail McCormick says:

    Kyle is a profound thinker–amazing at his age.

  • Katie says:

    Thank you for sharing Kyle’s thoughts on the speech. It’s amazing to see these deep moments in a child’s life when you know they are making memories that they will cherish for a long time. I was especially moved by the president singing “Amazing Grace” at the end. Hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing summer in the South.

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