Vol. 8    No. 2
JANUARY 24, 2013

The Capital City Hues
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EDITORIAL STAFF

Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Rebecca Her, Heidi
Pascual,  & Martinez White
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
            What a Historic Weekend
The weekend of January 18-21, 2013 was truly a historic weekend. With the re-election of President
Barack Obama, there has been a certain heightened energy in the social circles that I travel, realizing that
not all share the enthusiasm. From what I have seen, that electricity was reflected locally within the King
Holiday celebrations. Attendance was up and the celebration of the King Holiday infused visuals of
President Obama’s inauguration at several points on January 21st when the public swearing-in took place.

I would like to congratulate the youth King Humanitarian honoree Rayanna Thigpen and especially the adult
King Humanitarian Award recipients Mercile Lee and Ed Lee. I have known and worked with them for
many years and know them to be people of high integrity who have worked hard to advance the ideals of
Dr. King in their personal and professional lives. As they have both been leaders of the King Coalition for
many years, it was so appropriate that they be honored on the King Holiday.

For the second time since I became a journalist, I was not present in Madison to cover the King Holiday
festivities. But God works in mysterious ways and during the past few months two interns, Rebecca Her
and Rocio Miranda-Solis, have come my way. They are responsible for our coverage of the local King
Holiday celebrations. I thank them for their wonderful coverage.

I was not in Madison because I did have the privilege to cover the second inauguration of President
Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. I had received press credentials from the Senate Periodicals
Committee and the Presidential Inauguration Committee to cover Monday’s swearing in of President
Obama and several other events. Due to those honors — and getting in line at 4:45 a.m. near the U.S.
Capitol for the swearing-in — we had a pretty good vantage point for this historic repeat.

Things were a little different this go around. Perhaps it was because of the timing of the public swearing-in
on the King Holiday as opposed to a Tuesday four years ago, the high cost of local hotels, the lingering
effects of the Great Recession or that some didn’t view it as historic as the first inauguration four years
ago, but the crowd was down 600,000-800,000 and it didn’t really develop until Sunday.

And the moment didn’t quite seem to have that electricity surging through the crowd, uniting hundreds of
thousands of us as one in our knowledge of the historical moment of the first African American being
sworn in as the President of the United States. People were still very courteous this time around and
those who were here understood its significance, but there wasn’t that same high level of buzz and people
talking to and relating with strangers out on the streets.

Nonetheless, the 1.2 million of us who were there — tying for second place in terms of the most attended
presidential inaugurations — clearly understood the significance of what was occurring for in some ways,
it was more important that Barack Obama be re-elected POTUS than get elected the first time around. If
President Obama had been defeated in November 2012, the pundits would have been calling his
presidency a failure and Republicans — as we speak — would be trying, perhaps successfully, to repeal
Obamacare. And there would have been subtle — and in some circles overt — suggestions that the
Obama administration failed to turn the economy around and was a failed administration because
President Obama is African American.
While I feel that President Obama’s re-election is a victory for all of us, I feel it was particularly sweet for
African Americans and other people of color for by the end of eight years, I truly pray, the economic
recession will be over, Obamacare will have been fully implemented, meaningful immigration reform will
have been enacted and many human rights secured, at least for the moment. In essence, President
Obama will have the opportunity to go down as one of the finest presidents in U.S. history.

As Steve Braunginn said, “Today, I think we are seeing from President Obama that he is ready to be
president.”