Spike Lee: I saw 21st-century America embrace the next president

The writer/director was at Invesco Field and found himself blown away by the power of Obama's performance

Saturday 30 August 2008 00:00
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I went to Denver to see world history in the making. And that's exactly what Barack Obama delivered. Life is an evolution and histories lead into one another. This was the 45th anniversary of Dr King's "dream speech" and all the people who shed blood, sweat and tears over the years, who gave their lives, they helped make last night possible. They helped realise the American Dream not just for a couple of people but for everybody.

Anybody watching on television would have seen the rainbow of faces in Denver. Brown, black and white. That's not what you're going to see when the Republicans get together next week for their convention. It's going to be like an Arizona country golf club. At the John McCain show in Minnesota, you're going to see the America of the 1950s, of Leave It To Beaver. That is an America that is long gone, not the ethnic, multiracial US of the 21st century. A report the other week showed that whites will be in the minority in the US by 2042 and the rest of the world is moving forward, but these Republican guys are stuck.

As for Barack, I thought he was great. He laid out in simple terms what his platform is going to be, helping people who are out of work, people who are paying $4 a gallon for gas, people who want to live in a greener world and be able to send their kids to good schools. To those who criticise Obama for his high-flown rhetoric, I simply say: should we have a dumb-witted President with no lofty visions, like Bush? Not again. No more of the same old shit.

It was an electric atmosphere inside that Broncos' stadium last night, people were euphoric, floating out into the night. My wife was crying, even I was emotional. All that talk of disunity and division was gone, squashed. What you had was 80,000 people unified, all focused on one goal, winning the White House in November.

People who worry that America is not ready to elect a black President are discounting the great number of young voters who do not see race like their parents and grandparents. But Obama supporters must realise it is not locked up, it is not a slam dunk. We have to make sure we get people to the polls, so today the real work must begin.

For rolling comment on the US election visit: independent.co.uk/campaign08

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