Penultimate Perspectives

AuthorAlan Borovoy
chapter fourteen
Penultimate Perspectives
Of course, I label what I say in this chapter, penultimate, rather
than ultimate, perspectives. At this point, neither I nor my successors
could hope to know the ultimate ones. If any readers wish to know
those, they will have to consult my executors.
During the summer of 2008, I joined the hundreds of thousands of
people who sat glued to their respective television sets, watching the con-
vention of the US Democratic Party. Senator Barack Obama of Illinois
was seeking to become the f‌irst black president of the United States. At
issue during that summer was the leadership of the Democratic Party.
The victor at the convention would become the party’s standard bearer
in the impending fall elections.
My attention was particularly arrested by the litany of speeches, se-
conding Obama’s nomination. More than anything else, I f‌ixated on the
number of white delegates who were expressing their support for him.
Of course, he had no shortage of black delegates on his side. But all that
white support was truly newsworthy. After all, this was the very coun-
try in which less than forty-f‌ive years earlier, three young civil rights
workers had been so brutally murdered with impunity. It was also
the country whose Southern communities had been so recently pock-
marked with “Whites Only” signs on publicly accessible facilities. And
it was the country in which the national army had so recently been

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