Thursday, June 19, 2008

Barack Obama and Joshua Stroman: An American Dream

From January 27th, 2008

Since I launched the Obamathon 183 people have donated $11,339. I am sure by the time I finish this diary that number will be higher. But that is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about a inspirational story. The story of Joshua Stroman, a Benedict College student who volunteered for the Obama campaign in South Carolina. Josh is a perfect example of what this campaign is about, lifting America up.

First of all here a video that the campaign released. It is about Josh and his vision for the future. I urge you to watch the whole thing from start to finish. It is truly inspiring:

I do not know about you. But even more then ANYTHING else in this entire campaign that video and Josh's story inspired me. He is a example of the potential of America and what a Obama America could look like. I have watched that video twice and it has been equally stirring each time.

Those on YouTube are not always the most articulate but a few comments expressed my feelings very well.

Aw man did I cry. He's such an upstanding young man. And handsome :o) Great video. OBAMA '08!

This is what it's all about! This is how we move our kids forward! If people don't understand what hope is, and how it moves, this is it.

As an old white guy from a red-neck state... Joshua, this country needs you. We need your mind, your perspective, your vision and your drive. We can no longer afford to discard vital ideas because of skin color. We can no longer afford to treat our inner-city kids as disposable. We can no longer afford to be Lincoln's house divided against itself.
Thank you, Senator Obama, for your audacity.
And thank you, Joshua, for having a little faith in your country - and in yourself.

After the victory in South Carolina that people like Josh brought about Sam of the Obama HQ asked him to reflect on the victory. Here is what he said:

We knew that we were going to have to be committed to the vision of what America could be, if we got involved and worked to bring it to life. The last day was incredible. We ran throughout the city of Columbia, posting signs, increasing visibility, knocking on doors, walking with people to the actual polling places. Whatever we had to do to ensure Senator Obama's victory, we were committed to doing it.

...His victory is vindication for so many of us who believe in what this country can be. It is also an indication that the American people can stand against the power of the establishment in order to usher in a new attitude and approach to uplifting the greater good.

I have invested, and I believe we all have, such an enormous amount of personal energy. We embraced Senator Obama's vision... in which each of us are empowered to be innovative in creating solutions that match the common challenges that we all face...

Lastly, I want to tell Senator Obama, that WE are so very proud of him, for having enough confidence and faith in the American people to launch this historic journey to restore the American presidency to its highest mantle.

This will not be easy, but it is very important that each American citizen, who believes that America can truly be a nation for the people and of the people, to get out and canvass, caucus, make phone calls, post signs, be patient with those who do not fully grasp the significance of the opportunity and it is important for us, to work with positive and encouraging spirits when speaking of the vision that we each share of a brighter and more promising America.

Being a part of Senator Obama’s campaign has meant so much to me. My friends and I plan on driving to Georgia, we may go to Maryland, Virginia and many more places if need be. I know that my story has inspired so many, but understand, that it is indeed, Senator Barack Obama, who has inspired me to dream dreams that I never thought could be possible. As I am empowered, I am allowed to empower others and in South Carolina, unity brought victory. I will forever be grateful for how this campaign has transformed my life and pray that each of us get involved in our own unique way, to reclaim the hope and the future of this nation. Thank you Senator Obama for allowing the American people, as diverse as we may be, to stand together as one people, and both collectively and individually contribute our talents and gifts to a cause much greater than ourselves.

Amen brother, amen. I have a very different life story then Josh. I was born in a middle-class family and have really wanted in life, I have never been to prison, never been on the streets. I live in a nice house in a beautiful little suburb. But I know that not every can enjoy a life like that. There are those who will not eat today, those who will have to roam the streets without shelter tonight, those who do not even have access to water or basic sanitation services. Those all seem far away problems but even in this country we are not free of problems. Even here in America there are those who will never know their father because he left before they could remember. In our America millions will get lost in a life of crime and drugs because they were never offered a alternative.

I think Barack Obama pretty much summed it up in the speech that made him famous:

If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child.

If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription drugs, and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandparent.

If there's an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

It is that fundamental belief -- it is that fundamental belief -- I am my brother's keeper, I am my sisters' keeper -- that makes this country work.

It is that belief, that goal that his given me purpose in my life. I never really had a reason for existing. But now I know why I am here and what I will spend my life doing. I am going to dedicate the rest of my life to making the world a better place. I don't know how yet. But right now I think the best way is to help get Barack Obama elected. And that's just what I'm doing, that's why I started the Obamathon and that's why I hope you will join my in working for Obama and donating to the Obamathon. Now is the most important time of the campaign and I really would appreciate it if you donated. And just for good measure here is the video of that American hero, Joshua Stroman.

Yes. We. Can.

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