Barack Hussein Obama’s Second Inaugural Address is historically significant. However, not for the reasons you may think.
Indeed, Barack Obama is an extraordinary American President.
It is true, America’s forty-fourth Commander-in-Chief faced a set of historically singular and extraordinary events during his first term as President of the United States. Moreover, not only did President Obama successfully negotiate this uniquely challenging set of circumstances, he did so with a mature and balanced diplomatic demeanor that speaks to a future America has not yet realized. Certainly, one expects this of any nation’s chief executive. However, most contemporary world leaders fall woefully short. Barack Hussein Obama exceeds our expectations. He is not only a great American leader. He has provided the entire globe with a novel moral compass.
When one considers that Barack Obama is the first person of his historically stigmatized ethnic group to ascend to this nation’s pinnacle of political power, the fact that he has already exercised a indelibly positive mark (viz., The Affordable Care Act) on our nation’s history should astound us. Yet, we have already become so accustomed to Obama’s extraordinary equipoise under pressure, we discount it. We have come to expect intelligence, leadership, integrity, gravitas, competence, and political success from Barack Hussein Obama. Future leaders will be judged by our current President’s example. And to think, at the time of my birth, the idea of a human being walking on Mars was considered more feasible than a black American setting up shop in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
In truth, thinking about the re-election of Barack Obama to the nation’s highest office solely in terms of the United States of America’s individual history is, remarkably, to sell this extraordinary moment short. The ethnic group with which President Obama identifies is not simply one of many that compose American society. Black Americans are entirely singular. We have experienced United States history from a unique vantage point. Whereas members of other American ethnic groups suffered through moments of slavery or indentured servitude in the United States, the peculiar institution has marked no group in such a deep and profound manner as it has American blacks.
If you doubt the previous assertion, see Quentin Tarentino’s extraordinary, groundbreaking 2012 film, Django Unchained. Although the Hollywood film provides merely a simplified, sanitized, glamorized reflection of America’s ugly ‘racial’ history — the reality was much worse — it provides an necessary glimpse of what contemporary American blacks’ fore mothers and fathers had to endure and they have had to overcome in order to integrate themselves into the nation of their birth. The film should disabuse any other American ethnic group of ever comparing their American experience to black people.
(In truth, Instead of suggesting that Americans see a feature film to gain some of perspective of the depths from which black Americans have emerged, I would rather tell you to read W.E.B. DuBois, Frederick Douglass, E. Franklin Frazier, Eugene Genovese, Winthrop Jordan, Angela Davis, James Davis,Orlando Patterson, Ira Berlin, Fox Butterfield, Douglass Blackmon, John Dollard, David Roedigger, Howard Zinn or a host of other American historians and academics who have studied “the peculiar institution,” however most of us don’t have the stomach for that type of discussion. I study it for a living, and, emotionally, it even wears me out).
Suffice it to say that black Americans are the only American ethnic group where the condition of servitude has so dominated their American experience, not only existentially, but epistemically, that the term “slave” is, for many Americans and others inhabiting our world, reflexively conflated with the ‘racial’ group scientifically referred to as “Negroid” and popularly known as “black.” This, despite the fact that it is well known that slavery is a political institution as old as civilization itself. In fact, the term slave finds its etymological roots in “Slav,” an ethnic group composed of Central and European “Caucasians,” or “whites”, who were captured and enslaved by Western Europeans during the early medieval period. (One imagines the pernicious stereotypes, conflated with black peoples throughout the world, because of their experience as slaves in the West and Middle East throughout the modern era, were experienced by Slavs during the earlier period).
Nevertheless, despite what everyone should be learning in grade school- that slavery belongs to world history, that every ethnic group of human beings have served as bondsmen, (including nineteenth century European and American whites dragooned by North African pirates and enslaved in Africa) and that there is nothing “natural,” “essential” or “ontological” about black people and the condition of servitude- in 2012, black people, servility, and vicious stereotypes still go hand in hand. Moreover, because The United States has played such a significant role in world history since its founding, and because it has become the most powerful nation in world history within the last fifty years, it has had an outsized influence on the world’s perception of Afro-Americans, as the ethnic group that particularly fit for servitude.
This curious reality must be reiterated and explained.
As the most powerful society in the history of humanity, the United States of America has played an especially important role as defining “black” Americans as the “slave,” the “evil other,” and “the shadow.” Perhaps the following will explain the reasons behind this phenomenon: The most compelling exports in American history have very little to do with material objects and everything to do with its cultural values.
Throughout it’s history, The United States of America’s primary export has been a political vision championing individual liberty, human equality, and social justice. To this day, the world’s people looks to leadership from America during times when they are seeking to throw off the yoke of tyrannical political authority. Most recently, this was demonstrated very powerfully, throughout the 201o and 11′s Arab Spring. Egyptians, Iranians, Libyans, Syrians and a host of others have all appealed not just to the military might, but the moral consciousness, of America when seeking a reality consistent with our The United States of America’s founding principles.
However, as is well known, the history of the United States of America is a complex one, full of contradictions, tensions and paradoxes. At the very heart of the nation claiming to uphold human history’s most meaningful, dynamic and sacred values was a political institution that denied those rights to a significant number – an entire ethnic group- of it’s inhabitants. Since their arrival in the New World with the first European explorers, up until the year of my birth, 1965, black Americans were forced to live as second-class citizens in a land that claimed equality for all. The implications of this reality are extraordinarily profound. So much so that contemporary apologists for American history will not even allow the word ‘race’ to be brought up in polite conversation.
Contemporary reactionaries are well aware of the implications of a discussion of America’s tortured ‘racial’ history; that’s why they have outlawed any reference to it.
(Thank God for Hollywood and Quentin Tarantino. Spike Lee needs to shut up and keep making documentaries. Leave the artistic part of movie-making to someone that knows how to tell a story).
For the purposes of this essay, it is enough to say that the United States had a significant problem on its hands. And black Americans embody it.American values claim equality, dignity, and freedom for all. Americans institutions, historically, have enforced second-class citizenship on a particular group for no other reason except the color of their skin.
How has the United States chosen to resolve this dilemma for world citizens not living in The United States? Through their other major export: popular culture.
American popular cultural products have been charged with one goal and one goal only: Explain, rationalize, and dramatize how a society that claims to uphold liberty, equality, and justice for all of humanity treats a part of its population in such an undemocratic, unfair, and unjust fashion.
How has American popular culture chosen to carry out its mission?
At every possible and available opportunity, the United States has produced, developed, and exported images of black Americans in order to convince an objective observer that black people in general, and black Americans in particular, do not have the right to access universal human principles because., these outlets and sources argue,
Black Americans never were, are not now, and will never be fully human.
When you think about the history of American popular and political culture in these terms — the effort to explain, rationalize, and dramatize the essential inferiority of black Americans — the inexplicable quickly fall sin to place. The popularity of the 19th c. Minstrel Show, Hollywood’s first major film, D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, the construction of Jim Crow segregation, the perception of the Ku Klux Klan as Christian saviors, social policies and political platforms constructed to ensure black American failure, the emphasis on sport in American, especially black American culture, the privileging of black entertainers and athletes, the curious disdain of the world’s black ethnic groups for black Americans, the “war” on drugs, the profound self-hatred of black Americans…
I could go on.
However, you get the point.
When you think about Barack Obama in these terms, his election to the highest office in the world’s most powerful country holds world historical significance. Because BHO has not only been successful, but thrived on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, no longer will any group of human beings ever be informed that they are not worthy of demanding, enjoying, exercising humanity’s most glorious principles.
Barack Hussein Obama’s outstanding, unexpected, heavily resisted success at the pinnacle of human history’s most powerful nation has brought us to a new era in human history.
Free at last.
Free at last.
Thank God Almighty.
We are free at last…
Well, one might understand why human history’s very powerful forces for regression, exploitation, hatred, and greed are intent on keeping the world’s inhabitants ignorant of this truth; unaware of this reality.
And you might imagine that bearing such a burden — a singular, world historical responsibility, might wear a human being out — Spiritually, emotionally, and especially physically. Yes. Barack Obama has aged, physically, in office. And what a beautiful being he has become. It reminds of the United States of America’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln.
Consider all the 44th President of the United States has accomplished, for his nation, and for human history- all while carrying the weight of world history on his shoulders.
Consider the forces aligned against him. Those powerful many hell-bent on denying what has been proven as demonstrably true.
Whether or not Barack Obama won a second term, a world historical goal has been achieved. However, since Obama was, indeed, victorious, in 2012, by a landslide, what he represents has been affirmed.
It is finished.
It is no surprise that the nation’s forty-fourth President looks as though he has aged three decades within the last four years. He’s carried the baton of a 7,000-year marathon past the finish line. He’s had to carry the hopes and dreams of billions of souls on his back. I’m quite sure that even he was not fully aware of all that was at stake.
Nevertheless, it was written.
It has been accomplished.
When, in 2004, the junior state senator from Illinois inscribed himself, indelibly, into the nation’s collective conscience he was 42 years of age. The fresh-faced politician looked at least fifteen years younger. Though the United States’ Commander-in-Chief remains very attractive, there are some photos taken of him that look as though he is approaching his seventh decade on earth, instead of recently entering his sixth.
Without question, the United States’ Commander-in-Chief remains a handsome, charismatic figure. When touring the country on the campaign trail, he exuded health and vibrancy. When on the world stage, speaking at the United Nations, glad-handing other politicians at events like Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative, or announcing historical events from the White House, his presence dominates the spotlight. President Obama is still the most compelling figure on the world stage in 2012; no politician or public figure approaches his worldwide significance.
This must not be forgotten.
We are comparing the current Obama to his former self. And there is no question, in terms of youth and vitality, the current incarnation suffers. The thick, black wavy hair that glistened at the DNC in Boston has lost some of its luster. Grey hair has colonized the border regions of his scalp, and is making incursions into the interior. The once smooth, flawless, multi-ethnic skin has become creased and a bit weathered. His athletic, buoyant, smooth gait has slowed and stiffened. The bounce in 44’s step, as he skips down Air Force One, or hopped on to one of the countless campaign stages across the country during the last campaign, lost some of its viscosity.
Moreover, though still graceful, Obama’s stride is not as effortless as it once was. The skipping and bounding is no longer reflexive. Forethought is required. Instead of a twenty-something’s step, it seems as though father time is enforcing a severe form of instruction on Obama’s physiology. The United States’ Chief Executive has imbibed, in four-years, what it takes everyday citizens decades to learn.
And yes, finally, there are times that the President of the United States looks weary.
And while this assertion certainly applies to Obama’s physical body, the laid-back, reserved, Hawaii native seemed emotionally and spiritually fatigued as well. Can you blame him, given the task, and the stakes?
Though I believe much of the criticism of President Obama was hyperbolic during the 2012 Presidential campaign, some of it hit the mark. Obama was tired and spiritually fatigued. However, he had not lost his swagger. The Chief Executive’s sober performance at the October 3rd , 2012 Presidential debated served as exhibit A for the first argument; the position maintaining that BHO no longer had “it.” According to these small-minded critics, 44 lost his moxie. The fire died. He burnt himself out.
Viewing at his speech today, it is easy to dismiss that assessment. He never lost it. Aeople Both admirers and opponents chose to forget that Obama has never shined as a debater. There is no question that the public official charged with the ultimate responsibility for the lives of all Americans during the past four years found it difficult to participate in America’s quadrennial exercise in staged, meaningless political theater. Nothing significant, useful, or noteworthy has been produced from America’s presidential debates in a half-century. This year was no exception, except to further illuminate that Willard Romney would have done anything, even soil the legacy of his principled father, to get elected to his nation’s highest office.
The fact that the Presidential Debates are meaningless exercises in tomfoolery is demonstrated by the fact that the most memorable moments of contemporary Presidential debates are one-liners:
“I will not let my opponent’s youth and inexperience be used to disqualify him for consideration for President.”
“I knew Jack Kennedy, and you sir, are no Jack Kennedy.”
“Can I call you Joe?”
It is hard to imagine that the individual who has been enjoined to make weekly, if not daily, decisions holding life and death implications for human beings around the globe wouldn’t find himself exasperated by such pedestrian engagement. This is obvious. However, when we consider the spiritual implications of what the man has had to do we are compelled to marvel at 44s sangfroid.
Seriously, it would be hard for any mere mortal to maintain their equilibrium given the world historical implications. But Obama is no mere mortal.
Barack Hussein Obama has exposed human history’s great lie for what it is; an impoverished attempt to distort God’s image reflected in other human beings so that they could dispossessed, demeaned, and exploited. History’s greatest sages and teacher, all over the world, from all of the most revered religious traditions have taught one thing:
All of us — black and white, rich and poor, male and female, straight and gay, citizen and stranger — are blessed by being created in the image of God. There is no human group superior or inferior to another human group because of something they have or possess or lack.
The world’s inhabitants, living during this time, have all been witness to the manifestation of the greatest truths of spiritual traditions being demonstrated before our very eyes — in the person of Barack Hussein Obama.
All human beings, no matter what their existential circumstances, are spiritual brothers and sisters.
If one were to look at what the Romney campaign had to say about poor folks and immigrants, Barack Obama should not exist.
Consider his biography:
The son of an incorrigible, alcoholic, irresponsible, womanizing black immigrant, and feckless, big-hearted, sometimes publicly assisted white mother. A mixed-race child. One abandoned by his foreign, federal-program assisted father and irresponsible, thrill-seeking, welfare abusing mother. A boy who never fit-in, who dabbled in drugs, who fell in love with a white woman, and benefitted from policies to give those without a great start in life a chance.
This biography, whom those who do not believe in investing in others less fortunate than themselves contend, has one thing written all over it:
This is the biography, according to those who believe you “do it alone,” that inevitably, inexorably results in immorality, stupidity, criminality, excess, laziness, selfishness, and a host of other ills that add up to failure, jail-time and a net cost to to the public good. This individual deserves nothing, accept pity or wrath, depending on one’s orientation.
Is it any wonder that those on the right reveled in claiming that Barack Hussein Obama was foreign born? That they rejoiced in the idea that “he” is not “one of us”?
Those folks were telling the truth. Barack Obama does not fit the image many on the political right have of black Americans, especially poor black Americans. Their image has so distorted the image of God in other human beings, especially their fellow American black citizens, that they cannot see the humanity in their neighbor.
Barack Hussein Obama is not the exception; he is the rule. The overwhelming majority of Americans, as well as the overwhelming majority of world-citizens, recognize that. It has been reaffirmed by the American electorate. The image of the “poor, foreign, immoral, stupid, unpatriotic immigrant,” who is barely “worthy of food” and essentially anti-human and anti-American has been dealt a death blow. Now, the only disrespected, demeaned, and dishonorable American, and world-citizen, is the one who holds such a view.
All of the world’s inhabitants have one man to thank for that. Barack Hussein Obama. Others may have had the vision.
Barack Obama, with his extraordinary, world historical Presidency and re-election, made it reality.
For those with eyes to see let them see.
During his first term in office and before the younger Obama used to put forth an effort to hide his disdain for the primitive, shallow, at times painfully contrived politically ritual sacrifice. Now, not so much. The post-Connecticut massacre Obama has no patience for childish game.
Did you say I “have” to go on Fox News, among today’s Pharisees, Saducees, and scribes, David?
‘I don’t think so. They got their pound of flesh the first term. It’s a new day.’
When a leader’s characteristics and qualities are being evaluated, nothing takes the place of knowledge, experience and wisdom. These essentials cannot be replaced. And despite the charges of critics, Barack Obama possesses an excess, an abundance, of all of the above. His life experience before he was the age of 25 provided him with a lifetime of wisdom and multiplicity of insights.
In those years, he learned the lessons that many Americans, raised conventionally on the contiguous 48 states, l never have had the opportunity to learn and seemed determined to reject. He has learned to appreciate that no matter what God one serves, or anthem they play, or whom one loves, they are worthy of human dignity.
And for those critics on the left, who take shots at 44 about all of the ways in which because of the ways in which he failed you, and how you would have better represented “the least of these”, I can well imagine that the man you criticize has aged so much because he has had to compromise some of his personal values for a greater good.
Obama is a man.
He is not a god.
He has been charged with securing the interests of his nation. He has handled his responsibilities with integrity. His charge was not to save the world from their sins. That is our job. So let’s stop complaining, and criticizing, and do our small part to participate in the transformation our President desires to lead.
I choose to believe every one of those gray hairs on that formerly sable head represents a personal principle Barack Obama had to violate, a value he has had to ignore, and a life he was responsible for ending. Given the choice to support you and your ideological, self-righteous, self-congratulating vision, or riding with Barack Hussein Obama…
Keep that yip-yap to yourself.
You’re not going to find an audience with me.
To reiterate, Barack Hussein Obama was met with a singular, extraordinary set of Herculean challenges when he assumed charge of the nation. What he has achieved is something beyond any rational person’s wildest dreams.
But let’s stick simply to earthly, existential basics.
Whether you agree or disagree with Barack Obama’s policy positions, it is hard to take an objective look at all of the current President of the United States’ accomplishments and come away with any other impression than Barack Obama’s first term was one of the most significant in our history.
Reflect back on what Barack Obama faced when he took the oath of office on January 20th, 2009. If you are unaware how the world has become fundamentally different since then, I’ll remind you, through listing the forty-fourth American President’s accomplishments. They are not listed in their order of significance. Only those with the perspective of time can determine that. Nevertheless, I believe all will agree that wherever the achievements of Barack Obama, ultimately, are placed in the annals of significant national and world historical events, the fact that so much was accomplished in such a brief period time will be perceived as, without question, remarkable.
Major Challenges and Accomplishments of President Barack Obama’s first four years in office (2009-2012)
1. Global financial meltdown and crisis resolved while preventing further atrophy.
2. Wall Street investing banks bailed out, among other things, with the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), a $700 billion piece of legislation, the largest in American history.
3. American auto industry saved from going out of business, through TARP legislation, saving one million jobs.
4. Iraq war ended.
5. War against Afghanistan officially winding down.
6. Killed Osama Bin Laden.
7. Helped create climate for Arab Spring.
8. “Led from behind” and aided in deposing Libya’s Muammar Gadaffi.
9. Ended “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” in the U.S. military, allowing gay Americans to serve without hiding a significant part of their individual identity.
10. Affirmed a belief in gay marriage, the first sitting President in U.S. history to support this human right.
11. Passed the Affordable Care Act, the first President in U.S. history to accomplish the long sought after goal of health care reform. (Since the issue is politically toxic, the Obama administration cannot be mentioned in the present, polarized, political climate. However, I believe the Affordable Care Act will be perceived as President Obama’s most significant accomplishment.)
12. Deported more undocumented Americans than any other President in history, and more in his first term than his predecessor, George W. Bush in his two terms.
13. Exponentially increased drone strikes against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen serving to dismantle the organization that attacked the United States on 9/11/2001.
14. First presidential administration to appoint two women to the Supreme Court: Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
15. Has had to deal with a Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, who publicly stated, 2 weeks after the election that the GOP’s main goal was not restoring the American economy through creating jobs after the “Great Recession,” but to “make Obama a one term president.”
16. Capped British Petroleum’s massive oil spill in the Gulf region.
17. Killed Somali pirates who kidnapped American citizens.
18. Persevered through credible threats to him and his family, threats encouraged by Tea Party-inspired racists.
19. Tightened the screws on Iranian sanctions.
20. Contended with Superstorm Sandy.
Is cannot be gainsaid that Barack Hussein Obama came to office facing some of the most significant challenges in American history. Two wars would qualify alone. A financial collapse would qualify alone. The challenge caused by escalating Health Care costs may not qualify alone, but the attempt to create legislation would. The effort shows on Obama’s visage. However, he knew what he was getting into.
He relished the opportunity to work hard.
When one compares the heavy lifting done by America’s 44th President compared to those of recent Presidents esteemed by the right, it seems that hard work and effort are much more typified by Obama than the far-rights icons.
Consider, Ronald Reagan.
Interesting, “The Gipper” actually looked younger after his first four years in office. Not a hair in his sable mane turned grey. It looked as if not one was lost or worse for wear. Perhaps that is because Reagan’s wife, according to internal sources, made all major administration decision based on her consultation with an astrologist. That sort of faith would save one from stress associated with decision-making and explain some of the moral lapses of the administration, such as the failed “War on Drugs” and the “Iran-Contra fiasco” where the moral majority’s icon lied to the American public and was forced to apologize for it by claiming that things weren’t so bad because he believed, while lying, that he was telling the truth.
Consider George W. Bush
Before 9-11, numerous articles were written about the Bush administration trying to scale back work commitments so that the government would mirror a business operation. Perhaps this was not the best idea for the W., whose career as a oilman was marked by a series of colossal failures. For George W. Bush, Executive office officials working 9-5 was a way of instituting a more family-values centered government. What that meant is that Bush administration officials were encouraged to leave work at 6 p.m. Perhaps this is why Bush’s Secretary of Defense, Condoleeza Rice, allowed Bush to go public and state that he knew Vladimir Putin was a reformer because he “looked into his soul,” she paid no attention to intelligence briefs warning that Osama Bin Laden planned to strike The United States of America on their own soil, or that while Secretary of State, Rice was shopping on Rodeo Drive for Manolo Blahniks while residents of Louisiana were begging for assistance.
No such accusations regarding lack of stewardship have been directed at the Obama administration during the last four year. Making such a statement, given all 44 has accomplished, would be ludicrous on its surface. Beyond that, it is common knowledge that after eating with his children and tucking them into bed, Obama works well past midnight and is reluctant to engage in Washington hob-nobbing because it detracts from his true responsibilities.
The man is on a mission.
However, keeping it simply on an existential level, what should be abundantly clear to all Americans is that Barack Hussein Obama has worked extremely hard during to accomplish great things during his first term. Notwithstanding this fact, surrogates for the G.O.P. seem to delight in referring to America’s Commander-in-Chief as “lazy” and his Presidency as “failed,” with Republican surrogates such as John Sununnu dusting off hackneyed, racialized stereotypes, such as the Commander-in-Chief of the free world is “shucking and jiving” in office. The shame of it all.
Forgive them, for they know not what they do.
Any claim other than The United States’ current President is not one of the best to hold office in the last 100 years should strike every American as odd. So many policies have been modified, improved or created from scratch, it is impossible to believe that our President has abdicated or shirked his responsibilities. The funny thing is, most far-right conservatives, Republicans and libertarians accept this tortured reasoning.
They need to.
Once again, they are on the wrong side of history. And they are doing everything in their power to convince the rest of us that the noble and glorious notions/beliefs/traditions of the world’s most esteemed spiritual exemplars are not true.
Their work is cut out for them.
The lie has been exposed.
For the majority of this essay, I have discussed the world historical significance of Barack Hussein Obama. However, his most important influence may be for contemporary American culture, in general, and the psychological disposition of black Americans, in particular, especially black American males.
Consider the following.
If one of the most accomplished Presidents in United States’ history is criticized for being incompetent when all the world is well aware of the extreme challenges he faced and the extraordinary manner in which he has navigated not just choppy, but treacherous waters, what do you think occurs when a black man is working at UPS, or Goldman Sachs, or a Christian college? What occurs when he is surrounded by colleagues and “friends” who are intimidated by his skill level, or his ability, or his excellence? What happens when those same individuals are wed to a religious and political traditions and orientations that claims that an individual like him or herself is bound to fail and cannot succeed?
Talk to any black American male you know and you will discover the answer.
It seems there is nothing that a black person can do in the United States, even if he is President of the United States to gainsay rumors suggesting one is lazy, or unqualified, or incompetent, even if ample evidence exists indicating that the exact opposite is true.
However, whereas historically, the black male in question – often the only one who has ascended to his position of authority– has had to question himself regarding his competence, or intelligence, or ability because of the hate, fear, and jealousy based criticisms of superiors and colleagues, he now has another option. He could look to the experience of Barack H. Obama and recognize that, perhaps, as Erich Fromm, R.D. Laing, Herbert Marcuse and so many other Western intellectuals have explained, he is the sane individual living in the midst of an insane society.
One wonders what the everyday black American has to achieve in order to impress the powers that be? What must they accomplish in order to avoid being labeled with such patently racist, stereotypical, hateful epithets? How does one fight back against a cruel, untrue myth?
We still have work to do.
The cat has been let out of the bag.
It is finished.
The truth is out there for all to see…
The least of these…one of the 47% or 99% or whatever number you want to affix to the downtrodden, despised, degraded, and consistently humiliated – has demonstrated, beyond the shadow of doubt, the truth of the Ancient Wisdom.
He has not only persevered, he has excelled…
Free at last!
Free at last!
Great, God Almighty,
We are free at last!
Glory be to God…