The New Era

The New Era


Sharat and I stood in the bitter cold in a sea of people last week to witness our 44th President sworn into office. I could barely see the Capitol, but closing my eyes, I heard people around me whisper under their breaths “Thank you, Lord,” “Yes, Lord” and “Yes we did” through the prayers and the inaugural address, and I knew I was standing in the heart of a singular spiritual moment in our nation’s history where we as a people — burdened with the sins of genocide and slavery, segregation and racism, racial profiling and ongoing hate violence in the aftermath of 9/11 — had touched our own greatness.

No matter what our politics, as we begin the long slow work of restoring our country and communities, we can draw inspiration from this bare bold fact: we have elected our first African-American president. The promise of America is real. And yet, we break the greatest racial barrier to find a hundred more yet to be broken — gay and straight, Christian and Muslim, white and black, citizen and not. We have yet to build a community where others see us for how we see ourselves — where class, color, and power do not define how fully we are recognized.

So the election of Barack Hussein Obama merely present an opportunity: we who share a vision of social justice may push our vision further and farther than before. It is time to seize the
moment.

And so our little film Divided We Fall has a new role to play in this new era. It can harness the swelling interest in interracial and interfaith dialogue and bring people together through a story of reconciliation. The film is now released on DVD, available for purchase by individuals and educators.