Secret service agents may have been concerned (or appalled) when the Obamas got out of their limousine and started walking in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue. But anyone who might have tried to harm them would probably have been torn limb from limb by the crowd before anyone could have gotten there to arrest him.However, this observation might put in doubt Sowell's best wishes for a renewal of normalcy:
Inevitably, much is being made of the fact that Barack Obama is the first black President of the United States.But what we all need to recognize is that yesterday was a profoundly religious event for millions or billions of people who need a political religion because they often have no other (nor any secular anthropology) of great attraction to help them through the existential trials of human life. Obama's paradoxical fate is that he will only achieve greatness as a worldly president by transcending the dogmas of his own cultic religion, by recognizing and negotiating worldly realities with an eye to recognizing the possible road to greater shared freedoms - which entails (intelligent but still difficult) political risks and people's hard work - and not by focussing on his supporters' hopes that he is some kind of racial saviour. Real political innovators are likely to be scapegoated to some significant degree (blamed for "deepening" the "crises" that make change necessary and hence possible); historians will recognize this in the case of Iraq, if it turns out that after the horror a new page has been turned there, one on which Obama finds his place.
He is indeed the first "African American" President, unlike the millions of other black Americans whose ancestors were here longer than millions of white Americans. By the time that there was a United States of America, most black Americans had never seen Africa and neither had their grandparents.
No doubt the race-hustling industry will continue, and no doubt their chief victims will be blacks, especially young blacks, who buy the paralyzing picture of victimhood and the counterproductive resentments which sap energies that could be better used to improve their own lives.
Now that we have the first black President of the United States, maybe we can move ahead to the time when we can forget about "the first" whatever to do what. There is too much serious work to do to spend more time on that.