CINCINNATI — A former Cincinnati NAACP president said Inauguration Day is about so much more than political affiliation; it's about coming together as a nation.
Paul Booth shared his experience of attending several inaugurations as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to be sworn in on Wednesday. Booth, who attended the inaugurations of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, said the moment in history should be about unity and togetherness.
Biden’s Inauguration Day will be marked by heightened security and political tension, as it comes weeks after President Donald Trump supporters violently breached the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the election. Five people were killed.
Despite the unprecedented conditions, Booth said, the historical significance of a presidential transition remains the same. Still, he said watching the National Guard take to the streets of Washington D.C. was alarming.
Booth said it is imperative to bring healing to Black Americans when it comes to the pandemic and disparities in health care, the criminal justice system and economic equity. He said he hopes Americans can look past political affiliation and use the day as a moment to walk forward together.
"I really hope that all citizens will watch and it will be a time for pause, it will be a time for reflection, and a time for deciding that, at this point, we've got to move forward. Because the other option ... is to stand still or to move backwards,” Booth said.
Although Booth cannot attend Biden’s inauguration in person, he and his family will watch the inauguration together on Zoom.