Recent debates and commentaries publicly questioned whether a black man could be a leader for all people in the nation’s capital. Would inexperience hamper his role? There was no precedent. Would he be followed by a racially mixed society with historic divisions? Blacks had demonstrated their athletic abilities, but how about management, interpersonal politics? What basis was there to think he might make change happen after so long a time? Would rock-star fascination with the public translate into the leadership in the tough cauldron of reality?

This morning, Washington, D.C., was transformed by a black man, who has brought people together as never before. While the White House and Congress flounder at the “fiscal cliff,” Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III demonstrated that people follow and respect great leadership, regardless of race, and that hard and humble work can break down barriers and bring exciting results. 

Goldfarb is a Washington, D.C., based attorney, author and literary agent.