New Age, New Era: A Black President

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 6:47 am

page2obama For as long as I shall live, will I remember where I stood on November 4th, 2008. I will remember how I clenched my teeth as I flipped through news stations that reported different electoral vote winnings. Forever will I remember seeing the smile of a man whose visage reflects my own and who stood proud before a country he was destined to lead. And I will always remember the moment in history that will change American society-whether she’s prepared or not.

When I watched the celebrations around the world as people celebrated a deserved victory, I was speechless. What could I say that would express the joy that enveloped me at that momentous time? What could I say that would equate the humongous sigh of relief I felt? What words could compare to the amount of honor I felt for the hundreds of ancestors who died and fought so that one day something of this magnitude could happen? There are no words to match this triumph and I’m thankful for the silence. The silence has helped me to examine the enormity of Obama’s success, not just for himself but others alike.

There are many citizens that have worked earnestly to erase this day in history and all that accompanies it. One element that can not be erased is the ethnicity of the president-elect. I hate to burst the bubble but, let’s face it…This is a race thing. It’s a race thing because as soon as Obama mentions the melanin in his skin, he’s accused of playing the race card. It’s a race thing because as soon as Obama announced his intent to campaign, that’s all media agencies could talk about. It’s a race thing because for the millions of voters who voted for Obama, there are millions who did not-because of his race. Understand that in a nation where the idea of race and status was birthed, we can not escape those histories.

What we can do is be proud of a nation that, amidst all of its transgressions, elects someone who they truly believe can get the job done. We can be proud of a black man who has not lived up to the emasculating stereotypes of the media rather he has exceeded some of our wildest dreams. We can be hopeful that he will make such a deep impression on American politics and the folks up in Washington that they’ll name a building after him. We can believe in the promise for a better tomorrow and devote ourselves to doing our part. After all, politics is supposed to be about the people.

While we count down the glorious days until Bush is out of town and back in the Lone Star state, many of us can only imagine the perils that Obama will face in the coming months, days and years. If he chooses the wrong dog for little Sasha, he’ll never hear the end of it. If Malia matures during their time at the White House, the world will speculate on her future. And if Obama does not live up to the expectations set before him, the world will not forgive him. For the sake of young Black Americans who live in the age of racism 2.0, where we are asked to be more “Obama-like”, pushing our blackness aside to please our threatened white counterparts, we need him to be the change. We hope that he does not bring more shame to a group that for centuries lived beneath a permanent cloak of such. We hope most off all that the next president, Barack Obama, just proves us all right.


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