Today’s date is Friday, November 7, 2008
Let me preface all this by saying that for a long time I have been completely detached from
Accordingly, I do not believe in the American political process with its Electoral College system. I honestly believe that there are powers that be, higher and more powerful than the president who ultimately decide who takes that office. I do not know how they make their decisions but I suspect it has to do with protecting their own interest, namely their money, their power and their influence. Why bother with making people vote then? Well, the
So fast forward to now. From the beginning, I was not overly impressed with Mr. Obama. I’m a confirmed cynic so his message of hope and coming together really did not faze me at all. I am not into lofty language and charisma. I am into substance. So I was not overly impressed choosing instead for Mr. Obama to show me his substance, i.e. concrete plans and ideas that would perhaps lead this country to a turn around. To be sure, I was not looking for a Black messiah to heal all the wrongs that racist Whites (active racist and those who refuse to dismantle White supremacy). I never believed that was what Mr. Obama’s goal should have been so I was not disappointed that he didn’t set forth a plan for Black people. I think that needs to be perfectly clear. He clearly stated his goals, which was to unite this country. Of course, the cynic in me realizes that no one man can unite this hugely and wildly divided country. It always seemed a bit disingenuous to me, that at this time when people are really suffering under the Bush administration, to come with that message. But it was brilliant. People needed to hear it. I watched folks dazed under that message . . . screaming, “Yes We Can!” And all I asked myself is “How?”
I often wonder why now is the appointed time for a Black person to be named president (I use the term Black loosely because Mr. Obama is actually half-Black and half-White—he is not African-American either so I think if I were AA that would detract a bit from my elation). Is it because the powers-that-be are more than happy to let him take over a sinking ship? Do they see something and know something that the average person doesn’t know? Are they about to do something to ensure that the ship goes down while Obama is at the helm?
Another joyful declaration that I have been hearing is that Obama will give Black children a shining example of what they can be, a great alternative to rappers and basketball players. The problem is that the media and even Black people are still treating Obama as an exception to the rule, an anomaly. The media is insidious about it because they attribute his success to the fact that he is half White (of course, they don’t say it but they don’t have to). Black people show just how damaged our self-image is because we seem to buy into the idea that the well-educated, wealthy, well-to-do, intact Black family is indeed a rarity. Again, now, we can aspire to be all that because we have seen that it can be done. I say that the reason why so many Black children aspire to be basketball players and rappers is simply because they see so many—there is the belief that it can be done (even though the likelihood based on probability and straight numbers is small), it is something normal. Young people look at Young Jeezy and Allan Iverson and see folks who came from right where they are right now. If our educational system stays the way it is, if we as Black people don’t take more responsibility for our children’s education, there is just no way that becoming an Obama will be a realistic aspiration for our children even if he is the first Black president of these
Look, it will be wonderful when I’m teaching my children about the
So, yes, I voted for Obama. I wasn’t trying to make history. I wasn’t trying to make sure I see the first Black president. I was voting in hopes that there would be a landslide victory too large for anyone to reasonably steal without some serious uproar. I was voting in hopes that the election just would not be stolen again. I wholeheartedly believe that if the country was flying high and everything was peachy keen, McCain would be in office today. In my opinion, the hands of many White people were forced because self-interests/survival trumped racism. We are undeniable on the brink if not in the throes of the 2nd Great Depression. Oh, but you better believe that Mr. Obama will be held to the highest of high standards. It is over the next few years that we will see just how racist this country is and can be. I do not think for a minute that real, fundamental, psychological change has come to racists in
I voted for Obama because he is a change. He is a change that happens to have a Black face. To me, he is not the Black face that represents change. I would have voted for any Democrat or any body willing to try something different than what Bush and his administration has been doing. I am expecting this democratic administration to do better for the common folks (as this has been the trademark of the Democrats since FDR) than a republican administration. In other words, I voted the democratic ticket. The bonus is that the democrat is Black.
So what would really make me excited? Oh, I’d be very excited to see a Black leader of any Black nation revolutionizing his/her country, bringing his/her country right into the first world. I’d be excited to see that leader breaking down corruption, stimulating his/her nation’s economy, providing food, medical care, education, basic infrastructure. I’d be excited to see that change. That would give me a huge self-esteem boost. It would require not kowtowing to White folks. It would require blatantly defying White folks. It would require just not giving one good damn about what White folks think. It would require complete self-interest and a commitment to self-determination at all costs. It would require fierce defense of self. I would be proud and excited to see that.
As for the here and now,
As for the here and now,I’ll get excited about Obama after 4 years and seeing the change actually here. I’ll get excited when words turn into action.
Right now, I’m cautiously reserved relishing hearing some of these right-wing conservative seethe and sulk now that a
nigger Black man is in office. They’re doing all they can to keep from shouting “damn it!” while on the air. (Tee-hee, tee-hee . . . take that!)