Given the history of race relations in this country I find it 100% absurd that black Americans are often silently requested to mute their pride in America’s first black president. At the same time we’re also asked to ignore the fact that every president before him was white and male. God bless America and it’s bottomless self-denial. God bless America’s blissful ignorance that allows people to ignore the air of bitterness, resentment, and out right hatred have supposedly has nothing to do with the color of our president’s skin.
I refuse to hold my tongue a second longer. The fact that Barack Obama is our president and black at the same time does my heart good. Something that was deemed a mission impossible that quite frankly I’d given up hope of ever seeing happen, happened in 2008. I was proud of our country’s ability to galvanize behind someone that more closely represented what we’re supposed to be as a nation, and it’s tragic that some don’t see it that way.
As much as I disliked George Bush, I never hated him. I never wished ill on him. Did I question his decision making skills? Yes. Did I or anyone I knew for that matter create racist bumper stickers lobbying against his re-election … No.Well, wait. I’d have to be in a position of power or a member of a dominating majority, thus enabling me to withhold certain rights and privileges from another group to in fact be “racist”. So umm no, couldn’t have done that effectively if I’d tried … moving on.
There is a dialogue about race that bubbles under the surface of this country that longs to be had. That erupts in groups like the Tea Party that call for a return to the America of our “Forefathers” who may I remind, grew this country on the backs of slaves. It’s the continued perpetuation of falsehoods about President Obama’s nationality and what religion he practices. Really? Like any of that nullifies that he’s probably one of the most intelligent presidents this country has had and that his story and that of his wife are walking interpretations of the “American Dream”.
The story of blacks in America is a story among many thousands of stories about people who endure adversity around the world. It begins and ends with race for black people in America. Period. To deny the story of race in America would be like Jews denying the holocaust. We would never dream of asking Jews to forget the atrocities of the holocaust, so why then does it seem within reason to ask that blacks in America forget, deny or (my favorite) “get over racism” when it penetrates every facet of our lives? You don’t see it? Then there’s a great chance you’re not black.
My race is not ALL that I am, but it has played a major role in making me who I am. Why am I playing the race card? Because it is the card I was dealt, and dammit we have to play the hand we are dealt. Barack and Michelle Obama played the hell out of theirs and they inspire me to achieve despite any circumstances that are in my way. That lesson applies across race, creed, sexual preference, physical ability, you name it … it applies. Republican or Democrat you can’t deny that.
Barack Obama’s success can be our success as a country. We as a nation have to “call a spade a spade” when it comes to the underlying rage displayed by so many at the mere mention of the Obama name. We’re better than this. We must allow ourselves the opportunity to see the significance of who Barack Obama is and what his story means outside of our feelings one way or the other about his politics. And after that damn speech Willie Clinton laid down, I don’t know about you, but I am FIRED UP and READY TO GO!!! I’m ready to believe, like a five year old in the tooth fairy, that this country can be a nation united.