How the tone changes...for Barack Obama
I don't know about you, but not once - other than the initial ground breaking moment at the DNC did my friends, the media, or I REALLY take in the fact that this was a "black man" that was being elected. I felt bad seeing all the papers depict his victory and overshadow a man of great character, great oratory abilities, and who really is a vision of hope as a race hero/story first and our next President second.
Would McCain's cover have said "Senior Citizen's rejoice as first man over 70 is elected and finally gives hope to the Geriatric community."? That's a stretch but I think you get my point. I don't see our new President as anything more than our next President. Media shouldn't try to continue to remind me that this race was won by race or that race was a huge issue... because honestly...I don't think it ever was.
The interviews in the last few days that I have seen on television have gone from the absurd Horatio Alger story to the downright ridiculous stereotypes that have started to be churned and heaped by the African community back on themselves.
"Now, we can become anything we want."
"Now, we have hope."
"This makes me think that I too can one day become president."
Those are very freightening statements about the America that was yesterday and the one that we have today. Was there no hope – 2 months ago? Is the new President really THE symbol for hope?
To me he has been a rallying point for all the disenfranchised but not as a symbol for their hope. For their hope is muddled in the ideology of smoke and mirrors. I keep trying to ask people what "change" they are hoping to see... and no one can seem to answer me. They only know that they rallied behind a figure/symbol that they believed in and their voice was heard.
President elect Obama is not a story of hope. It's rather delusional to think that %99.9 of America can identify with President elect Obama. If you happen to graduate from Harvard Law, marry a Harvard Lawyer, then Chicago Law etc... then maybe you can work your way up to "President". Else, aim to your abilities.
And this is not a black/white issue. This is an issue of how one man is portrayed as being something different than he is. He isn't a black man standing up and representing black America. He's my president. He's - despite his platform - the most energizing thing to happen to this country in my lifetime. At no point did I watch an address to America and almost cry before Tuesday night (save 9/11 maybe). At no point have I had so much anticipation to see what's next from someone who I actually believe can do the job for all of us.
I just wish his message to America would get out of the race mud puddle that it has started out in. I understand the importance. I can say that I understand what it means to African Americans, but I couldn't claim to actually understand. However, the most significant social issue in this country has ALWAYS been race. It is the one thing that has traditionally divided us since our inception as a nation. Let's move passed the issue of race and let our next President be everyone's great leader.