thrown into the mix
by alexbhill, Tue May 01, 2007 at 12:43:29 PM EDT
Previously posted on the Young People For Blog.
So many people ask: "Is the United States ready for it's first black president?" However I think the real question is, "Will the American people be prepared to recognize the differences that we all share?" The truth of the matter is that we won't have a `black' president if Barak Obama is elected. If Obama is elected he will carry on the great American tradition of presidents who are racially and ethnically mixed. The attempts to stamp our current society with the false vestiges of time will not do. Today is not as black and white as the televisions once used to be.
We can see and recognize color and be unified by it. The social construct of race has no place in today's political debates. No matter how hard the political pundits push, this issue of race should hold no bearing. Obama is born of a Kenyan father and a Caucasian American mother. Does this partial linkage to the African continent automatically connotate `blackness?' There have been numerous presidents who have had `black' heritages. How many people in America can claim to be purely of one racial or ethnic background?
For me the potential election of Obama represents a step towards progress. If Obama is elected he will be the missing voice of Americans. There are too many people who are marginalized and underserved by our current government. I believe Hillary Clinton said it best when she stated that our government is one of the few, for the few, and by the few. That is no longer acceptable in America where people continue to be left behind. I believe that the election of the first `black' president will bring a necessary change in the American government. Currently there is a vast representation of old, `white', and complacent politicians. Years ago some of those politicians fought for the American people and stood up for what they thought was right. Now these politicians look at the younger elected officials and tell them that they are wasting their time. Obama represents an underserved population of young and progressive Americans. If our politicians today are too old and unmotivated to stand up for what is right, then maybe it is time for them to step down.
The prospect of having a "first" black president is completely irrelevant in the 2008 election. We will not have a `black' president, we will have a president who will be more like us than we could ever imagine. The vast majority of people today come from a mixed racial and ethnic background. Many people do not feel served by their government, many people are displeased with their current politicians, and many people want what is best for everyone. The political spinners will use Obama's `blackness' to divide and create controversy, but really I see that minor aspect to be Obama's best attribute as we search for a leader who can pull America out of the ashes of a failed government.