Saturday, February 28, 2009

Why Barack Obama Will Be An Outstanding President

If you readers wonder why I and other African-Americans have this rock solid faith that President Barack Obama will be an outstanding one, I'm about to let you in on a little cultural secret.

Over the last 400 years of African-descended people residing in the Americas, ugly stereotypes have been created and propagated about us that still persist to the present day. So in order to overcome the stereotypes that we are less intelligent, lazy, unpatriotic (well you get the drift), every African-American kid has had it drilled into us by our parents and elders that because of America's original (and continuing) sin of racism, it would never be enough for us to just meet expectations, we have to exceed them. We were taught that we have to be quicker, faster, better, smarter and more prepared than non-Blacks. We were also taught that if and when we get a job, we have to get it done right the first time.

That pressure only increased if you were the 'first Black' in a position. You not only had to excel for yourself, but were cognizant of the fact that the hopes and dreams of an entire people rested on your shoulders.

You were also aware that, rightly or wrongly, our people would be judged in some cases based on your behavior and performance. If you didn't do the job right, there might not be a second, third, fourth or 100th African-American following you and it might make it harder for other minorities to catch a break as well.

This shared cultural value is what we Black peeps zeroed in on as we examined Barack Obama's background and history. It's why as we learned more about the man, we enthusiastically warmed up to him as the primaries and eventually the 2008 campaign resulted in his historic election on November 4.

The last 43 occupants of the White House didn't enter it with that kind of pressure. He does.

When he took the oath of office January 20, he knew that he didn't have wiggle room to mess up, especially in light of the jacked up country his predecessor left him. He had to not only hit the ground running, but have an administration chock full of the best and brightest minds to help him. Thanks to the slimy, amoral and secretive way the last administration was run, it had to have people of high moral and ethical character as part of it.

The Obama administration has the equivalent of an electron microscope up its collective butt. In addition to dealing with white anxiety about what the Obama family living in the White House means for them, it's taking office during one of the worst financial crises since the Great Depression.

It will have the nattering negativity of Faux News chirping away over every perceived misstep. It cannot afford to have scandals, inefficiency, waste or unethical behavior. It will be held to a much higher standards than the previous grossly inept one.

But to his credit, he wants and has said repeatedly he wishes to be held accountable for his performance while he's there for the next four to eight years. He has the temperament, the education, the political skills, the intelligence and the communications skills to be a great president.

Note I didn't say 'potentially'. I have the confidence to say that he WILL be a great president. If we were going to have a first Black president I like my African descended brothers and sisters wanted him or her to be the best and brightest member of our community.

Hopefully at the end of his second term, the nation will be lamenting the fact that we couldn't elect him to a third term.


Bunny said...

I voted for Obama, but I fear for him greatly. We are in deep doo-doo when it comes to the economy because of past policies. I'm not sure anyone can fix it, and very fearful that no matter what he does, Obama is going to get left holding the bag, the same way Jimmy Carter did at the end of his presidency.

Dennis R. Upkins said...

Thank you for writing this. You eloquently put into words what I've been saying for years about the pressures placed upon blacks.

I'll be cross-posting this to my blog.

Thank you.

Monica Roberts said...

I and other African-Americans happen to think he can.

The fear I and many of us have is that some idiots going to try to kill him before he's had a chance to finish the very important and critical reforms needed to turn this country away from failed conservative policies.

Bunny said...

Well, Monica, here's for hoping both or our fears are unfounded!

Ms☆Go said...

Absolutely, outstanding assessment.