I feel as though today was perfect timing for this blog. I truly intended to talk about something else, but a special on the History channel compelled me to talk about something else. While the 15th of January is the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., today we celebrate in a holiday. This fact along with the History Channel program entitled “The 44th President : In His Own Words” inspired my thoughts for today. My thoughts on the coolest President in my lifetime.
When It Began
I remember when the election was happening the first time. The polls were packed. It was somewhat of a phenomenon. It took several hours to vote. I was even allowed to arrive to work late to ensure I was able to cast my vote. This vote had become so important to so many people. People like my parents. My mom who often told stories of the National Guard rolling down the streets of Detroit, basically killing at will. And having a license to do so. My father telling me of the Vietnam War and explaining how it felt to return to an America that barely wanted them here to begin with. My grandfather who passed away before seeing America’s first black president told me stories about World War II and how he had dropped out of school to help his family in the third grade. A time when education was not a part of the equation. Working the fields would become primary goals for those who were fortunate enough to be sharecroppers. This election meant the most to people like them. People who had realized the ideals of martin Luther King Jr., but grew weary waiting to see something they believed were the results of so many lives lost. So many lives sacrificed for the betterment of not only black people, but everyone in America. The plight of the black man should never be overlooked, but the overall importance for us all to find a way to co-exist in the same frame is just as prevalent. President Obama seemed to symbolize that ideal. And thus because of this appeal, voters raced to the poll and hoisted our very first black president into the White House.
My President is Black
Jeezy made a song called “My President is Black” several months before President Obama was actually elected. However the foreshadowing of his song and the high ambition of his words mirrored that of most. In all honesty, the black community was intrigued by the fact that we may be on the verge of having our first black president. However, more importantly, we finally had a candidate that we believed in. I think for so many elections, including the few I was old enough to participate in prior to his election, we were forced to pick the lesser of two evils. This is a selection process that all but surely predetermines unfavorable outcomes. The fact remains that even if you get the one you voted for into office, it has already been decided that the two candidates are essentially beneath our approval. One is just not as far down. In theory it makes sense. In real life it’s a recipe for disaster. Yet, in 2008 we had found our first candidate that we had not thought of as a lesser of two evils, but a great choice to be president.
Now after eight years mixed with many opinions, it almost saddens me to see the first family leave. It could possibly be because of what a Trump presidency may bring. Although I am not truly convinced that the president himself has much power, it still somewhat frightens me what Trump might do with the limited power he does have. Especially when you consider the cabinet he is surrounding himself with. However, aside from that, I see my dream leaving the White House. I, myself, never had aspirations of being president, but many have had them. Many have been told that they can be anything they put their minds to doing. He was a symbolic gesture of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus. He was a symbolic gesture of Martin Luther King Jr., marching though Salem and then Washington. A symbolic gesture that allows us to live our own dream. Not the American Dream…but our dream. Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.