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Mr. President

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The unlikely event in our life time has come to past. The United States of America and its citizenry have voted in large numbers to entrust the leadership of the nation to an unlikely individual -a man, who less than 50 years ago would not had the rights to participate in the idealism of democracy. 

At approximately 11:04 pm on November 4th, 2008, this man, Barack Obama, became President-Elect of the United States of America. This was a choice made by 53% of the voting body and by an overwhelming electoral victory -365 of the available 538; an unprecedented feat, since the target number was 270.

This clearly signifies a true embodiment of change -as was the theme of his campaign.  Barack Obama argued relentlessly for 21 months that he represented change. Though, many would have seen, heard and even believed Obama's argument -of change, from many different prisms, I argue that the real change will not be measured on the basis of policies or tangible national or global actions (though not to speak little of these forthcoming policies and actions), but that the measure of this change will be on the psychological impact of the idea of his election. 

Allow me to strengthen my argument on this psychological impact. 

Obama is a black man. Though he is of a multi-racial pedigree -a white mother and a black father, if the circumstances were different and if he were of lesser influence then current, he surely would be recognized as a black man with no reservation. This is based on the very definition of one's racial identity as defined by these United States of America -"The One Drop Rule, meaning that a single drop of black blood makes a person black". In this respect, Obama is black! This explanation is necessary because there are those who argue that technically Obama is not black because of his multi-racial make-up.

Now, with an understanding of the nearly half of a millennium history of blacks in America, we thus can understand the significance for the need to perpetuate the marginalization of blacks. This history which starts with the barbaric capture of Africans; then with the transatlantic voyage and arrival to Jamestown in 1619; to the slave capitalism in the Americas which sold these captured Africans as subhuman properties for the slave labor -a labor force that was to carve the proverbial stones that is the foundation of this nation. 

In the end, this system and its gatekeepers managed to psychologically deplete the character of blacks; this, on the pretext that blacks were of an inferior breed. This idea has since been impregnated in the minds of many in this world -to include blacks themselves. It is an idea that is commonly and subliminal thought of as "the stigma of blackness"; whereas, ignorance, laziness, anger, violence, incompetence, ugliness and many other stereo-typical social ills are directly associated with those of the black race. This has been an idea -or strategy, that has literally crippled a group of people for over 389 years. It is rightly what I call one of the greatest psychological tyrannies in human history. Alas, this has been the condition under which those of black heritage -to include those of mix racial make-up- have existed. To this, we have our brethren of the colonial powers to thank. 

To the point of the historical event of November 4th, 2008, the election of Barack Obama, (a man who is of the group described above) as the leader of the very nation that has for nearly 400 years, stripped -with great success- all those that look like him of any existentialism; indeed, will forever be one of the greatest moment in the history of this nation and most importantly of the world. It marks the great turning point where a clear acknowledgement of the creed that is the bedrock in the birth of this nation -" We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". Furthermore, this event is a symbolic utterance that maybe the idea of "the stigma of blackness" -that has been perpetuated since those early days, 389 years ago- either no longer exists or was in fact untrue. For such belief could not be true, yet elect one who is purported to epitomize such characteristics to be the leader of that very system. This symbolic utterance, I believe to have its physical representation as the psychological impact to which I earlier referred. 

In an article entitled "Obama vs Clinton and McCain: an epochal contention" (6/01/08), I made the argument that should Obama be elected president of the United States of America, the world's most powerful and wealthiest country, the reverberating message world wide would be exponentially powerful and positive; inasmuch, that the world would see that America -with her many past ills, has embarked on a real road of change with the potential of living-up to her true greatness. Even more substantially, the image which Obama represents -that of a black man and of the black race- would begin to be seen in a different prism. Consequently, this new revelation would provide hope -from a psychological standpoint- to a group of people who have been marginalized for nearly 400 years. Caution, this is in no way to suggest that the nation's entrenched predispositions of fear, prejudice injustice, inequality and hatred will magically disappear, but that a seed of hope would have been planted, so that the many I believe to need that little bit of help can begin to think, see and even react to things differently, thus being constructive, rather than deconstructive -as many of us have been. 

The task is Herculean. Barack Obama has now become the "Atlas" of our today - the metaphorical bearer of the weight of our world. Upon him rest the hopes and expectations of many. But it is important that all of us understand that such expectations and hopes are unattainable unless we do our part to therefore bring about the change that is so desperately needed. Barack Obama has inspired and given hope to many. His success in convincing over 66 million Americans to entrust him with the presidency was the first step. In subsequent, those of us who dwell on the peripherals of either the leftist or the rightist isms should begin to move closer to the center. Those of us who fear "the others" -as in those that are different from us, should begin to develop a greater surplus of empathy; for in truth, we are all in it together.

In the preceding respect, I hold to be true -irrespective of any-one's political philosophy, that the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America is a victory for humanity; such a victory is critical, as we continue our quest for a more perfect society! 

 

 

Last Updated ( Monday, 25 May 2009 19:20 )  
Comments (2)
2 Friday, 15 May 2009 04:46
mbarandao
Great questions! Your pondering thoughts are quite stimulating and set the stage for great discussions. 
1 Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:24
iscottm2
In response, I'm inspired to think outloud not in conclusion but in speculation about how advantageous Baracks victory really is, and about the role of the "stigma of blackness."
Do you think whites who have authority will say that since we have a black president, blacks are "caught up" now to where we would have been had oppression not taken place, and then begin to reduce whatever compensation/help we do receive?  
For example, they may say that since we have a black president, we don't need affirmative action anymore.  Even Barack himself is against affirmative action based on race, which hurts blacks because educationally (which trickles into finance), most blacks are still feeling the effects of oppression --- most blacks who go to college now are the first in their family to do so because of oppression, and they certainly don't have all the years of Harvard and Yale legacy and the connections and money that go with it, like the whites.  Nor are they raised by educated parents, and stats show that that would increase the likelihood of success.  Also, black parents who did not attend college are less likely to stress the idea of education.  Most black homes don't even have computers.  What can you do nowadays without a computer?  In many cases, you cannot do homework assignments without them.  Yeah, there are libraries, but a lot of kids might get shot on the way there, so they avoid going. 
Blacks are far from building the generations of educational & financial success and stability that whites have, and electing Barack instead of Clinton may have jeopardized blacks' progress in that arena.  Barack believes in affirmative action based on class but that's not why affirmative action was created in the first place.  It was made for blacks to catch up, and to get rid of it is to advocate the seemingly outrageous notion that in just 40 years, we have somehow made up for what held us back for 400 years.  Many blacks don't have a pot to piss in nor a window to throw it out of, which is far from 40 acres & a mule.  Blacks who would be denied affirmative action based on class are still not caught up to whites, so even if blacks have money, they are not "caught up." 
Another thought...the districts were drawn up to make it more likely for black congressmen to get elected.  Now they are moving to change that because they say Barack's situation "proves" that people will vote for blacks and that we don't need that redistricting anymore.  Now it seems black congressmen have to worry about their jobs and blacks have to worry about representation.  But maybe not.
Barack's election does help certain things and does give hope, but maybe it is more detrimental than helpful overall.  Maybe Clinton, with her connections, resources, knowledge, and experience could have done more for blacks than Obama at this time, and maybe a black president would've been more gainful at some other point within the next 20 years.  People downplay Barack's lack of experience, but he was only a senator for a small number of days before his presidential campaign (during which one is too busy to do much and gain experience as a senator), so after a few days as a senator he's supposed to be ready to be in charge of millions of people?  Could blacks have voted too much based on the emotion behind having a black president, as opposed to voting based on knowledge of the issues and the candidates' abilities to solve them?  How many blacks voted for Obama without having sufficient knowledge of any of the issues?  Was Clinton a better equipped to deal with current black issues and did those emotional voters hurt blacks somehow? How many blacks did not vote before, but voted this time just to have a black president? 
People have become hopeful due to Barack's victory, but maybe the hope can be blinding and have a reverse effect. For example, a black person said publically that around whites, she used to feel behind as a black person and like she had to work extra to catch up.  But now, she doesn't feel like that anymore because we have a black president and she can tauntingly say "haha, we have a black president."  So now she is more relaxed about the entire problem when in reality, her financial and educational situation has not changed, and she is just as far behind whites today as she was the day before the election. 
People gain hope, which is advantageous, but can that hope cause too many people to lay back from the problem too much, thinking that more was solved than actually was?  Could that end up causing more harm than good? 
I am inclined to think that the election is not a "symbolic utterance that the idea of 'the stigma of blackness' either no longer exists."  One example is all the police brutality that still takes place and shows up on the news, and also police who unjustly kill blacks.  It would be hard for you to find a black who doesn't feel something extra when pulled over by the police. 
Also, why do officials still unnecessarily move black people's criminal trials to places where the crime didn't even take place just because the locations have all white juries in order to increase the likelihood of conviction?  I think it would be hard to come across a black who would feel comfortable having to face an all white jury without feeling some stigma.  
Why couldn't Barack pick a black vice president?  I'm sure he felt stigmas that would make him uncomfortable doing so if he felt a black was the best candidate.  Maybe stigmas still exist in situations like these, and maybe in some sense, I am talking about slightly different types of stigmas than the one Mossa mentioned initially...
In light of Mossa's idea about true happiness being internal rather than coming from external sources, I am tempted to ponder the possibility that the issue of racial/flesh consciousness is insignificant.  Is the racial issue external or are all humans one shared being in a sense that makes racial consciousness disruptive to the internal source of happiness Mossa refers to?  Can one reach true happiness and "self-liberation" even when the current racial consciousness issues exist around him?  If so, does that mean the race issue actually does not matter? 
In his book and in his article in the Religion category on this site, has Mossa actually solved the racial consciousness issue for blacks by identifying an accessible psychological zone of "liberation" from it and a doable method of reaching that zone?  If we improve our psyche so that we achieve and maintain true happiness/contentment/"liberation" and therefore do not feel effects of an external issue, should we still try and fix that external issue?  If we don't feel effects, is it technically not an issue?   
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