Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It's More Than Just Black Or White

There's so much more to the story of Barack Obama than the emergence of the first viable "black" candidate for President. Whether he gets the nomination and eventually the Presidency or not, be sure that this man will be in the public eye for some time to come.

He represents more vividly than anyone before a segment of the great American melting pot coming into their own. There have been the movements led by Martin Luther King, Jr, at the high end and the Louis Farrakhans at a lesser level who have impacted the status of black society. More powerful than the movements, now, are the individuals of that society. Those who have accepted challenge, taken the road less traveled and made their way to success in a society in which they are a minority.

Look at Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. Look at faces familiar to all of us who watch the news. Russ Mitchell, Lester Holt, Gwen Ifill, The Weather Channel's Paul Goodloe and Vivian Brown; political well knowns such as Donna Brazile and Harold Ford, Jr. They are all of African American heritage. They are well educated and articulate. They are, as individuals, the "movement" of today exemplefied by their success.

They did not achieve by wearing their pants around their knees, caps 24/7 and piercings in every conceivable part of their anatomy. They did not achieve by speaking "hip hop" or whatever they call it. They did not achieve by calling self indulgence "culture". They looked at what it took for anyone to achieve success and patterened everything about themselves after it. It worked. It will work for anyone, no matter what their ethnic background, religion or gender.

The emergence of Obama is made more significant, perhaps, because the blacks have been the down trodden the longest. He, his wife, those I've mentioned and so many more have traded the cloak of victimism for the crown of success.

Who better to be the standard bearer than a man who is neither "black" nor "white" but rather a healthy, verifiable pairing of both?

1 comment:

Big O said...

After watching old Teddy make his endorsement for Obama, I think Obama may have come out with the short end of the stick.