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Monday, November 03, 2008

Blacks' dreams will come true. Then what?

This morning's Laura Washington column from the Sun-Times.
'This is a time that even folks of my generation have never seen before," says Timuel Black.
Black has seen many a lifetime from his lifelong perch on Chicago's South Side. The revered scholar, historian, political activist and grass-roots intellectual turns 90 on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Day. He was born and raised in Bronzeville, the historic and iconic heart of black Chicago.

He is my most reliable barometer of what thoughtful African Americans are saying. I caught up with by phone last week. He had just returned home after voting early for You Know Who.

So what will black folks be thinking as Sen. Barack Obama seals the deal -- to become America's first black president?

Black -- and every African American he knows -- desperately wants Obama to win. "Barack is the best that America has to offer," he says.

He notes that the senator's saga -- born and bred in Hawaii and Indonesia, schooled in the Ivy League, a life of relative privilege -- is not shared by the preponderance of American blacks. "He has a different experience."

Indeed. Blacks must tamp down their sky-high expectations. Obama is running to become president of the world. We must learn to share.

By necessity, he has run a post-racial campaign. "To be a good president, you first have to be president," said Black, professor emeritus of social sciences at the City Colleges of Chicago. "I am not being derogatory, but explanatory."
Check out the conclusion:
African Americans -- and a lot of other people -- better hunker down for some disappointment. Their hero is already getting fitted for the economic and political straitjacket he'll wear for the next four years. The Middle East wars will rage on and that shiny piggy bank known as the U.S. Treasury will be busted. As black folks always say, when they let us take over, you know things are pretty dire.

One thing Obama has going for him: He will look stupendous compared with the current occupant of the White House. Incompetent predecessors present propitious opportunities.

So how will he govern? Turn on the tube and watch the conservative pundits sniff: It goes something like "America is a center-right nation, but Obama will surely govern from the left." He will inevitably overreach and fail, they cackle. They are gleefully awaiting the fall.


I've always said this. I haven't always rooted for him but I think he might have made it easier for any future Black candidate for President of the United States to ascend to not only a major party nomination, but also to the Presidency itself. I'm still not sold on if he is the one, but that's one way I try to look at it.

And I wonder what these sky-high expectations are? Over a year ago a friend of mine and I said that perhaps it's not good politics to stick it to "whitey". That's what some Blacks are oriented towards have this overwhelming since of righteousness while at the same time expecting them to bow down is unreasonable.

Also it might be unreasonable for Obama to govern as if he's the President of Black America. The Presidency of the United States has a much more broader constituency. Always has I doubt that all citizens in the history of this nation was only White Anglo Saxon Protestants.

I'm sure the sky-high expectations will draw many different ideas. What might you think?

2 comments:

Carolyn said...

I'd love to see a black president, but I have a litmus test and it mostly concerns my freedom from government! Barack just doesn't cut it.

knowitall said...

Will it matter if dreams come true when we are set back by the left-wing illuminati? We have to get this country back up to standards, and that has nothing to do with making dreams come true.

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