Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's Official: Barack Obama is the President of the United States!

It’s a done deal. Barack Obama has officially broken the ultimate color barrier in politics. With Obama’s historic presidential victory the flood gates are now officially opened to the White House.

One of my favorite CD’s is Sam Cooke’s Greatest Hits. When Obama sealed the deal in becoming the first African American president of the United States it reminded me of my favorite song on Cooke’s CD titled, “A Change is Gonna Come.” The lyrics state: “It’s been a long, a long time coming but I know a change gonna come. Oh yes it will.”

Though Cooke’s song was made in 1964 his lyrics certainly ring true today.

African Americans historically have triumphed despite racism and a lack of societal inclusion. Obama’s journey surely hasn’t been absent of obstacle. Despite the Clinton’s antics, a biased media, and threats on his life Obama was the last man standing. Obama just kept his eye on the ball and took care of business.

I view Obama’s run at political glory as an extension of history because nothing in life stays the same. To me Obama is the Jackie Robinson of politics. There was a time whites didn’t want African Americans playing Major League baseball-Robinson’s presence in 1947 changed that. Robinson integrated Americas’ favorite sport which planted the initial seeds for society to one day follow suit. Now Obama holds the keys to the White House for other aspiring African Americans to one day reside.

It’s vital to understand history to properly appreciate what’s going on before our eyes. Though Obama is the first African American to be the man he’s had a lot help. I think Obama’s accomplishment isn’t about a man making history: it’s more about those who paved the way which allowed for history to be made.

Obama’s presidential run is like running a relay. Too often the person who crosses the finish line gets the glory. Obama just crossed the finish line and he should get the glory: but if you look at the historical development of this country Obama is simply running his leg of his leg of the race.

In the 1960’s Malcolm X wanted to liberate the minds of African Americans. He suggested African Americans should stake claims to ones civil and human rights. Malcolm X thought no one should take away something that’s supposed to be already yours. His leg of the race ended when he was slain in 1965.

Also, in the 1960’s Martin Luther King introduced America to his dream. He wanted a society filled with love and harmony. King ascended when African American churches were being bombed, citizens were sprayed with fire hoses, and stripped of their rights. King’s leg of the race was sadly derailed when he slain in 1968.

Democrat Shirley Chisholm ran her leg of the race when she became the first African American to run for president in 1972. She knew she wasn’t a serious threat to win but she had to run her leg of the race. She ran because, "in spite of hopeless odds, to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo."

Civil Rights activist Jesse Jackson ran for president in 1984 and 1988. Like Chisholm he wasn’t expected to win but Jackson’s leg of the race further opened the door cracked open by Chisholm.

Obama also stands of the shoulders of many nameless warriors who sacrificed their lives throughout history. Obama stands on the shoulders of slaves who endured bitter cruelties to survive in America. He stands on the shoulders of activists, both African American and white, who gave up their lives fighting in every major American war. He also stands on the shoulders of those nameless African Americans who were attacked by whites while protesting and sprayed with fire hoses in the streets during the Civil Rights Movement.

Now Obama has ascended to finally walk through the door so many had a hand in opening. In the future someone else will raise the bar even higher and America will be better for it. We should enjoy what we are witnessing but also acknowledge the sacrifices others have made that’s’ allowing Obama to do his thing.

As Sam Cooke’s lyrics beautifully state, “It’s been a long time coming but I know a change gonna come. Oh yes it will.”

Obama’s presence surely demonstrates a change has finally arrived.

1 comment:

Code Blue Schools said...

This is truly a victory for our nation. And you are right Dexter. Obama shares this victory with all those courageous individuals who have walked before him to pave the way.

Susan Mol