Over the last year, people have analyzed the impact of the election of Barack Obama on the black community and America as a whole. Interestingly, many of the writers, journalists and pundits that have promulgated literature on this subject are not people of color and thus cannot accurately crystallize what Obama means to America or his impact on Africans of every descent.
Obama is not a savior. He’s a politician. The black community understands that. This is one of the misconceptions perpetuated in the media. Black people understand that Obama is an effective politician and they are not offended or delusional about it. However, this fact does not make Black people any less proud of him.
Another fallacy driven by the media is that his election now gives people of color a “belief that they can do anything they aspire to do”. The fact is that the black community never suffered from a “belief” deficiency. Blacks have always strongly believed in their ability and talents to reach the ultimate heights. The challenge for people of color has always been how to safely navigate the obstacles that are thrown their way in pursuit of their dreams.
America’s history is lined with examples of barriers being placed in front of black people when they reach for more than what the status quo handed them. From segregation to voter rights, people of color had to always break thru obstacles to taste their piece of the American dream. Today, many blacks still suffer from racial profiling and workplace discrimination. These hurdles act as controlling mechanism to keep them within a predetermined parameter.
Barack Obama saw his share of hurdles during the 2008 campaign. From Rev. Jeremiah Wright to issues about his birth certificate, he had to break the barrage of hurdles placed in front of him designed to cut-off his ascension to the highest office in the world. His effective navigation through those hurdles provided a blueprint for people of color. He demonstrated that no obstacle possesses the power to break an indomitable black spirit that is unwavering in its purpose.
This is the true lesson of Obama. His election taught us that any obstacle or hurdle placed in our path can be broken. His ascension to Leader of the Free World is proof that the innate dreams we hold secretly in our wombs can meet the challenges placed in front of it; no matter how enormous it may seem at the time.
We can break the barriers. We can live the dream. Barack showed us the way. All we have to do is follow.
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