Obama’s Win, Victory For American Democracy

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It was a win for patriots like Martin Luther King, John Lewis, Jesse Jackson Jr., Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer, Medger Evers, John Brown and so many others who fought, suffered and died, for equal rights and true justice, for all.

[Election 2008]

President-Elect Barack Obama fought the odds to become this nation’s first Black president.

Make no mistake about it; Obama’s win wasn’t only his. It was a win for what America can and should be: a country where people aren’t “judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

It was a win for patriots like Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, Jesse Jackson Jr., Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer, Medger Evers, John Brown and so many others who fought, suffered and died, for equal rights and true justice, for all.

Early on, I supported Senator Obama not just because his message sounded positive, or, that his skin was Black. I decided to support him for the following reasons: First of all, he ignited a grassroots revolution which echoes back to the days of Martin Luther King Jr.

Throughout this campaign, Obama proved that his time as a community organizer was time well spent. He spoke with a rare authenticity that mobilized and galvanized a cross-section of Americans, both Black and White, who were frustrated with the Beltway’s political process and its unproductive excesses. And it became quite clear that with his candidacy there was an opportunity to lead a political insurgency, with the help of Americans, against a corrupt entrenched Washington. His astounding landslide is ample proof of that; the Democrats rode his coattails to a clear majority in the Congress.

Then there is the question of race. It was evident because of Obama’s unique bi-racial background, along with his impeccable oratorical skills and his academic credentials that he could be a bridge to America’s intractable issue regarding race. Now, some are already making ridiculous statements about a “post-racial society” in America, because of Obama’s victory. Let’s be clear racism didn’t die on Tuesday night.  It was dealt a mighty blow and the unity that was shown by the younger generations of Blacks and whites portends positivity for future generations.

Then there is the powerful symbolism, for Blacks and Whites, of seeing a Black man in a position of leadership.  Now, as a student of history,  I am fully aware that Blacks have been leaders and  kings from the beginning of human history.  From the ancient kingdoms of Ta-Seti, Ethiopia, Egypt and Babylon; Black people were always at the forefront of early world civilization.

Greece and Rome studied those civilizations; and the great Greco-Roman philosophers, like Socrates, often travelled to North Africa to study geometry, astronomy, philosophy and all the sciences. Also, Rome had several indigenous Black-skinned African emperors, including the great Septimus Severus.

Through blind bigotry, that history has been hidden from both Blacks and whites. Consequently, there has been centuries long propaganda industry to promote alleged mental and spiritual inferiority of Blacks in order to justify economic exploitation and slavery.  Seeing a proficient President Obama does much to remove this false perception from young Blacks and Whites.

Now, some so-called liberals have been railing about the fact that President Obama isn’t progressive enough. This argument is getting wearisome. For,  these people fail to grasp the fact that the nation as a hold isn’t as progressive as we would like.  In the final analysis Obama is a pragmatic politician who wanted to win, and like it or not that means taking some “centrist” views.

I believe President Obama can be pushed to be even more progressive than his rhetoric.

In fact, isn’t it the people who always lead the politicians?  Isn’t this the larger message behind his historic win? So, my message to the “progressive” voices is to start battling more for the hearts and minds of the people so we can raise the collective consciousness of more Americans.  In that way, we can create a highly enlightened American populace and usher in an America that can finally live up to those lofty ideals enshrined in the Constitution.

Finally there is one more person we should thank: George W. Bush.  In 2004, several friends scolded me because I said that a second Bush term might be what the country needs to awake them.  Make no mistake about it;  the last eight years were just as responsible for President Obama’s win, as was the financial fallout on Wall Street and his own political skills.

Memo to Bush: please don’t wait until January to leave the White House.  Why don’t you start packing now and head to Texas? Couldn’t you be out by the end of the week?  Even after fumigation,  the stench in the White House will last for a long time.

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