Obama: How Long? Not Long

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[On The Spot]

President Barack Obama did not do anything different while running, other than being himself – Obama.

Let’s recap the journey as we cap it with his inauguration.
Those who feared change were using the usual political ugly tactics to play on the voters’ minds by injecting racism into the political process.

From the beginning of his campaign, Obama spoke directly to the people first and delivered the same message all the way to victory. "It is the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled," he declared, in one of his deliveries. He said Americans "sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals who are a collection of red states and blue states, we are and always will be the United States of America."

It is like trying on a new pair of shoes; you do not know how they are going to feel until you try them on and begin to take a few steps. There was a lot to take from Obama’s presidential journey. The late August Wilson’s Broadway play, "Radio Golf," last year was right on time, an African American running for president under the slogan, "Hold me to it."

There were several other symbolic reflections from the artistic arena last year.

Oprah Winfrey’s early endorsement of Obama was huge and I wonder if she had her Broadway play, "The Color Purple," in mind? And the Robert Eisele movie "The Great Debaters," hit the big screen giving many the understanding of what African Americans went through at the historically Black Wiley College and it was literally replayed in the election.

Then the endorsement by Caroline Kennedy swayed many voters. She said Obama moved her in the same way that President John F. Kennedy had.

Millions of people felt what candidate Obama was talking about during the campaign trail; they were living it as well. Despite Hillary Clinton’s disparaging comments, Obama was speaking more than "just words," he was speaking the truth. The kinds of truth voters were not accustomed to hearing; the words resonated.

I personally did not need a curtain on the voting booth on November 4. Obama laid out democracy very clear. The pundits, mainstream media, and hate talk radio hosts tried to create their own election poll, which did not reflect reality. The voters would not be brainwashed this time. Not this time.

I can hear the famous speech given by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as he asked and answered his own questions, "How long? Not long!"

As January 20th approached, a day, which still seems a million years away, it does feel good to know we are now going to have a president in the White House who was put there to lead, by the people and for the people.

It feels good to know how millions of Americans stepped up to register for the first time to make a change and get back our democracy from the control of a hand full of billionaires and millionaires.

This was not by far an African American race; it was a contest for all Americans.

There was no doubt in my mind listening to the ugly and divisive utterances of the GOP’s front runners and the policies that they were putting forward that Obama had to be our next president, hands down. The country is at war and the economy has hit rock bottom; we’ve been there before and we are going to have to get ourselves out of this mess together.

Let’s not listen to those who would diminish Obama’s victory by saying it was merely on account of the poor state of the economy; we all know there is much more here to deal with.

Let’s give Obama, his campaign management team, and the four million volunteer workers their just dues because they earned it. Voters who did the right thing did not allow themselves to be sucked into the same old fear and racial tricks that get played every election; these tactics had always worked in the past.

We are living in rough times. We’ve been doing so for some time now.

When Obama takes the helm our problems will not go away that night, nor will they go away within the year; they may not go away during his first presidential term. However, we can rest assured there will be a president in the White House who will be thinking about the future, thinking about the people on Main Street, and the ones sleeping on the streets as well. Obama will be thinking of ways to connect with the families across this great land and unite Americans so as to deal with the problems collectively.

If a wish could be fulfilled, I would want to see Obama, once he’s in the White House form a special task force of 500 accountants and follow the Bush Administration’s money trail, line by line, and check by check, until every dollar spent on the Iraqi war and elsewhere is accounted for.

Any former members of the Bush government who may have misappropriated tax-payers’ dollars should be criminally charged. That’s the only way to deal with corruption which we’ve seen taking a life of its own.

Then Obama should focus his attention on housing issues including placing a six month stay on foreclosures across this country; we also need to address the attacks upon the elderly and homeless people. We must find a way to prevent the swelling of the already alarming numbers of the homeless population.

As an investigative journalist this was a very important election for me. I knew that a John McCain presidency would have been a blue print of eight more years of President Bush’s corrupt presidency; his Administration would have also carried the stench of Rudolph Giuliani, the failed candidate who was one of McCain’s top advisors. Winning an election is one thing; playing with one’s race, making up lies –"palling around with terrorists"—and creating divisions is another thing.

"Yes We Can."

These three words have become one of the most famous utterances in America’s history and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is smiling somewhere.

Winkfield writes The Black Star News’s "On The Spot" column. Please reach him at (347) 632-2272 to look into your case or via mail: On The Spot, Post Office Box 230149, Queens County 11423. Email: Bsnonthespot@aol.com or milton@blackstarnews.com. Call (212) 481-7745. Watch Manhattan cable channel 34 or www.mnn.org channel 34 every Sunday at 7:30 P.M.

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