Race, Hope, Obama

I have been writing over a year now about the profound effect Senator Obama’s Presidential bid has had on race in America. Often I speak of how racism is alive and well and how much hasn’t changed with many people. I still maintain that the Clinton campaign, corporate media, and the GOP have been using these divides to push a myriad of agendas.

However, I have to admit as do many others regardless of your racial background, that this campaign has also shown how far we have come as Americans and the potential and hope for how far we can truly go.

This is one of the many reasons I support Barack Obama for President of the United States. I truly believe that when it comes to leadership and the ability to transcend one must look for those characteristics and intangibles within and about a person to see how worthy they are or not.

Many months ago, I gave the example of Marine Corps recruiting strategy and how people volunteer to join the Corps not because of the tangibles like education, money, seeing the world, etc. but do to what it means to be a Marine. It is those very intangibles that have made the United States Marine Corps shine above all else.

It is the intangibles and principles about America that have people fighting, dying, and struggling to enter our boarders. It is the hope and the dream of America that makes us great.

It is these things about Obama that should give us great hope about the future of America especially as it concerns race relations.

As Tom Hanks recently put it, this country once considered blacks 3/5 of a person and sometimes less, not even 50 years ago blacks in America suffered under Jim Crow, yet now we are on the cusp of potentially electing a black President!

There is a lot of power and pride in that if you think about it. Furthermore, I believe this campaign further illustrates to non-whites and especially black Americans that white people are not the devil, evil, racist, etc… many of us have fallen into the trap of labeling all white people one way because of the sins of some of their forefathers, just as many of them have done the same about us.

But just like you have had whites at the forefront and participating in every movement for justice right along with other races, we are overwhelmingly witnessing whites in large numbers supporting Obama.

Let us not forget that not even a year ago, Obama had very little black support as many of us was fighting over whether or not he was “black enough” or was he some planted politician. The fact is that the Obama campaign was built on, supported by, and endured because of white Americans by and large.

My point is not to point fingers but to focus in on a greater reality about race in America. If whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, etc. can all rally around a black candidate for President, this proves that not only have we come along way, but we are witnessing a seismic shift in the way we as American view one another.

Some minimize Obama to fancy speeches, but we are truly witnessing a historical candidate in a historical moment. Senator Obama is truly the representative of all of America and his Presidency could help usher in an era where we begin to drop the hyphens that divide us and truly only look at one another as Americans: Out of many One.

Obama doesn’t just represent hope for politics, hope for policy, but hope for internal relations amongst the people like race, and hope for the world as they look to America as the true leader of what is possible.

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