Reflections on the Black Race Essay
Reflections on the Black Race
That the issue of Obama’s racial background is much talked about in terms of his fitness for the US presidency only proves this: that we Americans have a long way to go in our pursuit of adherence to the ideals of our declaration of independence. After all the document held the fundamental equality of people, and everyman’s inalienable rights, to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The declaration did not favor any race in the universality of its coverage. So how come some people have raised the specter of doom for America once the black mestizo Obama wins the US presidency?
How come a Democrat lawyer is doggedly pursuing, ostensibly as a matter of principle—that Barack Obma is not a “natural born American” and is therefore unqualified to run for the presidency of the United States. The Democrat lawyer claimed his motivation was his loyalty to the US constitution. (Refer to the You Tube citation in the reference below for this item). But Surname 2 one can sense a certain ferocity in his campaign that didn’t seem to jibe with his claimed adherence.
The dramatic performance of this Democrat lawyer complete with reciting his monologue with the Philadelphia edifice in his background is obviously a public relations stunt of a deeply rooted racist. This theatrics however considerably lost its mantle after a considered US statesman and former Secretary of State—the full-blooded Republican Mr. Powell— endorsed Mr. Obama, making sure he stood for principle in supporting Mr. Obama. Mr. Powell was also bothered by the way his own Republican camp was hitting the dirt in their campaign of hatred against the black American Democratic candidate.
(Refer again to the You Tube citation in the reference. ) Mr. Powell finally called for “a generational change”, and coming as it did from a senior Republican – for a long time, an unprecedented bipartisanship– Mr Powell raised a very important gesture of statesmanship and concern for American welfare. (You Tube). . In his book Dreams from my Father, Obama in the first 20 pages described a life that started as a young mind, clueless on the lifetime struggle that was to be on his shoulders as a black mestizo.
He described Kansas, as “the dab-smack, landlocked center of the country, a place where decency and endurance and the pioneer spirit were joined at the hip with conformity and suspicion and the potential for unblinking cruelty. ” (p. 13). Take note of his analogy of the metaphorical duality of his environment when he described Kansas as a place of decency, endurance, and (pioneering) spirit on the upper side, joined in the hip with such negative traits as conformity, suspicion, and the potential for Surname 3
unblinking cruelty… This fairly balanced assessment of his origins recognized the fundamental decency of the American people , but also noted the attitudinal duality to racial origins in his country of birth. In this book Obama explored the pervasive racial issues that he encountered in life, from childhood, to college, — and by now he must have realized—to the present, when as the Democrat candidates, he stood on the threshold of American presidency. Despite this stature, he was still grappling with the race issue.
As a young man, Obama was unmindful of the thought “(that )my father looked nothing like the people around me — that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk. ” (p. 16) It was an infinitely harder life for the common blacks. In Obama’s case he only started to become aware of the weight of his racial identity as he grew up. Obama as a black did not come from the underprivileged, but from a relatively middle class environment. Compared to what Obama went through, Brent Staples now tells us that ordinary blacks suffered even harsher environments. Consoling blacks, he reminded them of the historical movement toward their freedom.
They came from a country that barely a few decades ago was absolutely racist, a virtual apartheid which situation started to collapse only after World War II. Staples said that only after the collapse did blacks start to move out of their sequestered world and into colleges, jobs, and walks of life that had been closed to them until then. Surname 4 Still, black Americans who came from successful, suburban and upwardly mobile families were regularly dismissed as white or inauthentic . In other words, Brent Staples also blamed blacks for wanting to further marginalize themselves and to inflict on themselves a marginalized status.
“The authentic black experience, it was said at the time, was limited to the hard-core, impoverished upbringing that black people often chose to brag about, even when they had actually grown up with private prep schools in the lap of luxury,” was Brent’s assessment of the black mentality of the 60s. In other words, even Obama was unacceptable to these blacks because he was not authentically “black” in the poverty side of the issue. But another Republican Alan Keyes dished out another execrable crap when he opposed Mr. Obama in the Illinois Senate race back in 2004 saying Mr.
Obama was not black because “he was not descended from slaves. ” Clearly both black and whites think of blacks as having to be miserable in order to qualify for this racial group. The self-image of this group seems to be one that perpetually deprecates itself as always coming from the bottom. Mr. Obama himself, a would-be president of the United States has experienced the existential problem of how it is to be black in the world’s most prosperous country. In his book Obama disclosed how he coped with life as a black in a society dominated by whites. As Staples explains it:
“He stumbled onto the mysteries of race in his own good time and pursued them in his own way. His quest took him to an impoverished community on the South Surname 5 Side of Chicago, where he worked as an organizer in an infamous public housing project before discovering his vocation as a politician. ” And Staples sees hope that this division would soon be resolved with a greater understanding of the multiplicity of experiences among marginalized peoples in any society. Said he: “… The hue and cry over Barack Obama’s identity stems from a failure by black traditionalists to recognize multiracial versions of themselves.
Soon enough, perhaps by year’s end, however, the Obama story, which seems so exotic to so many people now, will have found its place among all the other stories of the sprawling black diaspora. ” Surname 6 Works Cited Obama, Barack. Dreams of My Father. US: Three River Press, 1995,pp. 1-20. Staples, Brent. Decoding the Debate Over the Blackness of Barack Obama. (2007) The Editorial Observer. Retrieved October 19. 2008 from: http://files. meetup. com/427541/Blackness%20of%20Barack%20Obama%20. doc You Tube campaign against Obama . Retrieved Oct. 21, 2008. http://sayanythingblog. com/entry/a_video_that_could_change_the_election/