Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Obama--The Nation's New President

As most of you know by now; yesterday we elected a new president in the United States. I never thought I would live to see a black person become president in this nation! Barack Obama won both the electoral votes and popular votes needed. We should all celebrate the fact that the color barrier on the presidency has been broken--whether you voted for Obama or McCain. And being some are already calling for his assassination just because of his skin color, we should keep him and his family in our prayers.

This is certainly a historic event to remember! There was a time in this country a black on a stage usually meant he or she was on a blockade up for sale as livestock, or tied to a whipping post. Now a black man will be on a stage as President of the United States; so we have made great strides as a nation in that regard. That's my sociological assessment. My political assessment is different, but despite that, there are some good points to Obama and I will choose to look at those. As a democracy, we have a system of "political checks and balances" in place; and Barack Obama like all presidents before him, will be subjected to this same system.

Concerning the civil rights movement in the sixties, I once read (and I forgot who wrote it, but it was a scholarly article from some academician) "the changing of laws concerning blacks helped changed attitudes". In other words, it was not just whites yielding new perspectives on blacks which promoted greater socio-economic equality in American society--but change facilitated by new laws. The passing of major civil rights legislation and the right for blacks to vote also served in a process of re-examination and a change in attitudes among non-blacks. I believe fear is a HUGE factor in racism and cultural misunderstandings. By just the process of interacting among different people, many came to see that various racial groups are more similar than they are different.