So, let’s say our prayers and efforts pay off and Barack Obama is the country’s next president. People have discussed his platform and “change” methodologies in great detail. But how many of us have considered the cultural impact of a Black president?
I think it will be a great boost to our collective self-esteem as Black people and an somewhat redemptive act for the country as a whole. Will it change every Black person’s daily lives and eradicate American racism? Of course not, but it will be a feel good moment that we need so dearly in the era of Imus, Bell and Jena. Something that makes Black children feel they can achieve greatness and helps Black elders to see that the struggles they endured in their youth were not all in vain. It would also be great for the global image of African Americans (which is currently shaped greatly by Rap music and basketball) as well as that of the United States (which is globally acknowledged by many as an evil empire which tries to instill it’s own values on other people, while failing to address it’s own racist legacy).
However, I fear that many of our White counterparts (and even some of our own people) will see or spin the election of a Black president as proof that American racism and discrimination no longer exist. Charges of racism with be answered with “Dude, you can’t play the race card anymore. How can this be a racist country when the PRESIDENT is Black?” A lot of people do believe that one man’s ascent to the Oval Office can erase hundreds of years of slavery and subsequent oppression, which is totally absurd. While those of us who believe in Obama should continue to work to see him elected, I also think we need to brace ourselves for heightened levels of American amnesia regarding this country’s crimes against Blacks.
Am I alone on this? What other sort of cultural impact do you see happening as a result of an Obama presidency, good, bad or otherwise?