Thursday, November 6, 2008

What the Obama Victory Means - One Black Man's View

Many Democrat voters (after John Kerry's 2004 loss to George W. Bush) stated that President Bush was not human, and that all who voted for him were stupid. In an effort to distance myself as much as possible from those folks, in knowledge of the full humanity of my political opponents, and in recognition of the fact that people's actions make sense to them, I have been trying to get inside of the mind of Obama voters. Here is one such attempt.

The quote below (quoted with permission) is from a friend of mine, F. A. Harper. I "met" Mr. Harper on the Internet, because we share a common hobby. Mr. Harper is an intelligent, witty, thoughtful, and well-balanced individual. And he is black. So when he wrote about the election of Barack Obama, I wanted to listen.

Here is his statement about what the Obama victory meant to him.

I just want to say that when I was in the second grade, I thought to myself I would be come the first Black President. Then I realized by the time I was old enough, someone else would already have done it.
Then when I was in Jr. High, I took a hard look at our nation and said we would never have a Black President in my life time. I thought this all the way up until last night. Hell, I said it a few months ago.

Last night I felt for the first time like I was truly an AMERICAN. Like this country was really mine. Like all the times I got followed in the mall, pulled over by the police, teachers treating me unfairly, was gone.

Does this OBAMA winning change my rent or cell bill? No, but after 35 years of seeing images of me being depowered and defeated, it was nice to see a Black man become the one thing I for so long thought I had no chance to become.
I want to thank all of you who voted for OBAMA. You voted to help/save our country but you also saved me on so many levels.

Now I want us white folks to think about this: Can you see what Mr. Harper is talking about? Can you see why, for him, Obama's election transcends details of policy? How, for him, feeling fully American for the first time might possibly trump some other kinds of concerns?

I will leave you (who, along with me, oppose President-elect Obama's plans and policies, and happen to be white) with this chilling thought: Have your own actions in the past, or the actions of your white neighbors, contributed to creating a nation in which Mr. Harper did not feel at home until Tuesday, two days ago? (If so, your actions helped elect Barack Obama.) Maybe not, but at least think about it.

Is it I, Lord?

4 comments:

Perpetua said...

I'm really glad you posted this.

Comatus said...

Sorry, but I can't buy it. "Details of policy" doesn't begin to describe the radical agenda that Senator Obama has espoused up to this point in his career.

A modest suggestion; revisit this post in a year and see how it reads then.

Anglican Beach Party said...

comatus ... I tend to agree with you about what a year (or four) of President Obama's policies will produce.

However, as an explanation of the motivation of some people of color in voting for Obama, I think the post will stand up okay.

Matthew said...

Were I black, I would be excited as well. And as a citizen of our country I'm glad that any arguable race barrier has now been shattered.

I just wish it had been shattered by someone in whom I had more confidence. Thomas Sowell, for instance.