Tuesday, November 4, 2008, the 44th and first African-American was elected as President of the United States of America. So many hopes and dreams to maintain 200 years of history were smashed to bits after it was announced that Senator John McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin of Alaska, had been defeated in what many still call a ‘Misfit of Sorts’ campaign. Even as the new President bellowed, “Change has come,” change surely had arrived and was about make those who thought they would be wearing shades to bed – forever toss them to the side. And those attending or about to tend college would soon have to see things through rose-colored glasses unless the stars lined up just for them.
“If there is anyone out there who doubts that America is a place where anything is possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer,” Obama declared.
“Young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled, Americans have sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of red states and blue states,” he said. “We have been and always will be the United States of America.
“It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America,” he said to a long roar. (the message delivered by new President Obama in Chicago on the night of his victory)
While many will say the President hasn’t lived up to his promises of ‘Change,’ change has actually occurred. Maybe one of the President’s biggest flaws was that he focused too much on a new Healthcare system for Americans instead of repeating to Americans that what had been done to deflate America and its commodities was not going to be fixed overnight. Things could have been favored more heavily than Healthcare as the United States was quickly witnessing even the loss of legacies that were started by prominent names. President Obama should have been aware of the fiasco he was inheriting at the end of George W. Bush’s two-terms in office. Bailout after Bailout, this President seemed determined to save everybody: Automobile companies and Banks. With so much money doled out, nobody considered giving an incentive to some of the big companies that outsourced American jobs because of the exorbitant tax rate imposed on them. Knowing what we know now about LIBOR and Tim Geithner’s and Ben Bernanke’s involvement in that scandal, it’s not unrealistic to imagine how the United States could have benefitted its people with those funds. But, lack of focus by the Presidents’ account appeared to the people as if no one cared that their homes were being foreclosed on or that their unemployment benefits were about to run out soon. So, nearly two years after taking office, the people’s dream seemed to fade away…and this time, in November 2010, they wanted a new ‘CHANGE.’
And they got it. Earlier, it was stated that many would say that the President hadn’t lived up to the promises he made. Without the support of your own people, how could you?
Prior to the November 2010 vote for a “New Change,” many of President Obama’s own constituents defected on him and sided with the Republicans. For what other reason than bad policies, Republicans were able to mock the President and everything he attempted – because the people of America needed swift justice. It was their impatience that led to the near collapse of the extension of Unemployment Benefits for the millions who were out of work obviously.
With many of the President’s plans or hopes and dreams for the many mentioned during his President-elect speech, it seems that the one group that saw his win as a personal success story is the one group that is feeling times harder than just about any other group. There was even a time when you could turn on the television and see members of the ‘Black’ race involved in sitcoms and even dramas. Yes, there was the occasional token detective…yet, that was only a slip. He or she was usually killed in some drive-by or something. “Grey’s Anatomy” even had to demote the Black Chief of Surgery because of something so ridiculous it caused many to stop watching the show. But just because ratings slipped and dipped for this show doesn’t mean they did the same for all of them. Many of the cops and robbers shows continue to show Blacks as thugs. If they are shown as anything else, a scandal is bound to follow. For a brief minute or so, Tyra Banks had named a Black “America’s Next Top Model,” there was more than one Black contestant on shows like: Big Brother, American Idol (top 10). Notice I did say brief. And, just like a horror movie, the Black person, boy or girl, gets killed off first. Now, on a show like “Survivor,” anybody can flat-out say that they are racist and don’t like Black people or gays, etc. and the Black person gets voted off. What is even troublesome is that on a show like ‘Big Brother,’ when there is one Black male and female, the female seems so repulsed by the Black male and feels that he would be a hindrance to her success on the show. It’s funny, a gay Black male lasts longer on a reality tv show than a straight female because he is not seen as a threat to anybody. Like I said, it’s funny.
I wish we could slide into a workforce segment. But we can’t. Reports are declaring Blacks as The Uncontested Winner of the Unemployed. Even Hispanics who can’t speak full English are better-employed than a Black man or woman. Are they not a part of the ‘United States’ that the President boasted about on victory night? Just recently, same-sex marriage became legal on July 24, 2011. Still, Blacks have been left out of anyone’s equation. For many Blacks, they believe heavily in spirituality – that God will provide for them. People like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh and even Mitt Romney will claim that we are still “…one nation under God.” But Blacks have often felt the government has and will do nothing for them. According to the Declaration of Independence, “All men are created Equal.” This would ring true if they would add something like: “dependent upon their resources.” Once upon a time, people hammered home the belief that homeownership was the best way to financial security. No one explained that even the rich have to maintain upkeep of their money. Though millions of homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosures and Ponzi schemes, many of them tend to bounce right back. Not likely is that the way for most Black Americans. As education and more education and trades are pushed onto the unemployed, there are still no guarantees even if you are the most qualified for the job. It’s especially numbing if you’re young, Black, qualified, and overqualified. How can they not be discouraged? Every day, they hear, “It’s gonna happen. Your day is coming!” Do you agree that false hope is better than no hope at all? What would be the breaking point…a Presidential candidate addressing a group of their peers telling them that the free ride is over when he becomes President or the President himself saying, “I have seen the Promised Land?” Yes, it is still promising for him and his family. Neither the President nor his family has to work another day in their lives. Cool setup, huh? Then, just like the fear of being a one-term President, you will do whatever you have to to not lose that position. That is, until another one comes along, anyway. Even if it means telling a little white lie.