Friday, February 1, 2008

musings on obama as prez

i knew the comparison would come to matter. obama and kennedy. it was already written in his youth and demeanor, his campaign slogan, "change," the cadence of his speech, the political climate at home and abroad, his semi suave style in the sea of uptight, greying, stone faced usual suspects . . . his status as a democrat, his marked difference and lib platform. i could feel it coming. and then, the american press did the inevitable - he danced beside ellen and took a fun ride in a bumper car with his daughter - and the press jumped on it. the photo made its way online . . . and bam . . . first caroline voices the thing we could all see rounding the corner. then ted denies hillary his support. a crowned prince is born to become king. . . almost. and a black man at that.

what interests me most about this is the need for the familiar in campaigns. the public has got to be able to find a nostalgic and comforting space of acceptance for that which could be marked terrifying . . . change.

and what will the change be, if obama is elected? who knows . . . there is the readily apparent: a black male will be president of these somewhat united states. that'd be a nice merge between popular culture and political reality. for once, our consumer buying trends in music and sports will be reflected in our country's leadership . . . it seems that, perhaps, we have come to a point in time where we will actively consider putting our votes where our money has been. we will have knocked upon the door of truth and answered - not only do we love the culture of this particular people, but we trust our nation in the hands of one of its own . . . we believe in the intelligence and ability of an african american male. and perhaps this will begin to right the institutionalized wrongs of a nation still seething with the bodies of countless men and women of color behind prison bars. perhaps. his platform and promises do not strike me as much different from most dems on the blazing trail to glory. and like clinton (bill, i mean) he will have to prove his value to the masses of people in this country (colored and less so) through practice. i only hope that he is more successful at advocating for black and brown folk, folk much different to the status quo, than ol' bill . . . i am still moved to furrow my eyebrows more than a lil bit when i think of the comparison of bill to a black man, though toni morrison is a favorite author of mine. a pug nose and mediocre saxophone ability (and/or a seeming insatiable sex drive for young women) does not a black man make. 'cause though he appointed more af am federal judges than any president before him, his take on drug laws and the criminal justice system, and the fact that neither the standard of living nor education for masses of colored folk in this country (beyond the upper middle class) got better during his tenure as prez, leads me to believe that if he was the first "black" man to hold that office, he aint one i'd claim . . . ummm . . . he must have been passing.

at any rate, if obama is so blessed, he'll have to prove his worth. there is no litmus test but the being and the doing. i'd take the risk on him. why not? i voted for bill. and besides, i want to be proactive in this possible revolutionary moment . . . my vote could help shake this country up a bit . . . turn it on its side and set it to roll.

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