He’s mixed with ivy league education and common sense, he can articulate with the scholars, socialize with the elite, kid around with pop culture, sing Al Greene, theologize with religious leaders or join in for a piece of sweet potato pie and conversation at any family reunion. He’s tempered. He campaigned in small rural towns over beer and burgers and urban cities to amen and hallelujah. He’s charismatic.
Americans thought they jokingly had the first black president with Bill Clinton until they met, fell in love, respected and elected Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th president of the United States of America. He’s mixed with the founding make-up of the country, African father, Caucasian mother. He’s more educated with degrees and merits than any president including the incoming elect. Scandal has consumed the final four years of every two-term president in modern history ― George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and Richard Nixon. Barack Obama’s administration is the exception.
Reminiscing we think back to when HOPE was reborn. A young fresh faced Senator from Chicago introduced himself on the national DNC platform in 2004, telling a personal testament that drew us all in when he stated, “I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible. He went on to say …” the audacity of hope: In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation, a belief in things not seen, a belief that there are better days ahead”. A great orator was noticed.
Through grueling campaigns, he won and won again with a simple slogan “YES WE CAN”. That famous slogan took him to victory when he stated, “This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.”
When race baited, Obama always remained the president of these United States not allowing the easy pitfalls of picking sides to divide a nation. Yet he used racist acts in America during his presidency to bring about conversations that most Americans were too uncomfortable to have. “Racism. We are not cured of it. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say ‘nigger’ in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t overnight completely erase everything that happened 200-300 years prior. So what I tried to describe in the Selma speech that I gave, commemorating the march there, was, again, a notion that progress is real, and we have to take hope from that progress. But what is also real is that the march isn’t over, and the work is not yet completed. And then our job is to try in very concrete ways to figure out, what more can we do?”, Obama stated on a podcast.
When folks ask sarcastically what has he done for black folks? His administration is the most diverse in history, he had the Justice Department investigate Ferguson police twice for their history of racist behavior, he issued an executive order establishing the White House Office of Urban Affairs designed to promote new policies to strengthen cities across the country, launched My Brothers Keeper, a White House initiative designed to help young men and boys of color achieve their full potential, he signed the little known but hugely impactful Claims Resolution Act, which provided black and Native American farmers with $4.6 billion in government funding after they were previously denied loans and resource royalties owed to them for decades. He’s provided leadership programs and HBCU programs. He proclaimed June as African American Music Appreciation Month. This list is not limited to the only things he’s done but just to name a few. He’s unapologetically black.
As he exits office, healthcare is a national debate, repeal seems inevitable. Nevertheless, Obama has made it a right for all Americans. So no matter what the Republicans try and do, the thought of healthcare is a U.S. fundamental right and that is because of President Obama. The smart guy.
It will be years before the true legacy of the 44th President of the United States Barrack Hussein Obama will be determined but we do know for sure is that the idea of president for a black child in America is no longer a dream.