I found a very interesting article written by Sandy Banks, a Journalist for the Los Angeles Times.
It is about the choice of President-elect Barack Obama, the views of people both blacks and whites from her native city of Cleveland.
It was interesting to me because the views of the people she talked to were pretty much what a lot of Americans has been thinking and how they felt.
There were several things in the article that struck me and made me reflect on the times we live in today, and how much people are scared and unhappy, but with some of us being hopeful for the future.
We live in a country where its people still holds a lot of grudges and resentments, on both sides, with fears that doesn’t and possibly will never die.
There are still so many cities where people live segregated lives. They don’t interact with anyone of a different color or culture unless they have to. This is the year 2008, which is amazing! The lack of interaction is because of fears and misunderstandings that seemingly will never cease to exist.
Republicans were not the only ones afraid of what Obama represented, some Democrats were too. In the article one woman said she was afraid of what his Presidency might mean. As the reporter herself said in the beginning of her article, what Obama wanted was too much for us (our country and its people) to handle since we were so divided when it comes to skin color. We might become unglued she wrote.
The woman that was interviewed however said that Obama’s candidacy forced her to go outside her comfort zone and actually became friendly with someone of color in her neighborhood. She found that her neighbor was actually very similar in her views as she was, and she was surprised at how much they had in common. That opened her eyes, and she would not have done that before.
Ms. Banks also wrote that she met some gentlemen (four Construction Workers) in a Slavic Village where so much had change. Namely what used to be is no more. So many of the people they knew have gone and the neighborhood was now mostly African American.
They were McCain supporters and did not like Obama.
She wrote “The new president may speak to our future hopes, but these jobless construction workers are mourning the past, when their neighborhood felt like a small-town oasis, with sports leagues, good neighbors and well-paying blue-collar jobs.
They measure hard times not just by factory closings and boarded-up houses, but by shuttered taverns, the working man's haven.”
This is pretty much what some cities and towns have become! The thing is when everyone moves, the neighborhood will fall apart!
The men were angry about Section 8 housing and welfare families with people who are pretty much not fit to be in their neighborhood it seems. Crime was rampant as well.
Pretty much the battle cry everywhere I’m sure, at least in most inner cities and towns. I don’t like the idea of Section 8 myself, because the family that is helping themselves, but needs an assist from time to time, gets lumped into the field of the derelects who preys on the system. However, if the help is there for people who need it, especially families who can’t afford to, I don’t hate them for that. What I do dislike however, are the ones who just sit on their asses and do nothing. They teach their children nothing and expect everyone to feel sorry for them. They need to learn to empower themselves, they need to be forced into empowering themselves, and the next generation would be better. The one thing that many do conveniently forget however is that there are other races, along with Blacks who are on this system.
Another point in the article stood out to me: “…. And they're fearful that they'll be further squeezed if blacks are empowered by an Obama presidency.”
This seems to be pretty much the crux of the fear of many people? Is the empowerment of the Black race unacceptable? Is this why so many are unhappy with the outcome of the election? They think that a black man as the President of the United States will forget everyone else? If so, that is most certainly a naïve way of thinking! It will probably be a good thing and empower the blacks who have been doing nothing all their lives to finally do something positve, to be more responsible and to be more accountable! Wouldn’t that be a good thing? It would probably give the younger generation of other races to see that they too can and do have a future, if they didn't before!
It seems the younger generation are eager to “cross boundaries” as Ms. Banks wrote. But would many look on this as their ignorance, after all what do they know?! I know one thing though, unless someone takes a hand in teaching, leading and guiding our young people, they will be nothing to our country, and just continue to be preys on our socieity. I agree that some of them are totally clueless to so much, their history, the history of our country before MTV and YouTube. However, this is where parenting comes in, or a substitute who would care enough to reach out to the ones who will listen and who are willing to learn.
Some of the thinking is that both Blacks and Whites are on eggshells around each other. Supposedly because the “Blacks are in power now” and the Blacks feel that they…. “don’t want to do anything to cause ‘White’ anxiety”. One gentleman commented that::
“…. it's not Obama's race that won his vote. "I was just as excited when Bill Clinton won," he said. "I just feel like [Obama] cares about us. He sees no color. Everybody's the same. And everybody came to the same conclusion: We have got to help each other."
He is absolutely right, we have got to help each other, plain and simple. We have got to move forward and make our country the place where we want to live and be the better for it! In this way, there is hope for us after all!