Life as I Know It; Family; Lifestyle; and Healthy Living!
Hopes and Fears of the Obama Presidency
Published on November 10, 2008 By foreverserenity In Politics

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!


Comments
on Nov 11, 2008

Very thoughtful piece, thank you.  I do think many people either walk on eggshells around race issues, ignore them, minimize them, or blame others for them.  What is so often missing is self examination.  Why are we so loath to take a good hard look at ourselves? 

 

I am, frankly, very hopeful that the Obama presidency will make a tremendous difference as we see a skilled, competent, and very smart Black man take the helm of our country and ask us to work together to dig ourselves out of this deep hole we are in. 

 

When I was much younger I dated a black woman.  This was in Miami.  My landlord knocked on my door one day and told me he would have none of that in his apartments.  I was embarrased for my friend, but also for the rascist white guy at my door. I have experienced much racism in my life living as I did in the south and when I hear people saying it is no longer a problem I am embarrassed for them, as well, as they have no eyes to see...or perhaps its just too much to open ones eyes and experience the world with a degree of sensitivity.  even my mother told me she just could not bring herself to vote for a Black person...goodness. I am happy to see that  she is in the minority and Whites did vote for a Black person. 

Role models are incredibly important to people.  I am hopeful that Barack Obama will serve as an excellent role model for our children and our adult people.

 

May we all be a blessing in the universe.

on Nov 11, 2008

You know what is funny we tried to get into some housing based on income long time ago ( when our 2 kids were first diagnosed disabled and such ) and they told me flat out that there was not enough funding and that there was a waiting list a mile long. They then went on and told me that if I knew of any minorities at my place of work that needed help to give them thier number and they would be happy to help... I was like wth!

 

Anyways I have to disagree with the statement that Race WAS involved in BO getting elected. There is no way around that and its public knowlege that alot of people voted just on that issue alone. I wish that was not the case but it is.

 

Yes i was upset when OB won but that was due to the issues cures he bought to the table. Ill hold out on the verdict on OB though till he actually takes office. I think IF OB gets a few watch dogs by his side that can fend off the whispers from the far left and keep him focused he will be fine... what i fear is that he will give and he will start catering to the far left ideas which is not good. I dont mind liberal ideas for some things... but there is a line not to be crossed on either side ( left or right )

 

To be honest racism will never go away, that and the fact that card is played wayyy to much only fuels the fire. I think the black comunity needs better role modles that what they have now... along the lines of another MLK... I know no one can be like him, but to drive home the same message that he did is what is needed. His message has gotten lost over time and its time to bring it back again.

on Nov 12, 2008

Very thoughtful piece, thank you. I do think many people either walk on eggshells around race issues, ignore them, minimize them, or blame others for them. What is so often missing is self examination. Why are we so loath to take a good hard look at ourselves?

Thank you.  It was a great article and an interesting one she wrote!  I don't kow why, perhaps many don't like the reflection that is thrown back at them.  As the writer of the piece said, we might become unglued.  But I believe we won't need to glue to put us back together again because afterwards, we would be able to look at each other, squarely, and appreciate each other more!

I am, frankly, very hopeful that the Obama presidency will make a tremendous difference as we see a skilled, competent, and very smart Black man take the helm of our country and ask us to work together to dig ourselves out of this deep hole we are in.

A very smart man.  Hopefully soon that is all he will be referred as, not just a "very smart black man".

When I was much younger I dated a black woman. This was in Miami. My landlord knocked on my door one day and told me he would have none of that in his apartments. I was embarrased for my friend, but also for the rascist white guy at my door. I have experienced much racism in my life living as I did in the south and when I hear people saying it is no longer a problem I am embarrassed for them, as well, as they have no eyes to see...or perhaps its just too much to open ones eyes and experience the world with a degree of sensitivity. even my mother told me she just could not bring herself to vote for a Black person...goodness. I am happy to see that she is in the minority and Whites did vote for a Black person.

That is awful!  What I think when it comes to racism, any discussion about it, some people's 'eyes gets glassed over' because it is as if they hear so much about it, and they have had enough because that was so long ago.  They reality is it is happening to someone every second of every day, in today's world.  It is not the past. The denial factor is what gets in the way of many facing the realism of it.  It wasn't just in the days of slavery, it is today, in the offices, supermarkets, stores, etc.  Someone cannot understand the feeling of powerlessness because they have not experienced it.

May we all be a blessing in the universe.

Amen to that!

 

You know what is funny we tried to get into some housing based on income long time ago ( when our 2 kids were first diagnosed disabled and such ) and they told me flat out that there was not enough funding and that there was a waiting list a mile long. They then went on and told me that if I knew of any minorities at my place of work that needed help to give them thier number and they would be happy to help... I was like wth!

That is so sad, and so ridiculous, and is the type of thing that keeps some minorities in the situation that they are in, because there will always be a crutch to hold them up.  It is OK for help when you need it, I've had to in the past.  But getting up and moving forward, and not staying in the same place, is what so many people need to learn to do.  But I know it won't happen without some guidance and helpl

Yes i was upset when OB won but that was due to the issues cures he bought to the table. Ill hold out on the verdict on OB though till he actually takes office. I think IF OB gets a few watch dogs by his side that can fend off the whispers from the far left and keep him focused he will be fine... what i fear is that he will give and he will start catering to the far left ideas which is not good. I dont mind liberal ideas for some things... but there is a line not to be crossed on either side ( left or right )

Thank you for your honesty.  Again, I agree that with a few good 'watch dogs' as you put it, I pray that he will do well to move our country in the right directions.

 

To be honest racism will never go away, that and the fact that card is played wayyy to much only fuels the fire. I think the black comunity needs better role modles that what they have now... along the lines of another MLK... I know no one can be like him, but to drive home the same message that he did is what is needed. His message has gotten lost over time and its time to bring it back again.

I agree with you on the fact that it may never go away.  But I do think it could be less in the forefront and most definitely a thing of the past IF both sides let go and move forward, without forgetting the past so that we never revisit it again.  I do agree with you also that the black community need better role models, and they do have them.  Some of them are perhaps not vocal ehough, and those who are, are the ones we do not want to be heard because of their rhetorics and their racist attitudes!  Perhaps the time of Obama will be a good thing, and he will be the one to bring that message to those of us who really need to hear it.  I believe that not just becuase of the economy and the problems of our country, but because it is really time for us to move forward and be one, and not just when tragedy strikes us, but all of the time!

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