You can hate him, love him, worship him, be an anti-Obama supporter all you want but for me I will always be stuck in amazement.
Are my feelings based on race? Yes and no.
We know the history of race and prejudice well in America and across the globe and I as an African-American felt pride when he took the office in 2008. But there is so much more to the Mark and Obama story than race.
Let’s get a little personal here.
I do not believe in politics one bit, I just don’t trust the system, the people or the process. In 2007 I was released from prison and my mind frame was not focused on anything political. I was thinking get out, find a job and leave the past behind but then I keep hearing about this black man the Democrats were pushing for President. My first thoughts were ” Yeah okay, like America would really let that happen”.
This is where my allegiance to my race kicked in. It wasn’t about me being racist, my emotions were in a different place at the time. They joy of seeing a man of color over-powered my other senses. I never looked Obama up and his political beliefs. I turned the TV on and saw nothing but color. I saw this black man and his beautiful family and thought “Why the hell not”. Why not go and vote, why not use the privilege that was given back to me the day I was released. This wasn’t about me believing anything he said to a national audience about healthcare or the national debt this was me playing the race card.
I took to the polls, placed my vote, not just for me but for my family members, friends, kids and the guys that were still locked up and didn’t have the chance to do what I was getting ready to do. I did it for them, I did it for us, I did it for my skin and our ancestors who never would have imagined this day would come and this was before I saw him as the man who was placed before us.
There were many pictures of he and his family over his presidency but for me there is only one that stands out. I remember seeing it on TV as it happened and feeling scared as if he was family traveling in the wrong neighborhood.
That’s the one. That’s the one that made me cringe. Hell, if I was nervous I can just imagine how the secret service felt. This doesn’t happen, President’s don’t do this but America is so ass backwards that instead of embracing the change and history that was happening he was criticized for his actions. Watch the video, listen for the cheers and screams as the car stopped and he and Michelle emerged from the vehicle. Priceless.
Can you imagine the conversation in that car?
Obama: Stop the car
Driver: Say what sir
Obama: Stop the car I want to get out and walk
Driver: Ummm sir that might not be a good idea
Obama: Why not? I want to be with the people
Driver: But sir
Michelle: No, no , no buts, just stop the car
(Michelle turns and looks at Obama) You ready for this?
Obama: We got this, we rep the Chi
(Driver speaks into earplug) Be prepared this crazy man is getting out the car. S*** just got real.
I mean who knows if that’s what really happened, but when he stepped out America was changed. He showed that he was not afraid of anything but most importantly he showed the people, our people this was real, no hoax, a black man was on his way to be sworn into the White House.
We seen it before, millions love Ronald Reagan, he was an actor, millions loved Bill Clinton, he was the southern white guy with a black soul, but Obama was different. He embraced what America was lacking. He took on a rock star persona and rode that wave. He went on talk shows, made NCAA Championship predictions, tried to eat at normal restaurants, joined Twitter and Facebook, he became one with the people, not just color, but he was one of us. Was he untouchable? Yes but that’s because of the security surrounding him . But the aura he gave off was as if your uncle had been sworn in. He was family to all colors even to the ones that hated him. He’s hated so much because he’s loved so much and visible to the masses. He’s an easy target but he wears that bulls-eye with pride.
I never cared for Obama Care or whatever fight he was fighting for. I never dreamed of becoming the President of the United States. I never watched one of his State of the Union speeches. Politics is not for me. I see post about he did this, he dropped that, he didn’t do this, he messed the country up, blah, blah, blah. What I wanted to see from him during his days in office I got to see.
I wanted America, my kids and the rest of the world to see where education can take you if you apply yourself. Wanted my kids to see that despite what the news reports some of us actually come from 2 parent households. But most importantly I wanted my kids to see that anything is possible, it’s okay to dream, it’s cool to think outside the box and want better than your current situation allows.
The one thing he proved to America and I still believe this is where he gets the most hate is that he loved his family. Name another President and First Lady that paraded their love in front of the country like the Obama’s. You saw it, you felt it. Hell there are memes made about it, Michelle did not play when it came to her man. We saw the President but she saw Barack, and the kids saw daddy, plain and simple.
What I will remember most about his 8 years is family, love and strength.
As election time nears there is no candidate that has these traits and that is why I don’t follow politics.
Forget Jordan, there will never be another Barack Obama