The Election of 2008

by William Loren Katz on February 2, 2009

The election of Barack Hussein Obama has been greeted with well-deserved euphoria here and abroad. A country that embraced the duplicity of slavery and democracy until the Civil War, then continued to deny Black citizens unfettered freedom for another century, then fought a civil rights revolution that still did not bring full equality—that Amerca has sent a Black family to the White House. Voters of all colors have announced that a Black child can grow up to become President. Many proudly see a transformative moment, a step forward for humanity, and a gentler United States.

But those who felt comfortable with inequality, injustice, and a White House that represented white power, are still here. Some in the media have declared a post-racial era in which discrimination has ended, and affirmative action is unnecessary. A Black man is President, they say, so the playing field has been levelled.

Yes, a Black man will command the world’s strongest nuclear-armed military, a Black First Lady will preside over White House functions, and their little children will play on the country’s most famous lawn. But has the poison of racism been driven from the political arena, the school system, the justice system, the prison system and the housing and job market? On Inauguration Day will a child of color have as much chance as a white child to attend a good school, stay out of jail, graduate from college and find a satisfying career?

President Obama is proof these are attainable goals and most Americans are eager to embrace them. But voters have to understand that they have other tasks besides entering a voting booth. The doors that opened for the Obamas have to open wide enough for all.

  • Craig

    Sadly as a black person, I have to say Obama only put black people further to sleep this Quote sums it up “But voters have to understand that they have other tasks besides entering a voting booth. The doors that opened for the Obamas have to open wide enough for all.” Voters didn’t understand and are now in an illusion.

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