Barack Obama being black or half black or half Arab, or whatever his genetic or racial makeup is no big deal to me or to millions of other Americans.
That is a much bigger deal than, & a better grade of the realization of Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream than the first black man filling the position of President of the United States of America.
Today is a historic day for many reasons. Every time the USA inaugurates a new individual — especially going from one political ideology to another — in a peaceful manner, is something incredible and historic. It is great with all the other historic firsts that are happening, yet to me, and millions alike, those firsts are not a big deal. Why? We just don’t look at the world in racial terms.
The Path to Here
Over the past many months I have been disgusted by many people, normally just your average Joe Anonymous user online, on the radio, or though other media spouting off either in support of the black man, or against the black man. Generally I just chalk those comments up as an individual who is ignorant or has a world view drastically different from mine. Yet every once and a while, someone I respect will make a big deal out of it, normally a celebration of “how far we have come”. My first thought is “Why care”? That mindset is directly against this dream:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Speaking of “oh the first Black President” or “we will either finally have a black or woman in the White House” still does not eliminate the *judgement* that MLK was speaking on. Granted, I am of a generation who was born a number of years after Dr. King’s famous speech, yet the fact that we just shrug our shoulders with thoughts and feeling of “yeah, so? what’s the big deal about a doing that?” is exactly what Dr King was talking about. I do not judge people primarily on the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Recently I was challenged, not a hard one for me, to hope and pray for the President to succeed, and lead the country right. I do wish, hope, and pray that Mr. President is judged by history to have done well, not by the political hack historians, but those who are objective & who did not start yesterday. However, I disagree with Mr. Obama’s world view dramatically, since I am a hard freedom loving capitalist, and he is on a very different “government knows best, planned society” world view, or in his words “Only government can solve …” . So, it’s hard for me to want his proposals to go as I believe he wants them to, yet in the end and this is why I can work with people of dramatically different world views, I still believe that in his mind he wants good things. I have to start from that mindset anytime I encounter someone political. I just believe that their understanding of how to achieve greatness is off, or the trust in the American public, or the ability to accept the fact that you must allow people to suffer the consequences (either good or bad) to help them to be the best they can be.
Dr. King’s real dream, the one that so many of us have realized & so many have miss-understood or have misconstrued, will continue to become a reality as long as society as a whole continues to be a melting pot & communicate across cultures. I also expect a portion of people will continue to live in a “racial mindset” where everything is about the black man, white man, or other. It’s sad, but it is true. Ironically, the best thing to help people understand people is also the things that some people fight against. Examples include:
- reducing the incentives that lead more people to learn a common language
- allow and encourage people to strive for a goal and a system that rewards success more then failure
- allowing people to fail and then suffer the consequences
The world and USA is divided, yet it is in smaller blocks than on racial or ethnic terms. It is divided by different cultures or world views. It’s ok to have different cultures and there are many advantages; if we all had the same opinion or way of thinking a good number of us would be unnecessary, yet some aspects can harm the society, like when people of different cultures cannot communicate, since communication is a key to understanding & respect. We shall see how the relationships between different world views and cultures change over the next years.
It will be interesting to see how much President Obama is different from Candidate Obama and even P.Elect Obama; there have already been changes. I don’t know if what he is saying is true is or is not, but I do expect that the USA will last long beyond President Obama and understand that the Citizens of America generally get the government that they deserve.
I have a dream today!