A fellow blogger, Tees, over at Fox raised interesting questions with me, questions that I have pondered in the past. She asked, “Would an Obama presidency make a difference for black folks in America? If not, what makes him any different from white presidents from the past?”
Well, I thought about Nelson “Madiba” Mandela’s presidency. After years of civil strife and armed struggle in South Africa, much was expected from him. Shortly after his inauguration, there was uneasiness among white South Africans because a black man was in charge who suffered so much under their rule, whose people were denied equal rights for generations. OMG! What will become of us? What will happen to our land, businesses and our entitlements?
Black South Africans began to believe that all of the inequities of life in the most prosperous country in southern Africa would change immediately. After years of institutional greed and the “good ol’ boy” way of doing things in America, change won’t happen that fast. However, prudent policies and inspiration for change can be set in place to bring about change. Change is a process. Change requires a new mental paradigm to facilitate it. Therefore, I submit that an Obama administration will not, immediately, make a difference for black folk, as well as all America. However, I do believe that an Obama administration will start the process for change we seek. It will be incumbent on all of us to do our part to make these changes possible.
Tees, the difference, I hope, a President Obama will differ from white presidents in the past will be to throw out the presidential playbook of the past and govern this country openly and democratically that demands our respect and trust.