The Symbolism of Barack Obama
Where I grew up in rural Idaho, there were no black people. Not to say it was a completely homogenous community, as there were hispanics, Japanese, whites, and sub-cultures such as the Basques, but there were no African-Americans. All I knew about black people, I learned from the television, where, in the typical TV show, black actors played gangsters, thugs, criminals and other negative roles. Outside of fiction, black people were not visible in the high offices of the land and, even in real life, if they were on TV, it was usually in a context of violence of some sort. So, my perception of black people was more than a bit skewed.
The election of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America means that my daughter will grow up in a very different world with a very different view. She will see that the highest office in the land is occupied by a black man and she will see that, regardless of the color of our skin, we can all achieve what we set out to achieve if we work hard enough. She will see a world in which blacks can achieve every bit as much as whites, and that will give her a perspective of black people that I didn’t have growing up.
As a result, I think that President Obama will go a long way to improving race relations in our country.
None of these reasons played into my decision to vote for Obama. I described in my previous post why I voted for him. And I’m sure that some people voted for him for exactly these reasons. But, I also think this is an important consequence of his election, and I am hopeful for the future of our country.