Feb 22, 2009 Letters
Contrary to commentators, race is and has been a constant theme in Barack Obama’s life, campaign and presidency. Obama uses race to reference pride, struggles and progress.
During his campaign he referred to its historical nature and the (im)probability of his candidacy, an achievement made possible with the destruction of unjust laws, policies, and barriers, which were replaced by just laws, polices, and opportunities to succeed.
When the opposition attempted to use race as a wedge (division) to derail his candidacy, Obama seized control of the conversation in his Race Address (March 2008) and redefined the discourse consistent with his focus.
Obama is known to be a deliberative person. He says: “I identify as African-American – that’s how I’m treated and that’s how I’m viewed. I’m proud of it.” He talks continually of his heroes, President Abraham Lincoln, who freed the slaves, and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Civil Rights leader whose struggles realised the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Laws. As he often says, these two men made it possible for him.
At the Inaugural Concert at Lincoln’s Memorial, Obama says: “Directly in front of us is a pool that still reflects the dream of a King, and the glory of a people who marched and bled so that their children might be judged by their character’s content. And behind me, watching over the union he saved, sits the man [Lincoln] who in so many ways made this day possible.”
On Inauguration Day (20/1/2009) Obama reminds: “This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man, whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant, can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.”
Obama took the Oath of Office on Lincoln’s Bible. Lincoln was given a Bible on Sept 7, 1864 by a group of emancipated African-Americans in Baltimore, Maryland.
Obama spent two decades in a church that preaches Black Liberation Theology (BLT). BLT is integral to African-American struggles for self-development and equality and used during the 1950s-1960s civil rights struggles. There is no reason to believe BLT has not impacted on Obama.
Those who study African-American history compare Obama’s style to that of King, Malcolm X and other civil rights leaders… The inspiring power of his speeches, special intonations, language usage (e.g. Yes, We Can), call and response (e.g. Fired up! Ready to go!), are communications techniques that keep us transfixed and deliver victories.
Diverse groups relate to Obama. This may be largely because Obama says: “I am asking you to believe. not just in my ability… I am asking you to believe in yours”, and proceeds to encourage coming together, in spite of our diversity, around common/shared beliefs for the advancement of all. In the process Obama makes people proud and inspires them to believe that they can be whatever they want, once they work towards it.
Michelle Obama was raised in an inner city, attended public school, took education seriously, won a scholarship to the best university and became a high-profile executive. Her story, often told on the campaign, is consistent with Obama’s race theme and, as the Obamas often say, only in America are our stories possible.
The Obamas are stories in racial pride, struggles for liberty, justice and equality. Theirs are stories for those who share/respect such beliefs, dare to dream and hope, refuse to accept that they cannot, and act on their dreams. Theirs are stories for those needing role models, inspiration and motivation.
M. A. Bacchus
Dec 01, 2020Rain and Walk overs mars latest round W/Dem Masters win Kaieteur News – The adverse weather and a couple of Walk-overs marred the latest round of the GCB/Tropical Spring 0-40 T20 cricket...
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – Human rights and constitutional violations in Haiti have been ignored for too... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]