Monday, January 28, 2008

The Politricks of Dreaming

[Editor's Note: Friday, I promised a moratorium on Politricks as Usual. Don't be fooled, this ain't a post about politricks. And I also know this isn't my best writing, so lay off me. And no, that's not my son. I also don't recommend Googling the term "black boy" if you need a stock photo. Bad move. Awww, just read the post already.]

Tonight, my son and I took a break from our Tivo sponsored Little Bill marathon to peek at some of the concession speeches on CNN. I purposely didn't pay much attention to the coverage of returns to that point. Like I said, whole process is beginning to get too dirty, and too draining. I needed a break. My wife called upstairs and told me Obama had been deemed the winner early, which was enough for me.

Later, as my son lay there on my chest and we both watched what could very well have been the best speech of any sort that I ever experienced in real time, a thought hit me like a lightning bolt.

This could really happen.

I'm not necessarily talking about a Black man becoming President. It's about that of course, but so much bigger. I'm thinking more about black parents being able to tell their kids they can be anything they want to be, and actually mean it.

My Dad told me I could be anything I wanted to be when I was a kid, but I could look in his eyes and tell he didn't really mean it. He knew there was one thing I could never be. President.

It's not that he didn't have faith in his youngest son and namesake. It was more so a lack of faith in our country, a disbelief that a child who looked like me could ever be accepted by enough of America on his own merit, an America that didn't see his skin color as a detriment. Even when Jesse Jackson had his impressive runs in the mid-80's, there was still the nagging realization that he was mostly succeeding on a platform that spoke to and for blacks. This was great of course, but was never going to gonna get him elected. Not in a million years.

The Presidency is that "final frontier" of black achievement. We've run Fortune 500 companies. We've become billionaires. We've gone to the moon. But the Presidency is different, it's unique in it's prominence and power, and it's has to be granted, not merely earned by "working twice as hard".

All other reasons of merit, qualifications, and experience aside, I finally realized tonight what truly makes the Obama campaign special.

The ability to dream.

As my son and I chewed crushed ice and watched the Obama speech, I finally allowed my cynicism to melt. Hell, I won't even lie, I actually teared up just a little bit, but don't tell nobody. But seriously, who's to say a black man can't be the catalyst for making America the best country it can really be? Who's to say Blacks, Whites, Latinos, and Asians can't all get just along? Who's to say my son can't be President? Certainly not me. Now I can look him in his eyes, say it, and really, truly mean it.

It could really happen.

[Question: Did watching that acceptance speech Saturday night actually make you more hopeful for the future of our country? Just in case you ain't peeped it yet, here it is.]

11 AverageComments™:

ebonygentleman said...

Very compelling post. I have to admit, aside from my previous cynical mindset, I was holding back tears while listening to Obama speak. My mom says it best for me: This isn't something in the natural, it's spiritual. I could hear it in her voice and in my father's while on the phone with them. I'm sitting there thinking that this isn't happening. People of all colors cheering for a black biracial male like it's a rock concert. I mean, when he entered the room, white girls were screaming like they did for Michael Jackson during his prime.

Yes, I said it.

But what killed it for me was the caption at the bottom of the screen during the CNN telecast. A quote from the endorsement Obama recieved from Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late JFK. To paraphrase, it said Obama could be: "A President like my father."
Unbelievable.

I'm breathless. No matter what happens this election season, one thing is for sure. There will be tears shed this year. Hard tears.

EG (ebonygentleman@aol.com)

AverageBro said...

EG,

Well stated. And truth be told, I teared up a little bit too. Don't tell nobody though.

ebw-educated black woman said...

AB, well said. I think you and EG pretty much summed up what Obama's campaign represents for a majority of "us" whether he wins the presidency or not. I skipped the hoopla tonight, and watched the Pursuit of Happyness on TV. Reflecting on Chris Gardner's struggle and his triumph, I came away with the same thought(all the while hearing the voices of my ancestors in my head)..you can be anything you want to be. It is possible. And Barack's campaign reaffirms it.

Mrs. M. said...

I too believe our children can be anything they want 2 be but I must be honest, the Clintonesque parlor tricks aren't over. Even if Obama wins the presidency, I'm going to do something that I would never do. I'm going to encourage my son not to stay in this country if he doesn't want to.

My ancestors worked the fields in South Carolina for over 100 years. And the insidious nature of the Clintons and what they were willing to do makes my skin crawl. The deeper in the South they go, I'm afraid the worse it will get.

Yes my son can be anything he wants to be but he doesn't have to boxed in to the U.S.

before the mayflower said...

mrs. m. said:

Even if Obama wins the presidency, I'm going to do something that I would never do. I'm going to encourage my son not to stay in this country if he doesn't want to.

mrs. m., I understand the feeling, and I understand why you would give him that option, but let me respond this way:

What if Martin Luther King had left the country, Rosa Parks, E. Franklin Frazier, Lerone Bennett, W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, and other black lights great and small living during the last hundred years or so?

Namaste

Writeonbro said...

I'm glad Martin wasn't sleeping when he had his dream.I'm happy to see Barry living his dream.
I'll be just as glad when all the LittleBro's from the 21st century can step into their dreams.

Anonymous said...

I was there and it was nothing short of amazing.

cinco said...

I can appreciate what Senator Obama represents. The positive effects will continue to be seen for a while.
He's been able to give us hope for ourselves; our families; our communities;our 'people' and our country. Progress has been made even if he does not become our president. The thought of a Black president now seems hopeful in my lifetime!

cinco said...

I can appreciate what Senator Obama represents. The positive effects will continue to be seen for a while.
He's been able to give us hope for ourselves; our families; our communities;our 'people' and our country. Progress has been made even if he does not become our president. The thought of a Black president now seems hopeful in my lifetime!

cinco said...

I can appreciate what Senator Obama represents. The positive effects will continue to be seen for a while.
He's been able to give us hope for ourselves; our families; our communities;our 'people' and our country. Progress has been made even if he does not become our president. The thought of a Black president now seems hopeful in my lifetime!

cinco said...

Sorry about all the posts- my 'crackberry' was stuck!

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