Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Obama Intangibles?!?

As you guys know, I'm no pie-in-the-sky dreamer. I'm a realist, which is why it's always irked me it hear people talk about Obama's ascent to President as the cure to all that ails American Negroes.

I've heard the phrase "there is no more room for excuses" a million times in the past 6 months, which is just ludicrous. There was never any excuse for Black Americans (wo)manning-up and doing what we are supposed to do in our families, our schools, and our lives in general. Anyone that thinks moving a Black family into 1600 Penn Ave. automatically gets all black boys out The Traaap, all black girls off The Pole, and makes us all Huxtables is delusional. What sorta bassackwards, low-expectations having Negro Logic is that? Real change (the kind Obama is advocating) requires work, selflessness, and dedication. Barry himself has repeatedly told folks to get offa that bullsh*t and Take The AverageBro Challenge™. Naturally, I agree.

That said, there will certainly be a bevvy of intangible effects as a result of the Obama Presidency, whether intentional or not. Here's my best guesses, add you own you-know-where.
DC Is Hip Again - When I moved to The Urreah a decade and change ago, DC was still considered The Mecca for upwardly mobile blacks. In the years since, Atlanta has further established itself as The Buppie Destination, with cheap homes, good jobs, and lots of scrip clubs The Black Hollywood reputation as a media and entertainment capitol. DC, thanks to it's already transitory nature, awful traffic, gentrification, and sky high home prices has lost a little cache. More and more people seem to come here for their first gigs, then leave for less expensive pastures. Perhaps this changes that, now that DC is one of the few comparatively recession-proof areas in the nation. Cause the gubb'ment's always hiring and spending. That'll never change.

Black Kids' Opinions Matter - One amazing development already seen is that since the Obamas have two young daughters, black children are suddenly a hot commodity. From the Ron Clark Kids, to Damon Weaver, and of course Sasha and Malia, Negro children nationwide are now looked at as more than just morbid future statistics. Chew on that one. As a parent who is sick and tired of watching Little Bill reruns, I hope this filters down to some new, hood-friendly children's entertainment, cause if I hear "Get better Mr. Bill, Bill, Billll" one more time... oh boy. And since I'm throwing it out there, how about Disney Pixar Cars II: McQueen Goes To Harlem, starring Chris Tucker as Hot Rod Hunter? I'm just sayin'.

DC Finally Gets Voting Rights - In my travels around the US, it constantly amazes me how few people know about non-Federal DC. When I tell folks I'm from The Urreah, once we get beyond the basic political jibberjabber, one name inevitably comes up: Marion Barry. Some Americans don't even realize DC is a city of nearly 600,000 taxpayers with zero Congressional representation. Folks locally have already seen Mayor Adrian Fenty auditioning as Barack Obama's weedcarrier. Unlike prior Presidents who have seldom ventured outside cocktail-party DC, Obama will probably spend some time beyond Lafayette Square, and at some point in the next 4 years, DC will have its own Congresswoman. Hell, it might even happen this month.

Some Venerable Black Institution Will Die - The downside of a perceived post-racial America is that many will assume venerable black institutions and programs like HBCUs, the UNCF, and various social organizations are no longer needed. Many of these entities are maintained by corporate tax writeoffs donations. In this recession, that money won't flow like it used to, and even if it did, some folks will be convinced that it's no longer needed since we just solved all out problems on January 20th.

Lots Of Kids Named Barack - We've already seen this. Just flip to the birth announcements page in your local fishwrap and you'll see an explosion of kids named Barack, Obama, Michelle, Sasha, and Malia, some of whom (based on the parents' names) appear to be white. Much like the afrocentric name explosion (Jamal, Imani, Ebony) of the 70's, the ghettocentric explosion of the 80's (Quantrecia, Kahlanghee, De'Andre), and the materialist explosion (Alexus, Chanel, Armani, Camry) of the 90's, this represents a new era in Negro Nomenclature.

Light Skindded Dudes Will Come Back In Style - I'm a brownskinned guy, not yellow, and hardly blue-black, so I can't say I really felt the effects of the El Debarge era of the 80's. Many say Michael Jordan, Wesley Snipes, Big Daddy Kane, and Co. made it fashionable to be a darkskinned brother in the 90's. I can't really co-sign on this one either since I'm not a woman. But if some lightskinned dudes said they were treated like Members Only jackets for years, I would only assume a light bright, damn-near half-white Prez can only help advance their cause.

Brown Skindded Women Will Come Back In Style - Awww, who are we kidding? Brown Skindded Women are always beautiful and in-style.

Question: What other Obama Intangibles do you think we'll see over the next 4-8 years? Do you think an Obama Presidency can really change anything by osmosis or is there more work for all of us to do?

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