The predictions were numerous during last year's campaign, and they came from some very respected, very educated Negroes who really should know better. People said the Obamas would serve as a shining example as the perfect functional marriage that would convince brothers coast to coast to turn in their player cards, put a rang on it, and buy that Toyota Sienna to fill with kids. Others said Michelle-O's physical fitness would have black women trading armchairs for arm curls. Still others said the sight of such an accomplished family would encourage kids to study hard in school and prepare for an adolescent life at Yale, not Jail.
I realize that being one of the few voices of dissent during all this made me sound like the consummate crab in a barrel (word to Tavis), but my Negro Spidey Sense just gets agitated when I hear such proclamations. Reality is, folks have never changed by osmosis, change is a gradual, difficult, and painful process that requires patience, hard work, and sacrifice. And lets not forget, for all the progress made last November 4th, only 65% of eligible blacks even bothered to turn off Judge Mathis and head down to their local polling place. If you can't get Negroes to simply show up and pull a lever, how likely are you to get them to suddenly become Cliff Huxtable and raise their damn kids?
This doesn't stop semi-reputable news organizations from still trying to make a story of "The Obama Effect" one year later though. And it looks like some more folks fell for that whole "voting for Obama makes all the difference" line of thinking, this time, courtesy of the underrated Don Lemon (who is trying to make himself this generation's Bernard Shaw, and actually succeeding on some counts, just not this one) of CNN.
Poppycock. And damnit, would someone please tell DJ Drama to straighten his cap or take it off? He looks like a moron.
Sorry folks, but I can't see what the lasting tangible effects of 4 (and maybe 8) years of Obama in Black America are going to be. The only thing he really even promised was to reform urban education. But for all the grandiose plans he had to implement those "Harlem Children's Zone"s all across America, you and I know he's spent all his political (and literal) capitol getting healthcare legislation passed. There is no more money (or concern) for comprehensive education reform, which is why Arne Duncan and Co. have scaled back their plans to do little more than tinker around the edges of No Child Left Behind. So, scratch that one.
If there's been any tangible Obama Effect on me personally, it hasn't been as a parent or husband (I was gonna be good at those anyway), it's been professionally. I take my career and role a bit more seriously now, and sometimes when I'm conducting a conference call and handling my biz, I Channel My Inner Barack Swagger™, and try to inspire my co-workers to greater heights.
"Can we debug this code?!? YES WE CAN!!!"
But honestly that's about it for me. What about ya'll?!?
Question: How has The Obama Effect changed your life personally? Has the election of Obama changed anything of substance in the Black community, or is this just media fabrication?