Can you put your politics aside and give credit to Barack Obama?
Let me start by saying if this breaks down along racial lines, so be it. Although that is not the intention here per se, it is an undeniable by-product of extolling the virtues of America’s first black President. So let me be very clear, this is directed primarily at critics of Barack Obama who refuse to give him credit for anything. To them, no accomplishment of Barack Obama real or imagined is noteworthy. It is also directed at critics of black people in general, and the stereotypes that too many people use to define us. I have a question for those people: can you put your politics aside and give credit to Barack Obama?
President Barack Obama is the ultimate stereotype breaker, and perhaps that is one of the reasons why his critics levy so much criticism upon him. I will say it: if some people can’t at least respect this black man, will they ever respect any black man? His public and “private” persona is impeccable. His demeanor, even in the most challenging times and difficult situations, is flawless. His delivery is always timely. I call it The Presidential Effect. Believe me, it is real and (to the best of my knowledge) authentic. Can you put you politics to the side and give credit to Barack Obama?
So how does President Obama shatter so many stereotypes? Even more important, why should he get credit for doing so? I think first identifying SOME of the stereotypes assigned to black men should help even the most ardent critics of Barack Obama recognize these falsehoods exist. Then, they would at least see how he goes against each of these beliefs. Finally, perhaps some critics of the President can at least put their politics to the side and give credit to Barack Obama. It is worth a shot…
US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha board Air Force One at Chicago O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on November 7, 2012. Obama returns to Washington on Wednesday emboldened by his re-election but facing the daunting task of breaking down partisan gridlock in a bitterly divided Congress. Obama told Americans “the best is yet to come” after defying dark economic omens to handily defeat Mitt Romney, but his in-tray is already overflowing with unfulfilled first term wishes thwarted by blanket Republican opposition. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Stereotype #1: The black father is absent from the home.
Obviously, Barack Obama shatters this myth. Like me, he is one of countless black fathers who are leading their families to the best of our ability. We provide guidance and structure to our families. We work hard to earn a living and ensure the well-being of those who look to us to support. In the President’s case, just look at Michelle Obama, their daughters, and even the support given to his mother-in-law as an indicating that Barack Obama has always taken care of home. Can you put you politics to the side and give credit to Barack Obama?
Stereotype #2: The black man is prone to violence and crime.
Obviously, Barack Obama shatters this myth. Like me, he is one of countless black men who have never been involved in violence or crime. We do not have an arrest record, nor do we have the inclination to get one. We know that the best way to live is to follow the law. If the law does not work in our favor, then the course of action is to oppose, but not break said law. In the President’s case, any arrest record or criminality would disqualify him from office and betray the public’s trust. Can you put you politics to the side and give credit to Barack Obama?
Stereotype#3: Black people are less likely to be educated, or unwilling to be educated.
Obviously, Barack Obama shatters this myth. Like me, he is one of many black men who hold college degrees from schools across the nation. To dispel another myth, these degrees were earned based upon merit, not a handout of affirmative action. We have a desire to get a quality education, and see our family members do the same. In the President’s case, his Harvard Law Degree should be all you need to hear to say he believes in the value of education. Couple that with Michelle Obama’s degrees from Princeton and Harvard Law School, and there should be no reason to doubt the Obama’s commitment to education. Can you put you politics to the side and give credit to Barack Obama?
The sad part is the fact that I even feel the need to write this piece. Examples of black men who are doing the right thing abound in our society. Yet, far too often we do not receive the credit we deserve. It is true: we are doing what is expected of us, so why should we get credit for that? My answer is simple: I do not believe black men get much, if any credit for anything! The only way to convince some people to comprehend is to use the example of the most powerful, and admired man in the world IN HOPES that they would understand.
In 850 words, I have provided three admirable qualities of Barack Obama, Unfortunately, these three and many other positive qualities are seldom used to describe millions of black men like Barack Obama. We understand the magnitude of his success and stereotype- shattering significance of his Presidency. Do you?
So I will ask again, can you put your politics to the side and give credit to Barack Obama?