Although I am a Republican, I am African American and can relate to the significance of the election of Barack Obama. Whether I like it or not, he is the first POTUS of color and as a country we have been forever changed because of it. I do not agree with his character or policies but as far as the collective memory of this nation, he is here to stay.
Would my failings as an adult and lapses in judgment cause irrevocable damage to the quality of their life?
Is it possible to be a great mom when my own childhood was so dysfunctional? When I was raised by a single mom who collected a monthly pay check from Uncle Sam? There was no significant male figure in my life, save for a brother living military life in Europe most of my life.
What about politics?
Someday this child will want to go out and vote or at least I hope they would want to contribute to the political process.
I also wonder if I were a mom, what would I say to he or she about Barack Obama?
Would I yell idiot at the television every time Obama’s image pops up? That would be every day.
You may be surprised at this but my answer is no.
For example if my child arrived from school with a homework assignment about Obama. They have to answer five questions about Obama’s impact on our coutry.
For argument’s sake let’s pretend that the text book is full of liberal embellishments: “Obama is a great man”, “Obama saved our country from the brink of financial Armageddon, “Obama is the greatest president since FDR.” “Racism almost kept Obama out of the White House”…
How would I handle this situation without passing on my own prejudices against the man? This is the first president of color we are talking about. As any good archivist/ historian, I would teach my child to do rigorous research on it’s own. I would say that while I did not agree with Obama’s policies and I did not vote for him, his election was a pivotal moment in history for all Americans but especially for African Americans. If the child is very young, there is no need to discuss the motivation and behavior behind Barack Obama.
Afrocity mom would bust out the”Great Black Politicians in History” flash cards which hopefully have cardboard representations Colin Powell, Condeleeza Rice, Michael Steele, along with Barack Obama, Jesse Jackson and other prominent black Americans. Let’s save the Obama and Bill Ayers stories for middle or high school. Obama was the first black president and I will not steal that moment–the very significance of it, away from my child. If I wrote Obama off as a simpleton, say as many liberal women particularly feminists do Sarah Palin, what would I really be teaching my child? I just marginalized an important historical figure at the expense of my child’s freedom to choose their own heroes.
Every group or identity politic has memorable stories that endure the harshness of forgetfulness. Stories that we reiterate to each generation over and over again. I accept that Barack Obama will be one of them. His legacy will be held to redefinition over the years. Historians will carefully examine his accomplishments and spin new interpretations on Barry-O but still he will never go away.
The same can be said for women’s history. We can be Republicans or Democrats, Independents, Tea Partiers but we still are women.
What if Sarah Palin did win presidential election in 2012? What would women, liberals in particular say to their daughters? “Sarah Palin is a CUNT” ? would they hang her and Piper in effigy over the local Planned Parenthood center? Or would they say: “You know what, I do not agree with this woman’s stance on abortion or gay marriage, but her getting elected to the highest office in the nation is a pretty damn big step for all women”?
As it stands now, we have all this unfolding discourse on how qualified Sarah Palin is. She must prove herself. Over and over and over again like a broken record. No matter how many speeches Sarah gives, she still must prove herself.
I was somewhat upset with Geraldine Ferraro during this FOX NEWS interview with Megyn Kelly. Again with the Sarah must prove herself.
I wanted to jump into Megyn’s fancy new studio and say “Hey, Gerry…I was a kid when you ran on the DNC ticket and really I think Sarah Palin gave more interview’s and is under far more media scrutiny than you ever were.”
After a year of fumbles and corpse-men, Obamatons are still chanting “All we are saying, is give Obama a chance”
Would they do the same for Sarah?
I will close this post with one of my most memorable moments in Afrocity once watched cartoons history. Precious and is this episode of Popeye the Sailor Man. Olive Oyl imagines herself as being President of the United States of America. She fights sexism and partisan politics, she has a male secretary. Please watch and I am sure you will be equally entertained and frightened that this antique film reel still captures the underpinnings of a woman’s struggle in politics today. It will take a helluva lot more than a can of spinach to get a woman in the White House sowing the seeds of legislation and real change instead of organic arugula.
Autographed Letter Signed,