When it comes to race relations in this country, negativity may finally be fading away.
President-elect Barack Obama put it into perspective, reminding us that, “At each and every junction of our history, somebody’s been audacious enough to say we can do something different. And more often than not, it’s been young people who’ve done it.”
Let’s not praise Obama to be more than human. He is simply a man inspiring hope and change. He’s a man with dreams and has the ambition to change the broken ways of America. He can also change the fundamental problems facing America.
But today is a new day, and we’ve become a country that tends to suppress our racist tendencies. Or at least we try to.
“He represents a new age for America,” said Kevin Maggio, former president of Temple Students for Obama. He is “a much-needed shift in direction.”
“We made it known that we are the next generation. A generation that believes America has an enormous potential for good in this world,” Maggio said.
Jane Gordon, a professor of political science, acknowledges the significance of Obama’s victory but also points out something important.
“There are many anti-black racists who can appreciate and even love individual black people who they frame as exceptional,” Gordon said. “It is particularly wonderful that what will be associated with the first black president will be the increase of intelligence, integrity and ability in the highest office.”
Gordon finds that race relations may not improve as a direct result of Obama’s win. However, she sees his position in office will lead us in the right direction.
“It is important to note that the earliest set of appointments that he has made have not been of people of color,” she said. “These moves clearly illustrate that he is not going to be actively pro-black in a way that would at all alienate or cause fear among Americans.”
Gordon’s point is one of realistic optimism, rather than the philosophical revelations people seemed to have during the election process.
Obama does not see two colors in America. Instead, he hopes for a unified country, and his cabinet will be his tool in doing so.
Still, students are excited about this new direction in the course of American history.
“This election was the first time I’ve seen the word ‘change’ visualized,” said senior communications major Shamara Rochester. “I never want to look back.”
Our generation is responsible for a lot of today’s current social stances. We won’t easily entertain people accusing Obama of “paling around with terrorists.” We let our minds make up our thoughts, and we tend to act as stubbornly as we think.
We are in control of our future, and it’s up to us to let the dust settle.
Ignore any feelings of something racist surfacing, and just brush it off. Otherwise, what a waste of time it was to spend months supporting a symbol of “change.”
Let it go because lingering “racism” needs to finally fade away.
Tara Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.