“… and the 44th President of the United States will be Barack Obama”. As this flashed across the screen on CNN there were split screens of people’s reactions. Tears of joy, a celebration throughout the nation.
As for me, I was at my boy’s Derrick and Lemon’s apartment along with my other boy Kool-Aid. As the results came across the screen everyone in the apartment cheered and someone began to play My President is Black by Young Jeezy lol. As for me, I just sat there with a smirk on my face. The lesser of two evils won and Bush was no longer in office.
George W. Bush aka the first “nigga President”. I call him that because he had the mentality of one and basically did whatever he wanted to do with no regards to anyone. Ironically I admired him for this trait too, I mean it is amazing, he could tell the nation “fuck you” and didn’t even sugar coat it. On a more positive note, I was somewhat hopeful because under Bush the economy dropped and the job market went to hell so maybe a change of regime will help. So as everyone is celebrating they look at my face and can tell that I am not feeling the same joy that they are. My boy’s know me so they assumed it was just “Calvin being Calvin”. I will admit that back then I was quite the cynical S.O.B. I didn’t want to rain on anyone’s parade so I attempted to keep my thoughts and comments to myself. Besides, I had a job interview in the morning and needed to get my rest.
So I go into this interview, it’s at a call center and the majority of people who are there for the interview are African – American’s. As I sit down and wait for my interview I listen to the conversation of the actual employees and the job candidates. Of course, the topic of discussion was the newly elected President of the United States. People were excited, I heard a lot of “we made its”, “shit gone change now”. My favorite was of course “the President is black, you crackers can’t tell me shit”. At first, I was somewhat disgusted because I felt as if the talk was somewhat ignorant. Then I decided that I should just be glad that people have happiness and some semblance of hope. I guess when you get shitted on for centuries any little glimpse of progress should be viewed in a positive manner. However, I will admit that as an African – American male I was embarrassed, especially when I heard someone say “man I’m gonna smoke this blunt for Obama”.
As I thought about the potential changes that would come when the President came into office I reminisced on his platform and the whole “Yes we can” theme. Yes, we can… sounded like the title of a sermon in a southern Baptist church. Like I could see a preacher telling us to open our bibles and tell us to go to the book of Mark, chapter 3, verse 5 and read a scripture (don’t look this up, it’s just an example). Then as he finished the reading and gave the summary he blah, blah, blah titles his sermon Yes we can. When you think about it the President sounded similar to a preacher in his delivery and message. He preached about hope and change. Hell, that sermon is preached every Sunday across the nation. It’s funny I once heard an interview with comedian D.L. Hughley and he compared politicians to pimps and preachers. Stated that they all preach hope and that he didn’t really trust any of them. He also made a very interesting point. We all lie on our job interviews to some extent and well the President is doing the same thing that we all have done. So I came to the conclusion that the first term will be pretty vanilla. For starters, the President has to clean up someone else’s mess. He took over a bad situation. It’s like… dating a woman who had horrible exes who left her scarred and with baggage and she is a wreck. Despite knowing this you see the potential and you want the position so bad that…never mind this analogy will take entirely too long.
Basically, the President started in the negative and is just trying to work himself back to zero. I also felt as if this President has to be more diplomatic so he will do what he can but not ruffle any feathers and do enough to get that second term. Then the real President Obama will show. You know almost like when one of your boy’s get a job at a foot locker or something and you ask for a hook-up as soon as he gets the job. Of course, he explains (well the smart ones) explains that eventually, he will get you, he just has to get settled, last that probationary period, learn the system and then he got you. (lol this was 2008 and I was a lot more naïve then).
Meanwhile the economy and my job situation didn’t improve, however, my responsibilities did as my newborn son continued to grow so I said fuck it and joined the Air Force. I’m all for that legal hustle lol. So as I am in basic training, tech school, etc. I don’t pay as much attention to what is going on in politics. I am too busy trying to stay faithful lol. Swear those young airmen were trying to give my old ass some play… never mind we all were coming off of 9 weeks of no sex and well they were throwing it at everybody. So much for me feeling myself smh.
Wow, that was really random, back to my original topic. Eventually, I get to my duty station in South Carolina and I become more engaged in the political front. I notice the President’s policies and as we go through conflicts I am impressed at how diplomatic he was. In comparison to our previous President, it isn’t even close. The irony is that now that I am in the military that my preference should be a more republican president. So imagine my reaction to the small pay increase that we received, lol something is better than nothing. As time continues to pass during the President’s term I notice the blatant disrespect that he received. The comments by celebrities, other politicians, people, etc. It seems as if it is on another level. Obama is the worst president, etc. Could it be because he is black? Hell if I know, I am sure that play’s a part but allow me to play devil’s advocate. From my point of view of course. I am currently 32 years old and the first President I was able to pay attention to and understand was Bill Clinton. I was 10 years old when he began his first term. Even with that being said all of my information came from my parents or what I heard from other adults and the occasional episode of 60 minutes.
Hardly enough information to give an accurate opinion of his two terms. I just know that he got head from an intern, “he didn’t inhale” and our economy flourished during his term…even though things began to slowly decline during his second time. Then, of course, many call him the first “black” President. I would assume because of his ability to connect with African American people. The fact that he appeared in an episode of the Arsenio Hall show and played saxophone still blows my mind. During his term, however, there was really no social media and I was more concerned with being liked in high school, getting taller, playing football, going to college, losing my virginity…you know the real important stuff than what Clinton’s political views were. The only negative talk that I heard about Clinton was from republicans attempting to get him impeached and the jokes on his accent or the fact that Hillary was really the President.
George W. Bush or as I call him W was the first President I was able to pay attention to. I was in college during both his terms… lol, I took a break while I was in college don’t judge me! So back to Bush, I remember the stolen election, 9/11, his ability to sound incredibly stupid, Hurricane Katrina, the crazy gas prices, the economy crashing, weapons of mass destruction etc. President Bush was a very interesting man. He had no fear whatsoever and instead of a diplomatic approach, he seemed to take more of a bullies approach. He caught a lot of jokes and negative comments. His term was during the Facebook, Myspace era and I noticed that there were more negative comments about him on those platforms. Then there was Kanye West telling the world that “Bush doesn’t care about black people” and the jokes from the late night talk show hosts. I also diversified my television viewing and watched more msnbc, CNN more so msnbc who would have more negative comments about the President and his policies. Then of course in the black community…well in the one’s that I interacted in, there was a common theme when it came to Bush…” Fuck him”.
Ok, let me bring this full circle I do hear a lot of negative comments on the President. When he came into office I heard many non-blacks complain and say that he was going to help black people. Ironically a lot of black people were thinking the same thing. See how that worked out thus far huh? To be honest the one group of people who have probably received the most help and benefited from this current President have been my homosexual brothers and sisters. If anything he should go down as the first and most LGBTQ friendly President, then first black President. For the record there is nothing wrong with that, I can’t with a clear conscience sit here and want anyone to be discriminated against.
Back to the comments on the President he has received so much perceived disrespect. From the things I see on TV and social media, dude gets straight up disrespected. However, sometimes I wonder if another President’s lived in this current society where cameras are everywhere, there is a platform to post your views on them and where every single move is scrutinized and considered news. Then, of course, the World Wide Web makes everything accessible so we know and learn so much more about them. When you add this and the fact that I am older I feel as if I just pay more attention to the President than I normally would so maybe he isn’t really catching as much disrespect as it appears to be. Ok enough of that devil’s advocate shit, dude is the most disrespected President ever, feel free to come to your conclusions as to why this is.
So let’s see President Obama gets reelected and remember my theory that this is when he will show his true colors or finally “hook us up”? Yeaaah about that I no longer had these feelings. President Obama is a politician first and foremost. That is what I see when I look at him. I don’t see a man, I don’t see a black man. I just see a politician. I also understand that like most jobs there are certain ways to do things or protocol and as a diplomat, there is a certain way that you have to do things and handle and conduct yourself. On the flipside, I laughed because the same people that he gave hope to, are now just as upset with him as the people who voted for him. Let me be more specific because of the black American community. We aren’t the majority and we didn’t necessarily put him in office but I think we were the last people who took up for the President.
For example, let’s take this horrible police brutality situation. Specifically the Michael Brown murder and the aftermath in Ferguson, Mo. Such an interesting viewpoint on our liberal President. He did eventually issue a statement on Tuesday btw. I was amused by the response because well, this is what politicians do. I am sure the President met with his advisors and came up with the best way to address this situation and this is what they decided to do. First of all news like this is so commonplace that he would have to do a press conference damn near weekly. Secondly, he is the President of the United States and his track record shows that he prefers not to “rock the boat” and he has to be somewhat diplomatic. He has a job just like we do and like I mentioned earlier there is a protocol that must be followed. With that being said sometimes I find myself wishing that he would drop the diplomacy and give us something a little less politically correct. Kinda like he did at the Sandy Hook incident. He gave the heartfelt speech, shed a tear went to the school, press conferences, the whole nine. Then again that was different because it involved, never mind I don’t want to insinuate anything lol. Maybe as this current issue dies down maybe the President will address it more but I doubt it. This leads to another point this doesn’t seem to be a priority currently, the current concern of this administration seems to be in the middle east. Hell Chicago, where he calls home has just as many murders as, see I am doing it again smh, I really need to stop insinuating things.
I do find it amusing that this hasn’t really been a concern or issue either. I saw so many people speak on the situation and say that the president is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. You know if he comments on something involving the black community it would come across as some form of bias or unfairness and prove what republicans and non-blacks said about him before he came into office. Lord knows I get this point and agree with it but sometimes I just wish he would say fuck it. True he can’t win for losing but damn why does it seem as if black people are the one’s who have to lose? We aren’t the majority but we are American too so helping us is also helping Americans.
Just an observation, issues in the black community are viewed as “black issues” while any other issue involving the caucasian community is viewed as “American issues” lol. Hell, all President’s look out for their people, tax bracket, financial backers, etc. Look at Bush hooking up his Vice President Cheney with the contract for Haliburton. While some comments were made no one really did anything about it. Who am I fooling, I am sure the President looks out for the people who back him financially. Despite these brief moments of emotion that I have my logical side dictates that what the President is doing is technically what he is supposed to do. Besides all, he could really offer is hope. Is that enough for us? Who knows? There are still rules and policies he has to adhere too. No one is really beating him in the media, hell the republicans can’t really say anything about him or accuse him of being against police and for black people. He is technically doing the right thing.
I didn’t say it was the morally right thing but technically he is right so there’s that. Not only that but it helps the democratic party in upcoming elections because no feathers were ruffled. I will commend the President on blurring the lines. As a black man, all I want is to be treated equally as other men. When he was first elected many referred to him as a black president. However, as his term went by I no longer saw him as a black president. I just see him as a President. Like Bush, Reagan, and Carter before him. So that is definitely an accomplishment. So to the minorities who voted for him and are now upset with him you can’t get but so upset at him. Also if you voted for the man because of his skin color this is what you get lol. Tired of people giving each other support and respect because of skin color. Respect has to be earned not just given. I will say this, Obama ain’t the worst President (as of yet, what is happening in Mo; the slow response may cement his history as one of the worst) and he isn’t the best. Hell if you closed your eyes and changed his name he would be just like the rest of our previous leaders of this nation. Hell, maybe this does mean we have made it as a people lol, hell if I know. I think Huey Freeman sums up my overall opinion of our President and what I expected from him lol