This is a write up I wrote on the 20th Jan, 2009.
Its 6.45am GMT on 20th January 2009, today the first black president of the United States of America will be sworn in. As Dr King said in his ‘I have a dream speech’… Obama has been judged by the content of his character and not the color of his skin.
Where do I start from… the Kenyan election violence that left many dead and homeless, the South African “Hero” who believed he couldn’t be infected with HIV because he took a shower after having sexual relations with an infected person, the wars in Congo & Somalia, the poverty prevalent in oil rich Nigeria, the Zimbabwean leader who blames the West for inflation of 231,000,000% in his country, the constant failure of leaders and poor electoral reforms in Nigeria and many other African countries, the violent black neighborhoods in the US, the black kids who can only think of being hip-hop stars and wouldn’t give education a thought, the black drug traffickers all over Europe, the black internet fraudsters that proudly showcase their ill gotten wealth at any opportunity, Africa, a continent vastly blessed with every kind of natural resource you could think of is swimming in poverty and has to plead for aid from Western and Middle Eastern countries… the list of failures seems endless.. I could go on and on.
Hope lies in people like Nelson Mandela who after his tenure of office willfully left power, in the recent successful and peaceful presidential elections in Ghana, in Philip Emeagwali, a Nigerian who helped give birth to the super computer, in Morgan Tsvangirai who has refused to be bulldozed and bribed into a deal in Zimbabwe, in Bishop Desmond Tutu who is an embodiment of a true African, in Koffi Annan, the immediate past United Nations Secretary, hope lies in Barrack Obama.. the son of a white woman from Kansas and black father from Kenya… but most important of all… hope lies in the great black people from every nation and from all works of life, who try their best to make a honest living, who raise honest and hardworking children who will be the leaders of tomorrow… the greatest hope comes from within the innermost minds of these leaders of tomorrow.
Back to Barack Obama… a lot of controversies in his life, he is a Christian who attended an Islamic school in Indonesia and has a middle name Hussein, he was raised by a single mother, he did drugs as a youth, however, he is being addressed as the first Black US president, not the first US president who attended an Islamic school, or the first US president who lived in Indonesia, or the first with a funny middle name… this goes to say the color of his skin will be a major basis for his assessment, I have listed a lot of black successes above, but Obama’s success so far has had the most effect on the way blacks are viewed worldwide, so… somewhere within me… I cannot but pray that Obama succeeds, because if he fails, it wouldn’t be seen as another failed presidency like the Bush presidency is seen, it will be seen as a failure of the black race.. we have an opportunity now, and we had better make good use of it.. Obama had better succeed.