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American Government - Essay Example

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On January 30, 1964 Sam Cooke recorded a song entitled "A Change is Gonna Come." Now, it really has. Cooke's song dealt with racial discrimination. Fortunately, this time, the change has come in the form of America being on the brink of electing its first black president…
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To start, America is now a place where people can tastefully joke about race. Since many democrats believe that former president Bill Clinton was good for the economy, and a proponent for initiatives that positively impacted lower classes, which of course includes many African-American families, it is joked that he is the first black president. According to DeWayne Wickham's "Clinton, Africa, and True Colors," which was published in USA Today, author Toni Morrison coined the phrase. Wickham doesn't think that Mr. Clinton can be called the first black president, but agrees he is "almost certainly the next best thing" (para. 1). It's not that Morrison's comment did not offend some. It did. The truth is, though, that many African Americans embrace the term, and even laugh about it. It is probably one of the reasons that Mrs. Clinton has some of the momentum she has - people long for the thriving economic times generated by the last Clinton in office. It is impressive, though, that a white president can be looked upon as favorably by black people as Mr. Clinton was, and it is even more impressive that the average African American is not offended by his being called black. Obama has even joined in the jibing. In an Economist article, "Primary Colour," Obama was asked how he feels about the former white president being called black. ...
Referring to Clinton a potential brother, a term of endearment from one black man to another, is also funny. There was a time when a black man would have died for merely suggesting that a white man was kin to a black man. Now, it is no more than a punch line. That's progress.
With all the fight for equality that women, too, have suffered, it would seem that most women would jump at the chance to elect a female president. That isn't always the case. It says a lot about the country that women, even white women, are supporting Barack Obama. In "Black Women Talk Barack," Amy Alexander writes that the "archetypal 'black woman voter' does not exist" (10). Alexander explains that white women of the baby boomer generation are enthusiastic about Obama. Black women, who are often seen as conflicted about whether to vote their race or gender, may also be leaning more heavily toward Obama. Alexander writes that this phenomenon is even easier to explain. "The mothers of black boys are going to vote for Obama" (10). The truth is, Obama offers hope to African Americans everywhere. Alexander is correct. He is what every mother, whites and blacks, though, wants her son to be. Obama is smart, educated, articulate, and promising to look out for the every day American. With all of the struggles and discrimination that black people have faced, and still do, he is more than just a possible black president. He is a beacon of understanding. Clinton might speak of understanding the plight of black people, or the lower class, but Obama is black people. One of his own family members, according to a television interview, was among the class of people who die from illness, or old age, and can't ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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