Another “popular” idea that shows just how much people want to forget our country’s history and tendency toward highlighting the physical, mental, racial or gender differences, or using those differences to establish and maintain a social hierarchy, is the product of the “Barack Obama Effect,” which has lead a surprising number of American whites to believe that hundreds of years of social injustice and racial prejudice are somehow corrected now that we have a black president. I’m going to spell this out for you.
First, the black population did NOT get Obama elected. Unless you were living under a rock between January of 2001 and November of 2008, you are probably aware that Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, was perhaps (if not literally) the worst president in our nation’s history, so when election time rolled around, the electorate was making every effort to get him and a good percentage of his fellow Republicans out of Washington.
November 2008, as the result of perceived incompetence by conservatives, ended up becoming a critical election, or an election that shifted majority power to the Democratic Party. The point is, that even if Hilary Clinton had won the Democratic Party’s nomination as the party’s presidential candidate, chances were very strong that a Republican would not be the president in 2008.
I’m also of the opinion that Americans wouldn’t be so quick to believe that sexism died in America if Hilary Clinton would have been elected president.
Second, the black population did NOT get Barack Obama elected. Racial minorities constitute approximately 33 percent (about 13 percent of the population being black) of the country’s population, making, if my math is correct, the other 66 percent of the country white. This means that there aren’t enough black people in the country to get ANYONE elected when it comes to a national popular vote. So what race group made up the majority of Obama supporters? I’ll let you fill in that blank.
I would understand (somewhat) if the argument was aimed at the level of individual responsibility and accountability involved with getting ahead and using the legislation for its true purpose, to improve the chances of success for those who were historically disadvantaged and disenfranchised classes of our society. This is why I personally believe that the legislation should be amended to reflect the issues that inhibit social equilibrium.
This is reflective of a notion that I’m sure many would agree with, namely, the idea that everyone should have equal opportunities to pursue whatever social, political and economic endeavors they so choose without fearing that their race, gender, or physical hindrances will prevent them from getting ahead if they are willing to work to do so. I shudder to think that there are still people who will simply regurgitate something that they may have seen on “news” networks like FOX News or MSNBC, or heard from their parents, relatives, fellow churchgoers, instead of actively seeking information about a particular subject and forming an opinion that actually makes sense.
The fact that pieces such as the article in question are actually published in a newspaper that represents the opinions of young “educated” people honestly disgusts me to no end. I hate to make it seem like other race groups don’t deal with inequality, because they do; but as an African-American male who comes from a community that sends more people to jail than to college, it is quite difficult to see beyond the obstacles of my own race-group (though I try very hard to do so).
People who don’t think or care to educate themselves on these types of issues only perpetuate the need for Affirmative Action, and allow the ignorance and discrimination to continue. I am very much an advocate of free speech, but I sincerely hope that this is the last time an article of this nature sees print, and hope that the author of the article addressing Affirmative Action takes time to investigate topics prior to forming an opinion on them in the future. Oh, and for those who didn’t know, Native American Heritage Month is in November.