Obama is President… Now What?
By Septima Glenn
Many African- American parents have told their children they can be anything they want to be. However, some parents didn’t fully believe their words. With the emergence of Barack Obama, the first African- American President, parents may now be able to fully believe their statement.
On November 4, the world changed as many knew it and some questioned whether or not African Americans had to “step up”. Now that there is a black President, have the standards changed? Is more expected from the black man now that the President looks like him? Is “the white man is holding me down”, no longer a valid excuse? Some think that the burden should not be placed on Obama’s shoulders.
“We as a race should have stepped up a long time ago. Why should it take a black man becoming President to help us realize that we can do anything we put our mind to,” William Phillips said. If I think I need to step up because someone else did it first, then that’s a sad testament about me.”
However some black women believe it is now up to the black man to show what he can do. According to Starema Flood, black women have already stepped up and shown what they’re made of, now it’s time for their counterparts to do the same thing.
“It’s time for black men to stand up and let their voices be heard. After all we do have a black man as President,” Flood said. “If that’s not enough of an example and something to work towards, I don’t know what is.”
Not all people agree that the African-American race has more work to do. With almost 8 million black voters turning out for this election and almost 96 percent of them voting for Obama, some believe that in itself is enough of a statement.
“As a whole, we already stepped up,” Shayna Whitley said. “We rallied, we gathered and turned out in record numbers in order to elect him in the first place. I feel like we already made the big step.”
Big step or not, some take Obama being elected as sign of the change of times; a sign that although there is still prejudice in the world, it can no longer be used as a crutch for black people.
“There are no excuses. I can’t blame it on prejudice or anything else,” Janean Morris said. “If I fail, it’s because I fail. It’s my fault and no one else’s.