This Black History Month I’m Grateful for Barack Obama
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or
some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that
Jackson ran for President in 1984 and 1988, his campaigns were considered
quixotic. No one really thought Jackson would be President. However, a
generation later, Obama accomplished what many believed impossible; a Black
President. Nor was this an accident of history. Consolidating his 2008 win with
a sizable re-election margin in 2012 made Obama only the fourth Democrat to win
consecutive terms as President since Andrew Jackson.*
Soon after succeeding George W. Bush in the White House,
Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. While the award was largely a repudiation of
Bush, Obama has ended America’s war in Iraq and the end of the conflict in
Afghanistan is imminent. With ObamaCare, the President has initiated the most
substantial change in health care since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society created
Medicaid and Medicare.
Obama has also broadened the national conversation on
civil rights issues by publicly supporting gay marriage rights and ending
discriminatory policies in the military. Obama is among the several most
important people in this 21st century and already belongs near the
top of the list for all of American history.
Beyond his policies, Obama has become a global symbol for
possibility. The vision of what America is and can be has been irrevocably
changed now that Obama and his family are the visual representatives of this
country. While Obama’s Presidency is not the realization of Martin Luther
King’s Dream, America has certainly come closer to fulfilling it. Clearly, America’s
first Black President holds a special, soon to be permanent place in the annals
of national and world history.
Today I am grateful for Barack Obama. You should be too.
*- Before him were Bill Clinton, Franklin Roosevelt and
Woodrow Wilson. Grover Cleveland won the popular vote three times in a row but
lost the Electoral College race in between his terms in office.