Today we say goodbye to a historical moment. We’ve witnessed a feat that I never imagined possible in my lifetime and I’m a mere 43 years of age. When I first began teaching, I would often say that the likely nature of there ever being a black president in my lifetime was pretty slim. I used to say this because growing up in the south, there was no way southerners would be willing to endorse a black leader.
Growing up I realized real quick that people dislike minorities and have boxes that they keep them in. Even minorities hold some of the prejudices that are perpetuated by society today. When Barack Obama was elected President of the United States it was supposed to be the end of an era and the beginning of something new. It was supposed to mark the end of racial discrimination and open up discussions on how we as a people would unite and fight for what’s right.
I remember, after the election, watching people of all colors in the streets crying as history was made. People were holding hands, hugging and regardless of what they looked like, you felt a genuine sense that things were going to get better. There were individuals that were hating America had a black leader, but they were in the minority. Their voice was always loud, and as it echoed, people were quick to dismiss rationale for the hate most days.
I remember never wanting to have children in a world of hate, but after attending the inauguration of President Obama I thought that maybe things would be different and two years later my daughter was born. A part of me was fearful of having a child deal with circumstances of racial hate and prejudice like I had to deal with and too this day attempt to overcome.
A part of me is sad to see this administration go away. Not because I thought he was a great leader, because he was average at best. I’m sad because I realize that it’s the end of an era. For 8 years America had someone who looked, sounded, and represented me as its leader. Ironically hate won out in the end. Instead of dismissing the hate, we let it fester and grow until finally it claimed enough people to disenfranchise what so many people throughout history had accomplished.
Tomorrow a new leader will sit in that position of power and I’m not really sure how I genuinely feel about that. President Trump may very well be a great leader. Early signs indicate that will not be the case but you never know a persons true intent until you let them lead. Tomorrow signifies the beginning of something different. It signifies the unknown. In four years I may look back at this post and say that I was wrong and love really won out or I will look back at it and say damn I had no idea it was really going to be this bad.
The good news is that most people remember you and miss you more when you’re gone and things aren’t great. A lot of people may look back at this day and remember what we had and wish for something similar in the future. On any accord I’d like to take this moment to say goodbye President Obama. Thank you for the memories. Thanks for being a pioneer. Thanks for being a President we can relate too. I wish you LOVE, PEACE, and SOUL! (I’m sure you understand if others don’t)….