University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Is America Ready for a Black President?
The United States presidential election happens every four years and it gives the prime most position in the world to the “lucky” presidential winner and this winner would render a four-year term starting at midday on Inauguration Day, a year after the election. The election is conducted in various states, no through the federal government. The trend since the beginning is the transfer of power between two political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans.
Each election, both parties would nominate candidates within the organization and these feasible candidates would battle each in other in the polls as the party’s leading candidate for the Presidential elections, therefore, there would only be two Presidential Candidates each time. One Democrat and one Republican. Since 1789 from the time of George Washington, to George W. Bush, the current President of US, there had been NO black candidate ever nominated into a presidential position. Until now, with the ongoing battle of both Democrat Senators Barrack Obama of Illinois and Hilary Clinton of New York.
Obama is said to be, might be, the future President of the United States. The issue enters here, is America ready for a black President? What if Barrack Obama wins? How will America accept a black President? What will be the advantages as well as the disadvantages? The Role of Black Citizens in Elections Blacks or African Americans have gone a long way since the slave trading days, pre-civil war. They have successfully re-invented themselves into productive and rightful citizens of the United States.
They were given right to vote and the Blacks history against Republican candidates became a tool that Democrats took advantage of in balancing the political power, by using Black votes, which composed a whooping 15% of the voting populace, against the Republicans. As stated by Walters, “Black presence has often been decisive in determining the outcome of presidential elections (Walters, 1). However, even though Blacks were given such freedom to exercise their voting prowess, they are still considered a minority and don’t hold any important representations.
They are merely used as tools, a strategic ploy by the Democrats to attract more votes and win more points through the support of the Black citizens over their rivals, the conservative Republicans. “The cost of social (permanent racial minority) status based upon an imperfect social contract for Blacks is that rarely has it been possible to participate in crucial decisions such as the selection of national leadership in a manner which reflects the “interests” of Black (interests defined here as both racial preference and race-related issue preference) through what is called “sincere” or “straightforward” voting (Walters, 3).
In addition, racism still plays an important role in determining whether American citizens are ready to accept a Black President. This matter can be traced back to the pre-civil war roots and although Blacks were given freedom, they are not yet free enough to take over or make a crucial point in US Presidential Elections. Can Barrack Obama be the next President of the United States of America? Barrack Obama is a Junior United States Senator from Illinois, and a running candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the 2008 Presidential elections against Hilary Clinton, ex-First wife of Ex-President Bill Clinton.
Obama already broke boundaries as the fifth and current African-American serving in the US Senate. He graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School. However, Obama’s “blackness” was put in question because of his inheritance. His father came from Kenya and his mother is white American. This was put into question every time talks about America being ready for a Black president emerge. As with the pros and cons, Obama’s political agendas are not any different from Clinton’s platform.
It’s just that he is Black and male, and Clinton is white and female. Both are banking on their weakness points (Black and Female) to arouse vote sympathies and to prove that one can go beyond his or her weakness point to serve the great country of America, if he or she would be elected President. Obama being black however rouses more questions instead of sympathies for him. Recent polls showed Clinton being 40 points higher than him.
However, when it comes to black polls, Obama leads Clinton with a sweeping 24 points, but this is in the Black community. Nonetheless, a survey among Black citizens whether America is ready for a Black President showed that most of them don’t believe that this is the time for it; or that they would live long enough to witness it. If Black citizens have this mindset, what more the White citizens? “Part of Obama’s problem with black voters is that he is viewed by whites as the first black candidate with a legitimate shot at the White House.
When white America has embraced a candidate — as they have with Barrack Obama — there is a certain amount of distrust that goes with this among a number of African Americans, Wilson said (cnn. com). ” The only advantage that can be seen once Obama wins Presidential election is having an educated man with an educated list of priorities and programs that if dealt with and completed thoroughly, United States would perhaps be still the greatest nation in the world. The drawback however, is the unprepared ness, still, of most Americans, as well as abroad in dealing with a Black President.
There might be an issue of bias leaning towards the favor of Blacks and Whites may see it as threat (hopefully not leading for Civil War II). Nonetheless, in terms of readiness, America is ready, actually, but to exercise clearly that readiness through voting might still be impossible. Yes, they are open but somehow there’s this secret power that keeps them from making their “open-mindedness” known through voting Obama for President. “So we have seen the gradual maturing of an America which now accepts that Blacks can do more than play sports and entertain them.
The reality is that–even though Blacks in positions of influence owe their success to the Thurgood Marshalls, Martin Luther Kings, Fannie Lou Hamers and Jesse Jacksons–this success is not the alternative to civil rights activism. It is the result of civil rights activism, then and now. This does not mean racism no longer exists, and it certainly does not mean that all America will embrace a Black commander in chief. But it does mean that the climate is set for an active strategic minority to mobilize the majority to victory (Sharpton, 2007). ” Conclusion
In general, although American claims stating no bias or whatsoever when it comes to race and gender, I personally believe that America is not yet ready for a Black President. Accepting a Female President might be easier in a patriarchal environment, but not a Black President. Remember that movie “Deep Impact” where Morgan Freeman played the role of a US President? It’s actually uncanny to have a Black President when the world is about to end. Maybe, the public needs more brainwashing or having a Black president of the US would only remain (in the meantime) in the movies with end of the world plots.
Works Cited Crowley, C. & Johnson, S. Is Black America ready to embrace Obama? CNN. com Website, March 1, 2007. Accessed December 3, 2007. http://edition. cnn. com/2007/POLITICS/02/28/obama. black. vote/index. html Obama, Barrack. The Audacity of Hope. New York, October 2006. Sharpton, Al. Is America Ready for a Black President? America is Ready for a Black President if We Look to our Civil Rights Roots. Ebony, Vol. 62, January 2007. Walters, Ronald W. Black Presidential Politics in America: A Strategic Approach. SUNY Press.