(ThyBlackMan.com) On the night that then US Senator Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, many Blacks held their collective breath. It was their generation’s turn not unlike an earlier generation of Blacks had done when Jackie Robinson took the diamond. Similar to when Joe Louis stepped into the ring.
It was now their turn to witness what would be the first Black president of the US. They would watch him take his turn at bat and with a mighty swing put a permanent and lethal blow to America’s apartheid system of Jim Crow.
They would cheer him on when he took the field for freedom, justice and equality. They would root for him as he played aggressively and courageously for the advancement of the American people, all the American people.
They would hold their collective breath for the entire eight years of his two-term presidency. During those first few days of President-elect Obama, they were cautiously optimistic. It was the result of seeing the encouragement from people of all races not just throughout the US, but the world to his historic victory. Perhaps, America might finally be able to turn the page from its ugly, unholy history.
“Yes we can, yes we can,’ proclaimed candidate and President-elected Obama. There was hope and excitement in the US and throughout the world.
President Obama on his first day in office inherited a global financial crisis. It was named the Great Recession. He was able to move the country out of what was considered the second worst financial crisis in the nation’s history. Only the Great Depression in the 1930s was considered worse.
With the help of a major economic stimulus package he was able to guide the nation out of the Great Recession. Unlike President Franklin Roosevelt, he was able to put the nation on a solid economic path forward without the nation having to go to war.
During President Obama’s first term he was able to enact legislation to reform health care and a major financial regulation reform bill. He also ended its war in Afghanistan, the nation’s longest war.
He ordered the counterterrorism raid which killed Osama bin Laden, co-founder of Al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization. Bin Laden was considered the mastermind behind Al-Qaeda’s September 11, 2001 attack on American soil which killed nearly 3,000 people.
President Obama’s counterinsurgency military approach in dealing with foreign terrorist movements was to expand air strikes and make extensive use of special forces. President Obama also encouraged nations with terrorist organizations operating on their soil to more actively engage their own militaries.
President Obama did however order military involvement in Libya in 2011. The involvement was part of a NATO led coalition to implement a UN Security Council resolution the purpose of which was to bring about a ceasefire to the civil war taking place in Libya.
Its aim was to end attacks on the Libyan people and crimes against humanity being committed by the Libya regime. The US and NATO led response would contribute to the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.
Also during his first term, President Obama appointed US Supreme Court justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Judge Sotomayor would become the first Hispanic/Latinx American on the US Supreme Court.
During his second term, President Obama took steps to combat climate change. He signed the Paris Agreement, a major international climate agreement. He also issued an executive order to limit carbon emissions.
President Obama also presided over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. He negotiated a nuclear agreement with Iran and normalized relations with Cuba. President Obama’s administration promoted inclusion for LGBT Americans. During his second term, the US Supreme Court also strike down same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional.
During President Obama eight years the American economy improved significantly. The US’ reputation abroad as well saw a significant improvement.
President Obama projected a confidence and swagger which underscored his presidential nature. When he spoke there was an eloquence which captured the attention of the nation as well as the world. “We can be better.”
He also communicated a compassion which if one allowed touched their soul and heart. It gave expression and hope for the best.
While many Blacks held their collective breath, hoped and prayed for President Obama’s success, which would also be this nation’s success, there were those who wanted him to fail. They wanted him to fail miserably even if it meant the US would be damaged and would suffer in the process.
Some proclaimed openly to want to do anything and everything to make sure President Obama would only serve one-term if that long. They called themselves patriots, the real Americans and Christians.
However, when the history of this period is written by future historians, it can be certain that they will be given other monikers. That they will be given their rightful place in footnotes that reflect America’s inhumanity, sin and long troubled dysfunctional history.
Blacks that held their collective breaths for President Obama’s success while hoping for the best. They were not at all surprised with those who wanted him to fail. They expected it.
Yet they were confident that he would succeed. That he would overcome whatever stumbling blocks that were put before him. That the stumbling blocks would become stepping stones to move forward, to progress further.
They knew that, they believed that. If God was for him, they knew he and in turn they had nothing to fear. They knew that from their religious teachings. They knew that from their history.
They had overcome the inhumanity, brutality and barbarism of America’s original sin of slavery. One of mankind’s many descents into hell.
They had overcome the degradation, torture, and violence of the Jim Crow South, the injustice, mistreatment and discrimination found in the North. Many had seen first hand the “colored only” drinking fountains and public restrooms.
They had experienced being forced to sit in the back of movie theaters and buses. Of being denied entrance to hotels, restaurants and hospitals. They had seen white mobs burn down homes and businesses of Blacks. Police and media outlets referred to them as race riots. But it was nothing other than just plain evil.
They had witnessed the burning of Black men, women and children. They had seen the bodies of Blacks left on trees by white lynch mobs. Yet, they failed to surrender to the madness, absurdity and nihilism of those godless mobs. They refused to allow dehumanized beings to define their humanity.
If God could deliver Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from Nebuchadnezzar’s burning furnace, Daniel from the lion’s den, and Moses and the Israelites from the Egyptian Pharaoh, then God would deliver them from the grasp of America’s satanic systemic racism. They prayed and believed it. God and history were on their side.
They would see a better day for themselves and most important for their children. In the process they would compel America to finally live up to its principles and tenets. They would force America to be a better America, a more perfect America. They understood it was their duty because they were the real Americans and the practitioners of Christianity.
Just as there were those in the US who were not excited and supportive of President Barack Obama’s presidency and its historical significance, the leaders of Russia, China, Iran, North Korea among others saw his presidency as a threat and setback to their ungodly, unholy agendas. They would no longer be able to use America’s history of discrimination, violence and systemic racism used against Blacks in America as part of their propaganda with countries in Africa, South America and Asia. America had turned the page and progressively moved into the future. Unfortunately, their disappointment would be short lived.
From the outset even before President Obama could step foot into the Oval House, the armies of the night emerged from under rocks and out of swamps with their tinfoil hats, white robes and designer suits to attack him and his presidency. They were hell bent on it.
It didn’t matter what he did or didn’t do, there were those prepared to criticize, slander and attack him. If President Obama turned water into wine, walked on water, or rose the dead, they would go on cable news outlets or internet sites proclaiming that he was the Antichrist.
But he expected that and paid it no attention. It would have been surprising and shocking if the attacks and criticism had not come. Just as Blacks refused to allow the dement to define their humanity, President Obama would refuse to allow those who sought to impede his presidency to define that presidency.
During the eight years of President Barack Obama’s presidency there was not one incident of corruption. There was no malfeasance. Not one political scandal.
There were a whole lot of allegations of crime, corruption and malfeasance that were daily spread by right wing media and social media conspiracists and other malcontents. However, those allegations were only in their sick minds.
Future historians will present President Barack Obama’s two term presidency as being one of the greatest that this nation has had. Unfortunately, they might also have to write that it was America’s best and last chance to put it ugly history of race behind it but failed. That America with all its potential to be a true world leader and power was destroyed not by foreign armies invading its borders, but collapse from the inside from its own sick, diseased social and political forces.
Staff Writer; Al Alatunji
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