Mahatma Ghandi; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Nelson Mandela; Toussaint Louverture… Many leaders have effectively resisted the shackles of oppression and have climbed the walls of adversity and criticism.
Their efforts towards impacting non-violent political and social change have irrefutably come to fruition. Or have they? Scores of us still bear witness to oppression of every kind and at every degree across the globe. What’s more interesting is that while blatant hostility and racism or simply harsh criticism have been somewhat curtailed in many nations due to effective legislation, racism behind-closed-doors and its byproducts continue to plague our media and concomitantly manipulate our perceptions.
America made history in 2009 seeing its youngest and first minority president come into the Oval Office. To some, this was an ultimate sign of desperation following eight years under the Bush administration. To others, it was a milestone in an ongoing battle for equality and progress. However, President Obama never ran a race-based campaign nor does he adamantly broadcast his race as a contributing factor in his presidency or in his guiding principles. So why does the media?
One might recall the Henry Louis Gates incident. Was it really a big deal for the president to defend a well-respected scholar and public figure? Did he do it simply because Gates also happens to be a ‘fellow black man?’ Hardly. Obama’s controversial and radical proposals for reform breed quite a bit of contention.
He is arguably the most left-of-center president that this country has seen; especially upon careful consideration of the conservative era from which we are still slowly emerging. In nearly every News article or blog that I read by Obama’s critics, the prominent words of criticism are normally weak, dangerous, naïve, perilous, confused, indecisive and undeserving. Nevertheless, it reveals an unprecedented lack of both respect and patience on the part of his critics. After all, Obama is only in the 11th month of his presidency.
With his mover-shaker mentality, his endless political agenda, and his diplomatic, non-violent approach, Barack arguably paves the path of progression. Repairing a trillion-dollar economy and consequently the world’s economy; trying to achieve social change on the home front as well as abroad; finding a means to an end of two wars; combating global warming; and opening a discussion with a nuclear-missile-constructing theocrat just seems like undeniably daunting tasks. Would you agree? As the media continues to have reservations about our young president, we, the people, will continue to be drawn into the depths of propaganda and bombarded with the images of Paparazzi’s politically-biased partisans.
The urgency for change upon which Obama so effectively ran his campaign seems only to resurface in the attitudes of his commentators and consequently, in the minds of his countrymen. Positive support of our nation’s leader is not an obligation by all means. After all, dissension among democrats is historically not uncommon. For it fuels the fires of the opposition’s revival. Nevertheless and if any major, beneficial change is to come to pass, a ‘united’ people must not reflect pessimistically upon its President. Say ‘No’ to the bad press and ‘Hello’ to reform.