TALK TO THE DADDY

Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Monday, November 3, 2008

President Barack Obama: History Will Follow Him

"When a great and unique man speaks small men should keep silence."
--Rilke, from Letters to a Poet
"Life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."
-
-epitaph on Jackie Robinson's gravestone

The daddy has gotten e-mails asking him what he thinks about Presidential candidate Barack Obama's chances of winning the presidential elections and about the presidential campaign in general. Here' s what the daddy thinks:


1. History will record that Barack Obama has run the most brilliant campaign in America history. He ran against the Clinton machine and won. While both Clintons were in the process of dismissing as being too inexperienced, he was running a campaign on a basic theme of judgment over experience, arguing that it was experienced people in Washington that caused this country to become corrupt and descend into financial chaos. While Bill Clinton was trying to connect him to Rev. Jessie Jackson, to being just another black person running for president, Obama eschewed race and ran a race-less campaign, focusing on the need for change for all Americans. For the most part, White America bought it. Blacks too.

2: Barack Obama will be our next president. The daddy thinks he will win most of the battle-contested states, including Florida, Virginia, Indiana, even Arizona, yes, Sen. McCain's state.

3. Despite running a race-less campaign, despite his tense and tenuous relations with the old guards of the civil rights struggle like Rev. Jessie Jackson, Obama, nonetheless, owes his campaign to the black legacy of struggle for equality of opportunity and to the numerous Rev. Jacksons and lesser-known common black folk who marched and knocked on doors for decades. Yes, a change is gonna come (Sam Cooke on YouTube), but Obama will never be able to get away from the fact that he is standing on the shoulders of the Bayard Rustins and Fannie Lou Hamers who got "sick and tired of being sick and tired" and took to the streets to change this nation.

4. Given this struggle, Barack Obama, as President of the country, will be a president of all Americans. However, just by his position, by the historic symbolism of a black man as president of a predominantly white nation, he will provide a new psychology for black people, people of color, and working people that anyone can succeed in America-- if they study, listen, and work hard enough.

5. Barack Obama will represent perhaps a different concept of what it means to be a man, especially to some black men. Some black men think that being a man is about how much money (cheese) a guy has in his pocket, how much bling around his neck or how shiny and cool his Escalade with the spinning rims is. What Obama's succeess will prove is that manhood is about building: Building knowledge and skills for oneself, one's family, one's community, and one's nation. This will lessen the attraction to gangs (at least the criminal ones) and increase the attraction to institutions and groups that focus on building knowledge and skills. The idea of manhood, or womanhood for that matter, is beautifully captured in a wonderful poem entitled "Seventh Sense by Audre Lorde:

Seventh Sense
by Audre Lorde

Women
who build nations
learn
to love
men
who build nations
learn
to love
children
building sand castles
by the rising sun.

6. As president, Barack Obama will come to represent the best of us. Traditionally, white Americans, some Black Americans too, have judged blacks by the worse of us, black psychopaths and criminals. But with Obama, representing the best of us, they will have to consider the best in us too: those of us who go to work everyday, don't go to jail, stay in partnerships, remain nurturing fathers and mothers, and loving partners. In a poem entitled "Sanity," Nikki Giovanni talks about this, about "dancing" with the best of us:

Sanity
by Nikki Giovanni

Know the truth
when you hear it
know beauty
when you see it
And as you dance
always dance on that floor
polished by the best
of you

Yes, Barack Obama will become our next president because he has proven to possess a great intellect and to be a skilled architect of his political campaign. But the truth is that he never would have gotten into the position to run were it not for a long, bloody and on-going black struggle for Freedom. And that history is so powerful that it will not allow him to forget.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. MacDaddy, I hope you're right about him becoming president. Good to see other poems. You had been using those Langston Hughes poems over and over.

Christopher said...

I feel confident Obama will win.

At the sametime, I can't forget the stolen elections of 2000 and 2004.

I've learned the hard way to never underestimate the evil of modern day conservatives, who will stop at nothing to hold onto power and the status quo.

Of course, this time, I think the Supreme Court knows they are risking their own lives if they insert themselves in the election process. And, Obama is no John Kerry, who wimped put and conceded the election a mere 18 hours after the polls closed in Ohio, despite reports of voter suppression in poor and predominantly African American areas of Cleveland.

I'm tired, and I'm glad the election will be decided tomorrow. I just got to wake up Wednesday morning to the words "President-elect Barack Obama."

rainywalker said...

daddyBstrong,
Amazing commentary, all true!

MacDaddy said...

Anon:"Good to see other poems. You had been using those Langston Hughes poems over and over."
anon: No disrespect, but are you reading my blog regularly? Off the top of my head, I can recall poems by the following poets: Seamus Heaney, Rita Dove, Margaret Walker, Gwendolyn Brooks, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Nikki Giovanni, Wanda Coleman, James A. Emanel, and Lance Jeffers. If you missed any of these poets, just check my sidebar, in the poetry sub-section and you'll see for yourself.
christopher: you surely have reason to be anxious. But I think the numbers and the need for change are too overwhelming for Americans to resist.
rainywalker: Thank you, sir.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Daddy, Great post. Thanks for the insightful observations.
Of course, just the poem by the great Audre Lorde is enough to get my A+.

Yes, O has changed the whole paradigm. It will be impossible for the ignorant racists to make statements like "you know how they are" etc. The anecdotal evidence and simplistic bullshit just aint gonna cut it anymore.

I'm sitting here this evening feeling like it's Christmas Eve.

Tomorrow I vote and then I'm heading out to Cincy, Ohio to be with my son and wifey (she left to work the polls on Sat.). We will celebrate the victory together. . . .but I gotta tell you, I feel apprehensive at the same time. An Obama presidency is going to really fuck up the corpo-fascist's sandbox.
How low will they go?

MacDaddy said...

sagacious: I knew you would love Audre Lorde. She's great. And have fun with family watching the votes come in for our next president.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hey there!

Well folks...the day has arrived....it's November 4...WE ARE NOW officially...in the United States of Obama!!

No need to stay glued to your computers all day watching the results...just KNOW that the race is won.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Daddy, I once did a grad school paper on racial feminism in which Ms. Lorde played a huge role. I found her mesmerizing. . . a VERY powerful woman and voice.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Wonderful post, and I'll add, I'm sure glad Rosa Parks was tired that day. ;)