I will never forget watching the celebration held in the Chicago park the night he won. I’d never purposefully watched an inauguration before, but I watched his. In storage, I’ve still got two Seattle newspapers from the morning after his victory.
I’m a bit of a fanboy of Obama. He and his wife got married the day before my Darling and I did in 1992. I didn’t agree with him on everything, but in my opinion, the numbers and facts show he’s the fourth-best president we’ve ever had, after Lincoln, Washington, and FDR (in that order).
I’m deeply, deeply proud of him.
But more towards your article, the story of your dad is representative of so many in the Black community. On inauguration day, one could see it in the eyes of Rep. John Lewis, who had to be wishing that so many who had marched in Selma with him on “Bloody Sunday” could be there. Such had to be the case of every elderly Black man and woman who remembered Jim Crow and sharecropping and segregation, and whose grandparents (and in a few cases, their very parents) remembered slavery.
Right now there’s got to be many who are feeling disillusioned, for we’d thought that America was finally becoming “post-racial”. But the rise of the “white nationalists” (which is nothing more than another name for white supremacists) who answered right-wing media’s racist fear-mongering, thereby enabling the election of Trump, shows we’re not even close to being there yet.
But you know what? Unless they’re able to successfully subvert our nation and end our democracy to make it the fascist state they seem to desire, the “Trump era” is their last hurrah. The ongoing demographic shift is pretty much inevitable (a word I don’t use lightly), for outside a true dictatorship, a nation can’t legislate birth rates. America will be a majority-minority nation relatively soon, and the combined effects of that tectonic demographic shift and the growing tendency of younger Americans to reject white nationalist dogma will slowly but surely marginalize the racists. Their fear of the “devaluation of whiteness” will (in their eyes) come true. They’ll be living a nightmare of their own making, that only they can see, all the while never grasping that all they need do to escape the nightmare is to acknowledge and reject their own racism…but to do that, they would have to choose humility over pride, and that they will not do. Not willingly, at least.
The only thing I’m not sure of is how the rise of China (which will soon be the world’s largest national economy) will affect the shift in racist white attitudes (since they’ll no longer be able to claim “whites are the most powerful”), but that’s a story for another time.