Barack Obama: Leading Change In The US

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Barack Obama – Essay Sample

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Barack Obama – Essay Sample

The election of Barack Obama to U.S. President has been seen as an African American victory of the greatest proportions. That a black man could achieve that office was unthinkable even in the recent past, and Obama’s presidency continues to be viewed by the media and public as a symbolic end to the limits historically placed on African Americans in this country.

There is no way around the fact that Obama’s election was revolutionary. However, if it is a triumph, it must not be viewed as primarily an African American one, for to see it that way helps to reinforce the ideas which made it so farfetched a possibility for so long. Obama’s election translates to something far greater than that of a black man rising to the highest office in the land; it really means, and much more crucially, that a non-white man was made president, and that is the real triumph.

The history of racism against African Americans is well-known and shameful for America, but it has also served as a kind of paradigm for a larger issue, and one particularly in regard to authority. Basically, until Obama, no man of any minority ethnic status ever had a chance of being elected, as the government at that level was strictly a white man’s playing field, and white Anglo-Saxon men at that. Even the election of John Kennedy was controversial because of his Irish background. These were the arenas of power no minority of any kind could hope to enter.

That Barack Obama was voted in, and by an enormous margin, serves to prove that the country has finally abandoned traditional ideas on who is “fit” to hold high office. He is a black man, and perhaps that element was necessary in securing a united minority vote, but the greater achievement still lies in the fact that he is, not black, but not white. In his holding office, the door is now open for any minority, and a second triumph lies in how near to the goal Hillary Clinton came. This asserts almost as much as Obama’s election that the unquestioned power of the traditional, WASP male power structure was collapsing, and it fell because all of America, female and African American and otherwise, was done with its limitations and poor performances.



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