History!! – Barack Obama Elected 44th US President

I was in the process of writing a story on my opinion of what’s wrong with the game of basketball. It’s no secret that here in America, an overwhelming majority of the kids that play basketball are black. My story Obamawas going to center around the sense of entitlement that these kids seem to feel. These days everything is given to them and they don’t feel like they have to actually work for anything. If they get their name in the paper or on some recruting analysts national ranking, they feel like they’ve already made it when in reality they haven’t accomplished anything. And then when they don’t make it or live up to their potential there’s always an excuse about how somebody held them back. They always seem to blame someone else instead of looking at themselves. Well, Barack Obama being elected President changed the whole direction of that story.

I will admit — and you’d almost have to — that there have been many times and many instances that the “powers that be” or what is commonly referred to in the hood as “The Man” has been instrumental in stifling African-American development and advancement. That in turn created a disheartening feeling in the minds of black people that no matter what they did or how hard they tried or no matter how good they were, there would always be that “something” that would stop them from getting to the place they were trying to go. It also created a feeling that in order to achieve anything worthwhile they would essentially have to “sell out” in order to get it.

Nowhere was this more evident than in the south where I spent almost 10 years of my life and where I came to realize that slavery still exists there. Obviously not to the point where cotton is still being picked on plantations or anything like that, but mental slavery is definitely an everyday reality. There is still a fear and resentment of whites by blacks like you wouldn’t believe. One of my friends who lives in the south and who is white works at a furniture store where the primary customers are black people and he says that he feels it everyday that he comes to work. Now my friend is staunchly conservative, but he’s a good dude and I consider him to be a good friend. We don’t agree on everything, but we certainly don’t let our differences affect our friendship either. Our kids have played together, I’ve slept on his couch and I’ve ate his food and if he ever needed it from me I would do the same for him without hesitation. But there are people who — because of the color of his skin — automatically think that he’s evil.

But what happened last night changes the game completely. Black people, white people, latinos, old people, young people, rich people, middle class and poor people all came together and elected the first ever African-American President in the history of the United States of America. Now I’m not foolish enough to sit here and say that racism no longer exists in this country because of that, but I will say that I honestly thought that I would never see this day. But I’m so glad that it did. I’m glad because no longer can black people make excuses. No longer can we say that “The Man” is holding us down or holding us back. The reason that America is viewed as the greatest country in the world is because of what happened on Tuesday November 4th, 2008. Barack Obama “officially” proved that in America, you can be anything that you want to be as long as you’re willing to work and sometimes even fight for it. That is the only way that you’re ever going to get anything in this world. The election certainly wasn’t handed to Obama and nothing is ever given, everything is earned and I don’t think that he sold out or compromised himself or what he believes in any way. You have to work hard and when things aren’t going your way, you have to fight even harder. That is of course if you really want it. But there can be no more excuses for not making it.

OK, now that I’ve stepped off my soapbox I know that this blog is supposed to be about basketball. Well this post about Barack Obama is “technically” basketball related because he does play basketball, he’s said that he will have a basketball court put in the White House and his personal assistant Reggie Love used to play for Duke (yuck!). But I just felt like I had to get my 2 cents out about this because it was on my mind and I know that a lot of people read my blog, especially young black kids. Some play ball and some don’t but either way this is for them and certainly not to the exclusion of anyone else because this can be viewed as universal to all.


One Response

  1. I have lived in Mississippi since 1986 and even attended the notorious Ole Miss. The ONLY racism I have ever witnessed in this state has been either black on white or black on black. If you’re a white man in a city like Jackson, it is you who’d better shuck and jive.

    I would say what your white friend sees everyday is not black people who don’t trust or are afraid of whites, but just plain old country suspicion – something that is color blind, as Larry Bird has been accused of being. He’s got a white collar job (a salesman no less perhaps?), and his customers are countryfied. It’s not race so much as it’s class for them.

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