Last Sunday (9/11/08) it was reported in one of the British tabloids that African Americans ‘really think that things will change – for them.’ Peggy Joseph who was at an Obama rally told a TV interviewer: “I won’t have to pay for my petrol anymore. I won’t have to work to pay my mortgage. He’s going to help me.” Somewhere else in Washington, near a popular market, Isaac Johnson was wandering around in a dream like state with tears running down his cheeks, repeating “We’ll get respect now, we’ll get our dream.” But will Obama actually do something for African Americans?
The Obama camp has help to put some distance between him and African American problems. “President-elect Obama did not put himself forward as an African-American president; he put himself as an American who happens to be black.” Said Colin Powell. The report went on to say that Obama cannot risk being too caught up with favouring blacks if he wants to still remain popular with the other multi-racial communities that put him into office. He also has no choice but to distance himself from the likes of Jesse Jackson, Sharpton and Farrakhan.
However, some blacks are already reporting that they are getting better tables at restaurants because maitres d’ think they may know the new president, so change is taking place. But joking aside, I do hope that everyone realises that how this job is going to be challenging and that not only does he need the support but also tolerance and understanding for those inevitable mistakes he will make.