Well, the momentum is clearly building for Senator Barack Obama. I have yet to read through his book, The Audacity of Hope, but have only heard raving reviews. Some celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon and the media knows a good story if there is one. I’m seeing Mr. Obama left and right. He has certainly impacted a growing number of folks at our church as well. He’s popping up in blogs, conversations, and was even quoted on a recent Sunday morning at church. He first came up in a conversation while the staff drove up to Vancouver, BC to listen to a Miroslav Volf lecture. The question was posed in this manner: “What will America see first: a female president or an African American president?”
Most agreed a female president simply because there are more women than African Americans in the US. But who knew that Mr. Obama would emerge to be such a viable political, social, and pop-culture figure? But having said that, I’m not sure if I’m alone in thinking this but as a minority in this country, I just get afraid for Barack. I know the USA is an incredible country; I could build a solid case that it’s the best country in the world but I’m not naive and stupid in thinking that racism and prejudice aren’t still pervasive – both in blatant or subtle ways. This past weekend while talking with David Cho, a Quester, a professor at University Puget Sound, and leader of the Quest Faith & Race classes, I shared with him the root of my fear: I am afraid for Mr. Obama’s life. I hate thinking this! While I have no doubts that the larger America can handle the idea of a black president, I don’t know if individuals can and fear possible attempts on his life.
While surfing, I read what I thought was an incredibly articulate post from a Jelani Greenidge, a young African-American musician, producer, emcee, and writer from Portland, Oregon. He writes an open letter to Barack Obama sharing his reasons why Obama should run for the presidency:
And I felt it again today, thumbing through the prologue of The Audacity of Hope. It’s a nagging feeling, really. The inevitable sense of unrest that accompanies the habitual repression of deep desire. In this case, it’s the desire for our broader American culture to be healed of it’s racial and political divide.
Señor Senator, you convinced me with those first few pages that you have what it takes to help facilitate that healing process on a national scale. And despite grumblings aplenty that stick-in-the-mud pundits (read: realists) have been offering about your lack of Senate experience, I think you have the potential to wage an effective presidential campaign. Not only that, but I think an Obama presidency would galvanize our country, bringing a balm of civility and discourse that is critically absent from today’s political landscape.
For these reasons (and because I’m not afraid to jump on a good bandwagon when I see one), I urge you — please, run for president. I know it’ll be a gut-wrenching, soul-searching ordeal, but you’re the right man at the right time.
The entire post is worth reading! This is not my personal endorsement of Mr. Obama and his presidency. I am still reading and learning more about him but the more I learn, the more I am compelled by his substance and passion. Regardless, it is now very lear that he will be a mover and shaker in the things to come – clearly in this country, and possibly, around the world.