Through the eyes of a Young Black American.
Now that America has said farewell to one of the most well respected, and well-loved president, American’s new favorite son (at least we think he’s American) Barack Obama. On Jan 10, 2017, the first Black American President said farewell to his country, in his old proving grounds of Michigan. But I have to wonder, is the America he left behind better than it was 8 years ago? Its time to take a critical look at past eight years the through the eyes of a young black American. This will be a multiply part series going through Obama’s farewell speech and relating it to his years in office, this will serve as the preface for rest of the series; The Obama Legacy.
Donald Trump was ushered in on Jan 20, but let’s save those thoughts about America’s current president for another piece. For right now let’s focus on the words that moved many on Tuesday. Most American’s would describe Obama in two ways, as their favorite president, or of course as their most hated. I being not old enough to remember the Bush years would describe Obama’s years as president simply; the perfect capitalist puppet. But before I get ahead of myself lets start with a quote that resonated very much to me. Even though his finals words where are powerful, there more important messages to be found throughout. Even if he did not up hold these messages himself during his time in office, doesn’t mean we can’t moving forward.
This is where I learned that change only happened when ordinary people get involved, get engaged and come together to demand it.
Barack Obama has always had a way with his words, he talked with character and held every word he spoke with the up most amount of care. He knew how to engage the crowd, and sway the American people to his side, but here is where I draw my first concern. Words are well and good but without actions they are meaningless, to say “Come to together and demand it” and yet the American people demand so little from our elected officials. Everyday injustice stares us in the face and yet we ignore it. Constantly distracted by our technology, with our 9 to 5 jobs keeping us on the hamster wheel.
Words are just words and if there are no changes, then they are just empty words. Martin Luther King Jr, was not only a man who spoke of change but led it. His words led during a time when the American people who had been forgotten by their government needed it most . But of course the American government killed him because of it, his actions shaped America’s future in an unprecedented way. I believe he said it best “Right is right, even if no one is doing it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it.”.
There is a stark difference between these two men, Martin Luther King Jr. led a revolution, he fought and stood for the people who had been forgotten. He wasn’t elected by a corrupt political party looking for a good face to hid their injustices. M.L.K. Jr. Fought for not only civil rights for minorities but social-economic equality for all as well. As the American government continues its unjust and criminal ways, it is up to the people to stand up against it and to not become complacent. That’s what we will be covering through out this series the ways in which we have grown complacent as a people, and how the “Change” Obama created was only more of the same. Through; the “War on Terrorism” and our loss of privacy through the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act. The continued fight for race equality only becoming harder to achieve. The furthering of the social-economic inequality gap created by capitalism. Almost worst of all the propaganda still selling the“American Dream”. Religion “The Best Yet Greatest Lie Every Told” – I almost forgot that one. Through all these topics we will discuss how Capitalism has keep and retained the power and wealth for few. While the rest us live in or on the border line of poverty, under the lie that we have choices, and how they capitalize on our hard work EVERY SINGLE DAY.
The American Dream
The Freedom to chase our individual dreams through our sweat, toil and imagination.
Here we go again, fostering this idea that if one works their entire lives they will reach a point of where they can live comfortably and rewarded for their hard work. This is just propaganda, in the purest and oldest form from “American the land of the free” to strive and accomplish the “American Dream.” I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the truth is: Capitalism just isn’t built in that way. To get ahead in the world you have to capitalize off of others’ work. Your college economics teacher will tell you that capitalism strives innovation, and that could not be further from the truth.
Example: Patents. Patents are government licenses that state you and you alone are allowed to create and market a particular item for a certain period of time. Your teacher will tell you because of this new businesses have to make something original But patents are really used a way to keep the competition in a market at a minimum. Lets fantasize for a moment that these didn’t exist, lets say for instance I wanted to enter the cell phone market. I could take plans by other companies and improve and make their products better through my own technical knowledge. Innovation comes from the sharing of information, that’s something the Capitalist don’t you want to have. Because they can continue to capitalize off of your ignorance to the system, and they continue to accumulate their massive amount of wealth. Its the same feudal system used by Lords and Kings of old, but they’ve made it seam more appealing to the masses, if you’re told something enough you’ll eventually believe it to be true.
One of the leading problems capitalism has caused is wealth distribution, and where it currently sits has changed drastically over the past 20 years in America. Life isn’t some magical pot in which we all share equally, helping and taking care of one another. No, our lives are pyramid, and the only way we get to the top is to squash the competition of anyone who might stand in your way of achieving the “American Dream”. Working your entire life will only dig yourself into the same grave that your ancestors have been digging and that our children will continue to dig once we’re gone. Its a vicious cycle that wont change until we change what success and happiness really means in our society. When we value the worker just as much as the person with the ideas, for what is an idea if their no one to implement it?
Not that our nation has been flawless from the start but that we have shown the capacity to change and make life better for those who follow.
To me, promoting this idea that we have the ability to change, and yet in the past year American has demonstrated just how divided and how unwilling to change as a country we really are. Worst of all, he himself addresses this in the next sentence “for every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back.” does that really demonstrate our capacity to change? When every time we try to move forward we fall and stumble backwards again. We constantly bicker over what rights a woman can have over her own body, and whom can marry who. Whether we should be providing health care for anyone who may need it. Providing an equal access and opportunity to a well rounded and inexpensive education. Creating social economic equality for all colors and creeds that live in America. Shouldn’t these issues be easily resolved? Why is it so hard for us to help other and not just ourselves? Because if we are so worried about what others cant have, aren’t we just hurting ourselves by holding one another back? How do we go about making such a change to our thinking? First we have to address the depth of America’s largest and darkest problem that has been plaguing the US since 1776; Wealth Inequality and Capitalism.
Welcome to the Obama Legacy.
Fin Part 1.