Here's the thing - people are going to vote against Obama because he's black. This is the country we live in. And I know, he's only half black, yadda yadda, but come on. He's black. People that don't like blacks aren't gonna like him. This means that undecided voters that might not otherwise vote for Obama need to vote for him anyway. We have to keep him from not being elected because he's black.
Voters that are concerned about what kind of president Obama will be, rest assured that he won't be perfect. We know this because none of our presidents have been perfect. Rest assured also that the mistakes he makes will somehow get tied in with race. They'll be met with a lot of clucking and headshaking and a great big unspoken "I told you so." He'll be on trial from day one.
But if we're serious about an inclusive participatory system, as South Africa was when its citizens elected Nelson Mandela, we need a first black president (a first female president, a first Asian president). The first black television show wasn't The Cosby Show, but if it hadn't been for the first black television show, we wouldn't have had The Cosby Show. We have to start somewhere.
Obama might end up being the greatest president in American history, but we'll never know unless we give him a fair shot. If people are voting against him because he's black we need to make sure that people are voting for him if only because of this. The reality of a black president is the only way to defibrillate the racial inequality of our political system. It's time to elect the first black president. Only then can we elect the second one.
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