Will History Be Kind To Barack Obama's Legacy As The First Black President?

01/01/2017 06:31 pm ET Updated Jan 03, 2017
Attrubution: Webneel

History was changed on election night November 4, 2008, when a more youthful Barack Obama walked out as the newly elected American president with his wife and young daughters by his side, every step thereafter seemed by many to represent a great leap of racial progress by citizens of the United States. I agree with British historian Arnold Toynbee, who warned historians against trying to understand the present, let alone imagining what historians would say about current events in the future.

There are those who say President Obama did not do enough to elevate or even fight for the rights of African-American people, they would suggest the antagonism of Obama’s own blackness was not provoked; still others, may suggest that which his racial self-consciousness constrained him, not as to openly advocate in an effort to avoid showing any resemblance of outright favoritism toward his own race. In an article for New York magazine when 53 historians weighed in on the presidency of Barack Obama, it was suggested that we will care a great deal less about his race generations from now — just as John F. Kennedy’s Catholicism hardly matters to current students of history.

 On his visit to Kenya in 2006, Mr. Obama toured the northeastern district of Wajir
U.S. - Wall Street Journal
On his visit to Kenya in 2006, Mr. Obama toured the northeastern district of Wajir

If the “Legacy,” of Obama as president is to be challenged, then should we consider questions about Barack Obama’s sojourn in Kenya, the land of his father. In Kenya, where President Obama is saluted as an absolute “Hero,” ―coming after un-numbered African generations suffer the agonies of enforced servitude and historical exile, a favored native son, blood of the land, who returns in triumph to claim the mantle of “world leader and heroic figure.” Without a doubt, White House spin doctors would love to have this story told. Yet notwithstanding the tired cynicism of the political age and the familiarity of Obama’s much-told personal journey, this remarkable reversal of fortunes, briefly glimpsed and savored, remains genuinely uplifting.

In post-2012 America, So great has been the increase in political power that the black voter turnout rate surpassed that of whites with the 2012 presidential race, and the number of black elected officials has risen sevenfold. But while school segregation and workplace discrimination have declined, too many African-Americans go home to segregated, often impoverished neighborhoods. How much can we attribute the overwhelming number of political seats as to being inspired by this president?

According to recent polls, the black poverty rate has dropped from more than 40 percent in the 1960s to about 27 percent today; child poverty similarly has dipped from 67 percent to about 40 percent. Those numbers still are glaring, however. And the gap in overall wealth is more than 5-to-1 between whites and blacks: The average white household had nearly $800,000 in assets in 2011, compared with $154,000 for blacks.

Many feel that President Obama could have been significantly instrumental in making progress on civil rights an area which has surprisingly has been much slower. Yes, it is true that today-America has many post-civil rights issues to openly deal, examples being the flurry of Police Brutality issues: Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Andrew Joseph, Freddie Gray, Mike Brown and the list goes on. We may never understand the dynamics that have been at the heart of America’s seemingly non-existent policies with Civil Rights, and why Present Obama did not do more?

In closing, if history is to be kind President Obama, we must consider the fact that a person of color who became the president of the United States of America which has inspired, many children and others around the world who never really believed that they could achieve this feat, and they are now saying, “one day I’ll be president of the United States of America.” That alone has challenged the hearts of the detractors who say, “President Obama did not do enough for African-Americans.” In addition, we must agree with another great President, John F. Kennedy, who knew the challenge wasn’t just passing laws, but changing hearts and minds. “Law alone cannot make men see right,” he said. “We are confronted primarily with a moral issue.” We have to inspire people so change is in their hearts (a hard pressed task), I believe president Obama has accomplished this task so in this respect ― history will show President Barack Obama favor.

Gregg L. Greer a Public Speaker, Minister, Social Activist, and the Editor of the One World internet journal. Greer is the Founder of Freedom First International. Greer’s view can be heard on are shared internationally and if you are interested in interviews from his and others of the brightest minds today, you can email him at  oneworldtoday@gmail.com His website is www.gregglgreer.com

 

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