What Having an African-American President Means To Americans?

Published 13 Mar 2017

The election of Mr. Barack Obama to become President of the United States was a landmark event in the history of our nation in a lot of ways. However, his importance sinks deeper into the skin of many Americans. To many Americans, such as myself, this could be a way of leveling the playing field. For years upon years, African Americans have been mistreated both legally and illegally, which I feel has led to a sort of inferior feeling among many African Americans today. Even though he is only part African American, we can still go back in history and see where people that were mixed also got the short end of the stick. We can remember the court case Plessy v. Ferguson, which told the United States that separate but equal was okay. The funny thing in this case is that the defendant, Homer Plessy, was actually mixed and only had one great grandparent that was African American, meaning he was one eighth African-American.

So the fact that President Obama is indeed mixed still says a lot about this country. It gives many young African American people today hope. Not hope in the way that things will always be fair but rather in the way that success can be achieved at any level. Today, the stereotype of many African American youth is very unfair. I personally, being a young African American, find these stereotypes to be absurd and offending. I am not saying that there are no young African American youth that do act in that rebellious and improper way, but I do feel that there are just as many Caucasian youth that do many of the same things. Now with the election of Obama, It is my hope that maybe our nation is finally getting over some of the stereotypes that held us apart for so long, and that President Obama is the beginning of the end.

I also believe that Mr. Obama’s election gives us, as a nation, greater credibility among other nations. In the past other nations could look at us and see how many of our own people are mistreated and underappreciated and think that we are not that much better than some other countries that are in a civil war. Not that we are in a civil war, but rather that we do have many internal issues among citizens that often can stem from racial differences. Obama is a symbol that we are moving in the right direction towards racial equality and harmony. In the past election, it was clear that he was the best candidate for the job and the people of the United States overcame past history and racial differences to unite in electing him.

I see an African American President also being good for us as a nation just in order for us to keep moving forward. I think that many more young African Americans, especially ones in tougher situations, will begin to live with the hope and confidence that will lead them to a successful road in the future. I am pretty sure that many young people, regardless of race, look up to President Obama and marvel at his accomplishments. His rise to the top was very quick, which is another building point for our country. In many aspects of life, younger people tend to be overlooked. Whether it is argued that they are not intelligent enough or that they do not have experience, youth today are many times looked down upon. I think that Obama also showed the youth of our country that just because you might be younger or not have that rank of seniority, that you can still achieve your dreams and make a difference. This is possibly the most important symbol that he brings to our country. It is my hope and belief that many younger people in our country will begin to stand up and be confident even when talking to or interacting with older people and possibly even beating some of them out for jobs.

Overall, I believe that President Obama has already worked wonders simply by being elected. Our nation, whether or not we realize it, has made such a huge leap towards racial equality and harmony that hopefully our nation can unite even more in these tough economical times to get through it. Obama’s message was change, and it is now clear that this change was not only good one, but an important one to all people.

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