Commentary: What Barack Obama means to me

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When President-elect Barack Obama and his family move into the White House, it will signify moving into every household in America. Obama will not become some Black dude that moved in down the street located in a predominately White neighborhood and he and his family will not become the new Cosby Show. The Obamas will move on big time and into prime time on the biggest channel watched by millions around the world.

I am a child of the 60’s and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran that served and fought for America much like my  great-grandfather, father, uncles and cousins did during World War II, Korean War and conflict in Vietnam. The biggest difference in the military conflicts during my years in the Marine Corps and those of my ancestors is that they fought wars abroad only to return home to fight various forms of in your face discrimination and racism in the United States of America.

As a product of the Detroit public school system, I was fortunate to have opportunities due to my hard work and perseverance. None of that would have been possible with others breaking various glass ceilings and having their head and at times, spirit, broken by those that did not want them to succeed. Remember the school house in Little Rock, Arkansas that had its glass ceiling broken by some black children which ultimately allowed people like me, opportunity? Remember the young lawyer that had only lost one case out of 30 who went on to become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice in American history? His tenacity ended segregation in public schools. Remember the woman that rode a bus and refused to give up her seat (she was not the first or only one, just the most famous)? That defiant act translated into people of color keeping more than keep their seat.

Barack H. Obama will have the eyes and weight of the world on him. Like those before him, he must be up to the task to overcome a myriad of obstacles that kept those like him down.

Zurui

2 Comments

  1. I’m not sure I can explain why, but for some reason this really strikes a chord with me. I really appreciate your honesty about racism in the Corps — certainly even in very diverse places, and among students, it is obvious.

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