We were told over and over what a historic event we were witnessing, and it just happened to coincide with the first significant snow in Raleigh for five years. I don’t have cable, so every channel carried the inauguration. So, of course I watched on Tuesday as President Obama was sworn into office. So, of course I watched on Tuesday as President Obama was sworn into office. (Interesting fact: Raleigh-Durham had the highest percent of people watching the inauguration in the country, with 51% of TVs tuned to it.)
Now, first off, I voted for Barack Obama. I wanted to be able to tell my grandkids that I voted for the first black president. Sarah Palin, not withstanding, was probably my main reason for voting for him.
It’s important for everyone in this country that we can finally start having black presidents. Racism is a centuries-old divide-and-conquer technique: Keep blacks suspicious of whites, whites suspicious of blacks, while we screw them all over. But, I truly believe it’s coming to its long-anticipated demise, and I believe the election was another nail in its coffin. Not for any political reasons, but because whites and blacks feel like they got together and made not only history, but a sort of peace.
The election made me wish my great-grandmother were alive. She was from a poor white immigrant family and grew up in a section of Baltimore that literally had the proverbial “tracks” separating the black side from the white side. But she was forward in her thinking for those times, and had a love for anything African. It’s probably because of her that I’m even writing this now. But anyway, I can picture her ordering me one of those hokey-looking Obama-glued-over-JFK gold coins off TV and being all in love with “that Oback Baraman.”
But that’s the thing, I’m not in love with Obama. I can’t share in the Obama-mania that a lot of my fellow-voters have. While I’m glad about what the election says about the American people, I simply don’t have faith in politicians and government. This same government, this same system, that stole two elections for George W. Bush – do you think it would let Barack Obama waltz right in if it weren’t getting something out of it?
After all, he is related to both Bush and Cheney. It’s a little distant, but apparently enough to get into office. That’s the rub. As historic as this may be, we’ve still got the same people in the White House. People cultivated from the same “elite” class. I know you and I won’t become president – we go to N.C. State. For some reason Harvard and Yale are prerequisites.
So forgive me if I’m still cynical, but I’m simply incapable of trusting politicians. They may say things that I agree with, even fire me up, but something in the back of my head always nags at me, “They’re all crooked.” I’m not asking you to become a distrustful bastard like me. Just take every politician with a few grains of salt. Who knows, a few may even pleasantly surprise me.