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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Will There Ever Be Another White Male President?


How do you feel about the way we treat one another? Certainly we continue to have problems between groups of people (i.e. racism, sexism, heterosexism and homophobia, classism, etc.), but have we gotten any better? Have we learned enough from our history?

I had a conversation with a good friend yesterday about race. We talked about the incredible fact that our president is half White and half African, and that he identifies himself as a Black man. It is remarkable to me. I never thought it would happen so soon. However I am not surprised that it happened.

I told my friend that I believe the hardships endured by Black people for centuries have caused Black people to evolve into a stronger, brighter, more resilient and capable group of people. If Darwin and evolutionists are correct, then only the strong survive. That is the reason that Black leaders have broken down walls of segregation and achieved success in all areas of American life. I asked him if he thought there would ever be another White male president?

My friend chuckled at the notion that there would not ever be a White man as president again. He suspected that a woman would be next. He suggested Hillary Clinton would win presidency after Obama served two terms. He also said that he thought that since a Black man (in his words the least likely to be elected) had won the presidency, that anyone could win it now. "The door's been blown wide open." he said.

I agreed that it was an unlikely outcome, but not the least likely. I explained that despite the historical strength of hatred toward Blacks in this country, Black people have overcome much and accomplished even more. I suggested that our society has achieved tremendous gains with regard to racism and sexism (though we still have far to go). We have focused less attention as a people to overcoming homophobia, antisemitism, and classism.

In this new millennium, our issues with how we treat one another extend beyond our irrational grievances between groups in American and even beyond our nation's borders. Domestic violence and child abuse/neglect are increasing. Our government is persisting in its militaristic hostility against Islamic people around the world. It seems that as Americans become more individualistic we view others as ever more distant. We understand one another less. We grow indifferent to each other's suffering.

It is in our individual self interests to draw nearer to one another. Starting with your family and friends, work on putting yourself in their shoes and viewing the world as they view it. Living life as they live it. If only for a short while. Then move beyond your inner-circle and immerse yourself in a group that you may view as distinct, different, distant from your own.

Exposure, closeness, and information are our best strategies to heal our social wounds. There is strength in numbers and we face a difficult time now and ahead of us. Our species faces new challenges that threaten us all. We cannot rise to meet these challenges unless we stand together.

May peace be with us all.

J

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