I will admit growing up that “firsts” fascinated me. I would learn of the first black person to do something, and I got a sense of pride.
I even wanted to be the black “first” of something myself.
However, as I grew up I began noticing how “black firsts” actually segregated me from the rest of the world. What good was it to be the first “black” to do something that an Asian or a Mexican, or any other culture had done for example? That just made me second, or one of the people who accomplished something that others had already done.
In other words, some other culture had beaten me (and all other blacks) to that accomplishment. When I thought of it that way, it was somewhat demoralizing.
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Also, as I studied what blacks had accomplished, I learned of things like the first black to go to college or to own a business, and so on. These were interesting tidbits, but certainly nothing for me to get excited about. People have been going to college for hundreds of years! People have owned businesses for hundreds of years. Going to college and owning businesses are routine things, but these things were being lauded in the black community, heralded in fact.
I do understand recognizing something that people deem historic about “firsts” in achievement. However, achievement can be over-hyped as in the case of Obama.
Big whoop that Obama was the “first” recognizably black president. Interesting factoid; but to me, he was just another president, which by the way is a pretty impressive by itself. And if Obama treated the presidency like a black “first” of old, I might have a different view of his becoming one of 44 others.
The problem for me is Obama has used color as a crutch.
When Arthur Ashe won Wimbledon–the first black man to do so–he got no breaks. Black people didn’t expect the rules to be changed to give Ashe an edge. Ashe was prepared for the job, and he executed to near perfection. Yet as much as I admired Ashe–I actually cried upon hearing he had died–I realize that Ashe was not the best tennis player ever.
After his Wimbledon win, Ashe went on to win some lose some; but that didn’t diminish what he had done on that day. Ashe was the best on the day he won Wimbledon, however he was beatable on other days. Such is life.
As I learned more of Arthur Ashe, I learned to admire him for so many other reasons. His love of tennis and commitment to the sport. His personal excellence. I admired his character, a character I see in Dr. Ben Carson for example.
But I don’t see that character in Barack Obama.
Unlike Ashe and the many other black “firsts,” Obama uses blackness for style over substance. But he feels no true kinship to blackness at his core, nor does he feel a responsibility to be the best “first,” or even close. Obama believes that just being black is his legacy, and sadly he has lowered the standard of being a black first.
Nevertheless, Leftists have pre-written history with respect to Obama.
They will laud his blackness, despite the fact that Obama will leave future presidents with more work to do than previous 43 Commander-In-Chiefs. No matter how they try to spin America’s first recognizably black president’s record of achievement however, Obama will undoubtedly be the worst president in history.
That’s a first of which black people (or any people) should not be proud.
To see the list of Obama’s “firsts,” go here.
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