Barack Hussein Obama.
Let me start this off by an admission. This man is my hero. And before you close this tab or unfollow this blog let me assure you that this has little to do with who he actually is. This isn’t about his foreign policy or about his commitment to his promises. It’s a provocative discussion on how many of us look at Barack as if we are holding a mirror in front of our faces.
Barack Hussein Obama.
He has a poise and a presence that he carries whenever he is called to address the world. He is one of the few black men in history to have an audience to his voice at this magnitude. For his is a tone that with the sheer sound of the steadiness of his voice, it brings me a sense of pride as if he somehow represents me. I passively-actively drown out his positions that I would admonish a white man of his stature from uttering.
Its ridiculous but its true.
In fact I am uncertain I am able to separate this man from what I want him to be. From what I hoped he would be. I keep my eyes closed when I look at him. Perhaps in fear that he is an obstacle of what I’d call “progress”. Perhaps in fear that he, much like me, is a contradiction unto himself.
But as it stands.. I am not able to sincerely make these separations.
For now I guess Barack and I will avoid my pen’s more severe condemnations.
The British and the so called “Americans“ have pumped into my blood their superiority. They have forced upon me their world view that I now see through the tainted blue contact lenses that relentlessly seek to imitate the perspective of the white man. Over my life up to this point, I have enjoyed their humour. Envied their beauty. Danced and sang to their misappropriated rhythm and blues. I have admired their culture and trained so damn hard to master their sophistication.
I mean look at me now, how well can I use these words of theirs to protest their creators.
But now at least I have Barack. President of the so called Free World . A biracial man. A black man. With Paternal roots in East Africa. Just like me. I sort of feel compelled to like this man.. You know?
I guess in some kind of weird way he represents the pinnacle of what someone like me could achieve as shackled members of the British and “American” colonies that we call home.
It is for this reason. I think. I project onto him.. That which I feel I would do. That which I feel I could do.
I want to believe he is going to change the world into something we both agree with. Even though we’ve yet to have a single conversation.
I want him to champion my causes and fight against the injustices that I have not the power to reach.
I will frown and mumble my disappointment when he neglect his unknown commitment to my conflicts… of interest.
The joke of this all is that I’m not even an “American” citizen. At least not in the way that most people mean it. In fact I’ve never even left the arms of my Mother Africa.
Yet there he is. Still. Occupying his space. On a pedestal in my mind.. One that I shine. From time to time.
I’m convinced, Barack, that you represent me. As strange as that may sound. I reread your books and listen to your speeches now and again. For some kind of Affirmation. A kind of one way conversation. That I have with you. When I need it.
Its quite strange, I admit. And it reflects more about me and my world view than I’d like to admit..
But I’ve learnt though what I guess I always knew of to be true.
That a black man in the white house will not solve my own identity issues.
There is only so much a symbol can do.
At the end of the day each soldier must tie up their boots on their own two feet. Shoe by shoe.
I don’t know if I’ll ever vanquish the hegemonies that oppress my mind.
And don’t take that to inflammatory. Or an appeal to artistic drama.
This is the view from my seat as I capture my world in its wonderful dystopian Panorama.
So there it is, I guess, for what its worth.
My dilemma with you, my President Obama.
My Projection on to you