As we — or some — ready themselves for Obamafest ’09, otherwise known as the Obama Presidential Inauguration which will take place on Tuesday, January 20, much is being said about Obama and this past election’s impact on race in America. In truth, too much has been said about it already. If I hear one more ignorant soul, black or white, state that now that Obama has ascended to the presidency, black children can now dream big dreams really believing they can accomplish them, I will let out the loudest primal scream. Give me an effing break. Any black parent who has not instilled in his/her children the self-confidence it requires for superior achievement in uncharted territories needs to be punched in the throat — hard.
Some have seen Obama’s rise to power as bringing about not only historic, but revolutionary, change in this country and abroad. This remains to be seen. I, for one, doubt that the Obama presidency will, bring about the systemic change– the shaking of systems at the core — that is the hallmark of any revolution. America needs a revolution, but its birth, development, and implementation will not be a part of week-long self-congratulatory celebration. The revolution will not be announced in a press conference nor prognosticated by television pundits. In the words of singer/activist, Gil Scott-Heron, “The Revloution will not be televised.”
The Revolution, if and when it takes place, will come when each one of us embraces our own power to make a difference. Yes, it is true, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
True change will come about when we cease to become sheep and strive to become shepherds. It will take place when we are no longer distracted by the shiny glow of pomp and circumstance and ask the hard questions: “What does this have to do with me, my community, my progeny?” and “Will it/he/she/they make my life better in concrete and measurable ways?”
And where will this Revolution fashion its humble beginnings? In the PTA meetings and Neighborhood Watches. At the kitchen tables. In the coffee shops. It’s wherever people meet, exchange ideas, inspire one another and set about plans — regardless of how small — to make a change because they know that the ish ain’t right and they are ready to do something about it.
By the way, I am not talking merely about socio-political change but also change in the way that we do business with one another and the world. For example, who says that we have to rely on banks to finance our dreams? Individuals in cultures, both in the US and abroad, freely lend to one another bypassing the traditional banking systems, why can’t we do the same? And I have to smile when I type this post. Blogs and other new media like it serve as instruments of the revolution and, at the same time, are revolutionary themselves. They allow participants to speak their unvarnished and unfiltered truth to a worldwide audience and that audience to speak to them.
Now you may be wondering what I will be doing on the day of the Inauguration. You probably are thinking that after all that big talk, I will still be glued to the television like everyone else. Well my friend, if you think that, you don’t know me very well. I am, at my core, a contrarian — when the sheep go left, I am obligated to go right. In other words, I will not be watching the festivities. I have work to do — immediate tasks to be completed and future ones to be planned. Obama made history. And I say, good for him. I’ve got to keep on my grind if I hope to make some history of my own.
And I highly recommend that you do the same. Taking a phrase from hip hop revolutionaries: Can’t stop. Won’t stop.
When she decided to post a comment on Facebook about what she termed, “Obamarama”, a friend of mine got blasted — hard. They even called her that most awful of words, “Republican”. People need to stop. I love what she had to say, “America’s on drugs smoking that Obama.”