Thursday, July 3, 2008

Reaching for the Status Quo



"I'm not buying into this ghetto mentality gangster bullsh--. It's genocide."
-Spike Lee, in an interview in Uptown Magazine

I read that this afternoon in Uptown Magazine (the one with that crazy image of Obama on the cover. I've come to the conclusion that it's some kind of illustration, photography hybrid). We've reached an interesting point in our progression as a people, as a nation. People familiar with my political leanings and activities are constantly asking how I feel about Obama, and his possible presidency. The truth is, I feel all kinds of ways about it.

I'm proud of him. He's not just an intelligent, passionate, black man, but he's one hell of a candidate. I'm interested however, in his possible position as the "Great White Hope". Familiar with the "but you guys are doing so much better now" argument, I'm curious to experience how frequently I'll hear that argument if Obama is elected. Not stressing it though, as it's not the point.

But, as I've gotten older, I've become increasingly aware of the definitions and defining characteristics of my generation. We've hit a stride in our professional and academic pursuits that are definitely the dreams of our parents. As we continue to progress, I've begun to become worried by some of the comments I hear coming from my peers. What worries me about our success is the possibility that we'll start to accept the status quo as our finish line.

Does my/our (depending on who is reading) generation feel that we're approaching our pinnacle? Are we looking for that line in the sand, the banner announcing "You've made it"? I don't want us to be lulled into a false sense of security. Of course, I'm also convinced that Obama himself will address this possibility...at some point, in a moving speech that will bring me to tears every time I watch it on You Tube.

My point is, there's still a lot of work to do. "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." I wonder,though, have we been trained for the long haul?

-Ashleigh Rae

2 comments:

b said...

morgan freeman was the black president in that 1998 movie "deep impact"...in all serious, this is a crucial time in america. obama will have great decisions to make as far the economy, foreign policy, and possible supreme court justices.

T.L. Corners said...

"What worries me about our success is the possibility that we'll start to accept the status quo as our finish line."

I truly hope that we are not that short-sighted. Fortunately for us, I believe we will always have the mixed blessing of extremist blacks who will no doubt continue to ignore all modes of improvement for the black race by saying there's been no real change.

I've heard it before. "We've made significant strides in race relations," I say. "No real changes," the person says in response. Anything you offer as a change, they'll shoot down as mere change in the way America appears to be but no signifigant change in what goes on behind closed doors. Behind closed doors blacks are still n---rs. In the back of their minds whites still view blacks as inferior or more immoral.

Some of that may be true, but it's hard to garner what people think behind closed doors anyway. But I truly believe that there will be enough blacks striving for continuous improvement rather than the status quo to keep pushing us onward.