Morgan Freeman doesn’t see President Obama as the first Black president, but the commander in chief is more than aware that his skin color may end up being the driving force behind his historical presidency.
The New York Times took on Obama’s juggling act, outlining how he deals with race, without making it the forefront of his administration.
Noting his obvious popularity in the Black community the president is in a precarious position where he must acknowledge his roots, but be looked at as more than just a “Black president:”
“Mr. Obama is balancing two deeply held impulses: a belief in universal politics not based on race and an embrace of black life and its challenges.
Vigilant about not creating racial flash points, the president is private and wary on the subject, and his aides carefully orchestrate White House appearances by black luminaries and displays of black culture. Those close to Mr. Obama say he grows irritated at being misunderstood — not just by opponents who insinuate that he caters to African-Americans, but also by black lawmakers and intellectuals who fault him for not making his presidency an all-out assault on racial disparity.”
Broadcaster Tavis Smiley called Obama “boxed in by his blackness,” stating the underlining responsibility that Black people feel that he has to them. “It has, at times, been painful to watch this particular president’s calibrated, cautious and sometimes callous treatment of his most loyal constituency.”
However race is not something that the president has run from. During his first election, he delivered a poignant speech on the topic, using his cultural background as the foundation in delivering a message of uniting the country. Earlier in the year, his words about Trayvon Martin’s shooting death which was based on George Zimmerman’s alleged act of racial profiling, likely earned him more points in the Black community. Yet with his second election bid in full effect, he is once again faced with the task of being appealing to all walks of life.
With a notable hold among Black and Latino voters, the president has set his sites on female voters whom both he and opponent Mitt Romney looked to appeal to during their second presidential debate.
No matter his skin color, the president is indeed the leader of a country mixed with all different cultures, but the question of rather he notices that Black people suffer from a “Jesus complex” in never taking him to task on certain issues, or voting for him not based on policy but on race, is a query that has been brought up since he made the decision to run for president.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Feel free to weigh in below.
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