Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Election 2016, News, Opinion -

Dear America: Do you really think you’ll ever do better than the Obamas?

Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Election 2016, News, Opinion -

Dear America: Do you really think you’ll ever do better than the Obamas?

Recently, Comedian DL Hughley remarked that, “The Obamas are who we aspire to be, the Trumps are who we are.”

The outgoing presidential family represents not only the best that black folks have to offer but the best of what America has to offer. They are what happens when black Americans are allowed to lead.

Why bring up race, you say?

Well, there’s that old saying that, “If you’re black, ya gotta work twice as hard to get just as much.” This is known colloquially as “The Black Tax,” and it is a reality that forces our achievers to soar. Think about what this did for you, America. You got no sex scandals, no dirty emails, no Watergate, no WW3. What you did get was a president that you knew was the smartest guy in the room. You got a man who, unlike his predecessor, could actually complete a sentence. Obama is a world class orator, Ivy League constitutional scholar, and a bit of a comedian if you push him. Thanks to him, you now have a timestamp in history: two terms where you had relative peace and prosperity, with declines in violent crime and the highest stock market numbers the country had ever seen.

Let’s review a list of this gentleman’s accomplishments, shall we?

Obama doubled clean energy production, created the biggest job growth since the 90’s, especially in manufacturing, killed public enemy #1 Osama Bin Laden, cut unemployment in half, cut the deficit by three quarters, tripled — yes, I said tripled — the stock market, and enacted some form of universal healthcare. To think, he did this all with record Republican obstructionism. For eight long years, the GOP left no stone unturned in the effort to make Obama an unsuccessful president. Time after time, it backfired. As a black man, I must admit that it was a pleasure watching Obama rise above his enemies in a classy and charismatic manner.

Here’s what few people give Obama credit for: self-mastery. His calm, even-handed behavior set the tone for all around him. This is called “emotional intelligence.” In crisis situations, that’s what you need in a leader. Time after time, Barack Obama proved unflappable under pressure. Look at the tightrope he’s been forced to walk since he got into the public eye. Any glint of anger, any off-the-cuff gaffe, any sign of a sex scandal would have been all the world needed to drag him through the mud — forever. Yet, Barry made staying cool… look cool. Like so many black men before him, he accomplished the impossible all with a little bit of swagger in his step to make the haters hate just that much harder.

Now, let’s compare his demeanor to that of Donald Trump.

Even Trump’s supporters have lamented the Donald’s dangerously loose-hinged temper and tongue. He makes George W. Bush’s failures of forethought pale in comparison. That’s saying something, because “W’s” gaffes were epic enough to be compiled in book form in the “Bush-isms” series. Donald J. Trump’s impulse control seems to be beneath the public standard for adults. Indeed, his election may be the closest we ever get to handing the nuclear launch codes to a toddler.

Those astute in psychological profiling may observe that he exhibits textbook traits of narcissism that borders on sociopathic. Compared to Obama, Trump is a Molotov cocktail waiting to detonate in an already flammable international landscape. With Syria, Russia, Iran and North Korea being barely held at bay by the ice-cold Obama, what will Trump’s flaming hot temperament ignite in terms of foreign policy? Will he remain on Vladimir Putin’s good side, and if not, how many lives will be lost in the wake of their fallout? These are real life-and-death concerns that hang in the balance of the mechanics of presidential personalities.

Then again, when would Trump ever have needed to learn self-control? Born into the New York real estate empire of millionaire Fred Trump, not many of his desires would need temperance before gratification. Humble beginnings teach patience. Nepotism breeds entitlement. When examining how many presidential hopefuls had a leg up through their family connections, Obama’s story looks like an up-from-your-bootstraps Rocky story. The Bushes have been richer than God since slavery, Romney’s father was a governor, John McCain’s father was a navy admiral, and Trump is a walking silver-spoon. Obama, who barely knew his real father, made himself the president of the Harvard Law review and the President of the United States.

This is what the double-standard of white privilege creates: the sloppy work habits of those who know they will get a second and maybe third chance at success. That double standard also applies in how we judge black and white candidates and their families. The way voters just overlooked Malania Trump’s legitimate, non-photoshopped nude pics on the internet says a lot. Had Michelle Obama had so much as too much thigh showing, there’d have been no chance for Barack’s presidency. Donald Trump literally has five children by three different women and a history of braggadocios infidelity. That would make any black man a “thug,” not a contender. And yet, with an impending child molestation court case against him, Trump is the president-elect.

Way to go, America.

The saddest reason we may never see anything like Obamas again is this country’s commitment to destroying black potential. How many geniuses are behind bars? Who could Trayvon Martin have become had he been allowed to live past his troubled youth? How many boys in Obama’s home town of Chicago will never see their potential because of the ghettos created by decades of red-ling and systemic economic deprivation? These are serious questions, and their answers prove that racism hurts everyone, not just people of color.

One thing is for sure: there are plenty of entitled successors to Donald Trump waiting for their turn to be rewarded for mediocrity. As for the likes of a young Barack Obama, that remains to be seen.

The post Dear America: Do you really think you’ll ever do better than the Obamas? appeared first on theGrio.


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