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Saturday, January 21, 2017
Eight years ago the state of the United States economy was such that it appeared that the job awaiting the next incumbent in The White House would be impossible. It seemed that all that was lacking was to push the flush button.
Enter Barack Obama, who actually wanted the job. The first Afro-American to take up office as President of The United States of America, that was dealing with soaring joblessness and debt, so they gave the job to a black man. As Western blacks we were amazed that we had lived to see the day, but we all took one giant breath and we have held it ever since, because if America actually lost its standing as the World's Super Power a black man would get the blame. That would have stuck for all time. People would have become true believers in what they had been trying to say all along: black people can't do anything right.
Even the Reverend Wright, Obama's former pastor declared against him, thereby acting out the role that has plagued the black man who tries to get ahead since time began.
Most of us gave Mr Obama our faith and our encouragement. We supported him and stood behind him, even when we wished he would have done more for blacks in America, but we realised that his hands were tied because he had to be president for all Americans with an even hand.
He has also put his very life on the line every day of his presidency just to make the point that he was capable of being a steady and well reasoned captain of the Ship of State. What he has achieved is nothing short of being amazing. Having the Congress and the Senate dead set against him makes his accomplishments all the more astounding.
In the process he has avoided personal stupidity and scandal and he has been able to leave the White House, and the economy in superlative condition as compared to when he came into office. We must remember that the president is just one man and cannot control everything that happens within his country, or around the world; but somehow he gets the blame and has to shoulder it alone when things go wrong. When things go well there are no end to those who will share the credit. So, Obama was not personally responsible for the Dow Jones closing up around 20,000, which was not even considered possible- ever- in 2008.
Unemployment is at an all-time low, and that happened on his watch. He did what he could to encourage it to happen. He did steer the Ship of State away from the rocks with his policies.
and he did authorise America's forces to take down Public Enemy No.1. Americans are far better off upon his leaving office than when he came in, but party politics being what they are people will still grumble if they are determined to find something to grumble about.
There was just so much he could do with the support that he had. The most courageous thing he did was to champion The Affordable Care Act that made it possible for 20 million Americans to have heath care insurance which was previously denied them. No other president would touch this subject in any meaningful way. He did, and turned it into a reality, and now they want to simply sweep it away. I suspect that it will simply re-emerge under a new name, but if it is new and improved it will still be Obama Care II. No-one will be fooled.
The first black family have taken their place in history and they have left a clean record that all blacks everywhere can be proud of. They hold their heads high in the knowledge that conducted themselves with dignity and grace. We can be proud of them and we can be proud of ourselves as a race. No-one can ever again convince my son that there is any height that is beyond him due to his colour. If he can dream it, he can do it.
President Obama left office on Friday, 20th January 2017.
Thank you and well done, Mr President! We shall miss your sparkling speeches, your wit and your intellect.
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