Wednesday, January 21, 2009
How Young People Are Responding to the First African American President
I watched the recent inauguration events with fascination with my co-workers. Though I am too young to actually remember the worst days of racial discrimination in our nation, I am old enough to have heard the many stories of things my parents witnessed. Though I did not personally vote for Obama because of his liberal views on certain moral issues, I do find his speeches inspirational and hope that he will be a great leader for our nation. It seems that on every news channel there is an interview with one more young adult fascinated with Obama being the first African American president. But to be honest, I am having a hard time finding any of those young people in my own circle of influence. It is not because my circle is filled with racists who don't like people of color. Quite the contrary, it is because my circle of friends have grown up in a color blind world and to them it seems normal that an African American has been elected president. Some of my friends are Obama supporters, some are not, but almost every one of them expressed confusion as to why it was such a big deal for an African American to be elected president. From their perspective, this is just the natural order of things. While some may find their attitude troubling, I take great comfort in it. To me it means they have truly moved beyond race. We often talk about living in a post modern era. Perhaps we are also living in a post racial era.