Sunday, May 3, 2009


No matter how we analyse the forces that came to play leading to the election of Senator Barack Obama as President of the United States of America , his election was a political miracle with him as the chief performer.
Starting from his victory over Senator Hillary Clinton in the most keenly contested Democratic primary in history and his victory over Senator John McCain of the Republican party , Obama was his own man. He remained focused and confident throughout and remained his own chief campaign organizer without diminishing the capability of his campaign team which was par excellent working to the letter in achieving its goal deserving credit for every of its step. It was fantastic and would remain a useful intellectual case studies for political organizers for many many years. His campaign team outfit was unbelievably perfect working to target scientifically beating all odds making a lie of traditional political analysts.
Did race play a part ? Yes. Nothing in America is racial free but Obama demonstrated ,
that he knew America, being the product of white and black America , and knew how to manipulate the negative factors to achieve positive results.
And Obama has more than a fair share of negative factors.
Besides being a black American, his father was a foreign Muslim with a living Muslim mother living in a north African country of Kenya at a time America was engaged in war against two Muslim nations fighting terrorism inspired by Islamic fundamentalism. To make the matter worse, Obama shares the same name with the much hated Saddam Hussein and his name Obama has a resemblance to the much dreaded Osama Bin Laden that it was miswritten Osama in some of the ballot papers. The election of Barack Obama as President must be a miracle in more than one aspect of defeating the Clinton machinery in the democratic party primaries.
To say that he was voted in because he was a black man with an African father can not be scientifically defended but it can not be totally without merit. It is possible that Obama born by a white American mother and an African Immigrant father, was able to demonstrate that though he is an African American , he did not share the bitterness that goes with the temptation to revenge for historical slave relation racial prejudice. Until his inauguration speech, he did not orchestrate his paternal back ground or his middle name Hussein even though he never at anytime denied them . When his opponent wanted to draw him to discuss his African background by publishing the picture of his African grand mother to demonstrate his 'foreignness', he tactictifully denied them the opportunity to make it a campaign issue by playing it down. Instead, he focused on the lessons he learned from his maternal background, his white grand parents and their contribution to his upbringing thereby assuring the white voters that he would not be a 'black' President. On the other hand he was effectively using the blackness of his parents -in- law, his wife, Michelle herself, to remind the black community that he was one of them always reminding them how he sharpened his political sword through serving them in the South side of Chicago as a community organizer.
And when his white grand mother was sick, he demonstrated how indebted he was to her by suspending his campaign to visit her on her sick bed and this must have registered positively to independents and some republican white voters that he was one of them.
Nevertheless, Obama did not act white but refused to be drawn into 'blackness' realm of black nationalists of the type of Mayor Andrew Young, Rev. Jesse Jackson and indefatigable Rev. AL Sharpton. And this is understandable, as Rev. Al Sharpton would defend him, he was running to be president of the United States.
To demonstrate his blackness at one occasion, when Obama was asked if he believed that President Bill Clinton was the first 'black' President, he tactfully responded that he would only judge him by the manner of his dancing if he was a 'brother.'
One must give credit to his wife Michelle, and all his campaign team especially his Campaign Manager, Mr. David Plouffe, for strictly following the footstep of Candidate Barack Obama throughout the campaign .
The black community demonstrated a kind of behavior that did not alienate the white voters throughout the campaign and it must be credited for this.
It was difficult for many of us to see the change coming so soon but every change is always a surprise and can only be engineered by the freshness of the youths who are usually the agent of such change which was the case with the election of Barack Obama as President of the United State of America.
Obama's victory should be seen in the context of the cummulated struggle for the emancipation of the black race in America, an epitome of which is the human rights movement championed by Martin Luther King, a hero of all times. His election should be seen as a pride to black race and a victory to America.
By Bari Salau

1 comment:

  1. Your piece is more quiet and almost balance. You tend to sit on the fence on the issue. The question, I guess, is whether or not Obama would have been elected without his white affinity and white influence in his life. Thanks