Obama's Golden Opportunity
On Leaving a Legacy

In the past year, I have learned a great deal about life. One would think at 72-years of age that I would have learned this wellspring of knowledge a bit earlier. Nonetheless, as a late bloomer, I have finally been able to see life more clearly by connecting the dots. Having made that confusion about being late to grasping much of the meaning of life, I would like to share my learning with you and especially regarding President Obama. I have been toying with writing this essay for weeks, but it had not come together until now.
Clarence Page  Clarence Page
Then I read Clarence Page's editorial in the Chicago Tribune about Obama and the racial divide. Page wrote that Obama possessed the "unofficial yet widely presumed role: racial explainer-in-chief." That single statement framed the issue that I have wrestled with for some time. Obama is the president and the leader of our country. However, while he attempts to lead, he will be dissed from the right and from the left for saying or doing too much or for saying or doing too little. This is his dilemma particularly with his dealing with racism especially in places like Ferguson, Cleveland, and Staten Island.

If I were in his shoes, no matter what I said or did addressing any situation in general or racism in particular, I would get arguments from the right that I was biased racially. The issue of racism and Obama focus on the adjectives first black president. It becomes even worse when the birthers push their contention that he was born in Kenya.

Recently, Donald Trump, the champion and spokesperson of the birthers, mused over a plane crash of Makani Kai Air killing Loretta Fuddy. She was the Health Director of Hawaii and the person who released Obama's birth certificate. The Donald raised the issue of whether Obama was involved in some way in the crash.

Beyond the birther issue, Obama is not our first black president. At best, he is our first bi-racial president. We dissed Hitler's notion of the Aryan race. He believed that no German could have a Jewish grandparent and still be an Aryan, which is stupid and racist. However, it is not as stupid as our American version of racism. One parent being black makes that person black. Obama is as white as he is black. This nomenclature is at best both racist and ignorant.

In addition, anthropologists have proven that all humans came from Africa and some migrated out of Africa over the past 100,000 years. The mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) of all human beings can be traced back to Africa and in particular to the area near present-day Kenya. Essentially, we all share a common ancestry that can be traced back to Kenya.

The changing of skin pigmentation occurred when Africans moved north out of Africa. The amount of sun over thousands of years determines our skin colors. The melanin in our skin will allow more sun exposure to those that live further north of the equator and less sun exposure to those closer to the equator. You will note on the picture below that Kenya lies on the equator.

Various routes out of Africa

Various routes out of Africa

While I am not advising Obama, I do not see what he will lose if he takes the lead and uses this opportunity to address racism with the same determination as healthcare reform. As with the issue of healthcare reform, the naysayers on racial equality will not change. Therefore, Obama has his detractors already either on healthcare or racial reforms. They will not accept either of the reforms.

In addition, what will Obama's legacy be at the end of his 8-years in the White House? The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the law of the land and will be one of his legacies. The next issue, which needs to be addressed, is racism. Page in his Chicago Tribune's editorial, said Obama was the "unofficial yet widely presumed role: racial explainer-in-chief."

Obama speaking

In my opinion, this could be Obama's second major legacy. He can also leave the legacy of ensuring that all Americans would be treated equally. If I were Obama, I would love to be remembered as the president that provided healthcare and racial equality to millions of Americans.

On Seeing the Light

On Seeing the Light

Visit the On Seeing the Light page to read more about this topic.

Connecting The Dots

Connecting the Dots

Visit the Connecting the Dots page to read more about this topic.

Darkest Before Dawn

Darkest Before Dawn

Visit the Darkest Before Dawn page to read more about this topic.

An old man and his grandson

An Old Man and His Grandson

Visit The Mentors and Me page to read more about this topic.

Obama signs health insurance reform bill

Obama Signing the Affordable Care Act

Visit the Obamacare page to read more about this topic.

Forrest Gump Film Poster

Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Visit the Stupid is As Stupid Does page to read more about this topic.

Best of Times

Best and Worst of Times

Visit the Best and Worst of Times page to read more about this topic.