Thursday, 19 January 2017

good thing

Copyright: <a href=''>mattz90 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

What a time to be in right now. I often wonder how the history books will write up the last year and the days to come; whose feet will they choose to lay the Brexit blame and how will they compare President 44 to 45? Cartoonists and Exam Board Question Makers must be sharpening pencils as the political roller-coaster ride twists and turns.

As Trump's inauguration looms I've been reading about how Obama's lack of achievement and how any accomplishments will be erased by his successor anyway. Haters gonna hate and theorists are always gonna miss the lay person's view. Here's mine.

In 2016 the country where I was born and bred, educated and worked, raised my daughters and probably will end my days, has turned the other cheek and is making a hateful noise. Not everywhere, mind. I'm a Londoner, most of the time people here can handle a range of face colours, divergent accents or an assortment of religions. But still the mood has definitely changed. And then we witnessed an eruption of overt hate spewing out of our tellies during the US Presidential Campaign. I am amazed that so many people can invest so much time to so much hostility; they seem to live and breathe a continuous rage against people who don't mirror themselves.

We have been invaded by an influx of slogans saying which lives matter, people filming death on their doorsteps and which 'race' is at fault for the demise of the others happiness. All raising relevant and necessary debates because all views need their day in the sun.

For me, the way the Obamas, especially Michelle, have engaged with society has been genuine. The images that fill my FB timeline highlight the joy, the decorum and respect for their position during their time in the White House. Michelle Obama's work raising the profile of girls education has been inspirational to many and long may her work continue in the organisations she has supported. Their collective message has always been about doing better, working hard, supporting one another and the necessity for heightened gun security. Okay I don't live in the States; many policies Obama imposed don't affect me directly but as the first black family in the White House move out of the spotlight and back into their private lives I believe they were always going to be scrutinised moreso than any other Presidential family. And how refreshing that they completed their tenure without scandal or mighty blunder as we have witnessed before, imagine if this President with a Brown Face committed a socio-political crime? Like getting Twitter trigger happy or mocking the afflicted.

Many may belittle those who rejoiced in the ethnicity of the First Family but there is a truth in how it has opened doors of self belief or understanding of journeys that can be taken by people of colour - when history lessons omit sections of society, if someone in power has experienced and refers to elements of your struggle, you are referenced and therefore can take your place in the future.

In their short lives, my three mixed heritage children, have grown up with classrooms and communities that reflect a whole world; a white male followed by a white female UK Prime Minister; a black American male president - their norm is that different people attain different successes.  Maybe they're too young to realise the power of prejudice, they will learn in time but I hope their future will be one where they use their voices, their strength, their abilities to improve their world - that's a message I taken away from the Obama years. 

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