While in attendance at Grant Park as President Elect Obama delivered his acceptance speech, I listened and studied the crowd; processing their reactions.
Though I didn’t anticipate a reincarnation of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, I did expect to hear something special.
His speech, while a bit toned down from his previous demeanor as a candidate, was appropriate for a President Elect. After all he’s basically the U.S. President now.
Seeking a bit of hip hop input, I came across an interview where Lupe Fiasco expressed that he wasn’t impressed or “moved” by Obama’s speech.
I can’t really say that I was moved, but I was certainly impressed. Not necessarily because of what he said, but because of what he didn’t say. He could have easily came out in a celebratory tone. However the very second he was announced the winner, the election was already in the past. And as President Elect, he can’t be consumed with the act of being elected. Not when the road that lies ahead is so treacherous.
You could see that road on his face as he spoke. It’s like the weight of the position finally hit him. After months of talking about the problems and situations waiting to face the next U.S. President, Obama seemed to come to grips with the fact that he is that next U.S. President.
Even in his first press conference as President Elect his tone was somber and somewhat subdued.
It would be naive to think that President Obama will somehow miraculously turn this country around in a year or two. Even a term or two may be a stretch. At the end of the day, Obama’s mandate may be to right the ship enough for the following administration to take the glory. But those in the know will know.
Personally, I just want to see the hip hop community stay involved in the political process. In comparison to the road ahead, the election was easy. Everyone came out to “Barack the vote” but what will we do now? Elections only come around once every four years. So what about the days and weeks leading up to the 2012 election. Are we only going to stand up when it’s time put someone in office? Or will we increase our awareness and activity at all times? It can be said that Barack Obama didn’t need hip hop’s help to get in office. But he does need us to help him help us.
We also need to realize that the office of U.S. President is possibly the highest position in the world. We can’t expect him to have us in mind during each executive decision that he makes. There are congressmen, state representatives and community leaders with whom our local problems would be better explained to.
Let’s get active people. There is an entire young generation who just witnessed something that will never be done again.
Let’s show them more.