Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The First Black Anybody

Everyone has "that one" in their life right now, right? That one friend or relative who sends you every article, video, blog or humor item that has anything to do with Obama, making your e-mail inbox swell from 10 to 100 messages on a near-daily basis? If you don't, you probably are "that one" and if you are, I salute your commitment to political spam... I mean, getting the word out. For me, "that one" is my Auntie Brenda, so whenever I see a have e-mail from blakin, I skip over it because I know it will be long and/or time-consuming. But I recently found a moment to hack through my blakin e-mails and read a piece by Frank Schaeffer of the Huffington Post entitled "Obama Will Be One of The Greatest (and Most Loved) American Presidents."

I don't know why, but of all of the Obama fodder in my box, this one made me more than a little "Yes, We Can" -- it actually made me weepy, emotional and (dare I say?) hopeful.  Not only because this self-described life-long Republican and Christian is so eloquent about the virtues of Obama, but because it's the first time the simplest argument to vote for Obama occurred to me.  He will absolutely be the best president this generation has ever seen - -because he HAS TO BE. 

The First Black Anybody, it hit me, is always superlative whenever he or she crosses lines that have not been crossed before.  Not only are they preternaturally gifted in their field of choice (Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ashe, Ralph Bunche, W.E.B. DuBois, Leontyne Price, to name a few), they also possess the demeanor, will power and acumen to earn the respect even of those most resistant to their presence in a heretofore homogeneous field.  The First Black Anybody knows everyone is watching him or her, some with fingers crossed, some with eyes askance, and if they "mess up," it becomes painfully unlikely that The Second Black Anybody will get their proverbial turn at bat.

Obama, put plainly, is a man without a net, so he must cross the high wire intact, or perish.  Does old boy McCain have that kind of pressure on him?  Um, not so much.  Of course, The First Black Anybody theory isn't the only reason I'm voting for Obama, but I must say, I do love that he's the guy who's playing "all in" because he does not have the luxury of hedging his bets. And that's the guy who for damn sure knows how to play his cards.  And since I have no other metaphors to mix, I will close by saying feel free to use this argument with any undecided friends of yours because even though there is a level of facetiousness and whimsy to it, it's really kinda true.

Deep Pop.  We Love It.

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