Monday, June 15, 2009

Dr. Billy Hawkins on Obamas First 100 Days

Because the presidency is an institution and not an individual, it is still heavily influenced and entrenched by white men. Given the inertia of the political machine and how it has been pre-programmed by the ideals of white supremacy, I did not anticipate President Barack Obama to make any significant impact regarding racial policy in his first 100 days. Furthermore, I do not imagine much progress in racial policy in this nation during his first or possible second terms in office.

Besides the symbolic racial empowerment he has provided with his presence as the first Black President, where Blacks are able to feel good about themselves and the future of race relations in this nation, I do not expect him to alter the course of race relations in the U.S. I hope he proves me wrong by instituting policies that are seismic enough to improve race relations and move us into a post-racial and post-racist society. However, to truly improve race relations in this country is beyond his power, even as President of the U.S., because the power resides with the people and the institutions we empower to sustain racial ideologies.

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