You are young and you support Barack Obama. The elder statesmen of politics dismiss Obama for that very reason – only the young and inexperienced support him – but what do they know? Young people do not have the experience of time – so you are left to your intuitive hope and faith for the future – what wonderful attributes. The sour, gnarled, cynical, neo-conservatives of present day Washington should be paying attention. Barack Obama is the fulfillment of W.E.B. DuBois’s hope of the past century.
W.E.B. DuBois was an intellectual and charismatic African-American, as prominent in 1907 as Obama is in 2007. How, DuBois asked, does a person reconcile the ‘two-ness’ of being both African and American, a hyphenated person. The Al Sharpton’s fail to understand this – Sharpton does not want to be be both – he just wants to be an African in America, not an African and an American. It is the separation that gives Sharpton his identity.
Barack Obama’s identity is founded in his ‘two-ness.’ Obama recognizes the ballot box as the talisman of freedom. Obama recognizes and embraces the unity implied by the hyphenation of African-American. That is the essence of the ‘two-ness’ that DuBois was talking about 100 years ago. The African-American leaders of the past forty years (post Martin Luther King) would do well to study their own history. They are stuck singing the old spiritual, “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.”
Barack Obama is the incarnation of the hope of DuBois. DuBois was adamant that the reconciliation of the words of freedom written by the white founding fathers would have to account for the words sung in the ‘cotton fields back home.’ That is the true America. That blending of freedom – freedom of individual, freedom of markets – with the spiritual awareness of the souls of all folks.
DuBois wrote the African-American “ever feels his two-ness – an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings.”
Son- we Americans should be thankful for Barack Obama.