Sunday, January 25, 2009

More than Just the First African-American President

New York Times writer Jodi Kantor's article, "Nation's Many Faces in Extended First Family," highlights all of the diversity and history that is being brought to the White House through our new president.  Not only does Obama bring the title of "first African-American president" to the capital, but he also brings a detailed and very diverse past with him.  Kantor writes:
The family that produced Barack and Michelle Obama is black and white and Asian, Christian, Muslim and Jewish.  They speak English; Indonesian; French; Cantonese; German; Hebrew; African languages including Swahili, Luo and Igbo; and even a few phrases of Gullah, the Creole dialect of the South Carolina Lowcountry.  Very few are wealthy, and some- like Sarah Obama, the stepgrandmother who only recently got electricity and running water in her metal-roofed shack-- are quite poor.
I think this extreme diversity that Obama encompasses will be an asset to the White House and to his role as president.  Having grown up with a family born into slavery, limited resources, and no fame to his name (has no predecessor like the former president, George W. Bush, had), Obama had to make a name for himself.  In order to propel himself this far, he had to have some serious dedication to his education and to reaching his potential.  Obama's self-determination for success can probably only be a benefit to our nation.

1 comment:

sdmalhi said...

I definitely agree that Obama's ethnically diverse background will help this nation. Bringing in a president who differs not only in looks, but also in policies, from anyone that this country has ever seen will help open the minds of individuals all across the world. It brings in a new era of acceptance and just goes to show that America truly is the land of opportunity where anything is possible as long as you are willing to put in the effort. Obama not only physically represents diversity, but in terms of the efforts he's making to get the country involved with his presidency, Obama also represents a diversity in the different opinions being taken into consideration when he makes policies.