In America, more often than not, men with brown skin are routinely portrayed negatively in movies, on the news, and by conservative politicians who aim to stoke fear in the hearts of weak-minded people who believe what they’ve been conditioned to think about people whose skin is a different complexion. That’s why for so many, Barack Obama’s election as the first U.S. president of African descent, was such a big deal.
For a group of people often taught to believe that they’re just another prison statistic, Obama showed that people can thrive, despite the systemic obstacles they often face. President Obama gave boys like Jacob Philadelphia hope, so when little Jacob couldn’t fathom the notion of a president who looks like him, he had to get Obama to pass one test to make him real to young Jacob.
Jacob had to feel his hair. Without hesitation, President Obama leaned over and let the boy feel his hair, for Obama, more than most, understood the child’s desire to have a more intimate connection to the president who proved that Jacob can truly grow up to be anything he wants:
It’s stories like that of Jacob Philadelphia’s interaction with Obama, that remind us that America’s 44th president is more than just an amazing part of American history. Sadly, there are still many people who want nothing more than to smear Obama’s name and legacy and denigrate him to nothing more than a slave on a modern plantation. Such is regularly the case whenever Donald Trump opens his mouth to speak about President Obama.
When Trump gets on his anti-Obama messages, Trump’s base becomes a captive audience, almost hypnotized by Trump’s racist undertones. They love to hear the toxic white billionaire bash the former president. For them, Trump’s Obama insults help remove Obama’s tenure from their minds. Unfortunately for them, there is nothing that can be done to change the fact that Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States and is still loved by millions, worldwide.
Now it looks like Obama may be getting some of the love and commemoration he deserves. The state he considers home, Illinois, is honoring him with a holiday. On Friday, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 55. It reads it part that August fourth (Obama’s birth date) of each year will be:
‘…observed throughout the State as a day set apart to honor the 44th President of the United States of America who began his career serving the People of Illinois in both the Illinois State Senate and the United States Senate, and dedicated his life to protecting the rights of Americans and building bridges across communities.’
Unfortunately, the holiday isn’t an official state holiday. It’s a day to observe the work of President Obama. Once again reminding that no matter how much non-whites do in and for America, it will never be enough for some people to acknowledge that work as equal to that of their white counterparts.
Featured Image via Getty/Pool/Pool