Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A change of focus

I've heard it a least 50 times today, and at least 500 over the past two and a half months. "Today will go down in history." That's all fine and wonderful, but I've somewhat irked by all this hooplah about President Obama being the first black president.

Honestly, good for him. This is quite historical and the magnitude of this is not lost on me. But shouldn't we be more focused on his presidency? I was shocked when I heard something on the radio this morning. I, like many others, was following the events of today's inauguration. As I care for three small children, my best option was the radio. Not my favorite medium because I'm not always sure who is talking. Thus, I have no idea who said this:

"Regardless of how he performs, it's a great day for our country."

I beg to differ. If President Obama succeeds in uniting the American people, if his administration brings greater virtue, peace, and prosperity to us and to the world, then yes this is a great day for our country. But if President Obama drives this country into the ground then this is not a great day for our country. His performance matters a great deal. History will tell us whether this was a great day or not; not the color of the President's skin.

No, I'm not a racist. Nor is it any secret that I am not a fan of President Obama. While his stance on abortion wrenches my guts, I respect the authority and the position he holds. I look forward to what these next four years can bring us. But let's change the focus from President Obama's race to the things he plans to do for our country. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Dwelling on his race instead of his work only furthers the differences between races. Isn't the ultimate goal of civil rights to have people identified by who they are and what they do instead of what race they are?

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