SOCIAL ANGST is more than just a blog, it is an invitation to aid in the building of wealth through the shared task of information distribution and discussion. It is a call to engage – engage in society, engage with your peers, engage in your political system, engage in spreading the wealth that is information, and engage in multiplying that wealth through discussion – so that collectively we may become more socially aware, more socially responsible, more socially vocal and ultimately more socially valuable.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Just Something To Think About:
Why The Obama Effect is Working

When all is said and done, after his term(s) in office are complete and regardless of his political accomplishments, stances on national and foreign policy, or his public opinion poll numbers, President Obama will leave behind a legacy of inspiration that we can all be proud of. It is not unusual for American Presidents to direct the communal consciousnesses of the American people. Puppeteer masters George W. Bush and Dick Cheney lead the nation to a collective frenzy of fear in the years following the September 11th attacks. What is unusual is that Obama seems to be influencing Americans, and most specifically Black Americans, to grow into better versions of themselves. We’ve seen evidence of The Obama Effect on Black students and test scores. We’ve heard numerous Black artists from Common to Spike Lee credit Obama with inspiring a positive shift in the direction of Black American pop culture including hip hop. Volunteer efforts of Black Parents are on the rise in schools and Black men are becoming more active in community outreach programs.

Whether or not you buy into The Obama Effect, it is hard to deny Obama's widespread influence within the Black community. His quiet, laid-back, thoughtful demeanor and obvious intelligence are being championed in the hood. Without a microphone, leather bound ball, or firearm he commands our attention and challenges us to take personal responsibility for ourselves, our families, and our communities. Yet, while he is not the first Black leader to challenge Black America (Bill Cosby has been very vocal in recent years), Obama has arguably been the most effective at corralling Blacks to adopt some personal accountability for their situations.

One might ponder why Obama succeeds where others have failed. Why is an Obama chastising easier to accept than others? It’s because when Obama highlights the short comings of the Black community, he does so without being condescending or overly self-righteous. It is the connotative difference between telling someone “you could do better” while wagging your finger and asking someone “can we do better? The former attacks and alienates, the latter encourages and strengthens bonds. (Mama always said, you get more flies with honey…)

Another significant difference between Obama and other public chastisers is that Obama has never promoted himself as anything other than human. He publicly admits to some previous wanton behavior. He plays ball with his peeps. He listens to Jay and dances with Ellen. He's a man - with a past (just like the rest of us) who one day decided he could do better. Now he's leading by example and showing us that we can too.

I can't deny, I'm hoping for a Social Angst Effect!

Inspiring others to be better IS activism. :-)

Digg Google Bookmarks reddit Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Buzz DesignFloat Delicious BlinkList Furl