BarackanizedBy Iquo B. Essien, The AFRican Blogger

By Iquo B. Essien, The AFRican Blogger

Published on Fri, Sep 28 2007 by Iquo Essien

(Photo credit: Richard Perry/The New York Times)

I left film aesthetics class early yesterday to catch Barack Obama in Washington Square Park. I've been a little fired up this week after hearing about the latest Congressional proposal for an additional $190 billion for Bush's war chest. That's a lot of money that could do a lot more good elsewhere. And I can't support an administration that is hellbent on spending everyone's money on a losing battle.

I found myself in class this week, while watching Saving Private Ryan, wondering about our glorification of war and attendant minimization of its impact. There is a profound disconnect going on when folks can sit and blithely discuss the cinematography of a war film, talking about the "beautiful blood floating on the water" and shit like that. I realized some of the effects talking to Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier who wrote about his experiences in the Sierra Leonean Civil War. Commanders make the kids watch Rambo films so they get desensitized to war and bloodshed. I objected in class, by covering my eyes.

I was glad to hear Barack say that when he gets into office, he'll devise an immediate plan to bring our combat troops home. I don't know if he's gonna flip the script on me, but at least it's what I wanted to hear.

If ever there was a political superstar, this man is it. I have never seen this level of excitement for a Presidential candidate. I have never seen such a diverse crowd at a political rally, all different ages and races. Though I'm not sure if I'm for or against him, I was clapping and yelling louder than most. His energy is infectious and his messages wash over you like a much needed bath after six or so years swimming in Bush's shit. Last night, I was Barackanized.

Barack talked about reducing the cost of healthcare premiums, investing in early childhood education, recruiting more teachers and paying them a higher wage, increasing fuel efficiency of cars to minimize gas consumption, supporting a living wage, reducing the cost of healthcare premiums, increasing federal grants to get banks out of the college education system, closing Guantanamo Bay, ending genocide in Darfur, and reducing HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

He is King of the Soundbite:

"We can't just change our political parties, we have to change our politics."
"The game is rigged. What we need is somebody who's gonna put an end to the gameplan."
"They say I haven't stewed long enough in the ways of Washington. Well, Rumsfeld and Cheney have some of the best resumes in Washington. All I can say is, longevity does not guarantee good judgment."

I looked around and thought to myself, This cat just might win. There's something decidedly familiar about the way he relays his message, almost like he's in my head saying the very things I'm thinking. I don't know if his idealism will hurt him in the end, cause there are bound to be some concessions made.

He said, "They call me a hope peddler. They say I'm so hopeful because of my lack of Washington experience. I say I'm hopeful because I believe in Americans. I don't think the American Dream is a thing of the past; I think it lays ahead."

I hope so, too.


The AFRican Blogger


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