By: Andre Jackson, aka AJAX
People, will always have varying views of Barack Obama and his administration, as is their right. Some people like to stretch their rights. Much of that fact is where the divide between the extreme Right and the Left occurs. This includes assuming or even inventing whole sets of ‘facts’, even up to and including whether or not he is a true American citizen due to his extensively traveled youth. But my own take deals with the fact that if he had not been so 'American' and so positive in his thinking, even in spite of so much that he... and we... have witnessed, there is no way he could have become president in the first place. His attitudes and instincts would have more clearly reflected so much of the institutional barriers we all have faced for years. And could very well have been a harder sell to the broader U S of A. To be sure, Mr. Obama's experiences are unique and make for a unique vantage-point and skill-set to navigate the affairs of the day. And so, I expect this effort to be a furtherance of that perspective. I expect that thematically it is almost perfectly pitched into the body of work he has already done. Starting with- 'Dreams From My Father' and 'The Audacity of Hope', to then talk about- 'A Promised Land' fits right in there with those and some of his most memorable speeches: 'Fired up, Ready to Go', "On Patriotism' and 'A More Perfect Union'.
But I for one am not some cock-eyed optimist, nor am I so adoring of the man that I don't or can't see the occasional warts. Both on this American system and Barack Obama himself. Celebrated as he is and rightfully so, Obama was not, nor could he ever have been above blame on everything; and in some instances there were glaring errors. The assassination of Moammar Khadafy leading to the fragmenting of Libya was a huge mistake, and the residual effects have been catastrophic as the proliferation of human-trafficking from there and the political failed-state designation are further evidence. But then, which of us is perfect. I also think that a book of some almost eight hundred pages is a mistake. People and especially young people, a large part of his target audience, want to move along faster than that. But even as I sort of ‘side-eye’ the concept of- 'A Promised Land', with more of a 'Forty Acres and a Mule' kind of skepticism (remember that?)— I can't wait to get my copy.
And since they won’t change the map for us… ‘Let's Go Change the World!’