Now that the glitz, glam and hype about the Democratic National Convention is over and I think we need to come back to reality. Although I do respect Obama, his good intentions, and what he has accomplished, I still have fears for the future of this country and the world. With his new campaign slogan, “forward,” I wonder what kind of forward are we stepping into.
Watching the Democratic National Convention, the speeches were inspiring and caused audiences to feel a sense of hope, a throwback to his last campaign, despite not reaching completely all of the goals Obama wanted to reach. But I do not fault him for that; he is one man, one president in a large group of politicians, government officials and citizens with varying voices, not some sort of “magical negro” as the right-wing and some left-wingers project onto him. It takes more than four years to set big goals into motion.
In the midst of the cheers, though, issues, which were necessarily glossed over in the convention to rally support, kept either popping into my head or were in the minds of others. Subtle references to bootstrap myth that ignores some of the social conditions that would affect Americans in the past and now, emphasis on the vague American Dream (what dream? does that dream apply to all?), and rising into the middle class, which is becoming more difficult for the people to do, once again had me questioning the ideals preached in this country.
We live in a country that is becoming increasingly divided with rising numbers of hate groups and those who are continue to enact micro-aggressions on others. A two-party system that is at times barely speaking to those who do not fit in either and puts voters in a position in which they feel stuck with a limited decision in voting. The mention of certain foreign policies that seems to be in America’s best interest, but are hurting innocent people in other countries in other continents. This includes the Palestinian crisis and Israel, which both Kerry and Obama declared they would support, and drone strikes. And with the number of other issues from rising poverty to still high unemployment, especially in communities of color (14.1% in black communities) to high gun violence to environmental and food problems, the reality of the future is setting in and it is all surreal, at times nightmarish.
Now the conventions are over, what steps do we take to move forward together, maintain hope and imagine a better tomorrow?