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President Barack Obama

First African-American President

As President Barack Obama is not only the 44th president of our country, but he will also be forever known as the first African-American president.

 Brief summary of the basic facts:

  • Born August 4, 1961
  • Place of Birth, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Full Name: Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.
  • Education: Harvard Law School, Occidental College, Columbia University, Punahou Academy
  • Career; Civil Rights Attorney, College Professor, State Representative, U.S. Senator, U.S. President
  • Political Affiliation: Democrat

Synopsis

His election to the highest office in the land should have been a monumental milestone in the country's history. With respect to the civil rights movement and race relations in America his election would seem to indicate that we as a people have seemingly healed ourselves from many self-inflicted wounds.

On the surface that's how everything should have unfolded and revealed during his first term in office. However, history will show that the man who was expected to unite this country may have brought about even greater division and suspicion between the races. Only history will reveal whether or not we are justified in our thinking.

Early Childhood

 President Barack Obama does not share a history that is similar to former presidents in many ways. Primarily, his parents and upbringing is quite different and thus has impacted his views of the world and his decision-making.

His mother, Ann Dunham, was married several times to men who were not American in either ideology or lifestyle. His biological father, Barack Obama Sr., was born in Kenya and grew up herding goats. He was able to fulfill a dream of his by attending college at the University of Hawaii by earning a scholarship. Not much is know about the manner in which this scholarship was earned.

While attending the University of Hawaii he met Ann Dunham. They were married February 2, 1961 and 6 months later Barack was born.

Obama Sr. Had very little fatherly impact on his son as he soon left his family to attend Harvard University to pursue his PhD. They Ultimately divorced in 1964. He later returned to Kenya in 1965.

As a result, the future President's first years were spent not only without his fathers presence but also without exposure to the lower 48 states. The Hawaiin culture and mindset is quite different from the masses from the mainland.

It was in 1965 that his mother then met an East-West student from Indonesia, Lolo Soetoro, and were married that year. At this time it appears that Ann Dunham has found a father figure for her son. Unfortunately, the family moved to Indonesia a year later.

The first four years of his life were seemingly very unstable and subject to influences that would color his view of America and the American dream.

President Barack Obama - the early years

Student Life

With the absence of his biological father the life of President Barack Obama was not an easy one with regard to establishing his identity and self-worth. Going through school as a multi-racial child must not have been easy especially during the late 60's and then the 70's.

What should be noted about this student who would one day be elected President is his perception of the country he called home. Not until his admission to Occidental College in Los Angeles would he actually be immersed into the American life.

Up until then he was exposed more or less to a culture that was not traditional for an American child. Growing up in Hawaii does not necessarily reinforce traditional American values. Without these values one tends to look at the American way of life through the eyes of a foreigner. One may not necessarily embrace all aspects of the life that mainstream America would hold dear.

While it is true that Barack had to deal with racism growing up in the school system I have to wonder if he was more sensitive to the impact of racism then most other African-american students during that era. I know from experience that being exposed to racism as a young student is a very difficult thing to deal with. 

Your upbringing plays a large part in how you handle it.

I was taught that everyone will have an opinion of you, wrong or right, accurate or distorted, all that mattered is that you know who are. No one gets to determine your value or worth. That persons opinion of you is personal and is not a reflection of the other members of their family or their race or ethnic group.

I came to find out that what my parents taught was true. It was up to me to judge each person I encountered on their own merits.

After attending Occidental college for two years Barack attended Columbia University in New York and graduated in 1983 with a degree in Political Science. After a brief visit to Kenya to get acquainted with relatives from his fathers side of the family he decided to attend Harvard University in 1988. It was during his visit to Kenya that he seemingly came to grips with his feelings of abandonment.

The obama presidency

What transpired during his Presidency (updated periodically)

  1. Without a doubt, President Barack Obama will likely refer to healthcare reform, Obamacare (Afffordable Care Act), as his crowning achievement. While the American healthcare system was indeed in need of repair, allowing the government to take over such a large part of the economy is a very risky venture considering the downside of this measure.  
  1.  Keeping in mind the governments' dismal record of managing healthcare for our war veterans there was no reason for Americans to be optimistic. What may forever haunt him was his promise that all Americans would be able to keep their current plan and doctor is they so desired. That proved to not be the case. Lastly, the majority of Americans experienced significant increase in their premiums while getting less coverage. Let's not forget the low turnout of people signing up for Obamacare. (Self-employed residents of Georgia)
  2. At the onset of his Presidency, President Barack Obama had to address the impending collapse of the economy which resulted from risky ventures in real estate loans that were packaged into investment products. Over $700 billion of stimulus money was pumped into the economy with the expectation that the tide would turn and much needed jobs would be created. The actual impact of this action is still being debated. As we enter the fall of 2014 we still have an unemployment of of 7% and we continue to accumulate to a massive amount of debt each day. Under Obama the America has accumulated more debt then all the administrations combined prior to his administration. Most of the jobs that have been created have been in the service sector and are part-time in nature. Many of the companies that received large amounts of the stimulus money were big contributors to Obama's campaign and some have been involved in scandals regarding the handling of the stimulus money.
  3. Foreign Policy may be the weakest arm of this President. Most Americans agree that he has not been very effective as a leader on the world stage. Unfortunately, the vast majority who believe he has done well are African-Americans, mostly out of pride for this President.

Understandably so. However, a reality check is needed if we are to avoid further decline in the influence of the U.S. among our allies and even more so among our so-called enemies. The threat of terrorism has not subsided; we continue to see attacks around the world, the Benghazi incident will forever be a black eye on this administration, not to mention the release of high profile terrorists from Guantanamo Bay.

  1.  And let's not forget Obama's inability to control/influence Russia's action around the world via Mr. Putin. He continues to go unchecked by the worlds only superpower and is therefore emboldened to continue on his path of aggression.
  2. Domestic policies have been a very devisive issue; failure to uphold the defense of marriage act, selectively enforcing laws (if he and the attorney general don't agree with a law they  simply ignore it), favoring of gay/lesbian groups at the expense of others, creating tension by using race to attack his political opponents, and of course the use of the Executive Order whenever he wants to bypass congress, thereby using the excuse that Congress is taking too long and he has no choice but to take action for the benefit of the American people.

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