The first African-American president

Sarah Klieves, Editor-in-Chief

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Is Barack Obama the president or the “black president”?

Becoming and serving as the President of the United States of America is an incredible feat. For over two centuries men have had the honor of serving as the president. But it wasn’t until 2008 when America elected its first African-American president.

As the president, one receives a lot of scrutiny from the public. Not all Americans may agree with the views of President Obama– but is that because of his political views or because of the color of his skin?

As Carlmont junior Catherine Luckenbach points out, because we live in “one of the most liberal areas in the United States, everyone is equally celebrated and accepted.”

“This,” Luckenbach stated, “makes it difficult to tell if Obama has changed the way Americans view African-Americans.”

Many African Americans, like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, have made great strides throughout American history through their words and actions, just as President Obama has.

But put aside President Obama’s achievements. Do you think he has changed the way Americans view African-Americans? Has his being the President of the United States of America changed how African-Americans are viewed in a positive or negative way?

Sophomore Madison Hubbell said that she “doesn’t think that it has changed the way Americans view African-Americans,” but she does think that Obama being able to become president despite the color of his skin “has shown Americans that anyone can be president.”

Carlmont junior RJ Caslow stated that Obama hasn’t changed the way African-Americans are viewed, because “the same stereotypes still exist in this country.”

Although President Obama has a 53 percent approval rating, according to a Gallup poll conducted between Jan. 28 and Feb. 3, 2013, an Associated Press poll, conducted between Aug. 30 and Sept. 11, 2012 states: “51 [percent] of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 [percent] in a similar 2008 survey.”

Take a moment to flashback to President Obama’s childhood. You may or may not know that he was raised in a classic all-American family.

President Obama’s mother is from Kansas, even though his father is from Kenya. His father, however, was absent for most of his childhood, having gone back to Kenya shortly after President Obama was born in Hawaii.

His grandparents helped to raise him and his grandfather served in General Patton’s Army in World War I.

With all of the support in his childhood, President Obama has been able to make many great achievements through the years, including attending law school and becoming the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, teaching law at the University of Chicago, and serving our nation’s government as a senator and the president.

Regardless of who is the leader of our nation and the color of their skin, it appears that Americans haven’t changed their personal beliefs on racism. Racism and other forms of discrimination will most likely never fade, due to Americans not wanting to change, what some may consider to be, outdated opinions.

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