I walked into my eighth grade classroom. Everyone was chattering about while I could not even fathom opening my mouth. For months I had been told to fear what is about to happen. “If Obama becomes President we are doomed.” Well, it was the day after election day and all the talk had effectively scared the shit out of me. I sat in my desk in silence as the teacher walked in. The entire class instantaneously grew quiet as the last little chatters echoed from the walls. The teacher then picked up a piece of chalk and wrote on the board, “America is doomed.” I felt my eyes tear up. I was young and from a poor community. All I wanted was to grow up and be something. Yet, I was frightened into believing that that couldn’t happen now.
Years went by. The recession hit us hard, there’s unrest in the middle east and Anerica is scrimping by. Yet, noone seems hungry. Noone is burning piles of money in the streets. But I was told to fear so I continued on with a knot in my stomach and a tremor in my hand as my mind raced thinking, ‘Are we going to be ok?’.
Frankly, it wasn’t until Obama’s second term that I really started listening to him. His voice seemed kind and gentle, his thoughts seemed creative and helpful, and there was memes of him holding babies and speaking to children. And, somehow, America was alive. Bruised a little but definitely not short of breath. But “they” all said he was “bad”. But “they” all said he wasn’t born here. But “they” all said he became president to destroy our country. But “they” all said hes come to take our second ammendment rights.
I was young, uneducated and naive to a world around me. Therefore, anyone who wanted to could tell me an apple was an elephant and of course, I was going to believe it. But the day I realized Obama was actually an American man who was doing his best to use the resources he had to get us by, I finally felt a sigh of relief. At the very least, he was definitely not the monster I was told about.
As the years came and past I was certain he wasn’t a monster, but I also seemed sure he was a good person. He tried. His wife tried to turn the food industry on its back by getting healthy snack options into schools while her husband worked relentlessly on something he believed in, healthcare for all. Though my stance did not agree with the President’s as far as healthcare is concerned, I knew that monsters did not supply healthy food to children or try to give the elderly and sick a better life. The Obamas were not monsters.
But now, the Obama’s will be leaving the Whitehouse and Donald Trump’s family will come to stay for the next four years. The chatters have begun again and somewhere there is a scared child who has only been told to fear. Just remember, sometimes our perspectives can be deeply skewed.