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What If Obama was a full blown White Male in the Political-Psycho-Social Thought of America?

By: John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D

 Published September 3rd, 2010


Within the American psyche there has always being a divide between the ordinary people; and the influential, the selected few, leaders or the cream of the crop. The divide historically revolves around economic, political and legal activities.

Armed with money, position or power the privileged has always been able to scale through societal problems. Since the birth of America, at least from the British parenthood 200 years ago, if there is one thing that bridges the gap between the psyche or minds of the ordinary and privileged Americans, Whites and Black included, it is what could be called the presence of an ‘all out white American Male’.

In America and from time in memory and to this day there is the American mentality that automatically ties the psychology of handsomeness, toughness, smartness, successfulness, competitiveness and industriousness to being a White male—from a boy and then to a man.

It is a reality that to be a White male in America, and not be successful, leaves that person in a state of scornfulness generally by many Americans, including Whites, Blacks, and others.

It is a fact that since the 1960s the air of multiethnic and cultural globalism has successfully penetrated into the atmosphere of the White man supremacy in America which has resulted in some degree of opportunity for non-Whites on the basis of the recent laws of inclusion, diversity and fairness.

For a racialist society like the United States of America the new multicultural outlook is a positive reference away from what once was an American White Kingdom (AWK) with Blacks and non-Whites as possessions and amazing servers.

Nonetheless, both in rhetoric and in attitudes Americans believe that when the white man is quite visible and on top at all levels of private and public influences and power that means leadership in all aspects of their lives.

The American psyche is imbued with the spirit and psychology that the white male is by definition a special brand. Throughout his developmental and maturing periods his grandparents, parents, movies, Television shows, and art/literature/history/science books feed him with messages of being special and worthy, as such, he is bound and entitled to success and power.

He is told to win by any way possible, he is asked to play by the rules for the most part, he is told the more winnings and achievements that he gets bring in more reward, attention and recognition. He is told that it is only natural that he be respectful of himself, he is told to be careful at all times, he is told to show respect to those who work had to achieve on their own but he must always try and remain on top of all others, and that the world is his to lose if he “f” up.

Barack Obama in an outstanding way, through struggle, trial and error, through risk taking, quiet optimism, through playing the game to get ahead and devoting himself to amazing strong education, has demonstrated strong work history, built powerful cycle of men and women around him and founded a fine family. Blessed with boyish looks, tallness, slimness, bravery, focus, adventuresome, talent, pleasantness, courtliness, dynamic expressions, he became Harvard-educated, a lawyer, a middle-class man, and now at the apex of American power.

He is everything that America wishes and wants to see and notice in a person on top of public and private influence. But he is Black.

That is, he is a man of color, African-American, or a non-Caucasian as defined by the American psyche and culture.

His monumental achievements compared to the combined works of presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush remain quite a record. Good-faith Liberal and Conservative political and economic researchers/pollsters have agreed that his achievements within his short span in office are worthy.

We see for the first time strong legal protections for credit card holders and mortgage borrowers.

There is for the first time an overhaul and expansion in student loans and guaranteed insurance for persons with pre-existing medical and mental illnesses. He has saved the American auto manufacturers and industries from disappearance. Job growth is slowly increasing compare to the last three years and has expanded more aids to small business.

He has championed the free-enterprise system and reduced squandering in the government. In the area of foreign policy as it relates to the Iraq war which the majority of Americans hate, he has not only completed the war but he is bringing the soldiers back home.

His measured success in education as evidenced in his bringing in competition for federal grants, adopting higher standards among teachers and demanding for more accountability among schools remain obvious to everyone. Yet he gives no reason for the current ethnic majority in America to celebrate his accomplishments.

In a society where one can be “too black” in order to frighten the white psyche or not “black enough” in order to irritate the African American psyche to both blacks and whites Obama is caught between their respective doubts—a consequence of the American manifest racialism.

As a black man who attended Ivy League school he is blamed for being an intellectual but no other White President like George W. Bush—who attended Ivy League schools were ever blamed for embracing intellectual outlets like the Harvard University.

It has been asked that if America is still ingrained with the complex of racialism and anti-blackness, then how did Obama managed to win 43 percent (as against John McCain’s 55 percent White votes) of the White vote.

There is no easy answer to this question. However, a theory could be built that the Euro-American or Western psychology as we know it has historically and generally ignored the spiritual and transpersonal dimension of humans.

But that does not mean that the realization of the mystical part of the American human does not happen from time to time.

So could it be that on that super Tuesday of November 4th, 2008 of presidential election within the mainstream politics of that day, many or some in the American majority and minority ethnic persons (certainly there were those whites and blacks who all along irrespective of rational or mystic influence freely looked for that day to cast their presidential vote for a black or female American) were on the part of apparent conversion, transcendence and spirituality as they cast their votes?

As both whites and blacks as well as others possibly thought of the deepest racial wounds in America and with their spirit and minds apparently being guided by the extraordinary experience of that day—Barack Hussein Obama—won the irrevocable cast of vote at that second, at that minute and at that hour.

At the time of this writing there are many Americans especially those that self describe themselves as Angry White Men and Women who are openly speaking and showcasing images of violence.

They appear to be losing their minds over the Obama effect during that election day and agitated by the current Obama phenomenon which is marked with a new order of things that are ‘insourcing’ or gripping the whole of America—inclusiveness, diversity and equity.

The question that remains is that if Obama was a white man will he suitably capitalize on that American psyche, admiration and sentiments that equates historical excellence, power, achievement, success and gentlemanliness to a white male, the answer is a resounding yes!

Now, it time for all of Americans—Blacks, Asians, Latinos, Whites and others to understand that it is the personal qualities and not the racial outlook of an individual that will define the 21st century America. As of today, that is what the young Black, Hispanic, Asian and White male or female across all colleges and universities are hearing from Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th President of the United State of America.


John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D, DABPS, FACFE is a practicing Forensic/Clinical Psychologist and the Interim Associate Dean of Academic Affairs-Behavioral Science, North Campus, Broward College, Coconut Creek, Florida. joshodi@broward.edu.




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