by BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon
The vote for the First Black President wasn't just about race and racism. For tens of millions, it was a vote for peace abroad, for economic and social justice at home. Barack Obama sold himself to the American people as a transformative political figure.
Despite those who now urge Americans to tone down their expectations, many are prepared to collect on the hopes that swept Obama into office. Those hopes and expectations are what we call the Obama Check.
The question is, can we cash it?
"In a sense, we've come to the nation's capital to cash a check...It is obvious that America has defa\ulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked 'insufficient funds'." --martin Luther King, I Have A Dream, August 1963.