But, I’m interested in de-mystifying politics to her, because, when I was coming up, I really didn’t conceptualize the political process. For me, and those like me, it was about helping our community rise up and “fighting the power,” to quote the great poet Carlton Douglas Ridenhour. But, politics? Most of us never got into that too much.
Later in life, I got to know myself better and I realized that I was hardwired to want to help people, as my parents did before me. I also understood that my daughter and niece have this innate desire as well. But, I must admit, my parents didn’t transfer much about the politics to me. All I really knew was Ronald Reagan wasn’t good for Black People. There was talk about Reaganomics.
My daughter has begun to form an opinion on political missteps already. Its funny. When Mitt dissed Sesame Street, she immediately knew the ramifications behind it, even if it didn’t fundamentally affect her. She’s more into shows like “Kickin’ It” and “Austin & Ally.” But she sympathized with the “kids” as Mitt tried to take away their joy. Incidentally, she realized that Barack lost that first debate and that he needed to come back hard with the other ones in order to sway the public. POTUS needed to change up to get the big November win, she reasoned with me.
But, after Barack Won in 08, we definitely made it a point to buy those Black Presidential Barbies and since there has been no shortage of inspiration, most of which comes from us parents. The next black president is walking around the streets right now. At the inauguration, one man annoyed the bejeezus out of people in my entourage. He was African American and his son was standing on a wall that separated one seated area from another seated area.
But this man NEEDED for his son to see the president and his incredible commencement, all the while partially blocking the view of others. I just sat quietly. I watched and I listened. I heard folks balk at him and I saw the man dismiss them all. He rubbed the back of his son’s back. Told him to stand up anyway. Watch this. He smiled. His eyes glistened. The boy did as he was told and the dissidence quieted down. He stood up straight eventually and watched Barack Obama get sworn in before millions.
It was clear to me that that man’s son will be president one day. Just like my daughter.
Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur is a father, son and the co-founder of AllHipHop.com. He’s a cultural critic, pundit and trailblazer that has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR), BET, TVOne, VH1, The E! Channel, MTV, The O’Reilly Factor, USA Today, The New York Times, New York’s Hot 97 FM and like a zillion other outlets.