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The 2008 Presidential Campaign Was Reminiscent Of 'Roots'

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Richard O. Jones
Not since the TV miniseries Roots
(1977) and Roots: The Next Generation
(1979) based on Alex Haley's novel about
several generations of an American Black
family from slavery to freedom have
Americans been so captivated by television
until Roots: The Presidential Campaign
(2008). The star of the modern day miniseries
was Barack Obama who through his
African roots knew of his ancestor Kunta
Kinte that was abducted into American
slavery in 1767 and constantly plotted to
run away. Hillary Clinton is the modern day
version of Miss Anne who was the White
woman that taught her slave-girl Kizzy
(Kunta Kinte’s daughter) to read. John
McCain is a descendant of John Reynolds
who was the first master of Kunte Kinte.
“The 2008 Presidential Campaign,” was a
seismic ending to the saga of Roots where
ironically, Obama runs vicariously for
Kinte, although miraculously Obamas’ run
was for the office of President of the United
States, 241 years later.

In Roots: The Presidential Campaign,
Senator Obama campaigns to become the
first Black presidential nominee as his competitor
Senator Hillary Clinton dupes many
women to believe that a win for her would
be a glass ceiling breaking victory for all
women. Clinton conspicuously never mentioned
that twenty-nine women have served
as the governor of a U.S. state, including
two in an acting capacity. The first female
governor was Nellie Taylor Ross of
Wyoming who was elected in 1924, during
an era when Blacks couldn’t even vote. As
Clinton made women feel alienated from
the political process nine women were
active governors of U.S. states, including
Sarah Palin of Alaska. Black men are still
politically second to women in major elective
political posts with only two elected
Black governors in American History, L.
Douglas Wilder (Virginia, 1994 - 95) and
Deval Patrick (Massachusetts, 2006 - present).

Clinton and her feminist supporters
also cleverly avoided the fact that the first
female Secretary of State, Madeleine K.
Albright who served prior to Colin
Powell’s’ appointment debunked the glass
ceiling myth as did the historical victory of
Nancy Pelosi by becoming the first female
Speaker of the U.S. House of
Representatives, which is a position that no
Black has held.

The historical aspect of the campaign
was bigger than social issues, Black pride,
and even than Obama himself. This was the
final chapter of Roots. Senator Obama wins
the nomination and later defeats McCain in
the presidential election by a landslide to
become the first Black president in
America. Obama’s victory serves as undisputable
evidence to all reasonable
Americans that Martin Luther King’s
dream had been fulfilled. America became
an unparalleled global moral leader and
example of “Yes You Can!” Ironically,
Kinte, the slave, ran to escape American
government while Obama, the senator, ran
to administrate America’s government.
Roots: The Presidential Campaign, a great
American story.

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