After I have a father just like the other

After the first week of holding
the office as the 44th president, it felt great, I could finally see me leading
America to greatness. A Sunday afternoon, I was laying down on my sofa, looking
at the fine paint job that had been done on the ceilings. I wonder why I was
named Barack, Barack Obama, a named that who ever spoke of, reminded me of my
father. A man I had only heard stories of from my mother and grandparents. I
remember, I had overheard from my bedroom, my mothers cry, her trying to hold
in her tears and my grandparents trying to calm her down. I thought, “why me,
why couldn’t I have a father just like the other families” but my mother and grandparent’s
warmth and geniality never let the feeling of my father’s absence get to me. A
while back, when I visited my family in Kenya, I came to find out that he was a
tragic figure who meant no harm but was an alcoholic that abused several of his
wives in depression of a job. I could imagine the scene; “Ruth”, my father came
bursting in my step-mothers room late night, “Make me some food, right now”,
with anger he grabs my step-mothers arm and drags her to the kitchen. Something
about those tales and the people in Kenya didn’t paint the picture of him in my
mind that they thought of my father, which left him an unsolved myth in my
life. I don’t know how true those stories were. From people opinions and perspectives,
he was a man who valued work more than family, a man who left his wife and new
born kid just to pursue his P.H.D. at Harvard. I remember, my mother after a
few years of divorce, took me to Indonesia because she had replaced my father’s
presence with a new guy, Lolo, what a funny name, meant “crazy” in Hawaiian, it
tickled me every time my mother called for him. He was the man, the father, the
dad I had wanted to sit in the bleachers and cheer me on during my basketball
games, the man that taught me how to deal with kids who made fun of my skin
colour, the person I needed for moral support when I was depressed. With Lolo,
I felt like I had everything I needed, except one thing. He was able to protect
me from the harm, teach me his ways and skills learned from army, help me adopt
into his Indonesian lifestyle, and treat me like his own son but him nor my
mother could protect me from the harmful rays of racism that I felt beam
through me, at school when kids called me the n-word or when I read about
racial discrimination in articles and magazines. It seemed like I was connected
to those getting accused of false crimes because of their race. I remember it,
I remember all of it, I was 9 or 10, when I read in an article, felt like I got
ambushed, never heard, never seen or was aware of such a thing. I can still
picture the front page of that magazine, the look on an African-American man’s
face who had destroyed his overlook by going through a chemical treatment just
to bleach his skin colour white, but quite the opposite happened, the chemicals
had peeled off his skin, leaving him sad with deep marks for the rest of his
life. I sensed sympathy and pity for him but felt, that the scars on his face
would make him feel guilty every time he would wake up in the morning and look
straight into the mirror, at a face that he would regret and realize that he
had made a big mistake. He would think, “What was I thinking, no one is going
to talk to me anymore, I am a shame and disgrace to African Americans”. His
mistake help open my eyes to see how black people are not treated with respect and
not given any freedom, which inspired me to work as a community organizer in
Chicago, I still picture myself interviewing about 15 to 20 people each day,
listening to different people’s daily struggles with racism and demanding money
to improve those communities, man that was a hard process working from a
perspective of an African-American, a perspective that recalled the story of
the time my father was racially called out at a party by a white man, not
wanting to drink next to a black man. When I first heard it, it pissed me off,
how can people judge someone by their skin colour, expecting my gramps to tell
me about a huge fight between my father and the white man, gramps simply said
“Your father, walked over to the man, smiled and proceeded to lecture him about
the folly of bigotry, the promise of the American dream: and the universal
rights of the man”. I was shocked, my mouth dropped about what felt like 10
feet. What was folly of bigotry, the promise of the American dream and the
universal rights of man to the white man? He probably didn’t even know what all
that meant, maybe he was just embarrassed or realized that he didn’t even mean
that, since he was drunk. Was it to treat everyone with equality or is it that
life should be better and fuller for every man regardless of his race and
culture? Why did everyone hate or stayed away from people with dark skin tones?
Maybe it was because they fear that if one person is found guilty of a crime,
they assume everyone is the same.


I'm Dianna!

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