The day that President-elect Barack Obama won the elections was rife with emotions – both positive and negative. One of the most memorable things for me was to hear a friend of mine say “I never thought I’d live to see this day.” Now you have to understand that this friend is a white guy from the South. I do not have to spell out the inclinations that have been bred in him since childhood. And yet at that moment, when John McCain conceded and Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech, this friend of mine was almost teary eyed – not because his childhood sensibilities were offended but because he “was proud of his country.” I am sure that countless other Americans (and non-Americans as well) felt the very same way.
Yet have you thought about the role that Hollywood may have played in getting the nation ready for an African-American president? Cynics and satirists have pointed out that all that happens when the States gets an African-American president is that the country has to face disaster in immense proportions. Think Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact. Yet one TV president seems to have contributed positively to the idea of an African-American president. I am talking about 24’s president David Palmer.
Played by Dennis Haysbert, David Palmer is one of the focal points of that hit TV series. I have to admit he plays the role excellently and the role could have served as a “prep” for the nation as a whole. According to him “My role helped prepare the way for Obama, opening the eyes of the American people [so] that they felt they could vote for a black president without triggering the apocalypse.”
I think he does have a point. What do you think?