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Nomalanga: A Love Affair with President Obama

Ever since President Obama announced his support for same-sex “marriage”, there have been some very passionate debates and some very intense dialogue. In short, people’s emotions have been stirred and elevated.

The problem with getting emotional is, much like in love affairs, we can become irrational and cease to think clearly. Many black men and women have had a “love affair” with President Obama. He was the sweet talking, breathtakingly handsome man that we women love to swoon over. He said the right things and made so many promises. He smelled good and looked good and just when we thought he could not get any better, he sang to us. “I’m so in love with you…”

The problem now, is that a lot of black people have strong religious convictions and President Obama devastated them with the news that he was supporting same-sex “marriage”. How could he do this to “us?” Well, the truth is simple, he is just showing us who he is and many are unable to accept it.

Personally, I have chosen not to engage in the same-sex marriage debate or dialogue, simply because it is not my fight. It is not my lane. That being said, what I have observed about it is that it has caused a lot of black people to be angry at President Obama. A lot of black people are angry because they feel like he betrayed them.

If people can stop being emotional and start thinking for a minute, they will realize that this is very much like a love affair that has reached another phase. The first phase is the “honeymoon phase” where women cannot see a man for who he is but instead, see him for what they want him to be. Now we are on to the phase of disillusion.

If black people were a young woman sitting in my office asking for my advice, my advice would be very simple:
1. Look at the relationship holistically-What I mean is that if he never changed, could you still see a future with him? For Black people, the questions is: “If President Obama’s stance on same-sex marriage never changed, would that mean he loses your vote?” Also, you must look at what else he brings to the table. Do his shortcomings outweigh his capabilities or vice- versa?

2. Now that you have been disillusioned, what else do you see? – In the case of President Obama, the rumblings that I have heard for a long time have been that he says he cares about Black people but he has never really boldly stepped out and taken action that was specifically intended to benefit Black people. Again, what else do you see?

3. Accept it-Now that “he” has shown you what he is capable of, accept it. Don’t complain about it. Accept it.

4. Make a decision-Now that you see him for who he is and you have seen what he is capable of, make a decision. You don’t have to leave him and you don’t have to stay with him. You just have to be clear about what you’re getting if you stay and if you leave, understand that the next one could be the same or worse. That is the risk that you take if you leave. The third alternative is to leave and then find something better. Something better may not be immediately available or recognizable. You may have to wait a while.

In the end, as with most love affairs, some people will continue to stay in the situation but still complain. Others will stay and refuse to see the writing on the wall and some will accept him for who he is and stay with him because they see more good than bad in him. Others will leave and go “support” a man (or woman) who better meets their needs. Others will leave physically but will continue to think and talk about him until the day they die. What are you going to do?

About Nomalanga

Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s blog at www.successfulblackwoman.com

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