One dayin the summer of 08, I was at home, minding my own business when my phone rang. It was a friend of mine who happened to be at the local mega store, mulling over the book section. Something unusual caught her eye; a series of books for children titled " African America Heroes: Barak Obama" She called me on her cell phone to tell me how strange she thought it was.
"Is he a hero?" she said. "What has he done to be called a hero?"
Well, he was a presidential candidate, Senator too, but hero?
I had to think of the definition...
1. a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities
2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is
regarded as a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.
3. the principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.
4. In Classical Mythology.
a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity.
(in the Homeric period) a warrior-chieftain of special strength, courage, or ability.
(in later antiquity) an immortal being; demigod.
"Hmmm," was all I could say. I had to think about that one. Obama was not necessarily the principal character in America. I had never heard of him being in the military or saving someone from a burning building or something like that. It is only four letters long, but "Hero" was a pretty strong word.
Between the two of us, we couldn't think of anything specific we had ever heard of Obama ever having had done to be considered a "hero." with the publication date on the book being March 2008, we felt it was a little premature to rank him up there with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln... who often are though of as political heroes, but the man Obama, had not even been elected president yet.
I thought I'd see what the American Heroes book had to say about this "African-American Hero." the book review at Amazon.com says that first through third grade kids who read this book can read about Obama's "exotic pets and food delicacies that Obama encountered during his time in Indonesia" as well as, "his young struggles to embrace his biracial identity."
Hero? Hmmm... Well, It takes a lot of courage to run for president, but lots of men have run for president, they've not all been referred to as "heroes." Why him?
Before hanging up the phone we decided that it was quite a bit of propaganda being put on display at the store and also in the hands of little kids to call this man a "hero." After all, if you thought someone was a "hero" (or a demigod of special strength, courage, or ability,) wouldn't you want to vote for them? Lots of Senators could be role models... Do we see books that call them "heroes?'
This book was strange if you ask me, and it seemed like political propaganda, packaged so as to o help get the man elected by calling him a "hero." It's almost like by saying something over and over, people will actually begin to believe it, if they hear it often enough. So now we apparently all think he is a "hero" and the "hero" was awarded the Noble Peace Prize last week. Now the whole world is feeling a little bit like I did when my friend told me about that book; people everywhere are wondering what the Prize was given to him for and no one knows.
All they know is that he offers hope to the world.. he must be a god or some kind of "hero." Too bad no one knows what heroic things BArak Obama did.
Wow. There seems to be a trend.