President Obama never mentioned race during his State of the Union address, but race was once again the hot topic on the lips of this union's citizens following his speech. Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's Hardball, attempted to compliment Obama's unilateral leadership appeal by stating "I almost forgot he was black for an hour."
The problem is, Obama is black. Matthews' statement only mirrors the white supremacist mentality that has become America's legacy. That legacy is highlighted in the question: "What does it mean to remember he is black?"
Matthews 'compliment' was that, for a moment, Obama was seen for his leadership qualities. In Matthews words, the astounding moment was in realizing "this was an African American in front a bunch of other white people, and here he is President of the United States and we've completely forgot about that." Yes Chris, it is amazing that a bunch of white people are listening to the black man they elected president. Amazing because there are people like you out there who, only on the rarest occasion, see Obama as a man, and not a just a black man.
Let's imagine a white POTUS gave the same speech. The amazement might be that a Democratic president would work so hard to covet Republican support, his crassness in rebuffing judicial decisions, or his inclusive leadership approach. Imagine the entire country responding to the common issues he addressed last night, instead of more dialogue on his being black. That's generally when imagination fails- trying to envision the day a man is judged not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character -for such is what dreams are made of.