Paradigm Shift Essay

How have American politics and life changed now that a black man has ascended to the presidency, a post heretofore exclusively occupied by white males, since 1791?

 Historically, white Americans played the dominant role in the American political life. Whites were the only policy-makers, while representatives of ethnic minorities had practically no access to top positions in the US political, as well as judicial, power. In such a situation, the rise of a black man to the top political position of the country, the position of the President of the US marks a consistent shift in American political and cultural life. The first African American president of the USA has proved the fact that the great transformation of American society, the shift from racist, intolerant society totally dominated by white males, is accomplished, instead, the new political era has come, the era of equality and tolerance, when any individual, regardless of his or her race and gender have a chance to take the top position in the country.

In fact, the recent success of Barak Obama, the first African American, who took the position of the President of the USA, has put the end to the dominance of whites in American politics. There has been not a single non-white US President in the US since 1791. At the same time, African Americans historically had little opportunities to participate in the political life of the country, while taking an office was practically an unattainable goal for them. It is only since the second half of the 20th century changes have started in the result of the Civil Rights movement, which paved the way to the formation of a new, tolerant society. The shift has been accomplished with Barak Obama winning the presidential elections.

Even though African Americans and other minorities have participated in American politics and they have taken high position in the administration of American Presidents, they still played secondary role in the US politics since the top position was traditionally reserved for a white male. In fact, practically all Presidents of the USA introduced representatives of minorities as well as females in their administration within the last couple of decades. Moreover, in Bush and Clinton Administrations non-whites take top positions. At this point, it is worth mentioning M. Albright, C. Powel, C. Rice and others. Nevertheless, all of them were just assistants to the white, male President, but they never played the leading role in American politics. At least, Americans perceive the President as the national leader, who takes decisions, while his Administration is perceived as a team working to help him to conduct his politics.

However, today, the situation has changed with the election of the first African American President who proved that the US society is ready to reject biases and stereotypes of the past. In fact, Barak Obama’s success is evidence of the readiness of Americans to accept a non-white man as a national leader that debunks the deep-rooted stereotype that only white males are worth being elected Presidents of the US. American people proved that they are ready treat non-white man as equal and granted him with the top position in the country.

Thus, it is obvious that the US society and politics have undergone a dramatic shift from the epoch of the dominance of racism and racial inequality to the tolerant and truly democratic society, where all people have equal rights.

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