On a bright late spring afternoon, the silver cup symbolizing the United States Open Golf Champion was lifted to the sun and kissed by the number one player of golf on the entire planet earth. He earned this passionate moment after limping his way through ninety-one holes of excellence and hell. At times, he played as if he were a Sunday golfer who had more daydreams of greatness than game, as his ball careened off of trees and barely missed taking out spectators. However, at the times that counted most, he looked like a pro golfer, the best of his generation and generations to come. He looked exactly like Tiger Woods. What billions of people see and who they saw had no color. He had champion. He had legend. He embodied the game. No television commentator began making the obligatory how far we have come references. They didn’t mention that the golf tee was invented by and patented by George Grant, African American. Or that it wasn’t until 1975 that Lee Elder became the first black to play at the Masters Tournament at Augusta National or that it took until 1991 for Augusta National to admit it’s first black member. No, on this late spring day and any day to follow, Tiger Woods, even more so than Michael Jordan because his talent rested in basketball, has transformed a sport. Woods, has changed golf so that any person of color. Any person period, can show up with clubs in hand and be suspect of becoming one word, champion. And when they do become champion, they are compared to all champions. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjnXfzuWNKQ&feature=related
If Barack Obama should reach the pinnacle of politics, will he transform politics? After Obama will there be more and first, Asian American, Latina, Native American, Jewish, Mormon etc., Governors, Senators, Mayors, et.al, without qualifying them by gender, religion or ethnicity? That will be a measure of his greatness. It will be America’s boldest step toward its Constitutional ideals and foster a new type of American reality rather than American dream. This new reality came to full bloom daily as the Democratic Primary blossomed for the world. It tore at the status quo, a black man or a white woman was going to emerge for the first time from a major party as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America. And now that it is Obama will the process and its possibilities transform? Like the legacy of Woods in golf, will Obama create his own legacy in politics? If so, it will be that any time any person of color, any person period, dares to serve mankind through the elective process, they will not be judged or compared by color or gender. They will be judged and compared with champions of those who served humanity. Period. Moreover, anyone, if they are so deemed worthy by the citizens of the United States can be suspect of becoming one word: President.