75°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

President Obama Sets Forth Plan to Rebuild Country

The recent inauguration of President Barack Obama had a powerful impact across the world, one which certainly can be felt by those on the UMB campus. Across the peninsula the diverse student body, reflective of America itself, seems a little bit more unified than ever before.

One of these students is Freshman Theodore “Teddy” Hayes. Teddy is an African-American student that attends UMass Boston, and his family has been touched by the movement that President Obama has created in America.

Teddy’s eyes filled with pride as he watched the inauguration, and one could see the same pride in the eyes of surrounding customers at Best Buy, where Teddy works. But what about this day has made it so intriguing to so many people?

“More than anything this is history,” Teddy said shortly after President Obama’s speech. “It is proof that we have come so far.” He called his mother after the event, and she shed tears of joy over the accomplishment. “As little as thirty years ago,” he continued, “there was so much hate and this is a huge step for us to be united as a country.”

To Teddy, President Obama’s inauguration symbolized far more than the simple uniting that every president has promised in the past. It means a uniting of every background on earth, as Obama said in his address:

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.”

The depth and power behind Obama’s speech really seemed to hit home with the listeners at Best Buy as the President made sure it was known that our country is not in good shape.

“Our country has hit rock bottom,” Teddy said. “We did need change. Him being from a certain background and being able to relate with so many people, it seems like he’s exactly what we need in office. If he can turn our situation around, regardless of if it is in four or eight years, it would be truly historic.”

January 20, 2009, like the shock of 9/11, or for past generations, the pain felt for the assassination of J.F.K. or Martin Luther King Jr., will be a day that we all will remember where we were and the expressions on the faces of those around us. In Best Buy, as soon as Obama was introduced, everyone stopped working and shopping and focused only on the television.

At least thirty people gathered around the televisions, and in that moment forgot about their own needs and instead thought of their country and everything each individual stands for within its borders and all over the world. A literal change of power has been made in America, and now the world waits to see if President Obama can bring the change he has promised.