Saturday, May 02, 2009
Baracking: Young African-American's Now Emulating the President
I'm on an 11:30am Long Island Railroad Train "Baracking" out to the Hamptons to interview visionary artist Steven Colucci for a short documentary of his life we're collaborating on.
Wait a minute! You may ask, Baracking??
That's right. A new slang term that could evolve as a cultural marker of our times is now becoming popular among young a group of African-American students in an Albany, NY high school - Baracking.
On a recent episode of NPR's Weekend Edition Linda Wertheimer spoke with Ocasio Wilson about he and the students now use President Barack Obama's name as a slang combination of verb and adjective to give expression to engaging in behavior, actions, choices or activities that are morally positive and reflect a sense of good.
How cool is that? While bitter conservative media pundits seem to spend all their time berating the President for every decision he makes, the President's intelligence, sense of optimism and confidence are now affecting the self-image of people all over the world.
Say you're studying for a test, or staying late in the library to prepare for a science project - you're Baracking. Or if you skip school, you're not Baracking. You get the idea. So do millions of people of all ages.
The term Barack the Vote was popularized during the 2008 elections, but I think it's an amazing cultural phenomenon to find young students being inspired to be better human beings and raise the bar of expectation for themselves by altering the way they use the President's name.
I'm proud to be Baracking today, I feel good about that. I feel optimistic about this nation's future.