Barack Obama and the Power of Positive Discrimination

Thank you to Peiheng Tsai for this cellphone image, taken in Union Square, NY, 1:18am on November 5
It's the day after the election.

With the line "the election wasn't about color, it was about the economy" being bandied about, I, as a person of color, beg to differ.

BARACK OBAMA: The Power of Positive Discrimination is my take on my FastCompany blog.

In that post you'll see I also mention Little Person (that's dwarf or short statured person - but never midget) Dan who, like Obama, is doing great things for his minority group - by being out there, and being successful. Celebrate our differences, because as Obama shows, they're the true catalysts of change. Watch Dan in action.

Speaking of little people, I saw one enter the same pizza place I was in. I found myself avoiding looking at him for fear of being rude - how many of us know that feeling? OK, now imagine you are that little person, feeling people's eyes shift away from you but knowing you are being watched in their peripheral vision.

I ate my stuffed pizza slice studiously looking at it and away, then finally realized how ridiculous I was being. I went up to the little person, sat down (for kneeling or bending down is unnecessary) and asked if if he as going to the Annual Little People Convention, to be held in NYC in 2009. Read my report from last year, it's one of the few pieces I've written I am actually proud of. He said he was thinking about it.

I gave him the link to our page about special bikes for little people, only because the pictures are so cool, and we are the only company who actively make a bike just for them. I left, glad that I had overcome another barrier.

Now imagine what it is like to be a black person walking along the street, noticing how, even from several hundred feet away, with a parked car, a bag of trash and a bent over tree in between, you cross the street before you become within a hundred hards of him. It's always a him. Men suffer discrimination too.

Obama's election will hopefully turn that on its head. That Rodney King incidents will become extinct. That people will simply be nice to each other. That they won't feel the need to cross any street at any time of the day.

Now I am looking forward to an Aboriginal Prime Minister of Australia.


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