Debra J. Dickerson
The Onion summed it up best: "Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job." So many daunting challenges face President Obama that it's hard to know on which to offer him my unsolicited advice first. It's a crapshoot as to whether any president could heal our bedridden economy, guide us out of Iraq, end our petro dependence, save the environment, and convince the world that the last eight years were an aberration of which we are ashamed. Only Obama, however, gives us any reason to hope that we can begin to bridge the divide between the races, so I'll leave those other issues to, well, other journalists.
America's election of its first black president has to be followed by a demonstrated and pragmatic drive to improve race relations, or we'll have fallen prey to the biggest delusion in world history. For all the racial ugliness this campaign has exposed, though, and for all that will no doubt follow, it's not only whites who will imperil this process. Obama will have to lead both races in redefining blacks in the American mindset. Unless I'm much mistaken, blacks will face the greater crisis of imagination.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with