RCC Honors History Project

Manifest Destiny

Posted by dnsom on December 4, 2008

Following our discussion in class and also the ideas contained in “Manifest Destiny,” I was wondering if Africans can also now claim that the the election of Obama, who has direct and distinct African roots, is a manifest destiny for a people (of Africa) who have for many centuries been at the negative side of things. Did it really have to take a non-slave decent to become the first black US president?

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8 Responses to “Manifest Destiny”

  1. drwprkr said

    I personally think that most do not think that it is a “Manifest Destiny” or anything of the type. There are some, however, that think it is but there are also people who think that God made Bush president. Today’s society is full of far Right’s and Left’s and everything inbetween. I once heard a friend compare this election with the oppression of the Jewish religions. “Although they have been oppressed to a horrible state, they still believe that they are God’s favorite children.” He also said that maybe the African Americans, or as Mrs. Woods likes to say, American Africans, have felt the same way. They have been oppressed for many generations but the Jews, pardon my language, still believe that they will be rewarded in the end. Maybe this is the African reward. Either way, I still believe that even if the “Manifest Destiny” is fulfilled, there will always be another space to roam around in and create new problems to solve.

  2. meluleki said

    it is interesting that you raised the issue of President elect, Barack H Obama being the first President who has no slave blood in him.It is clearly a Manifest destiny for African peolpe considering the fact that there are many more millions of africans who have migrated to America and other parts of the world and live there permanently.Though the african continent has been looted and neglected,many africans have adopted the concerpt of manifest destiny and left africa in seacrh of greener pastures.i then believe that the manifest destiny can be either way.

  3. rcchonorshistoy said

    I guess it depends on what you think manifest destiny is. If you take O’Sullivan’s opinion then no, Obama is not a manifest destiny for Africans because O’sullivan relates manifest destiny to America not Africa and a manifest destiny of Africa would spread African’s ideals which would not relate to president Obama, who supports American ideals. But, if you are talking about African Americans then I would say yes, Obama is bringing and spreading a manifest destiny of American ideals of freedom and equality to the African Americans, Americans and also an example of the rising equality in America for other countries.

  4. jabberwhacky said

    I think just reading about the concept of manifest destiny has led us in wanting to apply it wherever we see it fit. Yet, the actual concept of manifest destiny is somewhat outdated and was truly only applicable under the context of early American history where the need for expansionism often required a sense of justification. I suppose the idea of “necessary justification” is present throughout all history, though. For example, Germany in WWII justified their aggressive actions by believing they were an innately superior race. I think small concepts within the the idea of manifest destiny is really only applicable to cultures who are still in development or in war atrocities where a sense of justification is needed. But again, is justification by itself a manifest destiny? It seems to just be a concept implied within it.

  5. dselinger said

    I agree with you Jabberwhacky that manifest destiny was only applicable at that specific time period, but it can also be interpreted for today’s standards, which would be quite common. I do believe that with the election of President Obama a new destiny for America can be formed, probably not the one of expansion but of what he is referring to as “Change”, hopefully a change in a better direction. True, WWII Germany can also be seen in the context of manifest destiny but then every extreme change of a current situation can be considered like it, don’t you agree? Personally, I was positively surprised of the progress America has made and also agreeing with Dr. Woods, I think that this was a big step of moving towards an equal society, which is not an easy accomplishment.

  6. blooney said

    I do not believe that this can be labeled under a form of manifest destiny. I do, however, get irritated when we nitpick on what Barack Obama would be classified as or who gets to claim him. (I dont think you were trying to do this dnsom your post just triggered it)First, it was that Obama wasn’t black enough because he was biracial. Then it became the issue that he could not relate to black Americans because he was not a descendant of slaves. Honestly what does that matter? He is a man of color, if we were in the 1950’s would he be walking into a Biracial bathroom stall or drinking from an African only water fountain? So why can’t we just rejoice in Americas growth and let go of these…..(I don’t even know what to call them) technicalities?

  7. freestylepro1 said

    I do not think it can be considered manifest destiny. I mean, maybe if he was elected on the premises of religion and spreading African interests; then supporters could claim it was divine. However, because Obama was elected on his message of change, and spreading American interests—not African—I believe that African nations cannot claim it as manifest destiny for Africa. I cannot even see Americans calling it manifest destiny because religion did not play much of a part in his campaign. On the other hand, I guess religious people could claim that regardless of Obama’s platform, it was God’s intention for Obama to win.

  8. kriemer said

    To me, there are some people who support the idea of manifest destiny and divine province and there are some who do not. I work at an elementary school and on election day we had voting booths in our multipurpose room. Of course everyone in the teacher’s lounge was talking about the election and propositions and two teachers got into it over vote eight. While one teacher firmly believed on No on 8, the other was an advocate supporter. I’m not trying to turn prop 8 into the point of this story rather the yes on 8 teachers reasonings for voting. The yes on 8 teacher said that she was a baptist and that as a part of her religion, gays should not marry. The no on 8 teacher rebutled by saying that she should let God judge homosexuals if they want to marry and not put restrictions on homosexuals who do not neccessarily share the same religous beliefs as her. The yes on 8 teacher came back with, “whatever God wants to happen will happen– it’s all already planned out in his work anyways.” This really upset the other teacher who argued that people do have free will and she would think that God would not have planned for their ancestors (both teachers are african-american) to be slaves; she then asked the other teacher if she thought slavery was God’s will. The other teachers just replied with “everything in God’s will.” … This totally blew my mind. I understand that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs but I couldn’t believe that people would actually think this way. Point being, I”m sure that some people think Obama’s election was God’s will while others see it as America’s will, it depends on who you’re talking to. I don’t think many people look to Obama to “manifest destiny” he is a religious man but I don’t think he will be doing everything in the name of God or for the good of Democracy but rather he will seperate America as another thing and try to do good for America as a whole.

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