As we watched the returns come in from the Iowa caucus, my wife said, “Barack Obama owes a debt of gratitude to Dennis Haysbert,” referring to the African American actor who played President of the United States in the TV series “24”. I chuckled at the idea at first but then I gave it more thought.
Just twenty years ago, having a black ongoing character in a TV series as President would have made heads turn and perhaps even have been greeted with disbelief. When the character of David Palmer was introduced on”24″, I don’t recall any major notice of his race.
Could it be that America’s acceptance of David Palmer demonstrated a change in mindset that has been verified by Barack’s Iowa triumph? While it may be too soon to tell, we may very well be viewing a turning point in American society. Perhaps we are finally fulfilling the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by judging people solely by the content of their character.