I don't care what he does or does not do for the rest of this administration. Because of this picture, part of me will always love President Obama. This image matters more to me than him appointing the first autistic person (ever) or saying he supports gay marriage (finally), even though I'm autistic, gay, and white.
The boy in the picture is Jacob Philadelphia:
“I want to know if my hair is just like yours,” he told Mr. Obama, so quietly that the president asked him to speak again.
Jacob did, and Mr. Obama replied, “Why don’t you touch it and see for yourself?” He lowered his head, level with Jacob, who hesitated.
“Touch it, dude!” Mr. Obama said.
As Jacob patted the presidential crown, Mr. Souza snapped.
“So, what do you think?” Mr. Obama asked.
“Yes, it does feel the same,” Jacob said.
I wish every little boy who looks like the President could touch his hair, if he wanted to.
And I wish every little girl knew what it was like to see someone like her as president, too. And could touch her, too, if that made it real. And know that someone just like her can be anything.
We need to see people like ourselves.
Especially when we are young.
Especially when who we are is devalued.
And maybe especially when we tend be visual thinkers who are very literal in our understanding of language.
I was reminded of Jacob and President Obama, by Melissa Harris Perry's recent segment on Black hair.