He happened to be black.
(I still don't like that phrase, happen to be. We use that phrase when we mean, "He was [demographic], but it wasn't important to our relationship." Fair enough. But you know what I think about happening to be.)
During our first creative review, the client was presented with the first draft of copy for his company's brochure.
The copy was written in a breezy, advertising style. With partial sentences. The kind of language that is most like we think. Like the voice inside my head. And yours. Dig?
Well, that didn't go far.
The client, with his Stanford B.A. and Harvard M.B.A., said, "This language is grammatically incorrect."
I started explaining the technique of advertising copywriting. "Like the voice inside your head."
"I understand that," he said. "I'm familiar with the technique. But, please, understand this…
True enough. I think he was right.
Perhaps things have changed over time.
I live in a country with a Black President(-elect).
And I'm watching him build his cabinet in record time. And he's had five news conferences in the past 10 days. He's working hard to do the right things in the right ways.
Whatever your politics, let's simply watch Mr. Obama's behavior in the context of my client's lesson…
How much of his performance to date is motivated by the nation's need for executive competence and his personal competence…
…and how much by his knowledge that the world is watching for success (or failure) of The Black President?
For, he knows, so many people, for good or for bad, are watching for success (or failure) because he's black.
You already know what I'm looking for: flying cars.