Lewis Hamilton, Barack Obama, and black role models

Lewis-Hamilton (1)I was watching the British Grand Prix a week or so ago and the camera panned to a small boy holding up a sign that said It’s hammertime Lewis. This was a home crowd for British driver Lewis Hamilton who is generally considered  the best race car driver in the world – as an aside, I say British but I am not sure of the British/English rules, so I only suppose he is British and not English. I once introduced Marion Kaplan, Michele’s cousin who was born in England, as English. Later she corrected me, saying It is not like America where you are American if you are born there, I am British, not English. She went on to explain that English means one’s heritage is English and her heritage is eastern European. End aside – but Hamilton is a crowd favorite almost everywhere.

When I was a boy/man getting interested in cars and racing, my hero was Stirling Moss who was pasty English white guy and my President was primarily Eisenhower, another pasty white guy. Today, my idol would probably be Lewis Hamilton – well, duh! even as an adult, he is – and my president would be Barack Obama, two black guys. I keep thinking how much different this would be growing up than when I was a kid.


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