Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Regardless of colour...

Watching Obama being sworn in as President provoked a lot of thoughts last night.

Living in the UK, the issue of Democrat vs Republican seems rather vague - after all, there is now very little to distinguish between between the Right and the Left in this country. In that respect, the encouraging factor is change - someone from the other party holds the office now, and that brings hope that things don't need to continue down quite the same path, that things can be different.

Naturally, there is a lot of focus on the fact that Obama is the first African American to be elected President - a staggering event when you remember that black people were fighting for their civil rights just 50 years ago. Once again, it reinforces the sense of change, at a time when change seems so vitally important.

And yet, there's more to it than just "America elects black President". So many times, watching the campaign, it was clear that Obama was the better candidate - more in-tune, more statesman-like, more electable. The fact is, America chose the better candidate regardless of colour, and that is vastly encouraging.

For too long, vengeful minority groups have been obsessed with settling scores from 50 years ago, 100 years ago, or longer. Meanwhile, fear of this minority vendetta gives ammunition to the bigoted far-right and puts back the day when race is truly no longer an issue.

Hopefully, yesterday's innauguration is a major step on the way to real equality... to a day when a black, white, male, or female President is just a President... to a day when all discrimination, be it "positive" or otherwise, is a thing of the past.


  1. Interesting. Very interesting.

    Nice work. I came across your blog while “blog surfing” using the Next Blog button on the blue Nav Bar located at the top of my site. I frequently just travel around looking for other blogs which exist on the Internet, and the various, creative ways in which people express themselves. Thanks for sharing.

    I have a number of readers outside of the US, and thus their view of US events is always insightful. You might find the following two posts to be of interests.

  2. Hmmm... interesting reading, especially the first link which illustrates how much change is needed and how very far we still have to go. Small-minded prejudice is clearly present in people of all colours and backgrounds, but there's also bright spark of encouragement in the hopeful views of others.

    I don't yet know what sort of a President he will turn out to be, but I do have the wit to base my opinions on his performance and not his appearance. Let's hope others can too!