Thursday, August 28, 2008

I don't get it

It's been forty five years since Dr. Martin Luther King's historic March on Washington for freedom and jobs and his famous " I have a dream". What is amazing, is that at thirty four, Dr. King was already considered an "elder" by his community and had garnered the respect of people world-wide. It is even more amazing when you look at the impact of Dr. King who died before his fortieth birthday. When we speak of a lifetime's work, we usually think in terms of thirty or forty years, Dr. King in a decade, changed his world.

Much has been made of Senator Barack Obama. From all information he appears to be a reasonable sort of guy, good family man, honest (as any politician can be expected), intelligent. Oh, did I mention, he's black or should I say, in his country, he is considered to be black, the rest of us refer to him as mixed race. So if both his parents had been white, there would be no questions about his ethnicity, Americans would just have to question his beliefs, voting record, whether he's any good at foreign policy. It is true that AMERICAN history has been made, Senator Obama being the first person of mixed racial heritage to be nominated by any party as a candidate for President. It's taken one hundred and twelve years and countless civil rights actions for it to happen. The goodly Senator has much to be proud of, he is a first time Senator, with not a whole lot of track record and he managed to rally thousands of people behind him, no small feat at any time.

So what don't I get? For many years, the United States has been the, largely, self appointed World Bully, oops, that should read World Policeman, calling all the rest of us to task about our human rights violations, the way we manage our economies, pretty much everything. It's kind of, well, amusing, that the very people who belabour political correctness, equal rights, yadda, yadda, yadda, are treating the nomination of a non-white man as such a big deal. Are you listening to yourselves America? Those of us of a darker hue are simply AMAZED by you. Because really, you're so hypocritical aren't you. Heck, the rest of us have had "black" leaders for decades and we're okay. Sure, I think Mr. Obama's nomination is a huge deal just for what it is, apparently all that stuff you sell the rest of us about all men being created equal and everybody can be anything in the good Ole US is a huge dose of hokey. Because if you' all are making such a big deal over his non-whiteness, guess his momma don't count for much, you really have to wonder about all that other stuff. But then, you made a big fuss over the thought of a woman as President so shouldn't be surprised.

Guess what you should tell your kids is, that they can be anything they want to be, even the President but only if they are an over fifty, white, middle class man. I suppose I'm going to be tagged anti-American now right. Actually, since your foreign policies affect the rest of us in this part of the world, I think it gives me the right to comment. No, I don't always like the course of action you as a nation chooses by default for the rest of us, and I resent that because of the colour of my skin I'm less than, but really, most of the Americans I know are hard working people who want the best for their families. Just like the rest of us. Americans can be the most generous people, with big hearts willing to help. You take people as you find them.

I wish Senator Obama all the luck, it will be kind of nice to see someone without some of the baggage that American leaders have come with. I don't envy him because if he does win, every decision he makes is always going to be prefaced by the perception of his "blackness" or not enough "blackness" as the case might be. If he doesn't win, then the question will always remain, was it because of the colour of his skin as opposed to anything else? Have we really come that far since April 4th, 1968?

1 comment:

HPD said...

So true. The Americans I have met over here are warm friendly and giving people. Their leaders though... I don't know what Obama will give the world. But I have had the pleasure to have as my leaders someone who has used the same words. Yes, Obama is no Mandela (or Madiba as we call him), but there is something there in his eyes that I like. We can only hope and pray that he wins and that he is true. The alternative scares the living hell out of me!