Thursday, November 06, 2008


Listening to: 'True Colours' by Eva Cassidy [American Tune]

I was around 6 years old when Nelson Mandela was released from prison. I knew things were changing in South Africa, but that was about it. And then the Berlin Wall came down. Again, I realised something big was happening, but nothing more. Same goes for the fall of the USSR, a year or so later.

I was 14 when Hong Kong was handed back to China. I was now old enough to realise what was happening, but not necessarily old enough to understand what it would mean for the people of Hong Kong.

There are many more defining historical moments that each of us will remember to varying degrees. Does Barack Obama's election count as one of those moments? I would say yes. All you have to do is take a brief look at the history of African Americans to know that these people have been waiting a long time for this. The election of someone who is not a white male into the White House is a massive step forward for the US.

But surely the whole world isn't having Obama fever just because he's black?! One the contrary, I don't think that has anything to do with it. The way I see it, there are two main reasons why people are so excited:
  1. He's not Bush.
    The Bush administration managed to cement the view of the US as cowboy country. It's all about shootin' them Injuns, y'all! Or Islamic extremists and non-existent WMDs, in this case. The world is sick of it.

  2. He's a thinker (and a talker).
    Now why is that such a great thing? Well think of the presidential memorials at (and near) the National Mall in DC. Ab Lincoln's memorial has the Gettysburg Address and the 2nd Inauguration Address on its walls. Jefferson's Memorial has quotations from his writings, including the Declaration of Independence and the Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom. At JFK's grave at Arlington Cemetery, there's an engraving of his famous "And so my fellow Americans..." quote. Barack Obama has already made at least two speeches with quotations that have the potential to outlive him. There has always been a place for inspirational orators in US history. And Obama fits right in.
Personally, I wouldn't say I have Obama fever, but I am happy he won. Now I just hope he delivers.

1 comment:

  1. im gnna disagree.. well, not entirely.. at least 50% of the hype is BECAUSE he's black.. thats why we have half of africa all excited too..

    yes he thinks and talks, n tats why im not too thrilled.. i feel he has da capability of being all talk and no walk.. cliche as it may sound.. :D

    but true, lets hope he actually delivers...

    btw eva cassidy! very nice.... :)


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