Interesting and well written piece.
I am just going to pick up on a couple of the issues raised and put my penneth in :o)
I think some of the points raised are stating the obvious.
To the masses who cheered for him yesterday issues like Venezuala, the effects/workings of Capitalism, or the issue of Reparations are completely off their radar.
He is the leader of a mainstream American political party. No-one can even think he would hold left wing ideals.
The Democrats, whilst being a little bit more left than The Republicans are FAR from being left wing by any of the rest of the Worlds political classification.
In America Socialism is a dirty word. It has almost got that way in the UK too since Tony Blair took charge of the Labour party and called them "New Labour" to remove the old socialist/Union ties.
Anyone politically aware or knowledgable of these issues (Israel/Cuba/Venzuala/Reparations)already knows that Obama is not going to bring any change there.
He wouldn't belong to the Democrats and get so high a position if he held radical or more left wing ideas !
We know that already.
Those who aren't aware of these issues it makes no difference anyway. No-one is going to be surprised that he does not support those things.
The other points raised for example re his stance on Iraq etc are all fully valid as I think he will mislead the American people about how much he is really going to end these wars and bring the troops home.
With regards to the issue of him being Mixed Race and not "African American".
This is such a difficult thing to call.
We all know the history, the advantage placed on lighter skinned and mixed race Africans. The discrimination against darker skinned Africans.
But, looking at it kind of real. How do you look at someone and decide if they are either mixed race (ie. Not African american by your standards) or just a light skinned African American with two light skinned African american parents ?
When you look at someone you make assumptions on what you see. If you have African features etc.. you will always be classed as "Black" and subjected to racism and discrimination from whites and others.
Equally, to kind of imply that as a person of Mixed Race/light complexion you cannot truly support or be part of Pan-African issues or represent African people is an awful view to take.
History is full of mixed race and light complexioned Africans who have fought and died for the African cause. Equally there are many Black skinned Africans who have sold out their people and fought against them, and for the Whites, at every opportunity.
From what I have read about Obama, he certainly had a very white influenced upbringing, around white family etc.. But it seems from what I have read, that in his young adult years his path certainly moved to that of becoming involved in more African issues and thought? (please correct me if I am wrong I haven't studied in detail about the man)
He has an African american wife, not a white or very light skinned trophy one, and certainly seems to class himself fully as an African man.
I think to want to almost classify Mixed race people as a separate racial group is a terrible path to take.
That is divisive.
How could you ever define it?
Should you walk around with a tatto stating "I'm mixed race" or "No I'm not mixed race both my parents are African American, we're just light skinned", just to confirm the point for those who aren't sure what to call you.
Where would the definition be drawn ?
At what shade are you African American and at what shade something else ?
There are mixed race people who are darker complexioned and have stronger African features than some "fully black" African Americans.
It is nonsense.
It should be about African unity not sub-division.
There most definitely is a massive change to be made against a preference for light complexions as the ideal of beauty and of being everything good and intelligent etc etc..
But to kind of pick on Mixed Race people because of it and question their "africanness" is not the answer.
It is White people who created this wicked philosophy we should be focusing on.
Trust me, to white people shade really makes little difference. I think it is more divisive and an issue within the African community itself, historically seeing it as preferable to be visually more like white people, more like "massa". To white people your'e all black that is all that they see.
You tell ordinary white people about this light skin discrimination issue and they never fail to be surprised by it. They only see black, not shade. Your black, your black.
As for Obama as a aman and a politician. On what I have read, he does seem to be someone with a track history of wanting to help others and genuine in his motives. He is a very intelligent man cerainly and it appears he has never chased after the dollar or profitted from his public roles?
He seems honest about his motivation and a good man.
I am very sceptical about all Politicians as they all ride the gravy train after a while. But equally I also recognise that in this age, Countries and Governments hold no real power.
It is the huge corporate institutions, businesses and multi billionaire businessmen who run the world these days. They have fortunes bigger than any country and Governments and at their disposal.
We are all at their whim really.
In the meantime I see no real problem with seeing the electing of Obama as an Historic occasion to be celebrated. it obviously means so much to a great deal of people.
And where is the harm to allow people to feel good about themslves and be boosted by it. If it does some good that way it is a great thing. Mental health is a huge issue, when you are always bombarded by images and media portraying yourself and your people in the negative, it is important you have an opportunity to do the reverse for a change!
White people do that all the time! Have flag waving/aren't we all great/look at what we have achieved/ moments. And it does the trick to boost moral and provoke ambition and unify them.
From that persepctive you can't criticise people if cheering and crying for Obama in turn has some positive influence and repercussions.
My only hope for him is that he may turn American culture (and consequently the World as we all follow), away from the fashion for greed, bling, selfishness and celebrating dumbness, towards a culture of intelligence and ecological awareness and selfessness and more caring.
I don't expect anything spectacular or different from him than I do from a white President. We know that will not happen. And I don't think many African Americans do either. Just because folks are getting a bit excited and happy about it I don't see a problem.
You can only hope as man and a leader he can only be a whole ton better than Bush !
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