Wednesday, January 14, 2009

An Event That Can Change The World

It is seldom that anyone lives to see an event that will change the world, but next Tuesday such an event will occur.  For us in the United States, it will be a change in our president, something that happens every four years.  Nothing special about that except that this time, for the first time in U.S. History, a black man will become President of the United States.  For many of us old enough to have lived through the Civil Rights era of the 1950's and 1960's, it is the culmination of a historic struggle.  History is about the struggles of peoples to liberate themselves from chains, ghettos or just plain ignorance. 

But, the real historic event is in the way the people of color around the world will come to view the United States.  No longer will the United States be only a land for the white race to reach the highest seat of government.  This one image, a black President, will transform the world's view of the United States. That will be the real story next Tuesday all around the world. 

Don't under estimate the effect this single event and image will have on the rest of the world.  It may have taken this country a few hundred years to live up to its creed that all men are created equal, but next Tuesday there will be an event that will drive this point home.  Not just here in the States, but around the world.  The United States next Tuesday will change the world. 

The above piece I wrote to a friend the other day. For those of you who did not grow up in the 1940’s, ‘50’s and ‘60’s, the election of a black man as President of the United States may not seem like such a big thing. However, if you are a student of history, you know what life was like for black Americans and other peoples of color in the United States before the 1970’s. I remember the University of Pittsburgh not being able to take a black member of their football team to a bowl game in the south. I remember visiting my aunt and cousin in Lexington, KY and seeing signs that read “White Only” and “colored” for things as simple as a drinking fountain. This country changed itself, and for this we all can be justly proud. It did not take an invasion by a foreign army for us to move our country in the direction of a more level playing field, we did this ourselves.

There has been a great deal of discussion about what measures will best bring our economy out of the recession. The details of the economic stimulus plan will become known after the Obama administration takes office. As I have said before, the economics of a stimulus plan is the easy part, the harder part will be the willingness of the politicians to put the good of the country first. Even in times of war, this is not always the case. Perhaps this time, with so many facets of our economy in trouble, the politicians will do the right thing and accept a stimulus plan that will meet the needs of the country. There are a lot of people without jobs that want to work. I sure hope that the well dressed politicians in their warm offices remember what it is like to be unemployed.

Stay tuned.


winslow said...

Yesterday I was watching Sean Hannity conduct an interview with Newt Gingrich. I was appalled at their lack of patriotism and their completely negative comments. They are, perhaps, the radical fringe. There was not one suggestion of agreement with the new administration. Of course, they both had solutions to the myriad problems. It's amazing that Republicans held office for 8 years, most of which they controlled Congress, and now these "spokespeople" for the right,now have the answers. They sound more and more like the radical left they despise. These are dangerous people.

LceeL said...

I get the whole country growing up and the black man being elected and all that - but the REAL thing for me is that an articulate, intelligent, caring and dynamic man has been elected to office and will take office in 6 days. I didn't vote for Obama because he's black. I voted for Obama because I could believe him and in him. That his election is a sign that my country has finally put on the big boy pants is a side issue, at best.

And I have other questions - that speak, I think, to an underlying prejudice in us all - why is Obama considered a black man? Why is he not thought of as a dark skinned white man? Which half of Obama is black?

moneythoughts said...

Lou, I'm little surprised that you ask "Which half of Obama is black?" As an artist who mixes paint, you should know that anytime you mix white paint with another color it is no longer white. Unfortunately, the white race is all caught up in whiteness. In some countries and cultures color is secondary and class and religion are the divides. If the culture in the 13 colonies had been based on something other than skin color, there is a good chance that the children of slave owners that were half white would have been raised in the big house and not in a slave cabin. True Obama is unique in that his father was from Africa, not of slave ancestry, and his mother was white, and he was raised by white grandparents. If white people had accepted children of mixed parentage as white, the whole history of the U.S. would have been vastly different.

Winslow, thank you for your comments. The far right has no legs left to stand on, so they must try to cut the legs from under the left. Their economic philosophy is in shabbles. It is a fraud. They, the honest among them, and they are few, know that deregulation of the banking and securities industries is a failure. All you have to do is ask the people that invested in Bernie Madoff if we had enough regulation and oversight.