Tuesday 4 November 2008

The World is A Brighter Place For a Darker President

The world has changed.

I don't think you yet realise it.

It has changed.

It may not be a big deal, but it is.

Ninety percent of Americans are white.
And in America the colour of a man's skin has mattered.
Hence American Presidents have been white.

But it's not just been about that.


Power in the world.

To exercise power across the face of the globe, historically, the colour of your skin has had to be white.

Those have been the rules of the global society. You don't get to hold the most powerful positions on this planet, unless you're white.

And whilst that was so, Apartheid still lived. It may not have been open, but a division lay across the globe. Because the colour of the skin of those living the most luxuriant lives and the colour of the skin of those making decisions that really concern the globe, has been white.

And white folk, despite their condemnation of South Africa have not really meant what they said. Because the colour of a man's skin did matter. What they really meant was; black folk rule black countries, white folk rule white countries. We'll trust black people to rule over black people in third world countries, but really, when it comes to it, colour still matters.

Today it doesn't.

Today it has been proven that the colour of a man's skin does not matter a jot.

Because if the people of the most powerful country in the globe, a country ninety percent of whom are white, a country renowned for the conservatism of its attitudes can ignore the colour of a mans skin in deciding who would make the best man to have his finger on the button that potentially sends us all to our doom, it means that it really is true today that the average person on the globe really does not attach any significance to skin colour.

Racism is history.

Racism is a dead set of beliefs.

The best man won, in SPITE of the fact he was a black man asking a predominantly white electorate to choose him over a white man.

America has grown up.

Humanity is growing up.

The world is a different place today.


Anonymous said...

I do see the POV in your post but - not to be rude but just to draw your attention to the fact that - minorities' do hold significant seats of power outside of the developed, Western world. India (the world's largest democracy) currently has a Sikh Prime Minister, who was worn in by a Muslim President and the leader of the major party in the ruling alliance is a 'white' lady born in Italy who married an Indian citizen.


* Manmohan Singh in the role of current Prime Minister of India.

* Abdul Kalam in the role of erstwhile President of India (also one of the country's leading scientists).

* Sonia Gandhi in the role of leader of the Congress party.

There are several other examples of 'minorities' holding power across countries (but this seems to happen in developing nations more than under-developed or developed ones) and leading institutions across the world.

Anonymous said...

Interesting… You say “Ninety percent of Americans are white.”. You say the president Elect won ”in SPITE of the fact he was a black man”

And it is something that he has won.

But it seems to me that 50% of the president elect is actually white. So how come that necessarily makes him a black man?

What about if he more closely reflected the make up of the electorate and were 75% white? Would that still make him a black man?

Maybe everyone needs to look at their unconscious assumptions here, White, black and right on liberal? How come people don’t think about stuff like that?

Anonymous said...

Well, the right man won, that's true. About seventy-five per cent of US citizens are white and that number is dwindling rapidly. Also let's not mistake reform for revolution, while the fundamental dynamics of the society and the capitalist system remain unchanged the problem remains. Viva la revolution,

Anonymous said...

I am excited and hopeful and proud for the first time in many many years - I am so proud of my county in its choice for change!

Anonymous said...

it's a beautiful day of change. for america and for the world. FINALLY.

great post. thanks :) :)

Anonymous said...

The next few years will prove to be very very interesting. I think there is a sense of relief that was exhaled the world around. I honestly never thought that I would see an African American President in my lifetime. Americans made history yesterday. I am proud to be their next door neighbour :)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

no matter what colour he is he will still have to deal with the major issues facing america today.....the economy, foriegn policy, a major segment of the population retiring soon and living longer than ever before.

and he promised to kill osama bin ladin.

typical politician.

we don`t need another poitician, we need a statesman.

a leader.

but i do have to say that he seems to be the least "political" in his demeanour and appearance than the type of bureaucrat robot that we have been voting for in recent years.

time will tell.

though i will give him no credit for the 25 degree weather we are experiencing on november 5th when the typical temperature for this time of year is hivering around 4-5 degrees.

Anonymous said...

Stray- I take your point, but an Indian Hindu could conceivably argue that those three instances bring back memories of rule by other elites; The Mogul Empire, the Mahratta Confederacy, the White Raj.

They come from minorities, but minorities which have at one time been elites in India.

One a similar note, it's only since 1990 (?) that the Jamaican PM has actually been black by anyones standards in Europe. Neither Norman Manley or the guy who went before and who's name I forget were anywhere near as dark as Obama is.

The point here, is WHITE folk abandoning that covert idea that basically, the world is only safe in the hands of a white man.

That's new.

Moggs- Well, me and my mate were talking about that last night actually. In some ways, being mixed race is even more taboo, because- shock horror- his Dad is black and his Mum is white.

It's got to be a good sign that racial distincrtions are a thing of the past.

Paul- I agree, and a part of me thinks it would have been better for McCain to have won, just because I think the system could do with being run by the worst people possible so as to wake people up.

But then again, I think that the powerful attitude change this symbolises shows that actually, people really do want change, they've proved it.

He may just be a symbol, but he's a symbol people want to say goodbye to the old ways- including militarism, capitalism and sectional loyalties.

Cat- It is a great day, no doubt about it. It's truly historic.

There was speculation over here that the polls might be lieing, because people didn't want to own up to voting on racist grounds, and if that had been the case, than that would have ben worse, I think than a McCain victory that the polls predicted.

But today my faith in humanity is riding high.

Butterfly- I think it really will change global politics. People say he'll just be another Kennedy. I don't buy that. Kennedy was a crook at heart, jusy glitzy, good with the siundbytes.

But Obama has ridden the groundswell of change, he IS the people, I think. He isn't just a black candidate, he's the candidate of every voice the world has not listened to up till now.

Lady M- My feelings :) I've gone on about nothing else all day at work. And tomorrow, I'm organising a celebratory little drink. Worth toasting to.

Dr Alistair- Yes, he will have to deal with these things. And a lot of that is about choosing the right team.
A leader's job is simply to approve the decisions they make and inspire.

I think he IS a leader, a charismatic one. Some would say charismatic leaders are dangerous, I disagree.

To be a leader, you need charisma, otherwise you will never truly lead. That doesn't mean you'll lead the right way, but at least it means you'll lead.

And on that, we'll have to see.

Warm over there is it? it's freezing here! Think we'll have a harsh winter, by our standards.

Anonymous said...

I must admit I have enjoyed reading the few Republican blogs on my radar this morning. I actually saw one bemoaning 'democracy' as 'rule of the mob' and 'we must get back to what the founding fathers wanted which was not a democracy but a republic'. One beneficial outcome of this election I think is that americans have a slightly better picture of how they are viewed by the rest of world.

Anonymous said...

Reeny- You got left out, I apologise.

I was a bit worried, yes. I hoped, but I still doubted.

Now I just feel today, that being a glass half full guy, is the way to be.

Paul- I guessthey must be pretty sore. I avoided the right wingers today. Because i'm singing, and they're not.

Think I've done a lot of cheering today, though. :)

Anonymous said...

I certainly think the USA made the correct choice but the challenges Obama faces are some of the most difficult that any president has faced. I think he will be under incredible scrutiny and if he falls short or even seems to fall short I fear he will be severely judged.

That said I think he is smart enough to assemble the best people around him and the Americans have a a remarkable talent for getting the job done.

Anonymous said...

I don't write a lot about it on my blog (mostly due to a neurotic fear of being found, as its not a huge research community), but I actually do research on ethnic discrimination. This election meant a lot to me, especially as someone who truly believes there is so much more prejudice occurring than we would like to pretend.

(side note, and I'm sorry for being a nerd, but as I said, I study this stuff-- it is actually a much smaller proportion of the US that is White. Still a majority, but around the 2/3 mark)

With regards to the comment about him being half-White... it is true that this was ignored. However, the truth is, he identifies as a Black man, and he was treated as Black all of his life due to his appearance.

Anonymous said...

He is man with integrity, I am so happy for the Americans and the rest of the world that they voted such a forward thinking human being whatever his colour. It just fills me with optimism.

Anonymous said...

charismatic? yep. dangerous? not sure. i didn`t see whites rioting in the streets upon finding out the results of the vote though.

it is unseasonably warm here. shorts weather. though the fog rolled in off the lake this morning and lingered to chill the legs as one ventured down off the hills onto lakeshore.

i`m sure by the new week we will be in warmer gear.

Anonymous said...

I second that emotion!

Anonymous said...

Delightful thoughts, Crushed. Much enjoyed them.

Anonymous said...

When he won, I went to check up the racial demographic - only found an old one (2003 census) - bout 80% of americans are white, and 13% black. and from the voting breakdown, most blacks voted for obama (and are seen rejoicing, even on the blogs), while more than half of whites voted for him. 50%..... so I guess it DOES reflect a sort of fairness, huh; that the whites gave him a chance (but it almost looks like the blacks voted for him by colour this time, cos if not, he should have got about 50% of their votes too, if one assumed those votes were cast based on logic and reason vs race)..

Anonymous said...

reading the comments, moggs has a point. he's half white. but if the ppl were REALLY racist, like in the past, they wouldn't accept even part of him being black. one doesn't hope for change overnight - so this way, he's half-half, and has the best of both worlds...

Anonymous said...

A shame race is brought into it, should not matter or even be subject of a mans race if his abilities, capabilities and policies are fair and just.