11.06.2008

Our Rulers Make Their Adjustments

For thirty-six hours, the media people from NPR rightwards have been emphasizing two things about this historic and wonderful election:

First, that Obama's black. The man ran a "post-racial" campaign in which he entirely disdained identity politics — in which he embodied, in fact, our prophet Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1963 proclamation that white or black, our destinies "are tied together," our freedom is "inextricably bound together," and “we cannot walk alone.” But now he's the first African- American in office — period. I have not heard a single comment from a "rising-of-all- boats" perspective. Interesting . . .

Second, there's been a steady drumbeat (Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, etc.) about not letting our expectations to get out of hand. That's the new rightwing slogan: after eight years of gleeful export of violence and torture, after eight years of shoveling gold into the coffers of America's richest stratum, we should now patiently sit on our hands. Interesting . . .

Not to be a party-pooper — I'm still dancing in the cow pastures up here in rural New York! — but it's interesting to watch our rulers make their adjustments.

4 Comments:

Blogger Lao Qiao said...

I don't know whether conversations are evidence of anything, but in my experience, casual acquaintances in countries I have visited or lived in—Poland, Italy, and most notably, China—expressed anti-black sentiments and assumed that I, an American, would agree with them. Americans may say racist things in private, but they don't do so with strangers. I believe that in a world where everybody hates everybody else, America is the least racist country on earth.

10:22 AM  
Blogger gretchen said...

i spent election day in southwest philly, and the fact that obama is black was a very important and emotional factor for its citizens, MANY of whom had never voted before; then i spent the evening celebrating in harlem, and DITTO--obama's blackness mattered--and matters--very much. the whooping in the streets there, the hoisting of american flags overhead, the bellowing of "america the beautiful" in the streets, and the band members in Showman's bar singing about how the day had finally arrived that people had worked for for so long--those were reflective of the amazing fact that we have a black president. it's an enormous fact to me, too, white jewish middle class chick that i am!

9:34 AM  
Blogger Sheldon said...

I guess that depends on how you define "earth."

Back in the USA, Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's father has made racist comments about Arabs to the Jerusalem Post. I expected at least someone at President-Elect Obama's first press conference yesterday to ask him to respond to these remarks, but no such luck. It must be that "honeymoon" thing.

If I were Arab-American, I would be very apprehensive about where Obama and his Chief of Staff stand on these remarks. The longer there is no response, the more I'd be entitled to believe that they share the views of Dr. Emanuel, an unrepentant member of the terrorist Irgun.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous gary Sales said...

Slippery players-- yes.
Politicians-- for sure.
Leaders-- occasionally.
"Rulers"-- never! I hope.

9:26 AM  

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