Friday, November 07, 2008

Caveat Elector

As the champagne flattens, some sobering thoughts on "Obamania":

  • Let's hope this is the beginning of the end of Race as a political issue in the West; because it certainly isn't the end. A black president is a big deal - but this mustn't be seen as somehow getting Redneck culture "off the hook", or as fulfilling some notional "quota" (i.e. "Black has had its turn"). History has been made, for sure - but the true end will only have come when there's no history left to be made.
  • As I alluded to previously, Americans are entitled to ask if we in Europe could elect a black man. We probably couldn't. But then, I think we stand a far better - though still rather slim - chance of promoting a homosexual, a bachelor, or an atheist to supreme executive power. We've already put women there. The truth is, we've all still got a long way to go.
  • Quietly, in California on Tuesday, throngs of black voters were marking the occasion - by overwhelmingly voting against Gay Marriage. This blogger needfully notes that plenty of non-blacks did too; but omits that, even by his own figures, no other ethnic group supported "Proposition 8" so emphatically. It is hard to imagine a more bitter irony.

"Change" may be blossoming in the garden of democracy, but no-one has quite come out smelling of roses.