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Thursday, 6 November, 2008

THE OBAMA FACTOR!

By: Ghoma


        It’s an epoch setting event for America to elect a blackman as its leader. It’s the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. It can be said that America is coming to terms with its Civil War, 141 years after its cessation. For the first time in two hundred and scores of years of its history, America is coming to grips with those promises of its Founders, "all men are created equal." Whatever it may be and whatever will be, it’s also bound to have a momentous importance for the rest of the world. The USA, as the major player in the world, what takes place inside its borders has enormous implications and ripple effects throughout the globe.

        The events which have swept America in the last 3-decades, with the rise of the Conservative Movement and the so-called Reagan revolution, have left it, to put it mildly, limping. Burned by wars and debts, frazzled by its narcissism, and complacent in its own economic hollowing out, America today, is far from that proud giant brimming with arrogance, and closer to a fallen warrior humbled by weaknesses worn-out of the excesses of its own making. A giant on its knees! A spectacle, which, perhaps had resonated few times over in the course of history, everytime a world-force has succumbed to whatever diseases were gnawing at its viscera long enough to bring it to the last rites. The latest financial meltdown may not yet be counted as the straw that would break the camel’s back but with the other internal and external malaises which plague this great nation, the last verdict has still to wait one more chance to see what a blackman can bring to the table.

        America had started its roll with the free labor of the blackman. From the clearing of its virgin lands and the establishing of its flourishing plantations, to the boring of its mountains and the bridging of its vales and rivers, to the laying of its rail and communication lines, and on with the exploitation of its mines and the raising of its cities, the blackman was the quintessential quotient, the thread that ran through the yarn, the string binding the narrative, and dredge that accompanies all difficult journeys. What a difficult journey it was; for him, the blackman, half-shackled and half exhausted.

        Are all these travails going to disappear overnight or forgotten before long? Not really. Obama maybe the beginning of a process of dealing with scars left by close to 400 years of slavery, prejudice, exploitation of man by man, etc. but is not going to be the poultice that would bridge all historical rifts and heal all social wounds. These wounds ran deep both in the psyche of each individual, living in the USA, as well as interwoven in the social fabric, and thus their closing needs more than the goodwill of one human even if he’s just been elected to the highest office of the most powerful nation on earth. It’ll take all individual goodwill and social tolerance, and structural and otherwise adjustments to the new tides and what they’ll bring. Individual self- admittance, social awareness, and communal acceptance. The walls of prejudice must come down tumbling and on their ruins a new human spirit of acceptance, of cooperation, of equality, etc. erected, and hope to prevail.

        But certainly it is a new dawn, out here, on the fringes of the precipice. America is still a young nation. It tackles with idea of renewal, It believes in hybrids and interbreeding. That where it’s got its strength and what hopefully will give it resiliency too. But above all, it’s the idea of believing in itself, in its citizens and institutions. And gave that sense of daring, there are no walls beyond climbing, no barriers beyond leaping, and no horizons far from reaching. That hopefulness as well as energy and enthusiasm of youth which are still running through, though maybe a little clogged, its veins, will carry the day and put it again on the road to recovery.

Ghoma
Ghoma47@hotmail.com


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