I am uncertain as to whether this entry has a central point. I’m writing it at few A.M. as a myriad of barely-discernable thoughts from my disturbed sleep just before hastily evanesce. The bed in my new flat isn’t to blame (it’s actually quite comfortable), it’s my nose that’s choosing to be difficult; it appears to be completely blocked, and I am not a happy mouth-breather.
Let me begin with my take on the U.S. political scene, since I followed it religiously (still do) for quite some time, but haven’t talked about it since the presidential election. Like many other people, I’m glad the contest was won by an intelligent man who speaks in complete, coherent sentences; I really am. But I’m not as optimistic as many others regarding the amount of substantive improvements he (or anyone else) can effect. Stylistically, things have already begun to get a lot better, but in realistic terms, how possible is it (for anyone) to break the hold of the corporate interests who make all the rules? I guess only time can answer that question. One can hope, but I amn’t one to.
While we’re on the topic, there is something I need to get off my chest. On the surface, the success of this man rides on the civil rights struggles of the past—the sacrifices of the likes of Martin Luther King. But unlike the Jesse Jacksons and the Al Sharptons or even the Michelle Obamas of the world, Barack Obama doesn’t share their history. He’s probably read about it in books or talked to people around him, but he isn’t a descendant of slaves. He’s the son of a foreigner who happened to impregnate a white woman while in the U.S. to study (and chose to leave her shortly after). If anything, his success answers one question that always nags me in the back of my mind: How well integrated and how far can a first-generation in-country born child of an immigrant go? Pretty far, apparently.
I don’t mean anything racist or negative by this observation, I just wonder why this distinction isn’t made clearer in the media. Especially when they show images of swarms of 106 year-old black ladies crying out in joy that one of them made it. He isn’t really one of you, is he? You guys had it a lot harder. Skin-colour apart, he’s got more in common with the sons and daughters of Mexicans (and Chinese people and Indians and … ) who’ve recently arrived there. I guess what I am trying to say is, he’s had his struggles too, they’re just not yours.
I’ll stop now. It turns out this entry did have something of a theme. I just didn’t plan on it being this one.