The other day Crushed did a post about the election of President Elect Obama. Now some times I agree with some things he posts, sometimes I don’t… and sometimes he makes me mad. But most times he also makes me think.
As sometimes happens I had some slightly out of the box thoughts on that post and commented, but I thought on it some more and figured they might make a post on their own, so hat tip to Crushed.
It’s a controversial subject, so hard hat time ^_^
Before anyone tries to misinterpret me, while I might not necessarily agree with all of Mr Obama’s politics, I am truly profoundly pleased that it was possible for him to be elected. I think that says something very positive about the US, a country I am familiar with and am, on balance, fond of.
I think the English speaking nations generally work quite hard to be fair and not be racist. Maybe even more than some non-English speaking nations judging by what you see from time to time. But I do think there are some underlying ways of thinking and assumptions that everyone seems to accept, black or white that could do with actually being thought about.
Examined rationally... And I don’t mean politically correct stupidities like banning the word "blackboard".
I figure sometimes it is good to look at stuff, fresh, from scratch.
For a start there is the words “black” and “white” being applied to people. Black people aren’t really black. They range from pink/tan/very light brown through to very dark brown. Also white people aren’t really white either. They range from pink/tan/very light brown through to dark brown.
Still I figure it is mostly arbitrary. If you graphed it, the height of the bell curve for “blacks” would probably be slightly towards one end and for ‘whites’ slightly towards the other.
But simply put there are lots of “white” people who are darker than some "black" people.
Now Take President Elect Obama. A black president everyone says, but why is he black?
I mean that seriously. His father is African and black, his mother is American and white, so why is he black and not white?
After all he is as much white as he is black when you think about it isn’t he? Yet It seems even he sees himself as black
Now suppose his father had had one white parent and one black parent. That would make him three quarters white instead, but many, possibly also including himself, would still see him as black.
This sort of thinking seems to me far too horribly close the old US “one drop rule” used in slave days to decide if a person was black. Basically a black person was anyone with any known African ancestry.
You can’t help thinking the one drop rule might have been a lot to do with increasing the number of slaves.
More to the point surely it’s what sort of a person he is that really matters. Is he a good man and a good husband, good father, good neighbour, and for most of the world, will he be a good president? It ought to be.
It seems that electing any politician with such a landslide is, as they say about second marriages ^_^ rather a triumph of optimism over experience. It would be lovely to think he will turn out to be another George Washington, Abe Lincoln or Nelson Mandela and maybe he will be, but I still remember the sense of optimism in the UK when Tony Blair was elected with a similar landslide. Ultimately Blair was a terrible disillusionment.
When he is President Obama he will have his work cut out for him indeed, he will have to be very good indeed to even mark time. I am sure we all wish him every success, the better job he does the better, safer, world we will all have.
Though I figure if the only thing he ever manages to accomplish is to make people stop thinking colour and race matters so much by example, then it will be a job well done. Maybe a little colour blindness might do us all some good.