Thursday, December 4, 2008
What Obama Means
I'm amazed about how happy people here are about Obama being elected. People I've met from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand have expressed joy, not as much about simply getting rid of Bush, but that America has such capacity for change. They're stunned: a country with such a perceived (through media, mainly) culture of discrimination has elected a black man as president. They're surprised ,and this ability to change they have said, gives them hope. They really didn't think we'd do it. Lost on most though, is the distinction that Barrack Obama isn't a product of Americas underclass - he merely shares a skintone. I in turn have expressed the opinion that it demonstrates that too much of what becomes labelled as racism in America, is classism, and that such misnaming serves a political purpose for some. Not to say it doesn't exist, but that it is over writ. I reminds my of my pet analysis of the outcome of the OJ Simpson trial. OJ's acquittal demonstrated that our judiciary was more corrupt than racist: a rich black man could buy his freedom just as surely as a rich white man. As a socio-economic cynic, I am more comfortable with a corrupt society than with a prejudicial one, if those are my only choices.