Monday, January 19, 2009


with Obama's inauguration less than one day away, some people have been debating whether paying attention to the ceremony qualifies as racist thinking. personally, i think there is no basis for that judgement, but i will play it their way and explain why.

while Obama's election signifies a landmark in American history, his value as president runs far deeper than the colour of his skin. whether black, white, asian, native, or any mix thereof, voters identified with Obama because he embodies a myth that they are all familiar with; the American dream. Obama rose from nothing to something, and this level of success resonates with people across the world. if a white woman rose to prominence from poverty and became prime minister, would watching my decision to watch her take office qualify me as a sexist? i think not.

Obama's ability to unite voters around a common theme, hope, is also a huge part of the reason why this election is so prominent. rarely before has there been such a strong connection between voters, and this is because of Obama's message that we are the future, we are the change in this world. his campaign message left people feeling empowered and exhilerated, something that has been scarce for the last eight years. when Trudeau ran for the Liberal leadership in 1967, his campaign was a symbol of energetic hope and generational change. he inspired Canadians of all ages, most particularily youth, and 'Trudeaumania' took hold of the country. yet Canadians who celebrated his envigorating and exhilerating message were not criticized for electing yet another white man to office, nor did black Canadians sit idley at the table, twiddling their thumbs as he was elected. people across the nation celebrated together, regardless of race.

when people say that i am a racist for thinking that Obama's inauguration is significant, i have one thing to say; grow up. we live in a world where people of all races can hold every possible position. if you enjoy working for a company that is led by a black CEO, are you racist for thinking that his innovative ideas are significant for the company? the answer is no. Obama's election, while marking a cornerstone in American history, is significant because of his ability to connect with people and the relative modernity of his ideals. trivilaizing his significance to the colour of his skin is pointless and a waste of energy.

No comments:

Post a Comment