21 January 2009

a day in history …

I just wanted to record on my blog, for me, myself, I : what an amazing day in history to see a black American become President yesterday and just one day after Martin Luther King day !

I missed the live inauguration speech but watched the procession to the White House and the Obama family going into the viewing area. On French radio today I caught the end of an interview of people’s reaction here and a young (sounding) girl sobbing into the microphone, saying how happy she was and what changes it was going to make in the world.

He has such a tough job ahead of him but there’s so much hope now for a brighter future with this young president. I hope he is advised well and he keeps to the courage of his convictions, but I can’t help thinking about a caller on BBC Radio 4’s Any Answers who said that history would truly be made when a native Red Indian becomes President. (Actually, taken out of context).

If you have the time and you’re not sick to death of all the media hype. I can’t copy the link to the iplayer, but it is the 16 January show which will be available to listen to until 23 January, when the new program is aired. Listen to Any Questions first – about 50 minutes and then the listeners’ views in Any Answers – about 30 minutes. There is also a transcript of the show.

Whilst in the middle of this post my friend Claire rang from London and said that she had heard another viewpoint by Nick Abbot of LBC (20 Jan). He wonders what all the euphoria is about : nobody knows very much about Obama … Sadly, LBC feel that they need to charge to listen to their podcasts.

Claire also pointed out that Obama is not Black he is Mixed Race. He happens to have darkish skin and brown eyes. Would you call a Mixed Race person who has a fair skin and blue eyes, White or Black and
why ?

Not wanting to get controversial and seeing that this could turn into quite another debate, I will leave it at that for now …


Sunita said...

This is such a good post! Though I'm not an American,I personally feel very excited about Mr. Obama becoming President because it shows that the world is not as narrow-minded and petty as it used to be. That is reason enough to rejoice, isnt it?
I havent got around to reading the rest of your blog but I felt I just had to pause and comment here.
Thanks for stopping by my blog and choosing to follow it.

chaiselongue said...

Yes, it was a very exciting day! And yes, he is an unknown quantity to some extent, but almost everyone in the world recognises that he must be better than what came before. In the middle of world financial crisis, there is a sign of hope and change. Hoping to hear more about you life and gardening in Provence soon!

Lucy Corrander said...

I too have felt a mixture of hope mixed with apprehension. I'm mightily encouraged that he wants America to turn its back on torture and extraordinary rendition etc. but am anxious about how his policies will shape up re. Afghanistan . . . and I would also have liked him to announce a stop to American bombing in Pakistan.

I don't have a television but bought a license specially so we could see the inauguration on a laptop. Very pleased we did. Whatever happens next, we have definitely witnessed a significant moment in history.

Seeing Jesse Jackson's tears when Obama's victory in the election was announced - it must be double feelings for many Americans . . . a sense of excitement and relief that electing a black president has, at last, opened a door . . . but, none the less, perhaps, wishing too that it had been someone with more roots in American history and in the civil rights movement who had done it.


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