Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Celebration, America!

Barack Obama will be President of the United States by this evening. Truly a day to celebrate; a measure of disbelief is justified.

I'm a bit old, as bloggers go. I can still remember, as a young child in the United States before we came to Israel, how the echoes of the Civil Rights Movement penetrated my small and innocent world. Those children at Selma: the youngest of them were my age. A few years later the authorities in segregated Chicago began integrating our schools, and history was happening in our classrooms - we were old enough to understand that.

History isn't solid, and reality isn't petrified. Things can change, sometimes at a pace its very drivers and motivators cannot dream of. Martin Luther King could still have been alive today; I don't think he dreamed this would have been possible in his lifetime.

It is this potential for bettering the world that makes the United States the most important political agent of good in human history, in spite of its many deep flaws. As Barack Obama takes its helm, we should all be cheering, as well as hoping for his success and America's.

We dare also not forget how unusual America is. Revolutionary change for the better can happen: but more often, it doesn't. Not even America can change that. Yet let this be a day of celebration; human nature will still be here tomorrow.

3 comments:

onscrn said...

I'm even older than you, I think. I grew up White in racially segregated Texas and have written on the significance of Obama's inauguration in light of what I remember about just how bad it was. It's at Thoughts of Water on the Eve of Obama’s Inauguration.

rashkov said...

"BBC World News America has unearthed a fascinating clip of Dr Martin Luther King speaking to the BBC's Bob McKenzie in 1964 in which Dr King predicts an African-American president "in less than 40 years."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/world_news_america/default.stm

Anonymous said...

no matter how much my gutfeeling makes me mistrust Obama
out of pure self interest I hope that he will be good for America and consequently for the world I enjoy living in
- and I enjoyed that at last his cool broke down today when he stumbled twice during his oath into office and made Roberts stumble once. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7840564.stm
I think a bit of being less cocksure of being capable of everything will be good for him and consequently for the world.
really glad you did not yet stick to your posting slow down resolution - hopefully it'll stay that way for a long long time all the way until Israel gets peace and security
rgds,
Silke