Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Riding into work...after the US Elections '08

Yesterday and today, I decided to ride into work. I have been making progress with my riding lately (over the last three or four weekends...) and it seems to hurt less every time I do it. This recent spate of unseasonably nice weather has been all the impetus I need, to thumb my nose at my bus pass. The Rockcliffe Parkway was like a wonderland as I rode along it's fog-shrouded length this morning. Fortunately there was no sign of deer and the traffic was light as well. All the requirements for a great ride in.

The remainder of the week promises to be just as nice, though it may very well signal the last hurrah for summer-like weather this year. Either way, I am enjoying it immensely and it has vindicated my conviction that I will yet ride again.

Today of course, the results of the latest American elections are in. Sen. Barack Obama (D) won over Sen. John McCain (R). This is seen as many as a 'historic' result, as of course Sen. Obama is the first American of actual African descent to be elected as president. I tend to view it in the same light as when John F. Kennedy was elected president. For as much as many may not know this, he was the very first Catholic president elected in the USA. At the time, this was a very big thing as well. He had to face fierce, even vitriolic anti-Catholic bias during his campaign.

There are those pundits who would claim that President Obama is the result of the struggles of many black generations before him. His election is seen as a day of victory for blacks all over the world. Now I suppose I can see how some folks might want to believe that, but I tend to disagree. This was the election of one person, not of a race. The same as Kennedy was elected on his character, not on his religion. Mr. Obama actually has roots in Africa. The vast majority of American blacks have as much in common with Africans, as I do with a white person living in the Netherlands. Which is to say, nothing. There were a great many American blacks who saw O.J. Simpson's acquittal for murdering his wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman, as a day of victory for blacks also. For as twisted, sick and fucked up as that is. Yes, there was jubilation in the streets as the news of his acquittal spread. To be fair, the American judicial system proved to be a farce and the ineptitude of the LAPD certainly did not help matters. But for their glorifying one of theirs literally getting away with murder, for me that day erased the credibility of Black America as far as being capable of civility.

It would be as if I were to glorify the actions of Hitler or John Wayne Gacey, simply because they were white. Such actions are unthinkable... I tend to believe that just as a man should not be convicted based on the colour of his skin, neither should he be absolved. The same should apply to electing a President, one would think...

There are some who would believe that it has taken this long for the United States to become 'progressive enough' to vote in a black as president. I disagree. I say that it has simply taken that long to produce, in this case, an individual of mixed ethnicity who was actually worthy of being considered for the position. I do not even consider him a product of 'America's black population'. That particular population has yet to produce a single individual with the interest, education, character, experience and electability to become president of the United States. If popular black culture in the USA has anything to do with it, that day is still a long, long, long way away. Most of those future candidates are still killing each other over their claims of owning a particular street corner. If they're not busy spending the most productive years of their lives behind bars as career criminals. Rappers, thugs, pimps and overpaid athletes do not constitute good material for presidential candidates either, yet these are the idols and heroes of Black America. This is not the genetic stock from which a world leader will emerge.

Obama's family roots go back some ways, as his father was from Kenya (so NOT the USA...) and his mother (Ann Dunham) was a white woman from Kansas whose ancestors actually owned slaves at one point. But it's the man himself, who got himself elected. I would say he was pretty much guaranteed the black vote. It would be idiotic to beleive otherwise. (Again, witness the O.J. fiasco...) But he had to appear to have something substantial to offer the rest of the American population who voted for him. Even if it was to offer 'anything but George Bush and the Republican Party'.

So this morning, the world is enamored with the newly elected President Obama. Let's see how long the love affair lasts, once he and they realize he has to start acting like a president. I wish him nothing but the best and hope for the sake of the American people, that he does turn out to be the 'black messiah' they seem to need. The Kennedys, for all their personal shortcomings, were by and large very beneficial and dynamic leaders for the USA. John F. was a very effective and charismatic president, who pulled the entire world back from the brink of a nuclear war. His brother Bobby was a fearless and tenacious Attorney General, who took on the forces of organized crime and corruption. In the end however, it was the powers that actually control their country, which had both of them killed.

Let's hope for President Obama's sake, that his electorial 'first' is the only similarity he shares with the late John F. Kennedy. I suppose the world will just have to wait and see.

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