Barack Obama

So it finally came true. Congrats to the big man-as some of you may be aware, Barack Obama won the American election on Tuesday.

You may also be aware of certain things surrounding this election, so I feel pretty stupid repeating them here. It was the longest, most expensive election in US history. It was the largest Democrat win since 1992 I believe. And Obama is the first non-white president.

That last sentence is key, mainly because it's what I want to talk about. Because ultimately, what can I, a wee know-it-all minor writer from Scotland, possibly say that hasn't been said about this already? 

But all I've really seen over the last few days is the anticipation over a black president. I fully understand how momentous this-living in Brooklyn over the summer tuned me in to be able to appreciate what this meant to America and the black community in particular.

Yet the key achievement of a black person reaching the white house is not just the fact itself-it's the shift in semantics that will take place. Obama is the first black president; he's also hopefully, the last person to be described as a black president. 

Obama has crossed such a massive hurdle that, with a bit of luck, any ethnic minority running for government in the future will simply be seen as a 'candidate' and not as a 'Hispanic candidate', a 'black candidate' or a 'white candidate'. This change in the semantics that surround people will hopefully permeate through everything. 

Richard Dawkins often expresses derision at the labelling of a 'Muslim child' or a 'Jewish child'; these children are demographically set apart and defined by something they have had no say in or had any time to consider if they are Muslim, Jewish, Christian or whatever. I feel the same way about race-political correctness, racial definition, ethnic demographics are all products of people 'fetishising' and defining other people through something they have no control over: the colour of their skin. It's called 'othering' in post colonial theory and it's not very nice, is it?

Obama reaching the White House hopefully signals an end to this rubbish where we judge people on how they were born, what they were born into or what sets them apart as a means of being 'sensitive to minorities' and just patronising people because they look different. 

So Obama is the last black president. That's my take...

And skip over the fairly vomit worthy "Yes We Can" music video and pop on Sam Cooke's A Change is Gonna Come and feel good.



Popular posts from this blog

Hottie of the Week - Michelle Keegan

Hottie of the Week - Yvonne Strahovski