Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama

Fox News interviewed Ralph Nader as soon as it became apparent to them that Obama had won. Nader had said earlier that Obama is either going to be an 'Uncle Sam of the people' or an 'Uncle Tom for the corporations'. Fox went after him, accusing him, basically, of being a racist and bringing down the celebrations of the rest of 'us' (apparently, now including Fox who until that point had been attacking Obama and his 'radicals').
Nader handled it all very well, he stood his ground and noted that Obama had been meeting with corporate reps, that he had an atrocious policy on Afghanistan, that he voted for the bailout, that he speaks only for the nebulous 'middle class' but it is clear that he doesn't have a solution for the poor or working class, etc.

It is a shame that Nader has only so far received 1% of the vote.

However it will be interesting to see how the American people react in six months time when it becomes clear that Obama does not intend to change a goddamn thing.

Anyway here is more optimistic view from US Socialist Worker...

History is made
11:00 p.m. CST

AS SOON as it became clear that Obama was over the top, the tone of the media changed to one of reverence in recognition of the historic significance of the election of the first African American president.

And yet, coming out of the mouth of someone like MSNBC's Chris Matthews, it was a travesty. Matthews used the opportunity of Obama's moment of victory to brag about how great America is--having done, he claimed, what no other advanced country had in electing a Black head of state.

What hollow cant in the face of America's long and vicious history of racist barbarism--a country founded on slavery and made into a "great power" with the use of systematic racism.

But not even this hot air could overshadow the sense of exhilaration and tear-filled celebration among ordinary people, wherever they were gathered:

In Harlem in New York City, Brian Jones reports:

Several solid blocks of people celebrating. A giant mural depicts Malcolm X and Obama. Out of a sound system came the song "Ain't No Stopping Us Now," and the streets turned into a giant dance party. On the jumbo-tron, McCain is conceding, but the sound is breaking up. But no one wants to hear him anyway, so they put on Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours."

Outside the White House, a spontaneous crowd gathered to celebrate Obama's victory and jeer George Bush, who is reported to have called Obama to congratulate him. The contrast between Obama's sweeping win that has transformed the so-called "electoral map," and Bush's theft of the White House in 2000, on the basis of the disenfranchisement of African American voters in Florida, could not be more stark.

And in Grant Park in downtown Chicago, there are at least 1 million people, maybe 2 million, filling every visible corner of the huge lakefront area. The pictures on media really are worth a thousand words: dozens of young people with their fists raised in triumph, whole families dancing in the cramped space, tears flowing down the faces of older African American women, flags waving, singing and chanting.

As Lee Sustar described from downtown.

As Obama was headed in his motorcade to speak, people were still streaming toward Grant Park. The crowd is very racially mixed. All ages, though mostly young.

I just encountered a group of 10 Sri Lankan sisters and brothers, non-citizens who came down. "This is a moment to remember," they told me. "We're living through a moment of history. I want to be able to tell my children and grandchildren I was here to cheer on Barack Obama."

To them, Obama's victory represents something that they have seen only very rarely in the past generation. They know that the door is closing on an old era, and that a new one is beginning.

--Alan Maass

1 comment:

insurgelicious said...

Dude, a little embarassing that you're using a little irrelevant Trotskyist rag as a source, don't you think? Anyway, if change is going to happen it will be because of a groundswell of ordinary people at the grassroots, not because of Obama.. at the same time, however, I wouldn't under-estimate the symbolic power that Obama's election has on the psyche of African Americans.. I'm not a complete cynic and still think this is an extremely important day... Put yourself in an African American's shoes today and try to feel what this must mean to them.