Hope and change

Nov 6th, 2008, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 179
It matters not whom you voted for in this election. There is no denying that the result is having a huge psychological impact in Africa. Hopefully, the psychological impact can be morphed into real democratic progress. Here are two of the coolest excerpts I read in the Washington Post -- from Kenya:

"It's like a miracle," he said, confessing to a cynicism that seemed to vanish with Obama's victory. "There was that doubt that with black-white relations in America, a black man could not be elected. But he was," said Odihiambo, a government worker who drew a parallel that many here did, between overcoming racism in the U.S. and rising above tribalism, the bane of Kenyan society. "If America can elect a black man, then why can't Kenya shun tribalism and elect anyone, regardless of tribe?"

"Obama does not belong to the lineage of a political class, and he had no particular wealth to begin with except for his own convictions," said Moses Mubula, 35, a farmer who was watching the returns on the white sheet screen here as the sky began to glow light blue. "So the best part of [his victory] is that it symbolizes the crumbling of racial barriers, age barriers, class barriers and maybe we here in Kenya can break that jinx too."
safaridude is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 02:31 PM
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Safaridude, thanks for the quotes. Hadn't thought of that angle regarding tribalism. Here's hoping that it too will slowly becomes less important in Kenya.
twaffle is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 02:44 PM
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Thanks for those quotes, safaridude!
Patty is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 03:28 PM
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i knew those names might surface but neither ran for nor were elected president. the point is, and i think we're all in agreement here, none of this should matter anymore. we should have evolved by now as a species to where obama's color, or religion, no longer mattered.

star trek had it right in 1966. shame it's taking so long for so many to catch up.
aknards is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 04:06 PM
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I think just about anybody could be elected now, except a Muslim. Even an atheist would do better. But I think all the talk about a black man being elected somewhat overlooks the fact that he's almost colorless. The more you listened to him, the more the color evaporated. I'm hoping that his smarts had something to do with it after suffering Mr. Bush's proud anti-intelectualism for the past 8 years. Colin Powell said it best wehn he said we have "a new American President who also happens to be African American." He didn't put himself out there as a black candidate but one who would bridge races and generations.
Tom is right to be skeptical. But let us have a few days of bliss before we have to face realities.
LAleslie is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 04:37 PM
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What is interesting is that Obama is of a Luo decent. Luos have been the economically disadvantaged -- the forgotten tribe so to speak in Kenya. Recall that the post-election violence was largely between the Luos and the Kikuyus. But the entire nation of Kenya is celebrating Obama's victory. It has already made a difference.

The other hugely interesting thing is that the Kenyans are equally in awe of McCain's concession speech as they are of Obama. Africans are more familiar with post-election violence (or at least mud-slinging) than concession speeches. I hope that has made a difference too.

As we speak, there is an interesting post-election jockeying going on in Zambia...
safaridude is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 04:39 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Thank you for this post HariS. I cannot tell you how much it warms my heart to know that people in other parts of the world are so happy with our new President.

I proudly voted for Obama this week and I cried tears of joy when they announced he was the winner. This is the greatest time to be in America. I feel so much hope and optimism for our country and for the rest of the world.
P_M is online now  
Nov 6th, 2008, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
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One amusing anecdote. On our first trip to South Africa, a cab driver asked us whether we liked Bush. When we said we didn't, he said: "Every American I've met hates Bush. I don't understand how he got elected."
LAleslie is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 05:34 PM
Original Poster
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I saw some reactions from Oprah on CNN yesterday. Was pretty dramatic, but, was a fun watch ........

Two things for the whole world to be happy about ........ No more President Bush, THANK GOD for NO PALIN.

Good on you for making your votes count!!!
HariS is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 06:25 PM
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Funny, Leslie - I think that says something about the Americans who don't travel!
Momliz is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 06:50 PM
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Thanks Hari and I've enjoyed the other comments. Exciting times.
atravelynn is offline  
Nov 7th, 2008, 04:32 PM
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Momliz, exactly. Though I did meet a couple of staunch Republicans at the tonier camps.
LAleslie is offline  

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