Open thread- history made.

I almost can’t believe it. One newscaster announced “Barack Hussein Obama has just become the 44th President of the United States” and I burst out laughing.
1st_black_pres.jpg

Someone pinch me.

As all the headlines read- history was made last night.

I’m awed by the level of civil participation that we’ve witnessed over the last few months (and for some, since the primaries). Family and friends have been making phone calls, going door to door even yesterday, were poll monitors… it’s been wonderful to witness. One friend was mentioning that in the 60s, they used to protest for really innocuous things- like asking for a law that was already in place to be implemented. But it was the act of organizing that authorities found threatening.

Now I’m curious as to what changes this administration will actually bring, what it will mean for Sikhs, for minorities, for women.

I’m assuming that people have a lot on their minds right now. Let’s try an open thread. Feel free to comment on whatever last night’s results have brought to mind.

(Illustration by Patrick Moberg, thanks Gurpreet for the link!)


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25 Responses to “Open thread- history made.”

  1. Reema says:

    J.Kaur, I feel the same way. (cautiously) optimistic. It's been a while. And it feels good.

  2. J.Kaur says:

    what have last night's results brought to my mind? for the first time in my life, i feel optimistic about the future of my country. i'm unashamedly proud to be american today. silly? maybe. i guess i don't care. it's a great day to be an american.

    let's see where the next four years take us.

  3. J.Kaur says:

    what have last night’s results brought to my mind? for the first time in my life, i feel optimistic about the future of my country. i’m unashamedly proud to be american today. silly? maybe. i guess i don’t care. it’s a great day to be an american.

    let’s see where the next four years take us.

  4. Reema says:

    J.Kaur, I feel the same way. (cautiously) optimistic. It’s been a while. And it feels good.

  5. That Guy says:

    Too many people claim that this is a win against racism. If so, people need to stop making comments about electing our first African-American president and realize that he should be referred to as an American just like the rest of us. I'm tired of being called a racist because I voted against Barack Obama. It's truly how some people have enough ignorance to claim that over 55 million people are racist because they voted for McCain and not for Obama.

    I honestly never felt that either candidate was qualified to run this country, and I always feared could happen in this great nation's future. But it is true… We will have change…

  6. That Guy says:

    Too many people claim that this is a win against racism. If so, people need to stop making comments about electing our first African-American president and realize that he should be referred to as an American just like the rest of us. I’m tired of being called a racist because I voted against Barack Obama. It’s truly how some people have enough ignorance to claim that over 55 million people are racist because they voted for McCain and not for Obama.

    I honestly never felt that either candidate was qualified to run this country, and I always feared could happen in this great nation’s future. But it is true… We will have change…

  7. Rimmy says:

    HAHA. me and my roommate looked and this and started HYSTERICALLY laughing.

    hahah. thanks reema! you made our morning.

  8. Rimmy says:

    HAHA. me and my roommate looked and this and started HYSTERICALLY laughing.

    hahah. thanks reema! you made our morning.

  9. Reema says:

    Rimmy- my pleasure 😉 though I can't really take any credit for it- the illustration is by Patrick Moberg and I got the pic from a friend.

    That Guy- People might be talking in hyperboles right now because it's a major event, even if it's just symbolic. But I haven't met anyone who assumes that EVERYONE who voted for McCain just didn't want to vote for a black guy. There are definitely people who just don't want big government or didn't want both Congress and the Executive to be of the same party. However, these people still appreciate the significance of last night's results. Of course a black President doesn't mean that all vestiges of racism will suddenly be erased from the entire country. But it's a milestone. It IS a win against racism.

    This isn't like Indira Gandhi being perceived as a milestone for women's achievement in India, or Benazir Bhutto for Pakistan because they came from political aristocracy- they were privileged exceptions.

    Mr. Obama came from obscurity. And people democratically elected him, based on his platform and proposals, despite the fact that he didn't fit the old traditional image of blond, blue-eyed "American." Of course he's American, but for too long that title "American" has publicly encompassed too narrow a community. Mr. Obama's campaign embraced the larger (true) American community. And the majority of the population agreed with him re: his vision of what constitutes "American". His and the voters' success in making race a non-issue IS a win against racism.

  10. Reema says:

    Rimmy- my pleasure 😉 though I can’t really take any credit for it- the illustration is by Patrick Moberg and I got the pic from a friend.

    That Guy- People might be talking in hyperboles right now because it’s a major event, even if it’s just symbolic. But I haven’t met anyone who assumes that EVERYONE who voted for McCain just didn’t want to vote for a black guy. There are definitely people who just don’t want big government or didn’t want both Congress and the Executive to be of the same party. However, these people still appreciate the significance of last night’s results. Of course a black President doesn’t mean that all vestiges of racism will suddenly be erased from the entire country. But it’s a milestone. It IS a win against racism.

    This isn’t like Indira Gandhi being perceived as a milestone for women’s achievement in India, or Benazir Bhutto for Pakistan because they came from political aristocracy- they were privileged exceptions.

    Mr. Obama came from obscurity. And people democratically elected him, based on his platform and proposals, despite the fact that he didn’t fit the old traditional image of blond, blue-eyed “American.” Of course he’s American, but for too long that title “American” has publicly encompassed too narrow a community. Mr. Obama’s campaign embraced the larger (true) American community. And the majority of the population agreed with him re: his vision of what constitutes “American”. His and the voters’ success in making race a non-issue IS a win against racism.

  11. P.Singh says:

    Great pic Reema.

    I too felt a rush of optimism last night, and it hasn't entirely subsided.

    I was talking with a friend over lunch today, and we discussed a marathon t.v. session we had a few years ago, when we got caught up in the show 24. The President of the United States in that show, at that time, was a black man named David Palmer. I recall all of us agreeing that it was impossible for a black man to become president, unable to see it as even a possibility within the next hundred years….we saw this show 7 years ago or so.

    In the short space of 7 years, the seemingly ridiculous fantasy of a black man as president, has become reality – amazing.

    I think of the turban-wearing Sikh politicians holding public office in Canada and, a year ago, and it would have been difficult for me to envision a Sikh as Prime Minister of Canada, at least in my lifetime. Now, hell, I think it could happen within the next 20 years, the next 10 years.

    I realize that many may have difficulty picturing a sardar as Prime Minister, and many may consider it as unlikely a scenario as a black man becoming President of the United States….oh wait. Yeah -impossible doesn't really mean impossible anymore.

  12. P.Singh says:

    Great pic Reema.

    I too felt a rush of optimism last night, and it hasn’t entirely subsided.

    I was talking with a friend over lunch today, and we discussed a marathon t.v. session we had a few years ago, when we got caught up in the show 24. The President of the United States in that show, at that time, was a black man named David Palmer. I recall all of us agreeing that it was impossible for a black man to become president, unable to see it as even a possibility within the next hundred years….we saw this show 7 years ago or so.

    In the short space of 7 years, the seemingly ridiculous fantasy of a black man as president, has become reality – amazing.

    I think of the turban-wearing Sikh politicians holding public office in Canada and, a year ago, and it would have been difficult for me to envision a Sikh as Prime Minister of Canada, at least in my lifetime. Now, hell, I think it could happen within the next 20 years, the next 10 years.

    I realize that many may have difficulty picturing a sardar as Prime Minister, and many may consider it as unlikely a scenario as a black man becoming President of the United States….oh wait. Yeah -impossible doesn’t really mean impossible anymore.

  13. Suki says:

    Mr. Obama came from obscurity.

    Bill Clinton didn't grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth.

  14. Suki says:

    Mr. Obama came from obscurity.

    Bill Clinton didn’t grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth.

  15. Camille says:

    [quote comment="8008"]Mr. Obama came from obscurity.

    Bill Clinton didn't grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth.[/quote]

    Neither did Barack Obama.

  16. Camille says:

    [quote comment=”8008″]Mr. Obama came from obscurity.

    Bill Clinton didn’t grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth.[/quote]
    Neither did Barack Obama.

  17. Jodha says:

    Sorry to burst the bubble.

    For those of us with the 'audacity to hope' for a 'change' in Palestinian-Israeli affairs and some degree of even-handedness, it seems we are being set up rather quickly for disappointment.

  18. Jodha says:

    Sorry to burst the bubble.

    For those of us with the ‘audacity to hope’ for a ‘change’ in Palestinian-Israeli affairs and some degree of even-handedness, it seems we are being set up rather quickly for disappointment.

  19. Reema says:

    Totally different bubble Jodha. The historical significance of his win remains intact and has more to do with the electorate than Obama himself. :)

    But it's probably time to shift focus to what future policies of the new administration will actually look like.

    It doesn't look like Obama had ever promised change on the US's stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…

    From a Council of Foreign Affairs blog:

    Morning Update: Obama on Middle East, Posted on Monday, May 19th, 2008 by campaign2008

    Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) says Israel will “have to acknowledge that some of the settlement policies make it very difficult to create a functioning Palestinian state” and Palestinians must “recognize Israel” and “stop threatening violence” (Reuters).

    Morning Update: Obama, Clinton, Israel, Posted on Thursday, June 5th, 2008 by campaign2008

    Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) both spoke before the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference Wednesday. Obama vowed to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapons capability and promised to ensure “Israel’s qualitative military advantage” by implementing what he called a “Memorandum of Understanding” that would grant Israel $30 billion over the next decade….Arab leaders responded unfavorably to Obama’s assertions about Jerusalem, al-Jazeera reports. Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said Obama’s comments on Israel proves “there will be no change in the U.S. administration’s foreign policy on the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

  20. Reema says:

    Totally different bubble Jodha. The historical significance of his win remains intact and has more to do with the electorate than Obama himself. :)

    But it’s probably time to shift focus to what future policies of the new administration will actually look like.

    It doesn’t look like Obama had ever promised change on the US’s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…

    From a Council of Foreign Affairs blog:

    Morning Update: Obama on Middle East, Posted on Monday, May 19th, 2008 by campaign2008

    Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) says Israel will have to acknowledge that some of the settlement policies make it very difficult to create a functioning Palestinian state and Palestinians must recognize Israel and stop threatening violence (Reuters).

    Morning Update: Obama, Clinton, Israel, Posted on Thursday, June 5th, 2008 by campaign2008

    Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) both spoke before the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference Wednesday. Obama vowed to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapons capability and promised to ensure Israels qualitative military advantage by implementing what he called a Memorandum of Understanding that would grant Israel $30 billion over the next decade….Arab leaders responded unfavorably to Obamas assertions about Jerusalem, al-Jazeera reports. Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said Obamas comments on Israel proves there will be no change in the U.S. administrations foreign policy on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

  21. sonny says:

    nope, obama has been putting forth a very pro-israel no matter what what line throughout his campaign…but the emmanual appointment is still really disappointing. and now lawrence summers too! during the debates i pretty much cringed any time he opened his mouth about foreign policy in any way. he is very committed to maintaining the US's role as an imperialist country. sure he'll do it differently than bush did and in a way that isn't as unilateral and doesn't piss off the whole planet completely, but nevertheless…

    here's a helpful article i just read. "hegemony with a happy face"…
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/nov/

  22. sonny says:

    nope, obama has been putting forth a very pro-israel no matter what what line throughout his campaign…but the emmanual appointment is still really disappointing. and now lawrence summers too! during the debates i pretty much cringed any time he opened his mouth about foreign policy in any way. he is very committed to maintaining the US’s role as an imperialist country. sure he’ll do it differently than bush did and in a way that isn’t as unilateral and doesn’t piss off the whole planet completely, but nevertheless…

    here’s a helpful article i just read. “hegemony with a happy face”…
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/nov/05/barackobama-foreignpolicy

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