The world was hungry for a hero. For too many years, we haven’t had one. No big man to admire, to project our hopes on. When was the last time we were passionate about a politician? When was the last time we felt a person could embody a revolution, a profound change, a new era? My generation didn’t get to see Che Guevara, Kennedy, Martin Luther King. We missed the barricades in 1968, Woodstock, the Man on the moon. I’ve grown up surrounded by grey politicians, unable to inspire the crowds, unable to make young people believe in a better future. But last night millions of young people in the US went to vote, and persuaded familiy and friends to go to vote. Black folks who’d never bothered casting their vote as they thought it’d make no difference to their lives, queued up for hours, convinced this time it’d be different. A country where the average turnout at elections is under 40% saw 70% of the population running to the polls. All this is mind blowing. It gives hope.
We’ve finally found our hero.
Obama is suddenly the President of the world, because we can all love what he represents. The end of legalised racism. The possiblity of becoming the most important person on the planet despite coming from a minority. The strive to change things, defying all expectations. He’s not just the American dream, he’s Martin Luther King’s dream. He’s our generation’s dream.
Obama tapped in the collective psiche. He managed to unite people under one cause. White people recognized themselves in what he represented. A country founded by white Europeans, where blacks arrived in chains, treated like animals, after 200 years of history chose the son of a Kenyot as its chief in command. Yes, we can. Such a simple slogan. 3 words that have unified a country so diverse, so multicultural, so wide.
I live in a city where young black teenagers with not male role models kill each other on a regular basis. Thinking nothing good will ever happen to them, that they will always be discriminated against. Well, it’s not true that they’re bound to underachievement. They can have somebody to look up to.
Of course, the guy now has a terrible responsability, because living up to myth is a hard call. Especially when you’re faced with real problems. But for today the world can put aside its suspicions, its crisis, its cynism, and once again, like it used to do centuries ago, when poets sang of gods and heros and beauty, cebrate the possible dawn of a new era thanks to the advent of a new man. Beautiful, young, and kind, like Homer’s warriors. At least for one night, for a moment at 4am English time, we all experienced that sublime sensation of being in the presence of a HERO. And it was moving. And it brought tears to our eyes. The world was crying tears of joy in the middle of the night.
Thanks Obama. Yes, you did it.I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. T his will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.” And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! B ut not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” Martin Luther King’s