By Gladson Dungdung
7 November, 2008
A black man’s entering into the white house would encourage, energize and empower the marginalized of India to realize their dreams of enjoying their rights, identity and autonomy as the historic win of Obama is obviously the result of a race for equality and justice.
When the entire world is trapped by the economic crisis, insecurity and threat, the US Senator Barack Obama’s two charismatic words – hope and change finally paved his way to the White House. He not only created the history of becoming the first ever black president of the United State but also created atmosphere for the historic turn out of the voters for change. Soon after the declaration of the result of the US Presidency election, a debate began in the most of the offices on the issues of Obama’s historic win as a fight between blacks and whites, history vs. economic change and marginalized vs. elite. One group sees the Obama’s victory as change of the history by the blacks, and other looks it’s as a simple change caused by the economic crisis in the united state.
But Obama played an inclusive politics by saying, “We are not a collection of red states or blue states but we are, we always will be the United States.” His message was loud and clear that the Americas should go beyond the race, colour and gender to transform their nation. In this election, the America has witnessed the extraordinary transformation, especially in the white people. They were cheering, singing and dancing on the victory of a black man Obama. In terms of the popular votes, he got 52.1 percent comparing to John McCain’s 44.5 percent.
But does it mean the racial discrimination has slipped from the minds and hearts of the Americans? It is obvious, the 96 percent blacks and 42 percent whites voted in favour of Obama and merely 4 percent blacks and 58 percent whites cast their votes for McCain. Secondly, 1,25,000 people had gathered in Chicago to listen the winning speech of Obama, where the numbers of blacks and whites were more or less equal but in the conceding meeting of John McCain was highly dominated by the white people. The majority of Obama’s campaigners were also the blacks and as usual the McCain’s campaigners were the whites. But obviously the victory of Obama is not merely the victory of the blacks over the whites but it is the victory of inclusive politics, clear vision, capability, economic policy and extraordinary campaign.
The historic win should be seen as the result of a resistance by the civil rights activist Rosa Parks, who refused to move to the back of a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her act of defiance in 1955 became a spark that helped ignite the civil rights movement, laying the ground for the march to Washington in 1963, where the civil rights icon Reverend Martin Luther King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. This win is the realization of a dream which Rev. King had dreamt 45 years back of a new America where people would be identified not by their race and colour but by their quality of character. The king scarified his life for the cause.
It is also a result of the hard work of the civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, thousand evangelists and million African-Americans on the one hand and a dream of youth and women who believe in hope and change, which they wish to realize through the young leadership of the United State of America on the other. Consequently, 70 percent youth and 60 percent women chose 47 years old young man Obama by voting against 72 years old McCain. The US election’s result clearly indicates about the choices of Youth in the era of globalization. Therefore, the conservative minds must be ready to change the status quo or be ready to face the consequences.
But after all, does it make any difference to the marginalized especially the indigenous people of India? Indeed, the Obama’s win is a new hope for these people as they are historically marginalized, discriminated and faced inhuman treatment at one hand and their livelihood resources have been taken away from them in the name of the development on the other. Their struggle for identity, autonomy and sovereignty has crossed more than two hundred years. But they are still struggling for survival. A black man’s entering into the white house would encourage, energize and empower the marginalized of India to realize their dreams of enjoying their rights, identity and autonomy as the historic win of Obama is obviously the result of a race for equality and justice.
Gladson Dungdung is a Human Rights Activist and Writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org