The elections in 2008 were supposed to prove that Americans are finally color-blind but they are more color-blinded, fairly obsessed with race and deeply confused.
When Colin Powell jumped ship and went over to a Democratic candidate, this was much in keeping with the later revealed voting patterns of the Black community in the US, more than 90% going for Obama. By now, one needs a capital letter to depict White or Black, even those these labels mean less and less, considering the mixed backgrounds of so many citizens. At the top of the list is of course the elected Prez who happens to be 50/50 of each.
However, as American racial logic goes, the darker designation trumps and was most certainly why the African-American community stonewalled together and tipped the scales. One of the sillier designations of ‘race’ is “Hispanic”, that the residents of Spain might regard with some puzzlement. After all, there are blond Spaniards, and dark WASPs. But as “people of color” (what about pink?), they also contributed significantly to the victory.
I don’t credit nor blame Obama’s campaign for the hypnotic slogan “change” which for simple minded people was the deciding catch word driving them into the voting booths. Hilary started it and thank God, the Clintons are not back in the White House. Even McCain weakly offered “change” of his own, but was not aggressive enough blaming the disastrous monetary policies squarely on the era of the Clintons. The political correctness of lending out money to those who could not pay back more than 8 years ago was the sickness covered up with bandaids and aspirin. Bush and the Republicans should not have had to bear that particular burden.
In the euphoric aftermath, Obama’s victory was not seen as a triumph of one set of values over another, however, but a racial and personality coup. Money had a big deal to do with it, $650 million or more, so the “poor boy who makes good” is a bit disingenuous. Some White people like McCain & Co. could never round up all that dough. So this was not about poor vs. rich.
Hopefully, though, the hype, the silly racial designations, can be put aside and the new leader will draw out of his own personal resources, of which he seems to have plenty, and proceed with dignity and honesty.
The real test if America has grown up would be real color indifference, to get rid of special privileges for minorities, now that they have reached the highest office. In fact, abolishing so-called racial profiling can begin with univerisities that should have a more scientific anthropological view of humankind, not a simplistic, and even false, color based one.