If you had asked me in the past if I would see a Black man as President-elect, I would ask you the country you were thinking about. Of course, there are many countries with black-skinned majorities. Many have Presidents. Some are even not dictators. Let’s move to more challenging cases. 1978 South Africa? That would be at least theoretically possible, in the home of the Makana FA. Numbers were against the National Party from the start, the Gleneagles Agreement restricting sports contacts had been passed, and pressure was beginning to build. 1988 Namibia? The South African Border War was winding down, and Christmas came with an agreement for Namibian independence. Representative future was near.
Let’s try places where people with colored skin are a minority. 21st Century Europe? Well, as the San Francisco Gate reported, minority members of European governments are few and far between. France has exactly one parliamentary deputy out of 577, even though African ethnics are about 10 percent of the population. Out of 646 members in the House of Commons, Britain has just 15 minorities. There may be more women than America, but they’re basically all white. That’s not true in the United States. While Europeans might make nasty remarks about America and race, it’s interesting to look at the facts. Would every person in France vote for, say, an Algerian? I think not. Or Germans for someone with a Turkish father? Even in a Republican administration, Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice served at the cabinet level. And in real postings, too, not the “Minority Affairs” positions created in Europe. Right now, we have a black woman fourth in the succession line.
Still, for someone of color to reach the top? In 2008 America? When about half the electorate, those 45 and over, were born when racial segregation was legal? When for people over 40, having parents of different races was not everywhere legal?
Yet 52% of those who voted, 64 Million Americans, cast a vote for a Black Man. Well, OK, half-black. Does that make it 32 million colored votes? That is more than the population of European France, 61.9 million. 64 Million people, for Barack Hussein Obama. I was one of them. This was not a simple decision. I really wish Mr Obama did not support abortion. Mr McCain has a somewhat stronger record on that front, though he did not advocate for a total ban. Additionally, Mr McCain, unlike America’s current president, has personal integrity. It’s not obvious. In the Catholic definition, my proportionate reasons were the Iraq war and the choice of Vice President. I do not consider Governor Palin qualified to hold nuclear command codes. Not someone who, according to a Fox News contributor, didn’t know Africa was a continent. Or even as a millionaire, manages to need $150,000 for clothes. Or even though she did reduce travel expenses, she still takes a per diem from Alaska to sleep in her own house. It’s not that hard to be governor of a state with fewer people than Metro Louisville, who has enough oil to have a massive budget surplus.
Fortunately, the world is saved from that possibility, at least for a while. And one of those other great men, from another place, the South African
Mr. Mandela, gave congratulations. As did many others around the world.
How did it happen? Many things we don’t know. The exit polls have a very interesting story. Voters over 65, who spent their entire childhood under segregation, gave 53% of their votes to Mr McCain, 1% more than to Mr Bush four years ago. People between 30 and 64 went slightly for Mr Obama, at about 51%, 4 – 5 points more than Mr Kerry’s vote. But what about those between 18 and 29? Two-thirds, 66 percent, for the next President! Twelve points more!
Generations do change. I am, literally, amazed. And that’s a good thing.