I spotted some Obama Coffee on someone’s desk at work today. Obamaccino, to be precise. Classic eh?
As I’ve arrived home from work, I’m trying to decide between staying up to watch/listen to the inauguration, as opposed to getting a few hours sleep.
I suspect this is going to be one of those “where were you when…?” kind of events.
I loved listening to the older black Americans on the radio this morning who remembered the civil rights movement, and who had a direct family connection to slavery, and how important it was for them.
Ultimately, of course, he’s still a politician, and will probably never reach the high hopes that so many people have invested so much emotional energy into him.
Symbolism is important though. In fact, I was talking about it with friends on the weekend: the symbolism of the election of the United States’ first President from a non-caucasion background. That for all their faults in America – the history of slavery, the racism, the poverty, etc, etc – they’ve actually managed to do something I just can’t see occurring in Australia in either the short or even medium-term.
And then when you look at American television, you also quickly realise they somehow seem to have managed to have come a hell of a lot closer to a genuine representation of their population than we have in Australia. They have Asian and African-American faces on television, and no-one seems to blink, whereas we still struggle over which middle-aged white man is gonna host Channel 9 News.
Yeah I know we have two quite different countries, with different issues, and significantly different populations, and so the issues are a little more complex.
But wouldn’t it be great if the new host of Channel 9 News was a black woman and no one needed to comment on either her gender or her race, except to say “She’s great, or she’s bloody terrible”?
I suspect I’ll try to get a few hours sleep and then wake up half way through the night to watch a bit of history in the making.
And maybe, just maybe, to keep me awake, I’ll have an Obamaccino.