Last night’s landslide victory for President Barack Hussein Obama was not only a victory for people of colour but also for people with foreign-sounding names.
Obama had faced ugly innuendos from some Republican campaigners who used his middle name to associate him with Islam – as if that automatically disqualified him from the presidency. It was indeed this very whispering campaign by senior Republicans – “Well, you know that Obama is a Muslim” – which led Colin Powell to intervene during the election. While some answered factually by stating that Obama is actually a Christian, for Colin Powell the response should have been – what if he is a Muslim? And thank god for such principled interventions.
We should applaud the American people for seeing through all that, and coming out in their millions to vote for Obama and for change in the USA. It has restored my faith in the human race and, although I’m not generally an admirer of the Sun, today’s front-page headline – “one giant leap for mankind” – summed it up exactly. Maybe it’s time for me to go back to NYC for the first time since the 11th of September 2001.