Thursday, August 28, 2008

One for the History Books


Regardless of what happens in November, the 2008 election in November will be an historic one, one that the experts will be talking about, writing about, and lecturing on for decades. For the first time in our history, a woman and a black man emerged as the two most serious contenders for the right to be the nominee for one of the major political parties. For the first time in our history, one of the two major candidates for president of the US will be a black man. And, it happened in the midst of a war, with worsening relations with much of Arab world and with Russia, and even with Europe, with an economy that is staggering along, with serious climate changes approaching, with housing prices plummeting, and with energy prices fluctuating almost daily.

What was that old saying about living in interesting times?

I doubt that I will live long enough to see it, but I would really like to read a book written some 20 or 30 years from now that discusses the events of this year-- perhaps one written in 2030 or 2040 when we have gotten far enough beyond the turmoil for a clearer glimpse at just what did happen and perhaps why it happened at this time.

I wonder if I will see a black president, or a woman president, or a Jewish or Hispanic or a Chinese or Korean or a Vietnamese or an Iraqi president one day, or the first openly homosexual president or the first Native American president?

We still have some distance to travel, I think.

Any thoughts?


  1. Why is Obama considered black when in fact he is half black and half white, hence he is "mixed"?

  2. Nick,

    Logically you are correct. However, in these here United States of A, one black ancestor is more significant than any number of white ancestors.

    A person could have one black great, great, great, great, great grandmother or grandfather, and that person will be considered black.

    In New Orleans, because it had been belonged to the French for some time, there were various terms to define the relationship of black and white ancestry.

    For example, a person who was one-quarter black or one-quarter white was called a quadroon.

    However, in the rest of the US, the rule was the "one-drop" rule. One drop of "black blood" was sufficient to make that person black.

    Is it rational? Logical? No, but that's the way it is here.