Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Obama Bahama

I'm not sure who this happy looking white couple are, I found them on Google while searching their image database using the words “Obama Bahama”, evidence of just how widespread this man's popularity has become . To commemorate and celebrate Obama's rise to power, a week ago today, I gathered a group of happy Americans, Canadians and Bahamians around a dinner table and a television as we discussed and witnessed the historic inauguration of the first African American man (Barack Obama) to the office of President of the United States, leader of the free world. At one point, I turned to my Bahamian-Canadian friend Ann and said, (tongue firmly planted in cheek), “Well, Ann, I guess this means we're finally equal”. She and I shared a heartly laugh at my little quip. We supped on a pot luck of dishes; peas and rice, fried fish, grilled beef, a multitude of salads and a "to die for" Key Lime Pie. As the night went on it brought back memories of the night a bunch of friends and neighbours gathered around a television at our local doctor - Peter Granger's house in Kleinburg while we watched Neil Armstrong proclaim “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” as he bounced onto the surface of the moon. It does seem a little strange that the election of an African American to the office of President should elicit the same feeling of accomplishment as the huge technological achievement, inspired by John F. Kennedy, of placing a man on the moon, and bringing him safely back to earth. In Obama's case I suppose, its a combination of celebrating the fact that we've come this far with the full realization of the fact that yes, all men are created equal, and the prospect of what we could accomplish now that we have cleared this hurdle under the leadership of such an inspirational and exceptional man. Maybe some of the elation that people feel around this event is that as a part of the human race, we all feel a little better about ourselves, even if we didn't actually get to vote. Here on Harbour Island, not much has changed a week after a black man has moved into the white house that slaves helped to build. But I sense that there is a hope for the future, a hope for the collective good we can all do if we will simply put aside our differences and focus on the task at hand. Amen.

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