“It’s the day when no-one must flinch”
In my waking consciousness yesterday I heard James Naughtie talking to Carter Wren, Republican consultant on Radio 4s Today Programme:
“This is a story about Obama”…”The otherness of Obama, not just a matter of colour”…”this man has made history just by him participating in the election”, “…this man has generated such thunder, certainly… it has made so many Americans think”
What leapt out at me was Carter Wrens comment in response to James Naughties question “it is often said in this country [America] the generation of under 35 of white americans are largely colour blind, do you think that’s true?”
“Nah. Race like original sin, it’s just with us and when we start telling ourselves we’ve cured it, or gotten beyond it or healed it, it’s probably an illusion.”
“When I look at John McCain, I understand John McCain, I understand his background, I identify with him. When someone my age  looks at Barack Obama, whether we like him or not, and I found a lot to like but I don’t understand his story. I don’t understand his background so there’s a natural tendency for me to vote for the man I’m more comfortable with. I think that’s how race plays into this”. Carter Wren
then later, again on Obama – “he suits the moment, his articulateness, his unflappability”.
and finally JN notes how for Ray Nelson of Florida that ‘this is the break with the past that he thought might never come’.
I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, history for most people has already been made. Will America welcome in Barack Obama as the new President of the United States? I can’t pretend it doesn’t matter to me, because it does. The ripples from across ‘the atlantic pond’ will effect us little ‘ole UK islanders as profoundly as the result of the US presidential elections will effect Americans. So here I am, listening out for the Fat Lady to see if I recognise the song because it’s time for change.