Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – By Yilma Bekele

October 27th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

It is an exiting time to be in the US. The Super power is entering another phase of its constant transformations. It is an amazing country indeed. Right now we are witnessing the charting of a new path. (more…)

It is an exiting time to be in the US. The Super power is entering another phase of its constant transformations. It is an amazing country indeed. Right now we are witnessing the charting of a new path. The country is entering a new phase.

No matter the progress, race was always an issue. It just refused to go away. The story is as old as the New World. On his way to India, Christopher Columbus stumbled upon land in 1492. That is five hundred sixteen years ago. In Jamestown Virginia, a British North America Colony approximately twenty Africans were sold into slavery. That was three hundred eighty nine years ago. Massachusetts Colony legalized slavery in 1641. That was three hundred sixty seven years ago. The civil Rights act was passed in 1964 ‘a land mark piece of legistilation that outlawed racial segregation in schools, public places, and employment.’ That is forty-four years ago.

Barrack Obama has a good possibility to be elected leader of the most powerful nation. Barrack Obama is black. The significance of this transformation is not limited to the US alone. This is what you would call ‘Planet Wide Alert’ of the ‘Third Kind.’ Like all human past where a single event has transformed history, the mere selection of Senator Obama as a legitimate contender for the Presidency was a moment of alleluia.

The fact that he has more than a plausible chance to get elected is beyond reckoning. No one saw it coming. Scientists can track the trajectory of an asteroid hurling through space billions of light years away, peer back in time and witness the birth of the universe, identify over twenty thousand genes in the human DNA but they did not see Barrack coming.

Barrack was in a stealth mode.

Barrack Obama is a perfect example of “keep your eye on the ball” concept. He knew what he wanted. He stayed focused. Watching him is watching human resolve at its optimum. He was climbing the highest mountain under a microscope. Our Barrack did good. They are running out of adjectives to describe him. Cool, unflappable, steely, focused, centered, and according to the New York Times, oracle of the Western Hemisphere, “Mr. Obama has met challenge after challenge, growing as a leader and putting real flesh on his early promises of hope and change. He has shown a cool head and sound judgment. We believe he has the will and the ability to forge the broad political consensus that is essential to finding solutions to this nation’s problems.”

Now doesn’t that feel great? The son of Africa saving the Western world from its follies. Now please don’t blame for feeling smug regarding someone else’s accomplishment? Let us just say I am looking at the bigger picture. Shaka Zulu united the Zulu’s into an empire, Tewodros planted the seeds of a greater Ethiopia, Menilik repulsed the army of a European power on the African Continent and Haile Sellasie created the Organization Of African Unity. Senator Barrack Obama is opening a new chapter in the history of Black people on this planet.

I am so sorry for focusing so much on the color of Senator Obama’s skin. But that hapless opponent and his partner have made it so. They fight dirty. They brought all of yesterday’s luggage to today’s contest. Oh, they used everything including the ‘kitchen sink’ as the American expression goes to throw at him. It just bounced back. Barrack was just like King Tut. Expressionless and thoughtful. Focused on his message not on McCain’s game of divide and conquer.

Sounds familiar don’t it? We have witnessed this before. You don’t remember do you? Yes, that was what Kinijit did to Woyane. Please watch the famous ‘debates’ to see the full impact of ‘seasoned reasoning ‘ against ’hate induced hysteria’ at its best and worst. Kinijit appealed to the power of the individual and a way out while Woyane relied on stirring hate and fear and the ghost of the Derg. Kinijit did not dwell on the past, rather on the possibilities of tomorrow.

In all the debates with Senator McCain, Senator Obama stayed focused on message forcing his opponent to resort to irrational behavior as the debate progressed. The Kinijit debaters like Dr. Berhanu; Dr. Yakob and others led the charge with such eloquence and clarity they became a formidable force. Woyane cadres were left speech less muttering neftegna, Derg, and other insults. You can tell they were out of their league. The people came to realize Kinijit made sense. The regime was left naked. It couldn’t even win its capital city. Kinijit won by a land slide. The same fate awaits MacCain/Palin team.

For the sake of Africa and black people everywhere, we all hope Senator Obama wins. To be a little bit more selfish, we in East Africa will gain a lot from the Obama administration. Democratic forces will have an ally in stressing the need for democracy and respect for human rights everywhere. Respect for basic human right will replace this obsession with the war on terror.

In his acceptance speech in Denver, Mr. Obama said, “Government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves: protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.” We couldn’t ask for more. At his victory speech Minnesota he also said “the president of the United States isn’t afraid to let any petty dictator know where America stands and what we stand for.”

What does Obama’s victory mean to Ethiopia? One thing is for sure; Senator Obama is not going to fight for our freedom. As a matter of fact there is no force on this planet that is going to liberate us. Freedom is won by those who fight for it. Freedom is the result of an arduous struggle. Moral strength of the individual to do what is right goes in hand with collective strength of society to stand up for what is just.

Thus, if we are serious about dragging our wounded, tired and bankrupt mother to safety this is another golden opportunity to get our act together and think of a higher goal and purpose as opposed to the selfish and self-defeating path we have been taking. We can stand as one and present a coherent and far-reaching program to the new administration. The goal of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights is our unifying cry. I am sure President Obama will have no quarrel with that. No amount of lobbying can change that.

It is gratifying to see the Democratic Party and Senator Obama using Kinijit’s playbook. We wish them a better luck. We promise to learn from them of the importance of ‘keeping our eye on the ball’

Comments are closed.