Peru.21 Op-Ed: A black man in the White House, the historic significance of triumph for Barack Obama

Editorial from today’s Peru.21 newspaper:

By Augusto Álvarez Rodrich (Director of Peru.21)

If the poll projections are not mistaken, a historic event should be realized tonight for the cause of fundamental rights of humanity: The arrival for the first time to the U.S. Presidency of a person of the black race to command the destiny of a country where established racism has solid, deep roots.

It is so much so, that the only explanation for Barack Obama not achieving an electoral triumph tonight in spite of the polls would be the existence of a hidden vote, not identified by the opinion surveys, of voters who prefer to hide their intentions at the voting booth in order to rule out the possibility of a black man reaching the White House.

As El Comercio’s correspondent in the United States, Miguel Vivanco, reminds us, this is what happend to Tom Bradley — a black man — when he lost the gobernatorial election for California, in spite of all the polls assuring his triumph. What was demonstrated after the election is that many white voters lied to pollsters, and that in the end they opted to vote for a rival candidate in order to prevent a black from winning the contest. But this occurred in 1982, more than a quarter century ago.

These racist tendencies most likely have waned since then to the point where it is not an obstacle today for Obama to become the first black president in the history of the United States.

This will not only be a historic event for a country that only four decades ago confronted

This will not only be a historical event for a country that barely four decades ago confronted movements to allow black people the right to carry out such simple daily tasks as traveling on a bus in the same seats as white people, use the same bathrooms as white people, or allowing black children to be educated in the same schools as white children.

The message of the probable electoral triumph of Obama is not only for the United States.  Also, it will be of great utility for so many areas of the world where racism is still sadly a stain in need of eradication. For example, in some European soccer stadiums, and, so as to not stray too far from home, in some recreational spots in Peru.

Sharing is caring!

Comments are closed.