It completely goes without saying, but what an amazing, beautiful thing this US election has been. Today (yesterday) feels like a bizarro 9/11 in which the world is finally facing good rather than evil.
BBC's North America editor says:
On every level America will be changed by this result - its impact will be so profound that the nation will never be the same. In a sense the policy changes could be the least of it. It's the way the nation sees itself that will change. And the way outsiders see America.
Precisely! It's incredible how much power attitude and perspective has on the lives of nations and their people. Sometime around the year 2003 I think we all looked at America and despaired. Where were the rational, confident people we thought would have the sense to see through a sham war and a shitty president? How could America so ignore the protestations of the world, the reason and value of the United Nations, and just trample over truth in favour of warfare? Why was America suddenly a bigoted, insane theocracy on a medieval-style crusade? How could a man who had the heads of his enemies delivered to his office be in charge of the most powerful nation in the world? And then to be elected AGAIN in 2004!
Bad times. Bad years to grow up in, absorbing the overwhelming negativity and pessimism the era.
This election, however, will go a long way to calming that despair and wiping away the manure smeared on America's reputation.
And what this means for African-Americans is beyond words, of course. It was so touching to see the tears on Rev. Jesse Jackson's face, and to hear Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter speak at Obama's church. Thinking about MLK jr today makes me wish that there really is an afterlife and that all the people who've suffered and died because of their skin colour can somehow enjoy this moment.
I can't say I actually believe that's so, and I know racism will continue, and that Obama now has the worst job in the world and probably won't do things perfectly, and that America will make me shout in rage again, but at least for now, I think we've finally joined Martin Luther King Jr on his mountain top.