"Our forefathers' promise that 'all men are created equal' can now be put to the test." I fully concur with Benjamin Todd Jealous's feelings of this historic event. This victory was earned and shared communally by the whole nation, even by Nader supporters such as I, and I dare say the McCain supporters who, although they may not have agreed with Obama's opinions, nevertheless could genuinely rejoice and honor the hopefully total end of the color barrier. I can only hope that Obama's recent expressions for Israel's total support will be seriously reviewed in light of Jealous's quote from Thomas Jefferson's literary creation for the Declaration of Independence. That the plight of the Palestinians within Israel since the first Zionist wave into Palestine, and that of the African-American within the US for over two hundered years have parallels, is less due to chance than to similarities in culture and attitudes.
For decades, the slurs and impositions on Palestinians have by and large mirrored those on African-American; calling Palestinians "sand niggers" and "towel heads" and relegating Palestinians to menial service positions was no accident. The Palestinians in every way had to contend with prejudices similar to minority populations within the United States.
Understanding his history well, as most African-Americans would, how then will President-elect Obama create the conditions for a just and equitable Palestinian-Israeli settlement? If Obama cannot forget the roots of discrimination sown by seeds of violence and hate against him and the black community, I can only hope that he has substantially educated himself to the Palestinian events that mirror his own history. Worries and concerns are present, as we all know too well with whom he has surrounded himself. P-E Obama will need to think long and hard in creating justice-based suggestions, which will be the only suggestions that will lead to a final and peaceful settlement in the Middle East.
Richmond , VA
Nov 24 2008 - 4:15pm