EDITORIAL: Congratulations, President Barak Obama, the 44th President of the United States of America
By Tecola W. Hagos
Congratulations President Barak Obama, the 44th President of the United States of America. Congratulations First Lady Michelle Obama, and First Daughters, Malia Ann Obama and Sasha Obama.
In 2008, the people of the United States elected Barak Obama, a man of great intellect, vision, and faith, who embodied the very best qualities of human beings in all of history, as the 44th President of the oldest Democratic nation in the history of the World. This 2008 election speaks very highly of Barak Obama, but it also speaks as much if not more highly of the people of the United States. I witnessed with great joy and bewilderment the unusual enthusiasm of young and old, men and women, even teenagers and children in support of the Presidency campaign of Barak Obama. I realized that I was witnessing something profound and historic taking place in the psyche of Americans, a great change in the national ethos.
I detected the tell-tell signs of these profound changes in Americans some years back in my students, who were mostly suburbanites from different ethnic background and social standing, that the issue of race discrimination in class discussions was becoming exceedingly hollow and to a degree superficial. And I, prematurely, criticized my students for espousing some form of post-modern philosophical tendencies—of narcissistic self-love. What I failed to recognize was that the young generations of Americans were far ahead of me, very much well adjusted and becoming comfortable in sharing what America offered without any claim of privileged entitlement due to ethnic or race identity. It seems those students had profoundly different relations with each other and with their respective communities marked by tolerance of differences and willingness to accept even exotic newness as a matter of course. The proof was right with me in my very life where I had full classes most times despite my accent, attended by such suburbanites. The 2008 election speaks eloquently to that profound change in most young people of the United States.
It has become already a cliché to say that Barak Obama is the first African-American President of the United States since the election of George Washington as the first President of the United States in 1789. I write thus, for Barak Obama has already transcended ethnic designations and has recharged the American-dream with new vigor and has added high universal ethical dimensions more than any other President in the history of the United States since Abraham Lincoln.
It is sadly true that African Americans, indigenous people, and new immigrants et cetera had suffered greatly in the past in the United States of America. But that is not the only story, for Americans have also profoundly changed and progressed toward the recognition of common humanity. Several past Governments had failed in helping establish peace and human justice in a number of nations around the world. In fact, during the immediate past Government of President Bush, Americans were tested as never before. America lost its prestige in the eyes of both friends and foes due to an unpopular war with Iraq. However, the United States of 2009 is drastically different in almost every aspect dealing with questions of human rights and democratic rights, from the United States of previous eras.
I salute with deep respect Mrs. Michelle Obama, for her grace, intellect, high moral standard, courage, and above all for being a devoted wife and a loving mother of two beautiful well behaved Children. In the Family Obama, I see what a virtuous family looks like. And I am inspired and humbled witnessing history unfold, and I am hopeful not just for the people of the United States but for all human beings around the Globe, in this new young President: Barak Obama. Thank you President Obama for lifting us all above pettiness and for directing our gaze toward the stars. God Bless You and your Family. God Bless America. And God Bless Ethiopia!
Tecola W. Hagos
January 20, 2009