A Dutch friend of mine, Bente, who now lives and works in New Orleans (of all places!) and who didn’t sleep much last night, hung out at a few places, and everywhere she went, she watched the results with a full house of serious Obama fans.
Allow me to freely translate some of her thoughts:
It’s a historical day in America. More than we sober Dutch people realise. Today a black president was elected.
That Obama is not a real African-American – his father was a Kenyan student in Hawaii and his mother was a white American – barely makes a difference. The man has coloured skin so he’s black and here this means that you’re “one of us” (at least for African-Americans). For many conservative white people, it’s just as bad: the man is black and therefore evil.
That the colour of one’s skin is so important never ceases to amaze me, but here it’s a fact. Obama’s tint has united many and as of today every black kid can grow up with the idea that they too can become president.
I was never this happy about an election result in the Netherlands, but this really touched me. Not because I think the man is a saint or will bring about worldly changes. No, he’s going to have a tough time, and if he survives this, I’ll be impressed. However, the hope he gives people, especially African-Americans is something no one can take away from them. And who knows, maybe something will really change.
UPDATE: The photo credit is always of who takes the picture, not of who is in it!