My Random Thoughts

Location: United Kingdom

A Naija Guy living (and loving) in the UK.

Monday, February 18, 2008

...and who would you vote for?

There is a Scenario at the start of Kwame Kwei Armah's play 'Statement of Regret' where one of the characters asks his business partner "if Hilary Clinton was running for US president against Condoleeza Rice, who would you vote for?" (I guess the UK equivalent would be Cherie Blair vs a black Female Tory - someone like the former mayor of Wandsworth, the fiery Lola Ayorinde).

The dilemma is supposed to represent the classic conscience versus own culture or race. I suppose it also assumes the respondent is ideologically left-wing. The question is particularly topical at this time where Obama is running for politcal office and millions of African Americans are being asked to support the charismatic Barack whether or not his policies appeal to them.

In Chris Rock's recent UK stand up tour he had a particularly relevant routine where he says the majority of the Italian Americans are voting for Rudy Giuliani and all the Jews are voting for Liebermann and he ain't even running! He goes on to complain that a notable amount of African Americans are choosing to vote for Hilary because she 'understands black people' and can she understand black people more than Obama? he exclaims.

In the mid Nineties I rejoiced when I heard OJ got off. Not because I thought he was innocent or because I didn't sympathize with Nicole's family, but because the case trancended OJ's guilt or innocence, representing more the inequalities of the American legal system as it applied to the different races.

So faced with Kwame's dilemma who would you vote for Condi or Clinton?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Yes we Can

What do Jesse Dylan,, Common, Scarlett Johansson, Tatyana Ali, John Legend, Herbie Hancock, Kate Walsh, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Adam Rodriquez, Kelly Hu, Amber Valetta, Eric Balfour, Aisha Tyler, Nicole Scherzinger and Nick Cannon have in common? They are all supporters of Barack Obama.

These celebrities have come together to feature in a video shot by Jesse Dylan (son of Bob Dylan) to promote the vote in the United States. The video features real words from a moving Obama speech calling for change in America. Its almost like listening to MLK again...

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballots; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes we can to justice and equality.
Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.
Yes we can heal this nation.
Yes we can repair this world.

Yes we can.

We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics...they will only grow louder and more dissonant ........... We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

Now the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea --

Yes. We. Can.