It was a carnival par excellence, a colourful mela American style. The impressive crowd that thronged Pennsylvania Avenue, from the White House right up to Capitol Hill, came not just to see Barack Hussein Obama, a black man, being sworn in for a second term as the 44th US President in the 57th inauguration, but to witness the second coming of history. To celebrate. To feel empowered.
There were more coloured people in the gathering—so representative of the coalition of blacks, Hispanics, Asians, women and youth that gave Obama such an overwhelming victory. Three-fourths of Indian-origin Americans—they now number over three million—voted for him too. Why did they flock to the public inauguration in such large numbers this time as well? “Who knows when we will have another black president?” explained Patricia Leak from Raleigh, North Carolina. A black woman who met her husband at Obama’s inauguration four years ago, Patricia brought along four nieces on the bus all the way from Raleigh.
Obama, the son of a black Muslim Kenyan father and a white American mother, used two Bibles—the ones owned by Abraham Lincoln and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr—for the swearing-in. This was symbolic of the struggle for equality in America, beginning with Lincoln’s emancipation of the slaves 150 years ago, to King’s civil rights movement, which reached a crescendo with his famous “I have a dream” speech delivered here 50 years ago, and ultimately to Obama becoming the first black president. A scenario long deemed unlikely given the wounds left by 487 years of African American history. No wonder Obama is aware of the burden US race relations history has placed on him. He said in his inaugural address, “What binds this nation together is not the colours of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional, what makes us America is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
What do race relations mean in today’s America? Quite something new actually. Nearly 14 million white and black American are living together as spouses, partners or same-sex couples. Under five per cent of the American population. “But,” says sociologist Dan Lichter of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, “this might be evidence that some of the historical boundaries that separate the races are breaking down.” Last February, a Pew Research Center study showed 83 per cent of Americans were for blacks and whites dating each other! Three-fourths of those surveyed were white.
Obama went on, “The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few, or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a republic, a government of, and by, and for the people. Entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed. And for more than 200 years we have. Through blood drawn by lash, and blood drawn by sword, we noted that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave, and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.”
Since he does not have to worry about any more elections, analysts expect him to be more decisive and tough to ensure he can execute his plans for America’s future and secure his place in its history and be ranked alongside Lincoln and King as champions of equality for all Americans. Though there is grumbling aplenty about Obama’s somewhat patchy record in office, the satisfied outnumber the dissenters. He ended the Iraq war and will pull out the 68,000 American troops left in Afghanistan next year. The two wars have cost a staggering $1.4 trillion since 2001. Think of what the money saved by ending two costly wars will do for the economy!
There have been more than a 100 court cases questioning Obama’s place of birth, his religion and his eligibility to be president. No judge has bought into the crazy theories, but between a tenth and a fifth of the population, according to most polls, still believe Obama is a Muslim, foreign-born or a socialist. Some are still searching for ways to have the president declared illegitimate! And what does an African American president mean for the other coloured communities? I ask Indian ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao, “What are the chances of an Indian American occupying the White House, say by 2050?” She smiles and quips, “Why not?”
(Former Onlooker and India Today editor S. Venkat Narayan is a globally known broadcaster)
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
"13) 780 billion dollar stimulus bills?? Really?? All the money the government will be spending to stimulate the economy is in the economy already. It won't magicalyy appear out of somewhere.
This is Bastiat, a real liberal, in the 19th century - http://www.econlib.org/library/Bastiat/basEss1.html "
The real economy works like this. The actual data is worth a look. See
click on the https and open in another page.
One look and you will understand it all.
Does Obama not know this? Deficit = created money = peoples' surplus + or- foreign deficits. And govt debt =red area(positive downward) = blue area (positive above axis) + foreign deficits (positive below axis) = peoples' wealth.
>>>> //It was in the gutter when you started it!//
>> True! I had to reach down to you there.
It is your home. I tried to pull you out, but that is not easy.
//It was in the gutter when you started it!//
1)True! I had to reach down to you there. I thought I could pull you out of the depth of the gutter delusions of intellectual adequacy you had reached.
Sooner or later, when you stop being a 'useful idiot' & reach a higher than room temp IQ you will realise what a disaster Obama has been.
2)On some issues he's been better than Bush. And on certain issues(which you conveniently ignore or pretend not to see), objectively analysed, he has indeed been worse than Bush.
If you disliked Bush, there is very little reason for you to like President Obama apart from the few reasons I already stated in an earlier post. He is charming, a good orator(with his teleprompter), a racial minority. Judged on actions though, Bush and him, are not very different.
3)Here's an Iraq claim.
And voting against the war was convenient for Obama. Unlike his politically convenient decision to vote against the war, both Ron and Rand Paul are anti - military 'offence' and mean it.
Obama's promise was to withdraw all troops at a much earlier stage in his presidency. It took him 3 and a half years min to get it done.
And your response is -"Boo Hoo, you watch Fox news".
Considering their and your average IQ similiarity, maybe you've been adding to their ratings.
4)More drone strikes in Pakistan under Obama than Bush & more people killed - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/17/us-drone-strikes-pakistan-waziristan
5)And as already previously mentioned, Obama even took sides and intervened like the hardline statist he is on some issues, and took sides in the Libya conflict. You wouldn't defend Bush for doing this. To defend Obama for doing the same and much more reeks of prejudice. So he is happy to increase on Bush's wars and then start some new ones of his own.
6)Drone warfare spending race & Obama was/is happy to pursue it.
7)I think I already mentioned defence spending levels going up under Obama as compared to Bush. And I already posted a link from the Daily show and the religous BS rhetoric mixing with war making the current yank government sound very similiar to the one headed by Bush. Also, The war on drugs has got more intense under Obama. Both Ron and Rand Paul oppose it.
As for the patriot act, the point being made is that Bush was criticised for the same, Obama is clearly as bad on this issue as well. Double standards here are amusing! Again, only Rand Paul takes a stand on this issue. Which is what a lot of people fed up with religious and statist BS want. Obama, is not giving it.
8)Here, Obama like the monarch that he must at times think he is and his buddies do something quite outrageous. They want police to NOT be stopped from questioning inititatives unless a defendant's lawyer is present.
9)Explain to me what is this BS - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House_Office_of_Faith-Based_and_Neighborhood_Partnerships
And why Obama continued it. As an irreligious pagan person, this is shocking. YOu have the right to indulge in these inititatives but keep them out of politics.
10)Sorry mate but you have to lobotomised to not see this contradiction - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seAR1S1Mjkc
Nice , from Obama, right?
Ermmm yeah, here, have a read - http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/12/us/politics/12signing.html?_r=0n
This was not too much later he got elected. Again the double standards are pathetic. I think he's almost up to a 100 signing statements isn't he?
11)This is actually shocking because I thought in every way Obama is more compassionate on a personal level than Bush - http://libertyondisplay.blogspot.in/2009/04/bush-was-more-charitable-than-obama.html
12)Bush was a large spender. Obama again, hardly ever fails to outdo him - http://www.npr.org/2011/01/25/133211508/the-weekly-standard-obama-vs-bush-on-debt
13) 780 billion dollar stimulus bills?? Really?? All the money the government will be spending to stimulate the economy is in the economy already. It won't magicalyy appear out of somewhere.
This is Bastiat, a real liberal, in the 19th century - http://www.econlib.org/library/Bastiat/basEss1.html
This, for example is a bunch of Bullcrap designed to get support from a base of useful idiots(you, qualify, sir) - http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/08/transition.wrap/
And anyone that knows more than squat about economics understands this. But this is the President of the USA. GAAdd Bless America!
The right scared america into the war on terror and the left scared useful idiots into stimulus and bailout packages.
14)Bush like lack of innovation ability from someone who a lot of people consider a good orator - http://dailycontributor.com/obama-argues-with-teleprompter-video/4598/
& this is Bush like stupidity - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpGH02DtIws
And BTW Still no name provided in response to my claim that Rand Paul is one of the more, if not most intelligent and articulate individuals in yankland politics. The reason is clear, there are no politicians in america as intellectually sophisticated and standing for real liberalism as the Pauls.
Now, once you say 'peace' and your tatas and bye byes I would expect a sane individual to shove off(Good riddance). I would, if I said I'm off.
Jog on then, and start thinking beyond stage one instead of just venting & self projecting at me.
P.S. Unlike you, when I say I'm done, I don't come back. Feel free to have the last word and I shall let the unbiased, unlobotomised individuals decide who makes sense.
>> you have taken this conversation down the shitpot into the gutter.
It was in the gutter when you started it!
Yeah, with that last comment you have taken this conversation down the shitpot into the gutter.
Good job ignoring everything that made you uncomfortable and digging your head into the sand to hum yourself into a deluded utopian slumber.
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