"It is incredible to be watching the American elections from Tanzania, close to where Obama's father was from...where my neighbors are named Barak (meaning blessings in Kiswahili and Arabic)...and where people are still shocked that a half-Kenyan man could have made it this far in the US. I remain hopeful for Tuesday, and my Tanzanian friends say..."don't get your hopes up Emma...the US may not really ready for a man that is in heritage both black and white, Christian and Muslim, African and American, humble and strong...who worked his way up with a fight."
Every day I look at Tanzanian women my age...smarter than I but who didn't have resources to finish secondary school. They could have lived different lives if they were born into my shoes..a white girl from the US. Here 120 kids cram into one classroom...pushing and shoving their way to get an education. And yet despite our privilege and resources, we Americans still fear being diverse, internationally well-traveled, driven, intellectual, articulate, well-read and multicultural. Obama has achieved all these things...without eating off the silver plate. He had to not only prove his capacities to himself - but the skeptics and all those people uncomfortable with his multi everythingness. If this isn't a race thing..how could McCain/Palin still be competition?
I have tried to explain to my colleagues and friends here the critiques they hear on the news..how in America a plumber like Joe could have access to triple digit money and become the icon for commonness...how wanting to reduce poverty makes one a socialist...how having Muslim family questions one's "goodness"...and I am embarrassed to even repeat these viewpoints from my fellow citizens.. Instead I try to reassure them that Barak made it where he is today because his story is like so many other Americans..and that his victory will not be a miracle, but a day long overdue. He is not lucky, he is what is possible in America.
I will be waking to the call to prayer here on Wed. and turning on my TV to watch the final polls come in. I am already saying my prayers that the day will be full of blessings...where we can finally start seeing things in color instead of black and white.
Peace...and I promise to send some Tanzanian stories and photos of hope to come.
What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?
What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.)
Magna Cum Laude
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctorate J.D.)
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study University of Idaho - 2 semesters.
Journalism Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester.
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism