By Dominick L. Auci
This article was inspired first, because I like to tickle my Russian friends, who, after decades of dealing with America, have a unique perspective on her special brand of hypocrisy. And second, because my progressive nature, that expects only the very best from my country, gets a certain satisfaction in exposing it, especially when it’s completely ignored by the mainstream media.
Let me start by saying that I have been a long time supporter of President – Elect Obama. I am thrilled by his victory and look forward to the changes he promised over the last two years of the campaign. But I cannot pretend, along with rest of the entire world, that in the election of Obama, America has clearly made some great stride in dealing with its endemic racism and bigotry. From another perspective, the reverse is true. Over 90% of black Americans voted for Obama. That’s an incredible consensus of the sort that led America to criticize the recent elections in Russia. Given the peculiar demographics of the electoral college, one has to wonder if Obama would have won the election if he were white. Skin color clearly mattered and that’s racism. And in America’s Deep South, no one denies that a large number of whites simply couldn’t bring themselves to vote for a black man. Apparently, there are till plenty of unreconstructed rebels left in those Red States.
And here’s something else that will really tickle my Russian friends, because Russia in general is only slightly more tolerant of homosexuals than Iran: Right here, in my own state of California, the most progressive, Bluest State in the Union, voters decisively passed a constitutional amendment that stripped away the basic human right of gays to marry. And what’s most interesting is that Whites and Latinos in California were almost evenly split on the issue, while 7 out of 10 blacks backed the measure. The Obama campaign was directly responsible for registering many, perhaps even a majority of those voters. So in the end, as black leaders from Jessie Jackson to Colon Powel shed tears of joy, as millions of African Americans cheered and celebrated their victory, tens of thousands of gay couples lost basic human rights essentially at the hands of the black community. Regardless of how anyone feels about gays or the gay marriage issue, that’s a quintessentially American bit of hypocrisy, a tragic failure to live up to her own ideals, that perhaps only Russia’s long experience in the cold war can truly appreciate. So far, the American media has completely failed to notice the irony.
So we Americans still have a long way to go, even by our own standards, in removing the dark angles of bigotry, hatred and racism from our nature. But none of this changes the real triumph of Obama’s election for America and the World. After eight vicious years in the dark ages, this election presages the return of open, honest, compassionate and responsible government in Washington. It will mark the return of art and science and the rule of law, practically a renaissance in American culture. Because I still believe that the relationship between Washington and Moscow is perhaps the most important driver of humanity’s shared destiny, I was particularly happy to see an article in Pravda that actually welcomed America back into the world community as friends. I hope other nations will be as forgiving as Russia. But in any event, America is back, perhaps improved, but even by her own standards, far from perfect. But then again, Russians already knew that.
Dominick L. Auci, Ph.D.
Escondido , CA