Writing for the New York Post, former Phoenix reporter Seth Gitell does an excellent job analyzing the implications of Barack Obama's big win from a politico-racial perspective. There are several sharp insights in the piece, but one in particular--involving how Obama's victory affects our standing in the world--struck me as especially significant:
During the Cold War, hawkish Democrats, such as John Kennedy,
supported civil rights as a tool in the battle against the Soviet
Union. They knew that America's foreign foes would exploit the
propaganda value of a segregated America.
Obama's election turns that thinking around. His unique ethnic
background is no cure-all, but it does send a powerful message to the
world that America is still the home of opportunity and hope. The
United States has become the first advanced Western nation to be led by
a person of color.
Unlike France (where immigrants remain sequestered unhappily in
suburban housing projects) or Germany (where legal immigrants face
numerous hurdles in becoming citizens), in America, a son of a Kenyan
immigrant can become the leader of the most powerful nation in the
world. Barack Obama's election shows that we
are powerful not just because of our military might, but because of the
strength of our ideals.