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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

I have never seen anything like this before!

I got up this morning and was able to track the progress of the U.S election by liveblogging and video streaming of news coverage. I am so grateful for my privilege right now – that I have access to such technology, that my bosses humoured me, knowing how little work I was getting done – that I could witness this as it unfolded.

I am struck by the enormity of this moment, and by the futility of trying to find words that would do justice to it. To watching Jesse Jackson weep openly – to seeing the Obama family take the stage, to hear the roar of the crowd, to hear Barack Obama speak words of hope, of inclusion, of inspiration…to see the jubilation on the faces of so many Americans.

As a feminist, I would dearly have loved to see a woman in the Oval Office, but today…this just seems so much *more*. I keep crying and not being able to articulate myself in any meaningful way: that this country, weighed down by its history of slavery, lynchings and the KKK, with white supremacy and racial discrimination and oppression alive and kicking, that this country has elected Barack Obama, a voice of hope and change as their 44th President is just enourmous, and the most trenchant cynicism seems just liquified by the beauty and enormity of this moment in history.

I don’t mean that I think that Obama will be the left’s dream President: he will have to make compromises. Politics is politics, and perhaps American politics even more so. But symbolism and rhetoric have power, power to change the way people think, power to shape society. And the United States has a black President Elect. A President who speaks of hope, of change, of empowerment and inclusion. (And I don’t mean to suggest that the only difference Obama will make is through the symbolism of being the first black American President – after so many years of the Bush administration, his policies will shift the direction of the nation in many ways).

Ok…so I’ll leave you with this link which says it all so much better than I could hope to.

And this link, the transcripte of Barack Obama’s acceptance speech.

Off to drink and be merry

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