My three grandchildren are of mixed heritage – Caribbean-British. My eldest grandchild was born from my precious daughter, Nshorna, a 19 year-old teenage mother. Her name is from American Indian for “Spring.” An excellent age, incidentally, to give birth. Along with countless others, I appreciated last week the election of Barack Obama. He is a man of mixed heritage, born from a teenage pregnancy, with his roots in Africa, lived in Indonesia and educated in Hawaii (subjected to a 19th century conquest by the USA).
He has campaigned long and hard to be the President of the United States on the slogans of “hope, change and yes, we can.” Does he have the metal for the job? Will he confuse change with a mild modification of the past?
The policies of Barack Obama will determine his authority, not the colour of his skin. What are some of the major issues he has to address – urgently?
US government desire to impose its will on the rest of the world
700 military bases around the world,
campaign against the Arab/Islamic world,
US war on Iraq,
US war on Afghanistan,
violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty
genocide of Darfur,
humanitarian crisis of the Palestinians inflicted by the Israeli government
desperate poverty of sub-Sahara Africa
worldwide financial crisis due to greed and corruption in Wall Street and London,
obsession with economic growth,
exploitive cheap labour by corporations,
executions by the State and the military,
exploitation and decimation of resources,
violence, poverty, imprisonments, rising unemployment and wretched health care for the poor in the USA ….
plus dealing with immense urgency of climate change
Yes, it is time for a change. Yes, we can. We are in urgent need of an entirely fresh discourse about life on Earth. Obama can help get it underway. If not , we will proceed without him.
We will soon have a clear sense of the direction of the White House. It will take incredible conviction of heart and mind to shift the destructive and downward decline of life on Earth.
Let us keep an unflinching trust and active support for NGO organisations, grassroot networks and the Sangha. Let us wait and see whether there is a real change in values and priorities from our political masters.
The Buddha remarked that the elements will not cause a cataclysm on Earth but the lack of awakening, practices (including policies) and networks working together.
Please remember is it is President Elect Barack Obama – not Barack Obuddha. The Buddha, himself, would squirm at such a challenge. Mr Obama has a part to play for change. Let’s see if its a major role …..