Obama won. I was moved to receive this text message tonight. I strangely identify with his presidency more than any other. Perhaps I am of age to care. I sense this generation more mine own.
A few months ago a good friend convinced me to see a recent film about Obama, “2016: Obama’s America.” The film tilted toward a conservative audience arguing that Obama will inevitably weaken America. The main argument paints Obama as an “anti-colonialist,” and continues at length to connect Obama’s decisions in office with his life long wish to please his father… indeed, to carry on the, “Dreams From My Father.”
This perspective is thorough and convincing. Obama studied under Edward Said, a strong scholar of post-colonialism. Post-Colonialism is a method of critical scholarship that thinks the matter of colonial rule, its history, and especially is ongoing legacies. Generally, the discourse centers the liberation of people’s formerly under colonial rule and imperialism.
The US is an imperial order, an empire of global proportions as well as a nation, with all its constitutional powers, etc. thus, naturally, one familiar with colonial rule and its exploitations and one equally interested in “justice for all” should position themselves as “anti-colonialist.”
What struck me most powerfully about the film was not the accurate analysis of Obama’s political ideology, nor the insightful connection that this ideology was the fulfillment of his fathers beliefs… what struck me so powerfully was how the film twisted these insights toward conclusions of national weakness, loss, and danger. I found the film built around the attitudes of alienation, racisms, and ultimately fear.
The US is powerful and fear is a pitfall. But this power means something specific. It means that the US has tremendous sources of energy, reservoirs of energy of all kinds. Most fear the lost of energy, but energy is neither lost nor destroyed; it merely changes form, shape, hands, state. In my humble opinion, Obama’s post-colonial leanings are right on. The “US” must learn to share, to be of service in a world desperate to end poverty, leave pollution, divorce inequality. Our people have yet to collectively learn that we have the permission to be loved. Democracy-to-come, Freedom-to-come, Justice-to-come… these are the living perfections unfolding before our eyes as Obama takes his seat as the President of the United States for the next four years.
It is a Full World Order now. The World is not in the US; the US is in the World. I love the recent facebook hit I received before the election ended today. It gives “us” a glimpse into the will of the world:
So let “US” journey forth… To Be the change our world must see…