It was with great joy that we received the news that Barrack Obama will be the Democratic presidential candidate in the forthcoming election. The battle for the nomination has been long and hard fought but the real battle is still to come. It has surprised and delighted many people that the Democratic party has the maturity to select an African American as their candidate. Unfortunately there are still many who question whether Americans in general are ready to vote an African American into the most powerful position in the world. We must remember that up until 1965 when the Civil Rights Act was introduced in America, Barrack Obama would have essentially been a second class citizen. While there have been great strides made in the US since that time, many African Americans remain severely disadvantaged and are subject to racist abuses and attacks. For this reason many fear that Obama's chances of winning may be in jeopardy.
In the selection race Obama failed to poll well with white working class voters. This is something he must seriously address ahead of the November election. What he must also do is reunite the party after what was quite a divisive campaign. The selection of Hillary Clinton as his running mate might achieve these goals. He has already hinted that he may, saying: "What gets Hillary Clinton up in the morning is an unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans."
It is these so-called "ordinary Americans" that Barrack Obama must now begin to woo. He will face an uphill struggle. There are still many ignorant people who hold racist ideologies and they will be determined to prevent Obama from being elected. For the wider world we hope that the American people have the strength and courage to vote for real change including change on the foreign policy front. The last eight years have been disastrous for America's image abroad and Barrack Obama in the White House could do a lot to change that.
Now that we have expressed our delight at his historic selection let us forget about the colour of Barrack Obama's skin. The issue of race must be taken out of the contest because it does not relate to policy. Americans must show that it is policy on which they select their leader and not something as irrelevant as skin colour. There is little doubt that elements within the Republican Party will attempt to raise the issue of race and play on people's racist tendencies. This must be exposed and crushed as soon as it surfaces.
We look forward to November and wait with great interest to see just how far the United States has come since 1965.
"I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians
Charles DE GAULLE