Barack Obama has just been elected as president of the most powerful country in the world, the USA. Many in America, (including us) had doubts that he could be elected, since there are still many people in the USA who are prejudiced when it comes to difference. Skin color, differences in religion, any kind of difference — it is hard to see the humanity in others when they seem different than us. Yet Obama won! A majority of Americans voted for a black man whose father was from Africa to be their next president. What a wonderful development. Only a little over one hundred years ago, many of America’s people of African descent lived lives as slaves. Yet today, a man with African roots is our president!
We are encouraged to think that the many kinds of prejudice our Pacific peoples face in their lives (in Australia, New Zealand, any of the metropolitan places they live, work and raise their families) can similarly be transcended. That just as Americans saw that Barack Obama had the vision and skills to lead his country, no matter what his origins, so our tino Pasifika will be judged by what lies in their hearts, by their honest hard work and achievements, and their hopes for better lives for their children.
The lesson from Obama’s victory in the USA is that hope is possible, hope matters, and that the future can be better, everywhere. “Yes We Can” was Obama’s campaign slogan. Muna konei e tolu e tonu hoki i te Pasifika – Yes We Can! This link is to a 4 minute music video — “Yes We Can” — with Obama and supporters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjXyqcx-mYY
Ke pula ttou mata ki mua, tino mai te atu Tuvalu, tino katoa mai fenua o te vaha Pasifika — e mafai ai taatou o manumalo, e mafai o iku mo te manuia fakamoemoega mo he olaga llei!
Kiti mo Ane