My image of the United States today!
Portrayed to the world as one of the world’s most modern civilisation, the United States (US) is now communicating pictures of itself in sharp black and white. Postmodern digital technology which allows us, globally, to see the world’s natural beauty in its true colour seems incapable of capturing the United States in any other colours, but black and white.
You see, news of the presidential race is the main diet fed to us who live millions of miles away from the US but who have an interest in the outcome because the winner’s economic and foreign policies will affect our countries.
It is sad but in that multi-ethnic country, the worth of these candidates, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney seems to be evaluated with the focus pointed at the hue of their skins. Listen to news media commentators, bloggers and the public, you will get that picture.
One particular image has stuck in my mind; the picture of a Caucasian man wearing a very black campaign tee-shirt with huge white print proclaiming: “Put the white back in the white house.”
I saw red as I asked myself: is this the US whose citizens often highlight tolerance, as their country’s trademark? A United States, that termed Caribbean nations as retrograde because our countries have not yet change their laws about homosexual or religion? Who scoff at us because many of our schools still have morning prayers?
Another article boxed voters according to ethnicity painting the various races into two containers; a black one with multi-coloured print saying President Obama and a lily white one with transparent letters spelling out Mitt Romney. Judgement of issues faded into the background.
I mused about racism in the United States, not lightly. Progress has been made as a result of the civil rights movement of the 1960s but skin tone determines a lot there, the stories tell me.
Yet non-whites have been progressing. This has filled some people with yellow-bellied fear thus comments such as “…without White America, the USA would lose its competitive edge, and power on the global stage.”
Therefore as I watch the going-on in the United States, I wonder if the lenses are out of focus in America with regards to unity but in sharp focus when it tells me that black and white are the keys there; no greys.