Â Â Â I got a stack of Newsweeks, and I’m finding it interesting to look at the political scene in the States. Since I miss out on live events and details, I hesitate to make my preferences public. However, IÂ can tell you about the general reaction here.
Â Â Â Â First I should probably mention that race is noticed, remarked on, and felt deeply here. Colonialism wasn’t that long ago, and it is still the ‘whites’ with the money and power. When I visit high school classes to let them practice English, I am probably the first white person most have talked to directly. I get a lot of questions about racism in the US and about my own level of racism. “Would you marry a black man?” is a frequent question. Another question used to gage my racism is whether I support Clinton or Obama.
Â Â Â Â Most literate Togolese know about Barack Obama and find him incredibly exciting. One teacher said, “It shows that America isn’t racist.”Â I can see that a half-African candidate inspires hope in many people here – hope thatÂ the most powerful country in the world doesn’t hate blacks and Africans.Â That they aren’t unknown or forgotten in their povery and struggles. Â Americans might be tired of hearing about inspiration and hope when talking about Obama, but I see it here in faces and in words. People are watching us Americans, and they like what they see in Obama.