With the light of this new rainbow aiding our vision, let us not lean back and hope for the Obama administration to solve the multi-faceted problems we are all faced with, but to be moved even more by Team Obama, in organizing and working for peace, structural change and humanity-serving progress.
by Shiva Kambari
Contrary to my own expectations, the first statement that Barack Obama had indeed been elected as the next president of the United States did not give rise to a cry of joy. What flowed were tears, for hours on end , all through November 5th.
Tears for all the pain of the last eight years when from election night 2000 onwards we went on to live the Bush- Cheney nightmare .
Tears for my own estrangement from the land I grew up in , whose people I felt close to and yet whose policies I had come to abhor , and even more tears for the pain of those living in the United States still; for those struggling to bear up and work for change.
Tears for the pain of peace and social activists, for American progressives and humanists, for all those considering life under this Necon administration a torture.
Tears for the destruction of Iraq and the quagmire of Afghanistan and tears for those who had been sent to Iraq to kill or be killed.
Tears for the weeks Kofi Annan lost his voice over the illegal war on Iraq, for the death of Casey Sheehan and for the pain of his mother Cindy Sheehan, who has allowed this loss to empower her … living with her pain and yet gaining hope through her battles.
And when my own tears would stop, then I would see before me the proud tears of Jesse Jackson whose rainbow coalition once sought to “keep hope alive”, and still more tears would flow.
Tears which envisioned all who came before who made this choice possible; tears for the courage , wisdom and hopes of Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, standing tall amidst many others.
Now that the tears are slowly coming to an end, I see a fresh rainbow, much as one does after the rain.
The rainbow of empowerment and hope. The rainbow of the “Pace” flag originating in Italy which I and so many of us carried through the various anti war rallies of the last years.
The rainbow of variety and the promise of solidarity and prosperity , if we all work together for as much change as possible; for much change is needed in deed.
With the light of this new rainbow aiding my vision, I appeal to us all – but especially to the young who have found new motivation and a field of action – to not lean back and hope for the Obama administration to solve the multi-faceted problems we are all faced with, but to be moved even more by Team Obama, in organizing and working for peace, structural change and humanity serving progress.
And believing in this new beginning, I want to share with you – our Think Peace members , readers and fellow activists – the following note of gratitude which I sent out to some of you individually , as well.
Hoooorah, we survived 8 years of Bush and Cheney , which was a real nightmare from election night 2000 onwards!
Congratulations to all of you who worked , hoped and voted for substantial change.
May the Obama administration bring us the chance to work for much change that is needed, diplomacy, dialogue, respect for international law, prosperity and an end to torture and might is right politics.
I thank you all for keeping hope and affection alive in me through these eight difficult years.
On to better times …
In joy and with hope,