We all know what Obama’s election means to Afican-Americans, to race relations in America, but if you want a sense of what it could mean, what it might mean, on a global scale read thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/ and scroll down through the comments from reporters, and posts from bloggers, all around the world. No matter who you favored as America’s next leader, it is clear that how we think of our relationship with other nations can now change. As my doctoral adviser said, why do we teach kids that there is a difference between national and international, as if America were not part of the whole world. We are national and international — which is precisely what we need to teach our children.
As I walked my 8 year old and his friends to school this morning, I told them that the last time I had felt such a moment of transformation was when the Berlin Wall fell — which of course meant I had to explain what the wall was. They loved hearing the story, mainly because it led to endless speculation on how people might have gotten past the armed guards to escape, or turned the guards’ guns around so that they shot themselves. That is just how 8 year old boys think. The good news is that we as a nation no longer need to act like 8 year olds which brings the greatest sense of relief and hope for us all.