Here in France, it’s already happening, said François Durpaire in the Paris Libération. Two short years ago the ghetto suburbs of French cities were in flames, as immigrant youths vented their frustration and hopelessness through rioting. Today, in Obama, those disaffected youths are finding “something to smile about.” Obama’s spectacular rise from a single-parent home and a mixed-race background is a story “whose horizons extend beyond national borders” and that has the power to inspire pride and hope even in the slums of another continent. Think about that. Much has been written about what an Obama presidency could do for race relations in the U.S., but only now are people starting to realize that a win by Obama in November could even improve race relations here in Europe.
That’s an uncomfortable thought, said Thomas Klau in Germany’s Financial Times Deutschland. For barbarous, immature America to elect a black president before any European nation did so would force us “to ask ourselves questions we have never asked before.” We Germans pride ourselves on our social tolerance and progressive thinking, but come election time we take it for granted that all major candidates will be white-skinned. The day Barack Obama finally wraps up the Democratic nomination, “cracks will start to appear” in the smugness of Europe’s self-image. Should the day ever come that a black president moves in to the White House, Europe’s sense of “collective innocence” will “shatter completely,” and a painful soul-searching will begin.
Yes, but does it have to be Barack Obama? said Alexandre Adler in France’s Le Figaro. Two other “outstanding African-Americans”—Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice—would make for a far more reliable military ally for Europe than Obama, and a far more willing trading partner. Obama’s skin color may have made him a hero to the immigrants and ethnic minorities of Europe. But if the protectionist, isolationist foreign policies of a President Obama keep them mired in poverty and hopelessness, they may come to wish America’s first black president had been someone else.
- Which professions have the most psychopaths?
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- 'Tis the season for having sex with old flames and ruining your office reputation
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 32 TV shows to watch in 2013 [Updated]
- 10 things you need to know today: December 8, 2013
- 6 grammar points to watch out for in Christmas songs
- What makes a word the word of the year?
- This is how much extra it costs to eat healthy every day
- 7 health benefits of playing video games
Subscribe to the Week