Wednesday, January 20, 2021 4:30 pm
By Nehru Odeh
The long-awaited day has come, the day Americans and indeed the rest of the world have waited for with bated breath. The long-awaited has come, the day that presents a new dawn that will usher in the freshness and revitalization of hope that will make not just American great again but also the rest of the world.
The long-awaited day has come, the day the stifling, asphyxiating and noxious dust of the Trump era will give way to the cosy wind of change that is currently blowing across America. The long-awaited day has come, the day that presents the humanistic ideals the globe holds dear.
The long-awaited day has come, the day Americans will look at one another in the face and recognize that all lives matter, regardless of the colour of one’s skin, the religion one professes or the political camp in which one belongs.
Still, what does Biden’s inauguration mean to Americans and to the rest of the world? It means many great things. It means the beginning of a new dawn. It means the beginning of a healing process of a frayed world, fractured and divided along ethnic and racial lines. It means the unification not just of all Americans but also the resurgence of all what the Trump administration had put asunder.
It means the beginning of a new age in American politics and indeed in the politics of the rest of the world. It means the beginning of a healing process of a world enervated, wracked and made comatose by the dreaded Coronavirus virus that is currently ravaging the globe.
It means the actualization of the dreams and hope of the American people, the dreams that one day a woman and indeed a coloured will be the number two citizen of the greatest country in the world.
It means the triumph of democracy and the will of the people, no matter how imperfect it may seem, over authoritarianism and one-man rule, the bullish tendency of one man to lord over the American people.
The fact that Biden chose Kamala Harris, a woman whose parents were not born Americans as his running mate not only means a lot but also speaks volumes. It speaks to the humanism that is the bedrock of any democracy in the world.
It speaks to the freshness that his administration would bring to the United State and, in deed the rest of the world. It speaks to that off-quoted saying by Martin Luther: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.
At no other time do Americans need to be reminded of that quote than now, given the protests that greeted Capitol Hill in the days leading to Biden’s emergence as president of the United States and the division of the country along racial and religious lines. There are no two America. There is only one and that is why it is called the United States of America. And that is also why Biden, in his speech following the confirmation of his electoral victory, said he “will be a President for all Americans.”
No doubt, Biden has to be President for all Americans. He also has an arduous task ahead. This is the time to heal and to unite, as he has always said. So what he owes the American people is to show leadership in the time of glaring division and angst. When it comes to governance, there should be no division along political lines. Governance, like development is about people, not about a certain section or group of people. And this indeed is very imperative in a country worst hit by the novel Coronavirus. This is the time to shove rhetoric aside and get down to brass tacks, to show leadership not just in the United States, but also across the globe. This is what Americans expect from him. This is what the globe expects from him.
– Nehru Odeh, journalist and writer, is the author of The Patience of an Embattled Storyteller, a book that foresaw the adoption, rape and murder of females by terrorists in Nigeria. He writes for TheNEWS. He can be reached at [email protected]