Tuesday 20 January 2009

The message in President Obama's inaugural speech

What I took away

And so my trusty but old combo system recorded three hours of the Obama Inauguration which was running for another 30 minutes after I returned home.

Then I sat to watch what had been recorded from 17:00 hrs my local time.

President Obama’s speech [1] sent one clear message as it embraced and encompassed all those leaders around the world especially those in Africa without equivocation as I had hoped in my last blog.

There would be the time, the place and the manner in which to analyse, dissect and subject to deep exegesis the choice of words spoken by President Obama on this day, but these few words out of the speech speaks out to those who have yet refused to hear the voices for freedom and good governance.

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

I shall not add nor subtract from the import and intention of these words but that those who have ears, let them hear in Zimbabwe, in Sudan, in Myanmar, in North Korea, in countries that pretend to be democracies, in those that confer infallibility on their ailing leaders and subjugate their people to the despicable cult of personality but most of all, if this was not a message to Africa where every aspiring commentator or despotic leader seeks to gain validation by blaming our ills on the colonial past, then there is no new hope for humankind.

I believe the tenure of President Obama signals a great and momentous change to the world order and those who do not fall in line with aspirations for the good would be laid to waste and come to naught because this a juggernaut that is already on the move; if I wrote the inaugural speech, it would have ended with – “We say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

That sums up the will to win that begins to pervade our humanity from this hour onwards.

Hail to The Chief – Welcome to the era of President Barack Hussein Obama.


[1] Text of Obama's Inauguration Speech | The New York Observer

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