Wednesday, 5 November 2008



Hello, Chicago.

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

We are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It's the answer that led those who've been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day. Watch Obama's speech in its entirety »

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America.

A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Sen. McCain.

Sen. McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he's fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.

I congratulate him; I congratulate Gov. Palin for all that they've achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation's next first lady Michelle Obama.

Sasha and Malia I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the new White House.

And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother's watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. I know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you've given me. I am grateful to them.

And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe, the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best -- the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.

To my chief strategist David Axelrod who's been a partner with me every step of the way.

To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause.

It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep.

It drew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on doors of perfect strangers, and from the millions of Americans who volunteered and organized and proved that more than two centuries later a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has not perished from the Earth.

This is your victory.

And I know you didn't do this just to win an election. And I know you didn't do it for me.

You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime -- two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.

There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after the children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage or pay their doctors' bills or save enough for their child's college education.

There's new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.

I promise you, we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can't solve every problem.

But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years -- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.

This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.

In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those -- to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

That's the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we've already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight's about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons -- because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America -- the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.

And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves -- if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.

This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

他的演講讓我動容,我有幾次差點要掉下眼淚。他的演講也讓我想起在大學裡修過的一堂歷史課,說到美國在50年代的隔離政策 (segregation policy). 在那個年代,有色人種是不能跟白色人種同處一室,有色人種只能坐在公車的最後面一排。有色人種也不能跟白色人種同樣有受教育的權利。在美國的南方,更有三K黨對有色人種的威脅。他們動用私刑,殘害有色人種。在那個年代,有色人種只有悲傷,無奈與無能為力。

Rosa Parks的抗爭,讓當時的 美國的有色人種有了覺醒的意識。他們開始瞭解人權,開始瞭解到他們應該享有與白人同樣的權利。在60年代末,有色人種的和平式示威在美國逐漸的爆發了。他們有些人到只有白人能去的餐廳吃飯, 坐在公車的最前排,甚至在街上和平示威,請願, 希望政府可以給他們美國公民的權利, 如教育,選舉等等。

這樣和平式的請願沒有得到政府的關註,反而得到政府的鎮壓。為了反抗政府的鎮壓,有些極端的團體成立了黑豹黨(Black Panther Party), 企圖用暴力的方式,讓政府改變他們對有色人種的政策. 在這同時, 用和平請願的方式並沒有停止. 當時唯一在波士頓大學修完大學學位的黑人牧師,Martin Luther King用非暴力的示威方式,從喬治洲的Albany走到的華盛頓紀念碑廣場,發表了他最有名 《我有一個夢》 的演講。終於在隔一年,政府修改了Civil Right Act of 1964Voting Right Act, 讓有色人種享有與白人一樣的公民權利與選舉的權利。

雖然有色人種得到了公民的權利,非官方式的對有色人種的歧視在美國依然存在。黑人與白人談戀愛會被瞪眼,黑人在學校有可能會被排擠。更可怕的事,黑人有可能在街上被白人毆打。隨著新移民的加入,種族歧視漸漸的被淡化了。在一些沿海的州屬, 黑人與白人一起互動是很平常的事。 然而對一些較為保守的州屬, 他們還是不能脫離“黑人就是奴隸”的思維。在那些州屬還是會對黑人有一些歧視。

在今天,從奧巴馬被選為美國總統的那一刻,美國曏全世界宣告他們可以接受一位非白人的總統,他們不再質疑黑人治國的能力, 不再以膚色判斷一個人。從今天開始,美國沒有了白人與黑人, 美國只有美國人。對黑人來說,這也是另外一種鼓舞, 因為從林肯解放黑奴到奧巴馬成為總統的今天,黑人終於得到了美國白人的認同與認可。今天有兩個銅像(林肯與馬丁路德 金)會因為奧巴馬的勝選而興奮的跳起來。 他們多年的努力,沒有白費。雖然在1863年,美國南北戰爭形式上在賓州的Gettysburg結束了, 但是有色人種並沒有因為這樣而享有平等的權利。隨著奧巴馬在賓州取得勝利後,這象徵了美國南北戰爭真正的結束。

反觀今天的大馬, 種族的問題依然存在。因為憲法上對馬來人特權的棱模兩可, 導致政客們不時挑起種族情緒的言論, 以撈取自身的政治資本。就以前一陣子鬧得沸沸揚揚的《寄居論》來看,拿督阿末依斯邁在一場補選的造勢活動中,說到華人只是寄居在馬來西亞。這讓整個大馬的華社憤怒不已。 可惜的是,最後這件事就這樣的不了了之 。當事者沒有因為《寄居論》被抓,反而三個沒有相干的人以內安法令被抓。


雖然首相阿都拉在回應奧巴馬的勝選時,說到有一天大馬也可以有不分膚色的首相。這句話說來很諷刺, 因為按照目前的局勢,巫統似乎綁架了大馬的憲法,自己內定了未來首相的候選人。就算有一天非巫族的政黨贏了大選,宣誓當首相時, 請問極端的馬來主義意識擁護者是否能夠接受?想到這裡,從這兩件事的對比,讓我深刻的瞭解在一個一黨強大的國家裡,民主與選舉是沒有甚麼意義的, 甚麼事情都是內定的,不管你同不同意,認不認可。儘管如此,一個相對民主的國度裡,人民還是很重要。當從308政治風暴來看,大馬的民眾開始覺醒了。但是覺醒不代表一下子就成熟了。我國民主路還是真得很漫長。

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