domingo, 12 de outubro de 2008

When America sneezes, Brazil catches cold

The other day, my younger daughter (Brazilian, age 19, going on 20) said, "Mum, you're such a charitable soul. Why are you worrying so much about the financial situation in the US? Is it because my grandparents live there?" I explained that, yes, I am concerned about our relatives in the US, but also, as the old saying goes, when America sneezes, Brazil (and the rest of the world) catches cold.

The same goes for the 08 race. I've obviously been following it closely and have become a firm supporter of Barack Obama - my 19-year-old daughter supports him too, and he's a terrific role model for her, because she, too, is biracial and bicultural. I'm naturally interested in the US elections for many reasons, partly because I've been a scholar of race relations since the 1980s, but it is also becoming shockingly clear that the outcome will not only affect the future of the US, but that of the world.

I've lived through several economic crises in Brazil since I arrived here in late 1986, and now that it has finally joined the "club of emerging nations" known as BRIC, it would be a shame to see all that hard work and IMF-mandated austerity go for naught. If only the Bush administration had practiced what it preached for "third-world" countries.

If Obama is elected, he will have a massive job on his hands to set things right, if that is even possible (almost as hard as Lula's challenge of eradicating centuries of economic and racial injustice in Brazil). But if McCain/Palin are elected and carry on with the same old policies, heaven help us - all of us, as fellow denizens of this global village.

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