Last night many of us witnessed a historic event (I find this link amusing) in the United States with the election of the first African-American president. This is a momentous occasion for all African-Americans (and other ethic groups) and hopefully shows that the United States has turned the corner in race relations and is a step closer towards stomping out bigotry and prejudice.
What was particularly impressive on me, and I hope to all Americans, was how much attention this election received worldwide. I know that my in-laws and friends in Canada (and colleagues in other countries) were following very closely and were glued to the TV coverage last night, as were some international co-bloggers. It was heartening when CNN switched coverage to show the reaction to the election of Obama in places like Kenya and Australia, as well as follow-up articles discussing this response. It is interesting, yet discouraging, to see such a contrast where most Americans pay little or no attention to elections in other countries, whereas many people in other countries have an interest in who is running the show in the U.S. Hopefully Americans will start to realize that in this age of globalization we need to be a partner with other countries and lose the "go it alone" or "with us or against us" attitude that has prevailed during the last eight years. It is clear that in the eyes of other global leaders and citizens Obama is the greatest "hope" for mending these damaged relationships and reconciling with our allies and supporters. Let's hope that we never allow pettiness or ego to let us stray so far again.
Who is a botanist?
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