By Barry Sheppard, San Francisco
January 23, 2009 -- More than 1 million people gathered in bitter cold in Washington DC to witness the historical inauguration of an African American as president.
The crowd was disproportionately Black, but majority white — and
jubilant. Celebrations were held in Black communities throughout the
country, and in other sectors of the population.
He was sworn in by his full name, Barack Hussein Obama, itself
historic. In the aftermath of the election, he enjoys overwhelming
support according to polls, far higher than his margin of votes. This
indicates a large swing of whites among those who voted for the
Republican candidate John McCain.
Hopes are running high that he will do something to turn around the
accelerating downturn in the economy. On “inauguration day”, it
appeared that the crisis in the banks and other financial institutions
was once again critical.
With rising unemployment, rising home foreclosures, falling wages,
failing retail chains and US$1 trillion poured down what one economist
called a bottomless pothole to apparently no avail, the working and
middle classes have experienced a massive shock.
The “free markets will solve all” ideology is a dead duck. US
people are demanding that the government take action. Obama has
promised to do just that.