quarta-feira, novembro 05, 2008

O simbólico é a mais forte realidade

Madrugada de 5 de novembro de 2008 - Barack Obama, eleito presidente dos Estados Unidos da América, discursa para cerca de 1 milhão de pessoas: "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."
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Manira, grande colaboradora que nos visita duas vezes por semana aqui em casa, correu de manhã para ouvir no rádio o resultado da eleição. Comemorou uma mudança: "o negro sempre foi tudo que é ruim". Conto que o "slogan" de Obama é Yes, we can e traduzo, "Sim, nós podemos". "É claro que podemos! Quem é o maior escritor brasileiro? Não é um negro?", pergunta Manira, já com a resposta. Negra, pretinha, de pele macia e dona de um abraço que reenergiza minhas manhãs. Essa é a melhor descrição que posso pensar para ela, que estudou só até a alfabetização. Eu, confesso, me surpreendo pela referência a Machado de Assis. "A gente escuta as coisas..." - responde ela, minimizando sua capacidade de absorção e crítica a respeito dessas "coisas". É interessante que o "nós" seja logo apropriado por Manira como referência aos negros. Mas quem são esse "nós"? "Nós" norte-americanos? "Nós" latino-americanos? Será que também podemos? "Nós" United State of America?

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Engraçado como sempre, em qualquer discurso - inclusive nos filmes tipo Independence Day - os políticos e líderes heróicos enchem a boca ao pronunciar Ameerica, despertando o mais emocionado sentimento de pertencimento e provocando a catarse em aplausos e ovações ao locutor.

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Ligo o rádio, a televisão, e escuto relatos inflamados por todo o mundo: "O primeiro presidente negro..." Alguns ao meu redor não foram contagiados pela "onda Obama", como destacam os meios de comunicação. Falava há pouco com um colega ao telefone. Entre os que preferem sequer entrar nesse mar de entusiasmo pela eleição do homem "mais importante do mundo" (Malu de Bicicleta apud Jornal Nacional) ser negro, ele me diz que apenas por seu valor simbólico a escolha de Obama merece algum entusiasmo. E pergunto: o simbólico não é real? Meu colega diz que não e, como de costume, discordamos. Sem grandes expectativas (elas nunca são boa companhia para mim) fico com a realidade contagiante do simbólico. Quanto aos próximos quatro anos... A política continua sua rotina de meios e fins, nacional e internacionalmente. Não acredito em grandes milagres, mas não me culpem por ficar otimista.




"TIMES" - 1963

200,000 NEGRO MARCHERS DISPERSE IN PEACE 8- WASHIINGTON'S DISCIPLINED DEMONSTRATION PRESIDENT'S EQUAL RIGHTS PLEDGE


200,000 Negro Marchers Disperse In Peace - From Our Own Correspondent WASHINGTON, AuG. 28 The largest Negro demonstration for freedom since the abolition of slavery took place here peacefully today. More than 200,000, according to police esti- mates, came in a vast but orderly throng to the Lincoln Memorial to demand freedom now. Away from the Mall, Washington was a deserted city. The whites stayed at home, offices were empty, bars closed, and military policemen took over the downtown street crossings. Outside, some thousands of troops in complete battle order stood by. They might as well have stayed in barracks. Although the crowd was twice as large as was expected, and long after the march got under way special buses and trains were still arriving from every part of the country, there was a complete absence of tension. SOLEMN IMPRESSION At times the demonstration sounded remarkably like an inter-Church assem- bly,- and there were probably more priests and clergymen present than in Rome. The assembly of rabbis could have shamed Tel Aviv and the Gandhi caps of the volunteer marshals served only to remind those with long memories how different this was from other demonstrations. In the words of Mr. Roy Wilkins, of the National Associa- tion for the Advancement of Coloured People, it was a great day. The demonstration got under way today with a middle-class decorum rufled only occasionally by religious fervour and political activism. Neither the folk singers, mostly white, nor the inevitable cranks dented in any way the solemn impression made by tens of thousands of decent Americans exercising their right of assembly to demand freedom for millions of their countrymen. They had come a long way since the first freedom buses were burnt by white mobs, since southern policemen had turned dogs and fire hoses on them. Since one of their leaders was shot in the back. The activists were there, youngsters in sweat shirts and jeans, many only recently out of gaol, but the vast majority were ordinary, conventionally dressed Americans whose faces happened to be black. FAMILY GROUPS Their collective respectability was almost overpowering: clergymen, dependable looking men in business suits, motherly ladies in flowery hats, and youngsters dressed for an Ivy League campus. Handsome girls, well dressed and with a determined look, old men in clean dungarees, trade unionists, youthful seminarists. and family groups bur- dened with picnic luncheons-never could there have been a more unrevolutionary assembly-not since the days of the Good Lord, one clergyman added when your Correspondent searched for a comparison. It was this respectability combined with quiet determination that made the demonstration so impressive. There were relatively few onlookers, at least in the early hours. to witness it, but the television networks cleared their programmes of much of the usual junk and soap operas to carry the impression from coast to coast. PROPERTY OWNERS The young Negro activists practised non-violence; the thought of it was obviously too abhorrent to those family men and property owners. They began to assemble at the Washington Monument, within sight of the White House, slowly from their special buses. Many first went to church in deserted downtown Washington, and, obeying the directions of their own marshals, looked for the rallying points of their groups: the National Council of Churches, the Lower East Side of New York Council of Religion and Race. the Committee of Christian Conference of New Canaan, Connecticut, and similar groups from Berkeley, California, Youngstown, Ohio. and Charleston, South Carolina. CLASPED HANDS There were many whites-clergymen and rabbis, and also many well-dressed people of the kind seen at country clubs. A few looked as if they had come from Newport or some other fashionable watering place. There were also many youngsters who if they had been born in England would rally to the C.N.D. and march from Aldermaston. All wore badges showing clasped black and white hands, and some carried banners with the legend " Freedom in '63 " or small national flags. As the huge meadow filled up enter-, tainers sang freedom songs or recited rather turgid prose. Groups sitting on the grass sang or hummed their own Song5 Just before noon the signal was given and they began to march slowly down Constitution and Independence Avenues to the Lincoln Memorial. They marched about 20 abreast, right across the broad streets, to the music of the inevitable brass bands. There were picket signs with demands for freedom. jobs, housing, and schools. " JOHN BROWN'S BODY" The police had requested that there should be no singing during the march. but to try to stop an American Negro singing in such circumstances is like trying to stop a lark from flying on a clear morning. Many sang John Brown's Body " as they marched slowly in two broad streams to the statue of the great emancipator. At the memorial the breadth and depth of the movement became evident. and after the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington had given the invocation the urgency showed through the middle class respectability. Miss Marian Anderson and Miss Mahalia Jackson sang spirituals, and a message was read from Mr. James Farmer, of the Council of Racial Equality, who is languishing in a Louisiana gaol. Mr. John Lewis, of the Students' Non-Violent Coordination Committee, said: "We are tired of being beaten by police. We are tired of being gaoled. How long can we be patient ? We want our freedom, and we want it now." "ALL THIS WILL END" The response from the throng was immediate, but it remained sober and gave at least equal attention to the economics speeches. The harshness of Negro unemployment, twice the national rate, can be more painful than the limitations on freedom. The Rev. Martin Luther King, said: "Five score years ago the great Ameri- can in whose shadow we stand today signed the emancipation proclamation. . . . One hundred years later the Negro is still crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discriminaticn. He still lives in the corner of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. We come here today to dramatize this shameful situation. .. we have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. "Go back to Mississippi. Go back to Alabama. Go back to Georgia, to Louisiana, and the northern slums. Go back knowing that all this will end one day. We will hew hope out of the mountain of despair. Let freedom ring." The 200.000 seemed transported and as in hundreds of Negro churches throughout the south they responded to every period with " yes, oh Lord, let freedom ring ". The mass emotion was almost tangible and perhaps for some whites insufferable, but the middle class discipine held and after a final prayer the crowd melted away and the leaders went to the White House to petition President Kennedy as earlier they bad petitioned congressional leaders.

3 comentários:

Malu de bicicleta disse...
Este comentário foi removido pelo autor.
Malu de bicicleta disse...

É, Malu, lá se vão 45 anos...
Nessa época, eu cursava o meu segundo ano de inglês no Yazigi (se me lembro como se escrevia) e me lembro da comoção geral quando Kennedy e Luther King foram assassinados. A vida que vai, como vc diz.
Bjs, Lilian

(comentário muito fofo que recebi de uma colega por e-mail)

Renata disse...

Malu, não acho q o seu otimismo (e o de milhões de pessoas por aí) é infundado. Esse simbólico é o retrato de há alguma coisa diferente, no mínimo uma mudança de postura e de atitude para esses estadunidenses que tanto gostamos de criticar. Pensar em eleger um presidente negro num país que há menos de 50 anos não permitia sequer que brancos e negros dividissem o mesmo ambiente é sim um acontecimento marcante. E poxa, pessoas por 4/5 horas na fila empenhadas em votar por realmente acharem que um voto vai fazer a diferença...mesmo que fosse para eleger o maior demagogo do planeta, já acho q eh muita coisa! Ainda que esse governo seja decepcionante, tal como foi o governo Lula para o Brasil, a presença de Obama nesse lugar que está hoje abre precente para mudanças muito mais significativas. Não tem aquela frase do Galeano que diz q a utopia existe pra caminhar? Então, de forma muito otimista, talvez esta eleição seja o arado que tá começando a abrir o caminho... (feliz por comentar por aqui, rsrs). Beijos!