Only In America?

I’ve heard that phrase four or five times tonight (this morning!) and Spike Lee just said it in an interview on CNN.  I want to know, what do Americans mean when they say that?

Americans are feeling proud of themselves after this historic election and I’m not one to begrudge them that, certainly not after the last eight years.  But what do they mean?  That a black man could only be elected to the highest political office in America?  No, that can’t be it.  That only Americans could elect a black man after years of racial apartheid?  Can’t be that.  What then?

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5 thoughts on “Only In America?

  1. I can’t say for sure what they mean, but I wonder if the unspoken thought is that the world spins around the US? LOL! It sort of sounds that way, doesn’t it? I shouldn’t make a joke out of it. But now every time I hear that phrase, I will think about what it means.

    Great posts, sister. I’m reading them all. I like your support and how you remind us that the real work is ahead. I hope people remember that and don’t just go back to watching sit-coms.

    I intend to comment on everything you have, but I get caught up in the reading then get interrupted and have to run. I love the Carolyn Forche poem, too. She was in my MFA program…before my time. At least that’s what they kept telling us. She never came to read when I was there. I really like her poetry. Thanks, sistah. Keep up the awesome work. Will talk again soon.

  2. Yeah Julie, I kinda thought that might be what they meant! lol I just get surprised when I hear certain people say it because I assume they know better. But those of us outside the US, and maybe particularly Canada, which has always been a bit nervous of being squashed, sometimes feel a little prickly about it.

  3. I’ve always said/heard it after weird and/or very unlikely, almost fairy-tale stuff happens. Like, when John Lennon was shot, people said that too. It isn’t always positive or negative. Elvis dying on his bathroom floor after reading “Search for the Historical Jesus”? Only in America.

    The idea that a man has been elected president, whose parents’ MARRIAGE was outlawed in 22 states at the time of his birth? That’s outrageous! And my mother woulda said: Only in America. 🙂

    (I wish she had been alive to see this–she always told me it would happen in my lifetime.)

  4. Yup, I hear that Daisy. A more nuanced explanation and thanks for it. Now that I think of it, I may have said it myself on occasion.

    And I send you so many thousands of good wishes and blessings on the election of Barack Obama. There is much work to do now!

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