Von Amerika lernen

Während sich die Vereinigten Staaten darauf vorbereiten, die Amtseinführung ihres ersten afroamerikanischen Präsidenten zu feiern, bringt diese wieder einmal einen der besten Aspekte ihrer nationalen Identität zur Geltung. Obwohl es über 200 Jahre gedauert hat, um zu diesem Punkt zu gelangen, staunen ausländische Beobachter insbesondere in Europa über den Aufstieg Barack Obamas. Sie erkennen an ihrer eigenen relativen Marginalisierung von Farbigen oder Immigranten, dass kein französischer, italienischer oder britischer Obama am Horizont zu sehen ist und fragen sich: Wie macht Amerika das?

Amerika hat sicher seine Fehler und Kämpfe um Rasse und nationale Identität, doch kann es auch auf vieles stolz sein, was seine Aufnahme von Menschen ausländischer Herkunft oder von Minderheiten angeht. Obamas Beispiel – und das seines neu gebildeten Kabinetts, dem viele erfahrene Führungspersönlichkeiten aus ethnischen oder rassischen „Fremdgruppen“ angehören – hält nützliche Lektionen für andere Nationen bereit, insbesondere in Westeuropa.

Was also macht Amerika richtig?

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