NEW YORK: Warum vergöttern die Europäer Amerikas neu gewählten Präsidenten Barack Obama? Dumme Frage, könnte man meinen. Er ist jung, gut aussehend, smart, inspirierend, gebildet, kosmopolitisch und verspricht vor allem eine radikale Abkehr von der Politik der unbeliebtesten amerikanischen Regierung aller Zeiten. Sein Rivale John McCain dagegen sprach vom Wandel, aber verkörperte für die meisten Europäer das Gegenteil.

Und doch ist etwas merkwürdig an der europäischen Besessenheit in Bezug auf einen schwarzen US-Politiker, wo wir doch alle wissen, dass ein schwarzer Präsident oder Ministerpräsident (schon gar einer, dessen zweiter Vorname Hussein ist) in Europa noch immer undenkbar ist. Aber vielleicht ist genau dies der Punkt.

Die Europäer haben schwarze amerikanische Stars schon lange gastfreundlich aufgenommen. Man denke an Josephine Baker, die Pariser und Berliner zu einer Zeit begeisterte, als Schwarze in vielen Teilen der USA nicht wählen oder auch nur dieselben Toiletten benutzen durften wie Weiße. Städte wie Paris, Kopenhagen und Amsterdam boten schwarzen amerikanischen Jazz-Musikern, die eine Auszeit vom institutionalisierten Rassismus suchten, eine Zuflucht. Dasselbe gilt für andere Künstler. James Baldwin etwa fand in Frankreich eine Heimat.

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