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.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in

  1. Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images

    The Summit of Climate Hopes

    Presidents, prime ministers, and policymakers gather in Paris today for the One Planet Summit. But with no senior US representative attending, is the 2015 Paris climate agreement still viable?

  2. Trump greets his supporters The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Populist Plutocracy and the Future of America

    • In the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump has consistently sold out the blue-collar, socially conservative whites who brought him to power, while pursuing policies to enrich his fellow plutocrats. 

    • Sooner or later, Trump's core supporters will wake up to this fact, so it is worth asking how far he might go to keep them on his side.
  3. Agents are bidding on at the auction of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

    The Man Who Didn’t Save the World

    A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," for which he spent $450.3 million. Had he given the money to the poor, as the subject of the painting instructed another rich man, he could have restored eyesight to nine million people, or enabled 13 million families to grow 50% more food.

  4.  An inside view of the 'AknRobotics' Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    Two Myths About Automation

    While many people believe that technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically, there is no evidence of either trend. In reality, total factor productivity, the best summary measure of the pace of technical change, has been stagnating since 2005 in the US and across the advanced-country world.

  5. A student shows a combo pictures of three dictators, Austrian born Hitler, Castro and Stalin with Viktor Orban Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

    The Hungarian Government’s Failed Campaign of Lies

    The Hungarian government has released the results of its "national consultation" on what it calls the "Soros Plan" to flood the country with Muslim migrants and refugees. But no such plan exists, only a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign to help a corrupt administration deflect attention from its failure to fulfill Hungarians’ aspirations.

  6. Project Syndicate

    DEBATE: Should the Eurozone Impose Fiscal Union?

    French President Emmanuel Macron wants European leaders to appoint a eurozone finance minister as a way to ensure the single currency's long-term viability. But would it work, and, more fundamentally, is it necessary?

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now