La Obamamanía

NUEVA YORK -- ¿Por qué adoran los europeos a Barack Obama, presidente electo de los Estados Unidos? Podría decirse que esta es una pregunta tonta. Es joven, bien parecido, inteligente, fascinante, educado, cosmopolita y, sobre todo, promete un cambio radical en comparación con la administración estadounidense más impopular de la historia. Contrastemos eso con su rival, John McCain, quien habló de cambio, pero para muchos europeos representaba lo contrario.

Y sin embargo, hay algo raro sobre la manía europea por un político estadounidense negro, sobre todo porque todos sabemos que el que haya un presidente o primer ministro negro (ya no se diga cuyo segundo nombre sea Hussein) sigue siendo impensable en el continente. O tal vez sea ese precisamente el punto.

Desde hace mucho los europeos han sido hospitalarios con las estrellas estadounidenses negras. Pensemos en Josephine Baker, quien asombró a los parisinos y berlineses en un tiempo en que los negros no podían votar –ni usar el mismo baño que los blancos—en muchas partes de los Estados Unidos. Ciudades como París, Copenhague y Ámsterdam ofrecieron refugio a los jazzistas estadounidenses negros, que necesitaban un descanso del racismo institucionalizado. Lo mismo sucedió con otros artistas. James Baldwin, por ejemplo, halló un hogar en Francia.

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