A little more than 12 years ago I started my American life as a graduate student. First few years, my life was a monotonous repetition of long cold nights in my attic den, day long lab and class and daily lunchtime walk to the student center for the 99c taco with a plastic glass of water. This lunchtime break with that taco was my window to the campus life and also indulgence into thinking of the far-away homeland and the left behind life.

One of my first observations of the student life in my campus was the ethnic segregation of the students in the students’ center cafeteria. Young white men and women are crowding around one table. Blacks have their own corner. First generation desi students are flocking together, so are the first generation Chinese or the second generation desis.

 

This picture of the US life was in sharp contrast to the description of US I got from the booklets I received from USIS. I almost memorized the salad bowl versus melting pot concept. I saw all the glossy pictures of smiling blacks, whites, asians are chatting together in a green turf under a tree in the covers of college brochures.

And almost on a daily basis, while walking in cold Michigan or seating in a lonely corner table with the taco, my mind used to revolt. Just an uncontrollable feeling of escaping this self exile, simply running back to home sweet home, back to wild unbound youth. It is a dream of running barefoot, with other boys of the vicinity, crossing rice paddy and tiny streams, through people’s backyard, climbing the imposing wall of the mosque; only to catch the un-tethered kite flying aimlessly in the open sky.

Very recently, I discovered another person who had a stunningly similar urge to revolt. The same uncontrollable desire to throw everything away and running with the tethered kite. Exactly in the same fashion, bare foot, with bunch of bare body boys, through rice paddy, across people’s backyards.

The man with this same dream is Barack Obama. The day he received his acceptance letter from Harvard law school, he suddenly felt like revolting and going back to his boyhood days in Indonesia and start running, barefoot, after the tethered kite, across the rice paddy. [Source: Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Author: Barack Obama].

Mr. Obama has just won a very hard-fought battle for Democratic Party presidential nomination. I support and wish all the best for Mr. Obama. How can I not support Mr. Obama when our spur of a moment dream, although so unlikely for someone living in USA, are so much similar.

I wish a Barack Obama presidency not only because we shared a dream, but also because I see Mr. Obama as a revolutionary. He is a revolutionary who has already stepped, very boldly, the first steps in alleviating the disgusting ethnic segregation in American society I watched with horror during my initial days in USA.

Mr. Obama is the presumptive nominee today because those white young men and women has finally joined hands with those black youth of the next table for one goal. This is a strong statement from young America to leave behind the racial distrust some in the older generation still nurtures deep inside them.

Godspeed, Barack.

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