I greet Joe Biden’s election win with an overwhelming sense of relief.
Yes, his becoming the 46th President is probably the salvation of US democracy.
More importantly the departure of the most divisive president in American history allows us to return to what we prefer to be. Donald Trump’s hate-filled, nasty four years left us with a quotidian search for spiteful things to say about him.
I did not like what being in such a toxic relationship did to me.
Growing up under apartheid, we were driven to attaching expletives to every characterisation of institutionalised racism.
It seemed to be the most effective way of expressing our outrage.
The late Nelson Mandela explained it for me.
In one of our conversations during filming his retirement film, he recalled how former US President George W Bush asked what he would like to drink.
“I told him, Cuban rum,” said Madiba.
“Sometimes you have to say things people don’t want to hear.”
No danger of this happening with Donald Trump. He doesn’t listen to anybody else.
Nevertheless it would have been a delight to see the former South African President put him in his place.
So now we have Joe Biden leading a crusade to return decency and normality to the nation leading the free world.
No more tolerance of official hate-speech, racism, sexism, religious bigotry or homophobia.
I don’t mean to add to the President-elect’s burden, but shouldn’t ageism become equally taboo.
I venture to say, this won’t happen until the grey panthers become as militant as the group’s fighting the aforementioned evils.
I was speaking to a recently-retired friend last week who told me how being pensioned off left her deeply depressed.
“But we have to make room for the next group,” said this woman who is still physically and professionally in the pink.
It brought to mind a Saudi Arabian professional woman some years ago trying to justify the ban on female drivers and other chauvinistic behaviours as an attempt by authorities to ensure the security of woman.
I am sure she would be mortified if I reminded her of this.
I have been around long enough to remember the apartheid regime sending articulate black collaborators abroad to explain why South Africa was not ready for majority rule.
Offensive? Intolerable? Certainly.
Why then accept references to Joe Biden as the oldest American President in history as though it were something bad?
Do I need to use an expletive to make my point?