March 19, 2008
Barack Obama's speech on race in America
So many people are talking about yesterday's address (click here to watch and read it) in Philadelphia strictly in terms of its usefulness in Senator Obama's bid for the White House. Will it help him beat Clinton? Will it help him beat McCain? What about those darned superdelegates?
I invite you to strip away all such thoughts and either read or listen to or watch the speech as a stand-alone item. You can even skip over any lines in which he touches on the campaign.
Then answer me this: is it not one of the most meaningful addresses we've had in our lifetime on any subject, let alone that of race relations in this country? Is it not about time that we talk amongst ourselves as adults, and quit either tiptoeing around or hurling barbs, and decide together how to move forward?
Regardless whether you want Obama to be President (and I do), surely you can tell that he is gifted, not only as an orator, but as someone who can approach human problems by authentically listening to and understanding multiple points of view. Far too few of our elected officials possess either the willingness or the capacity to do that. And yet that is what it will take to finally move the nation past some of these deep-seated issues.
Go ahead; elect someone else if you must (or if you dare); but keep this speech, and refer to it often, for it is a magnificent starting point for one of our most important national conversations ahead.
Community | By joe lance | 7:37 AM