He raised the bar to address all races including whites who have faced hardships that are just as much about poverty as race because poverty is an equal opportunity oppressor--regardless of race. Obama could have walked away from this opportunity to heal these wounds and just take the safe road but Obama is not the typical politician. He has a way of broadening the conversation to include everyone so that as a community we can all recognize that no one is perfect and that we can come together despite our environmental conditionings.
Obama has time and time again walked fearlessly straight into the face of issues that most of America is squeamish to speak about. He didn't just simply condemn the Rev's comments but went one step further and eloquently said that he also disagrees with the context of said comments that hint that America can not change. Such a statement wonderfully underlined why his campaign is centered upon bringing change, not only to the government but to the overall consciousness of America. Here is one of the most poignant parts of the speech that I found:
He had earlier used a similar theme in acknowledging that some people would be disappointed with his rebuke of Wright. “Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough,’’ he said. Instead, Obama cast that path as politically expedient.
“I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community,” Obama said. “I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother — a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.”TPJ: For those of us who are religious, have you ever disagreed with something that your pastor, cleric, rabbi or monk has said? I know I have as a Buddhist. I don't agree with everything that I have heard said in the Buddhist community but I don't cast off Buddhism as a whole, nor my teacher. For the non-religious, have you ever disagreed with your family members over stupid statements before? Of course but most of us usually don't disown them unless of course they berate us on a daily basis and abuse us in other ways. However, most of the time offensive or insulting statements from our family members come from places of ignorance of just plain stupidity. And who amongst us hasn't said something dumb ourselves?
This is because we are all imperfect and say bone-headed things from time to time and if we all separated ourselves from those we sometimes disagree with, no one would have any relationship with anyone else!! We would live in a world where everyone would be isolated from others and I am willing to forgive Geraldine Ferraro's comments so that we can move forward back to the issues that matter most. Obama always finds a way to put aside the divisions of the past and bring us back to the issues at hand and you mean to tell me that he is not ready to be president which is a job that requires having the ability to unite others like no other job in America? He tipifies the phrase, "Cooler heads prevail."
Speaking of that issue I think it is important to speak more about how calm and collected Obama is no matter the situation. Even in the face of these comments from his paster he is able to lower the temperature and address the underlying issues at hand instead of snapping back in anger at his critics like so many politicians have done and do. He has the steady hand that is needed to deal with the tough issues that a president faces. I can not see him losing his temper with other leaders like John McCain and George Bush have done time and time again.
Barack understands the importance of keeping the dialog on a respectful and hopeful level. His ability to bring new people to the political process and reach out to independents tells me that he would be more than capable and talented in bringing political leaders of other countries together to change the conversation. I want a leader that the world can respect and admire as someone that they can work with and Barack is the best candidate between Clinton and McCain to do just that. After 8 long years of being embarrassed of my president I would be proud to see a President Obama as our representative to the world. I can think of no other politician on the political stage here in America that is better to be our number one ambassador than Barack Obama.
One more thing about the controversial Rev. Wright, I find it breath-takingly hypocritical of the right-wing slamming Obama for being connected to this pastor when their politicians have been proudly embracing outlandish and offensive pastors for decades. At least Obama clearly has over and over distanced himself from the comments of Rev. Wright that are offensive. It seems that many of the right stay silent when conservative pastor after pastor say equally as offensive things because they don't want to alienate a large voting block in their party.
Here are a few other great snippets from the speech:
-But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America - to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.
-The profound mistake of Reverend Wright's sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It's that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country - a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old -- is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know -- what we have seen - is that America can change. That is true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope - the audacity to hope - for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
TPJ: Meanwhile, Iraq is heating up again with a series of bombings over the last week that have left hundreds of Iraqis dead and a handful of our soldiers killed as well.
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