Race in America

William Robert Barber
My comments to my dangerously naive young friend:

Your entire peer group felt the same way: Well, how many of your peer group are political conservatives? Imagine if the candidate was a white republican instead of a declared black democrat; now run the action, instead of Jeremiah Wright pencil in David Duke; now tell me of your evaluation of the candidate for president. You and your peer group are utilizing an inductive analysis not deductive; aside from your naivete you are self induced by preconceived political, economic, and societal notions that befit a world that does not exist. You are however in step and in line with a leftist persuasion that encourages more government, more taxes, the policy of William Jennings Bryan, and surrender in Iraq.

Race in America
Authored by: Dave Ford

Democratic front runner Senator Barack Obama’s flawlessly run campaign ran headfirst into oncoming traffic a few weeks back. His outspoken pastor, Reverend obamawright.jpgJeremiah Wright was driving the car. Reverend Wright smashed into middle class white America. He then backed into a large crowd of thousands of Obama supporters and contributors– both black and white, young and old– while they were waving their “Yes we can” banners. Before he sped off the good Reverend yelled “God Damn America” a few times– while skidding circles around the carnage.

I have been an Obama supporter since day one and when I witnessed this massacre on Youtube last week my face sunk to a horrified state of shock.

How would the promising Senator from Illinois be able to walk away from this disaster without being permanently scarred. Conventional wisdom would convene that he would walk with a political limp for the foreseeable future. This accident appeared fatal and was sure to stop the momentum of the entire Obama movement–at least in my mind.

Yesterday, after dismissing his former Pastor from his campaign, Obama spoke at his own pulpit. Two American flags were positioned behind him. His audience consisted of the entire world.

Barack Obama took the issue of race head on. He spoke from both halves of his genetic makeup, from a white perspective and from a black perspective. He spoke of the pain of the older generations–the people in this country that lived through the days of the Civil Rights movement. Surprisingly, he did not disown the Reverend. But, he did condemn his comments repeatedly. He spoke of the plight of the white immigrant who worked hard from nothing to make something of their lives. He addressed the effect that globalization has had on many middle and working class white families. He mentioned that some whites feel like blacks live with a sense of entitlement dating back from slavery. Affirmative action–one of the most taboo issues in politics–was openly addressed assessing both a white perspective and a black one. He also walked through the sad state of inner city black schools and the lack of opportunity for the black man.

We have anger that has built up over years and years from both sides of the divide. And, this anger can be justified from a black perspective and a white perspective.

Through these important and timely words– from the only guy in politics that could possibly speak this way– Senator Obama scored. The National press gave him accolades. His supporters will continue to stand behind him. He did not just weather the storm of controversy, he walked calmly and coolly headfirst into the heart of untouchable issue and came out a winner. He got a lemon and made lemonade.

But, the Obama train did slip off the tracks. The final consequences are yet to be seen but could be massive. He will probably lose Pennsylvania because of this incident. He may lose the democratic primary as well. It is unlikely that years of racial tension can be undone by a speech. But regardless of the outcome, Obama showed his stuff yesterday. He walked into the face of adversity with confidence. It is hard not to admire the fortitude and poise the Senator showed in front of the world. He played offense where any pundit would have predicted he would be playing defense. Regardless of what side of the aisle you are on, On March 18th you saw substance, courage, and heart in American politics.

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