March 23, 2008

The Measure Of Leadership and The American Experiment

What a week. I find myself trying to organize the scrambled thoughts of Jeremiah Wright, passport gate, Obama’s speech on “racial tensions”, and Hillary calling out of Barack Obama on the Michigan and Florida primaries. There was John McCain confusing Al Qaeda with Shia, Bill Clinton saying that John McCain and Hillary are the two candidates who love America, and Bill Richardson’s endorsement. It was a very stimulating week.

On every news channel, every program, every reporter was questioning why Obama was a part of this church or had anything to do with Rev. Wright. Obama went on the talk programs; he offered an explanation and apology. I did not have confidence in Obama’s first statement, I felt they gave new fodder to the opposition but I understand why Obama felt the need to say something, the media hyped the country to new heights of hysteria (which resembled the days leading up to the Iraqi war). Obama’s comments on that evening was an attempt to quell the anxieties felt by the public for various reasons and blunt the media barrage making the sale on the idea that Obama was going to be a “black radical”. I was looking for a courageous person to step forward take control of the conversation and offer direction to the nation. Someone had to move the country beyond the clichés and stereotypes, and speak honestly to the American people. We needed a leader.

On Tuesday a Leader came forward. Leadership gave a speech in the City of Brotherly Love. In a classy and historic fashion Barack Obama addressed the differences in our cultural politics. Gripes that inhibited our ability to genuinely discuss social and economic issues, creating a situation where election after election Americans routinely vote against their interest and send the same politicians to Washington who has been bought off by the corporations and interest groups.

March 15, 2008

On Barack, I Guess He Is Black Enough

After watching Barack answer the charges of hate against his pastor, sadness came over me. Barack was forced to say he was never in church when Wright was giving sermons that might have been peppered with the kind of comments being played on TV. I’m sure that republicans, The Clintons and the media are digging to see if Barack was indeed at such a sermon. To show how ridiculous this thing was at one point Anderson showed Barack one of the statements he was condemning it went something like, paraphrasing” “Hillary has never had a cab whiz by her because the color of her skin was wrong, Hillary has no idea what it is like to be a black man and live in a country controlled by rich white people,” after showing the statement Anderson repeated this is one of the statements you are condemning, even Anderson knew it was ridiculous, because the statement is true.

I then watched as Anderson and David Gergen and Roland Martin went on to talk about how it is possible that Wright could be a patriot and could possibly love this country more than many people but feel that America has not lived up to what it could be, how we needed to dialogue about the issues behind the statements and see the entire ceremony before casting judgment. Imagine after backing Barack into a corner and after he had committed himself to a particular position the media was offering up another explanation for the same words that was before being characterized as evil and hateful. Making him denounce a man he obviously loves a great deal and who has had nothing but positive influence in his own personal growth. Great.