Thursday, March 20, 2008

Race in America

Barack Obama's powerful speech on Race in America on Tuesday was a poignant moment in this campaign. He addressed an issue that I had honestly hoped would not have to be addressed. After listening to his speech, I realized that it had to be addressed, and it's going to be a long conversation. For all we hope that these divisions don't exist, they do, and we are better off confronting them and working toward healing old and new wounds rather than glossing over them.

As if preaching from a text, the speech began with the preamble to the Constitution, "we the people, in order to form a more perfect Union..."

Indeed it has not yet been perfected, but it is up to all of us to work to form a more perfect Union.

Some of my favorite political commentary comes from Jon Stewart. On The Daily Show on Tuesday night, after all the requisite funny observations, Stewart offered this:

"At 11:00 on a Tuesday, a prominent politician spoke to Americans about race, as though they were adults."

If you haven't watched the whole speech for yourself, please do so. I found it much more powerful than just seeing or hearing a few soundbites on the news.

This is not the end of the conversation. This is not the beginning of the conversation. But the other day, Obama offered our country an important and honest contribution to this conversation about race that our country is all too happy to ignore.

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