Obama’s “More Perfect Union”
Tuesday morning Barack Obama delivered a powerful speech in Philadelphia about the need to talk openly and honestly about America’s racial troubles, and the need of all Americans to unite and focus on real issues and not get caught up in the usual crud of divisive politics.
The gist of it is that America started with a serious problem: slavery, and America has been moving away from that problem for a long time, but problems of racism and the legacies of inequality have left scars that one can still feel today. Sometimes black folk express anger and frustration at injustices and the slow pace of progress, and sometimes white people express frustration and offense at the idea that they should have to work to repair the damage wrought by generations past, when they have plenty of their own difficulties to focus on.
And all too often, politicians exploit these frustrations to set Americans against each other and distract them from working together on the real challenges that we collectively face. If we want change, we can not pretend that these divisions do not exist: we must acknowledge them, openly and honestly. We must remember that they can be a distraction from important work. We must reach out to one another and work together on the more important common concerns that unite us: education, health, defense, climate instability.
Here’s a link to a high-quality video from the campaign without the CNN ticker:
Budget 40 minutes. Or you can read the text.
America is fortunate this year: in Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain we have a diversity of candidates whom we actually admire. I’m supporting Barack Obama.