Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Obama's Race Speech

Yesterday in his speech "A More Perfect Union," addressing the inflammatory remarks of his former pastor Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., Barack Obama offered a vision for how we might move forward past the pain, anger and frustration of generations of blacks and whites on the matter of race in America.

Acknowledging that this anger and resentment has "helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation" (a vast understatement, given America's slavery-past), he urged Americans to embrace "the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past."

Unlike other politicians, Obama speaks to Americans as adults instead of children. Human nature is complex - we are all possessed of both good and bad qualities. In refusing to throw his longtime pastor and friend under the bus when the latter's inflammatory comments created difficulties for him, he demonstrated admirable compassion. Just as he and we should be compassionate with the United States and not throw it under the bus when its leaders act in abhorrent fashion by invading sovereign nations on false pretenses and advocating torture techniques.

Obama demonstrates the sort of compassion and progressive thinking America desperately needs. There is good in all human beings, and there is good in the United States - now how are we going to work together to bring out our greater good?