6 de Junio, 2008
Tus Mensajes [Mirrors and Time]
Here is the person I've called "D," when mentioning them before. "D," is John, a reader in Georgia, and here he shares a story on Obama and this moment in time.
Given this historic opportunity, I think it is extremely important we start to share stories from different communities. Here are my thoughts on Barack's speech on race.
We have experienced such a complete collapse of leadership throughout America, that when genuine leadership is displayed, most people don't know what it is. They think it's a trick or a stunt. It has to be phony.
The Clintons came to recognize Obama's leadership skills, which is why they played the only card they had left-to try to marginalize him as "the black candidate-with scary baggage". But like all great leaders, Barack rose to and surpassed the occasion. The Clintons thought he was bush league (all puns intended), but they are actually taking on Jackie Robinson.
If our country can't elect this man of complexity, keen intelligence and compassion, then we simply can't solve the problems of the Iraq war, health care, a collapsing economy, immigration and skyrocketing energy costs. All of these enormous issues are going to require us to do big things, and do them differently. Barack has flaws like all the rest of us. And yet, in his role as a leader his message is always uplifting, unifying and grounded in reality.
His speech yesterday was not about a smoke screen to hide his escape from the blow up, but about mirrors. How we look at ourselves and our problems-and on the matter of race-how all of us often look away. How contradictions within ourselves and our communities reside side-by-side. All of us are complicit with the legacy of shame and inequality that was given to us by our ancestors and it is often used in the political arena to further divide each generation of Americans.
For all those who said he didn't do enough, do a video blog or stand before an audience and offer a public accounting of the conduct of your life. Clinton and her surrogates, along with portions of the media, maneuvered Obama into what they thought was a corner, and by his response yesterday, now look so petty, craven and exposed. Even those who don't know, deserve something better.
I'm a black man who feels all sides of Barack's multifaceted argument. My father was among the first black marines in our history (he was in the Marianas and at Tarawa), my grandfather was among those black troops who fought in WW I, my great-great grandfather was a cowboy on the Chisolm Trail, my ancestors go back to western North Carolina where slaves took the name of the local owner and where our families crossed. They took off after the Civil War to west/central Kansas to escape the trauma of the war and the tyranny of serfdom.
Our past may not be past, but it is certainly interconnected. This is why I support Barack Obama.
John Doxey, Decatur, Georgia