Filed under: Nobama, Uncategorized | Tags: Black community, Dr. King, freedom, history, moral slavery, Obama, truth, Wright
Is it possible to admire the rhetoric of a speech, and at the same time criticize its contents? Absolutely. While some Americans were deeply moved by Barack Obama’s race speech, other commentators have dismissed it uncategorically and unequivocally as the speech of a ‘mere politician.’ Some went on to call it the beginning of the end of his viable candidacy for the presidency of the United States. None of these commentators defined what they meant by ‘mere politician.’ They don’t have to. All of us, unfortunately, already know what that means.
The line that gives it away is the one in which he said, “I can no more disown him [Reverend Wright] than I can disown the black community.”
Therein lies the difference between a ‘mere politician’ and a leader. That line reveals a kind of spiritual slavery that seeks to enslave all of us, whatever our skin color, whatever our demographics. It seeks to enslave women who would vote for Hillary Clinton because she is a woman rather than because of the contents of her politics. It seeks to enslave those who would vote for John McCain because he is a white male.
For the black community is like every other community — sometimes it is wrong. Then it is the job of individuals within that community to shake off the chains of their demographics and stand up and be simply human beings seeking the truth. It was Barack’s single job during the 20 years he attended church to make that distinction, but he proved himself unable, and he proved himself unfit to be the president of the United States. His silence before what he says were wrong statements, strong, passionate, wrong statements, with which he did not agree, was a way to get votes, to have a base, to have an identity, to belong. But in the end, it is not the way to be.
This is what leaders are not. It doesn’t matter whether you are speaking of political choices or fashion choices. Leaders are themselves. They are not black or white or male or female or American or Iraqi or Catholic or Muslim or young or old — they are people who have set themselves on the road to truth whatever the cost. It is an absolutely an essential quality. It is an essential quality of human beings, real ones. When Dr. King asked America to judge African-Americans not for the color of their skin but for the content of their characters, he was asking to be allowed to escape from the mean, too-small shackles of his demographics and be an individual confronting the world and making his way in it. That is the demand of a man.
We may still elect Barack Obama. Or rather we may still elect a shell with a dark skin and a golden tongue. We will be ill-served. Such a person can never unite, they can only pander. They are not the great presidents. History forgets them. The black community will come to regret Barack Obama, his name associated with their name and the word “first.” America has every reason to trust the black community, for they have known great leaders, truly great leaders, who sometimes have gone against that community, when it was wrong, when it wished to languish in slavery rather than face the cold, hard way of freedom. We have every reason to trust that within the members of the black community lies the same love for truth that God puts within each man and woman. Let us pray that at this fateful hour the black community and all of America resists the temptation to vote for an empty caricature of what it means to be black and free.
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