God Damn America. Most Americans don’t agree with that statement. Presidential candidate Barrack Obama doesn’t and yesterday in Philadelphia gave another inspiring speech denouncing much of what Reverend Wright delivered from the pulpit.
Unlike many politicians Obama didn’t distance himself from Reverend Wright but embraced him. At one point Obama said, “As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me.” I think every person in America understood exactly what that means. You don’t throw your family away even though they may be embarrassing at times.
My mother always told me to hate the sin but love the sinner. I think that’s a subtlety lost on many of todays right wing politicians and religious leaders. Many of whom just a few short weeks ago were implying Obama was a Muslim are now saying Obama has been going to a Christian Church for years where the pastor is a racist. I guess the idea is to throw enough mud untill it sticks.
To his credit Obama was mostly silent on the attempted religious slurs (even though being a Muslim is not a slur) but tackled the issue of race firmly and decisively. He continued and clarified his campaign of hope and unity saying, “We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demoagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias, but race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Rev. Wright made in his offending sermons about America — to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.”
Adding later, “We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election…We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies. We can do that. But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.”
Barrack Obama’s campaign is about change, not just change in the White House but a fundamental change in how as Americans we see each other and the rest of the world. It’s not just about race, it’s about gender, religion, sexual preference and all the things that have divided us. It’s time to recognize our differences and embrace our similarities.