Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Obama Race Speech


I am here because of Ashley

Finally the white, or should I say Black elephant in the room has been brought to light. Sen. Obama has so far run a campaign based on the issues and has sought to avoid racial commentary, not on the bases of its lack of importance but on the basis that it is a distraction from the issues, political & economical, that a president should be elected on. Well the American people have been distracted and it is not for the lack of effort. Many other scandals have been drugged up to do so, including his placement in Muslim schools, plays on his name that sought to link him to terrorism and the ridiculous comments made by Iowa Republican congressman Steve King who sought to impress upon the American people that "Terrorists would be dancing in the streets" if Sen. Obama was elected.

What finally won the full attention of the American public were the comments of Rev Wright, a pastor and mentor to Sen Obama who referred to accurate social commentary in one particular sermon pointing out the differences in the daily challenges that Black Americans face versus their white counterparts. This is not news to many of us; what the good reverend has spoken about occurs daily in the lives of many African American citizens. Nor has this been the first that is a topic of contention. We hear this commentary in black music, in the barbershop, the beauty salon, even on the 'block'. The scars left from years of black oppression is not something that we will sweep under the carpet, it is not something that we can so easily forget, but it is something that we can grow from, it is something that can inspire change. That was Sen Obama's message. Injustice happens, it is not a Black thing, it is not an Asian or even a Latino thing. It does not solely happen based on race but also on social class. It happens everyday all over the world, but we can no longer absorb & internalise this. We can no longer allow it to force us to be bitter & preach bitterness. Hate can no longer consume us & while we can not let it go, we have to use it for good.

Sen Obama accepts the awful truth in what the minister spoke about. He disagrees & condemns how it was put forward because it conveys the idea that the world is 'static' and this truth will always be 'the truth'. He cannot agree with that message, although he cannot distance himself from the messenger, because he is campaigning to be the next American president as a black man and has been quite successful thus far. This is a slap in the face of the 'static' theory. It is proof positive that America can change. Do not be confused and believe that his campaign speaks only to his ability to change, because his belief that America can change does not just come from within. That change he speaks of was not brought about by him, nor his charismatic leadership style. No. That change has been brought about by Ashley. A young, hopeful, selfless, colour blind, class blind white woman who not only realises that America will not prosper if this change does not come, but also realises that its her job, just as it is our job, to effect this change in ourselves & the lives of the people that we touch. The buck stops here. Cynicism cannot be taught to another generation; History can be taught, Unity can be taught, Change can be taught.

-Gynelle Findlay

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Inspirational

oba said...

Wow superman's mama this piece is deep, and I see you playing a role in Jamaica's politics.

oba said...

Wow superman's mama this piece is deep, and I see you playing a role in Jamaica's politics.