Feb 5, 2008 2:39 pm


Something in me rebels when the son of a white woman and a Kenyan man welcomed into the most exclusive educational institutions the country has to offer as well as to its highest halls of power has the chutzpah to chastize it on its treatment of ethnic minorities. The fact that he is doing so at the time when an attempt by his Luo kinsman to be elected president has already claimed over 600 lives, only serves to enhance my outrage.

Obama should have used MLK day to expres his gratitude for the opportinities afforded him. He should have emphasized that his generaous response to his campaign reflects the enormous progress civil rights made in this country and how unique such openess remains in the world today. But he did not. There is not a single line of gratitude in his speech. There is not a single line acknowledging progress.

Irving Berlin wrote"God Bless America" at a time when Antisemitism flourished in the country and the ivy league had Jewish quotas. He trusted in the essential goodness of the country. This affirmative action baby who wants to be president, sees only the part of the glass that remains empty or he considers to be empty:

I'm talking about a moral deficit. I'm talking about an empathy deficit. I'm taking about an inability to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we are our brother's keeper; we are our sister's keeper; that, in the words of Dr. King, we are all tied together in a single garment of destiny.

We have an empathy deficit when we're still sending our children down corridors of shame - schools in the forgotten corners of America where the color of your skin still affects the content of your education.

We have a deficit when CEOs are making more in ten minutes than some workers make in ten months; when families lose their homes so that lenders make a profit; when mothers can't afford a doctor when their children get sick.

We have a deficit in this country when there is Scooter Libby justice for some and Jena justice for others; when our children see nooses hanging from a schoolyard tree today, in the present, in the twenty-first century.

We have a deficit when homeless veterans sleep on the streets of our cities; when innocents are slaughtered in the deserts of Darfur; when young Americans serve tour after tour of duty in a war that should've never been authorized and never been waged.

And we have a deficit when it takes a breach in our levees to reveal a breach in our compassion; when it takes a terrible storm to reveal the hungry that God calls on us to feed; the sick He calls on us to care for; the least of these He commands that we treat as our own.

So we have a deficit to close. We have walls - barriers to justice and equality - that must come down. And to do this, we know that unity is the great need of this hour.

Then, to demosntrate his bona fide, he chastizes the black community:

And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that none of our hands are entirely clean. If we're honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King's vision of a beloved community.

We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them. The scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community. For too long, some of us have seen immigrants as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity.

Barak Obama may appreciate Reagan's ability to move the country but he has yet to express the same love Reagan had for it. I would suggest he take a page from the book of another man of foreign origin who wanted to be president, Nicholas Sarkozy and express his love and gratitude to the land he seeks to rule. Indeed, it's time he told us how he will fight for us instead of fight us. Yes, we could do better. That's a given. But Barak Obama is nothing if not proof of how well we are already doing. Indeed, his failure to acknowlendge should give voters a pause.

Also see, The first affirmative action candidate.

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Tim Matthewson - 1/22/2008

Judging from the tone of the words posted above, I would guess that the Obama campaign will results in a resurgence of racism, as suggested by the "outrage" expressed by the author in the above blog.