Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Obama Should Quit Race (Part II)

Barack Obama often tells people he’s not in the race to further his political career and this is a good time to demonstrate that. No doubt the Senator had the best of intentions in keeping race out of the picture when he began his campaign, but now it has become the elephant in the room. Reverend Wright’s raillery has managed to insult both African-Americans and “whites” and has derailed all talk of issues at a time when issues should become more and more the focus of the presidential race. Obama has spent months in an indecisive mode, at first refusing to distance himself from Wright and Farrakhan, and then having to do it anyway weeks later as Wright’s fulminations knocked other headlines off the front pages of the nation’s newspapers.

It would be a statesman-like action to step down from the race in the interest of “party unity.” The move would also allow time for leaders to stanch the suppurating wounds which have been opened up as charges of racism fly in often unlikely and irresponsible directions. When every utterance must be confined and examined within the context of race, we have lost more than a little bit of free speech.
There has been a great deal of overstatement and from Reverend Wright and others of the ‘evil intentions’ of European-Americans and other ‘blue-eyed devils.’ Some of my best friends are white people. Many of them did not live in America during the days of slavery, nor did their ancestors. Most of my “white” friends (who are really gray or tan, at best) do not hold themselves superior to anyone on the basis of race or culture. And sure, many whites can just as easily see instances of racism as anyone else , but it is rarely to the degree expressed by Reverend Wright(introduction of AIDS virus to Africa), who is both a victim of and a perpetrator of the very evil he uses to justify his hate.

Now is a good time for Barack Obama to step down from the race. By that very act, he would accomplish a conciliatory feat of such magnitude that it would earn a place in history among other legendary American leaders. At the age of 42, Mr. Obama would gain more experience and surface again in later years with impeccable credentials and leadership qualities. Right now, he appears merely indecisive and lacking in judgment.

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