Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A More Perfect Union...

We may just have witnessed the return of oratory to American politics. Obama actually wrote this speech himself. I was an Edwards supporter, and I've always been skeptical of anyone around whom a cult of personality grows. I worried about the possibility that he didn't have enough experience. However, one can grow up in a political family, with a senator for a grandfather, a president for a father, and still be an incurious fool whose reverse Midas Touch turns everything to shit. Anyone who has a character this thoughtful to respond to Hillary and her surrogates race-baiting in this manner deserves my vote.

This is a speech about race, and that even more ignored problem of American Society...class. The Land of Social Mobility. Horatio Alger. One of the greatest and most enduring myths of America is that we are a classless society. We carry the mutated vestiges of our Puritan Founders ideas, and their worship of Calvinist Predestination. Simply put, rich people are good, and poor bad, because God rewarded the rich by making them rich, and punished the poor by making them poor. God wants you to side with the rich, good people. Pretty damned stupid, and I think Jesus would beg to differ, but still this is an undercurrent in the racial and class divisions we see today. Anybody can get ahead in America, if they don't there must obviously be something wrong with them.

Oh, wait there's angry Black people? Still? Why? That this needs to be explained to a good portion of this country is astounding.

African Americans as a group have tended to be poorer than Whites. Why? Because of the policies of the American government plain and simple.

"A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one's family, contributed to the erosion of black families – a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods – parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement – all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us."

I'll write more about this later. I'm just so glad that he is talking about healing wounds instead of opening them wider.

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