Sometimes things and/or people we don’t deal with effectively come back to bite us in the butt.
For Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright has done just that.
Maybe that’s a good thing.
Some are saying that Jeremiah Wright should just be ignored, he doesn’t have a place in the talks on this election, he’s distracting from the real issues, he’s being associated with Barack’s character and that’s not fair, and so on and so on.
In watching Michelle Obama in an interview this week, she said that she and Barack have put this issue [Jeremiah Wright] behind them and they are moving forward.
In watching Barack Obama give a speech this week, he said that he was offended by some of the remarks stated by Jeremiah Wright and it became clear that Barack was distancing himself from his former pastor.
What I find so interesting is that just days prior I received an email from the Obama campaign. The email was an offer for a limited edition print and DVD of Barack’s speech on race in America with a minimum donation of $30 — the very speech he gave in response to Jeremiah Wright’s first YouTube appearance.
The speech in which Barack stated about Jeremiah Wright:
I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.
Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable. I can assure you it is not. I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, 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 Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America – to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.
The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through – a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.
Barack Obama’s speech on race in America was a powerful one.
What has changed between the time Barack gave his speech on race in America and now that would cause Barack to distance himself from Jeremiah Wright?
What has changed between the time Barack gave his speech on race in America and now that would cause Michelle Obama to say that she and Barack have put this issue [Jeremiah Wright] behind them and they are moving on to the real issues in America?
According to Barack, I thought the words Jeremiah Wright had been speaking:
…reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through – a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.
So what changed?
No, I don’t think so.
Racial problems in America?
No, I don’t think so.
I sure hope so.
The tough part about experience as a teacher is that she always gives the test first.
I like Barack Obama. I really do.
And I think he will make a tremendous leader…
…in 4 – 8 years.
Jeremiah Wright has served as an excellent teacher.
And I think history will prove Jeremiah Wright to be one of Barack’s greatest life teachers.
Sometimes it’s the most challenging people and/or experiences in our lives that teach us the greatest lessons.
For Barack, I think this very public lesson on what he has allowed to be filtered out of his own personal ability to see a man’s true nature — a man so close to him he considered him a part of his family — is one of the greatest lesson this future world leader could ever learn.
America and the world has had 8 years of bad judgment and hidden agendas come forth from the current administration.
With Barack’s charisma, passionate speaking ability, and four – eight more years of high level government experience, I believe he will be the candidate of choice.
I believe with four – eight more years of high level government experience, Barack will be a leader of tremendous quality and perhaps even one of the greatest leaders in history.
I don’t believe he holds the right qualities that we need in a leader RIGHT NOW. I believe he holds many fantastic qualities that with time and patience will be the exact qualities needed to make the greatest impact he can as a world leader.
We journey through our school system one grade at a time for a reason. With each year, we learn lessons that enable us to understand the next year’s lessons.
I know Barack engages hope.
And I applaud that quality within him. I admire that quality within him.
I know Barack connects to people.
Another quality I applaud and admire.
I want for him more than hope and the ability to connect.
I want for him to be the absolute best leader he can be.
I don’t think he’s there yet.
I think he’s made a grand start, but I also think he’s jumped out of the gate and the horn hasn’t gone off yet.
I think Barack Obama will run his best race when he’s run it with the wisdom of patience on his side.
I think he will be the best world leader he can be when he achieves a balance of experience with the ability to connect.
And I think the world will be better for it.