...a blog by Richard Flowers

Friday, March 21, 2008

Day 2634: "Race" for the "White" House: It is because He is Black?


Race: It's been the ELEPHANT in the ROOM for most of the Presidential Primary campaign, but now it's turned into the BULL in the CHINA SHOP.

First one of Senator Hillary-Billary's top supporters, Ms Geraldine Ferrero-Rocher, had to quit for whinging that "Barry's only winning 'cos Barry is Black"!

But then the news got hold of Senator Barry O's former pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Oh-So-Wrong, saying "Mr God Damn America".

The EASIEST thing would be to CONDEMN them both… but instead, Barry chooses the DIFFICULT path of FORGIVENESS, and breaks your heart with this, perhaps his most important speech.

THIS is the speech that a "Black JFK" would make.

(Regardless of whether you think that being the inheritor of JFK makes you an iconic and tragic hero or a womanising warmongering loony, you've gotta admit he had CLASS when it came to public oratory.)

But just the POSSIBILITY that this guy might be for REAL, surely that has got to be worth something.

Race is the wound in the heart of America.

You can blame Aristotle for the stupid idea that some people DESERVE to be slaves while others deserve to be free; or you can blame Pope Gregory the Great for deciding that it was OK for Christians to have slaves so long as the slaves weren't Christians; or you can blame the British – goodness knows EVERYONE blames the British – for shipping ten million easily colour-coded black people to America as slaves in chains; or you can blame the founding fathers for not spotting the clue in the "all men are created equal".

You can blame the South for never getting over the fact that they lost the civil war; you can blame the North for overcompensating for never forgiving themselves for winning; you can blame the rich for building a new Nation off the back of the cheapest possible labour; you can blame the poor for blaming their poverty on everyone else.

In the end, the cycle of blame has got to STOP.

That time may not have come; the words of Rev Wrong may have permanently derailed the Senator's campaign. But at the very least this is the speech of someone who WANTS that cycle to stop.

And you know what? It turns out that Senator Barry is RIGHT: America needs a healer more than it needs another warrior; so, perhaps America needs a black man more than it needs a white woman.

I usually finish these American-flavour diaries with a cheery "Mr God Bless Amnesia"… but I think this one wants remembering.

Barry O… good luck, and may your god go with you.

No comments: