“Not this time.”

Alright so apparently you guys have made me feel comfortable enough to post more political stuff. If you know you disagree with me, you can choose to not click below or you can and maybe we can discuss!

So, as most of you know, because CNN told everyone, Barack Obama made a historic speech on March 18th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The speech is entitled “A More Perfect Union”. If you have only seen snippets on the news, I would encourage you to take 40 mintues out of your day (I actually spaced it out over two days) and watch the speech in it’s entirety. I’ve even included a convenient video so you don’t have to naviagate away! Hooray!

I know for sure that there are people out there who do not value the ability of this man to speak well and count it folly that anyone would see a mere speech as important (see Hillary Clinton). As an intelligent American, I know that many politicians will come and go, with many promises that will never be seen through to fruition. But then, this speech is not about what Obama says he will accomplish when he becomes President. It is about defending himself and his heritage and also about opening up a conversation that we have long ignored as a nation. Mostly it is about presenting his beliefs to the world, hoping that people will see beyond the politics and into the idea of change.

In my opinion, speeches can sometimes change everything.Think about some famous speeches over the course of our nation’s history and then think about the fact that the speech itself didn’t change things but it certainly got the wheels turning.

This speech, if not ignored by most, is a moment in history that shouldn’t be forgotten or glossed over. To see a man stand up and put his heart, beliefs and character on the line – quote scripture, reference every race, age and walk of life, is ONLY possible in America. I believe that with every fiber of my being. And I really believe Obama when he says he knows that as well.

I’ve watched the entire thing and I think the last part of the speech is what voters should really focus on. I will copy and paste the text from a transcript on CNN.com found here.

In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world’s great religions demand — that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother’s keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister’s keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.

For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle — as we did in the O.J. trial — or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina — or as fodder for the nightly news.

We can play Rev. Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words.

We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time.” This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children.

This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn; that those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st Century economy. Not this time.

This time we want to talk about how the lines in the emergency room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care, who don’t have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together.

This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life.

This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn’t look like you might take your job; it’s that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit.

This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag.

We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should’ve been authorized and never should’ve been waged, and we want to talk about how we’ll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.

I would not be running for president if I didn’t believe with all my heart that this is what the vast majority of Americans want for this country. This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected.

And today, whenever I find myself feeling doubtful or cynical about this possibility, what gives me the most hope is the next generation — the young people whose attitudes and beliefs and openness to change have already made history in this election.

Also, if you’re still iffy about Obama’s connection and defense of his former pastor (first think about the flaws in your own church), read this excerpt from his speech and think about it.

Ironically, this quintessentially American — and yes, conservative — notion of self-help found frequent expression in Rev. Wright’s sermons. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change.

The profound mistake of Rev. Wright’s sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country — a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black, Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old — is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past.

But what we know — what we have seen — is that America can change. That is the true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope — the audacity to hope — for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.


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March 2008
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In My Head

"I'm already out of foolproof ideas so don't ask me how to get started. It's all uncharted." - Sara Barielles
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