Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bobby Kennedy in Indianapolis, April 4th, 1968

Thanks to irishamerican at Daily Kos for the video link.

This past weekend's events surrounding Senator Barack Obama and the issue of his minister's rhetoric were highly emotional for the country as well as for myself. The vehemence of Rev. Wright's text was charged, to say the least, and I'm sure highly offensive to many. And while saying that, I also believe that many people believe what he says. Whether it's rumors about 9/11 being planned or rumors about AIDs as a constructed and planned African plague, some people will believe crazy stuff no matter what the proof. These rumors are pervasive. Some religious and non-religious people also believe that gays are bad and bacon is too.

I have also noticed that while both people and press have been horrible on Clinton, Obama has had to walk a much hotter gauntlet then she has lately. She went through the wringer back in the day, and possibly misogynist and sexist overtures have clouded people's judgments now, but there are also quite compelling reasons not to fully back her for the presidential nomination, namely, her vote on the Iraq War "Authority to Use Military Force" and her vote for the Kyl-Lieberman Act.

Meanwhile, Obama has had to walk not only the "he's a closet radical Muslim" Rollerball game, but now he's about to be made to fit into the "he's a closet radical Black Nationalist Christian" Running Man scenario. He's been alluded to as an Affirmative-Action Candidate doll (with With Amazing push-button Running of Dynamic Campaign Action!), but really, let's just say he's only where he is because he's lucky to be black. Oh, and he's lying about his house, too. He probably not only eats babies (as a Clinton supporter once said of her candidate in a fit of rage at how Obama supporters where treating her candidate) said to me, but probably worships the Angry God of All Black People, too.

Hey, I know that Angry Black God dude, and let me tell you, he's one angry Mofo. (Dude, you know I love you.)

So, I was dismayed, to say the least, at seeing the sermon of Rev. Wright when it hit the virus waves on Friday. Dismayed because a part of me believes them (a subset of affluent Americans, regardless of race, is determined to keep and hold onto power for the sake of money and control; while 9/11 wasn't an inside job, there were obvious miscues in the Bush administration regarding their wealth of information on possible al Qaeda attacks (see "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the United States.")). I have also said, a few times, at least, words similar to "God Damn America." Boo hoo. Live with it. 100% patriotism without a bit of anger now and then over these last eight years is asking for a whole heck of a lot from someone who so vehemently disagrees with the present administration.

Other sentiments professed by Wright, I have some harder issues with. While Sen. Clinton may have never been called the N-word, she has been called a host of other crude words. After all, there is a group of freakenoids (by way of Republican lobbyist and "I Scream at Spitzer" nightmare Roger Stone) who has created an anti-Hillary site that spells out the acronym: C.U.N.T.

Believe it or not. That crap hurts as much as being called a boy.

So, now, Sen. Obama has had to reject and denounce a host of people in order to calm the brows of the American people who have been once again stirred up by Race Fever. And now, it's at an emotional height instead of a "let's burn down the neighborhood" height. Well, thank the FSM for small miracles.

Luckily, Senator Obama, faces this explosion head-on. How? He faces it by sitting down with the Netroots first (Huffington Post), moves on to friendly teevee media (Keith Olbermann), and then proceeds to choppier waters: CNN and ultimately, the central hub of our Race Fever: Fox News.

If you haven't guessed it by now, I'm satisfied with my candidate, Senator Barack Hussein Obama for President of the United States of America. If he is 1/3 as good as I think he will be as President, then I'll be ok. I know that he is both progressive and centrist, with a healthy combination in between. (Of course, he could be more progressive for me, but then again, you should know that by now, too.)

So I was happy that Obama sat down not only with the press teevee outlets, but then he went one step further, to the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday as well. Both newspapers have endorsed him in the primary and both have said that he needed to come clean about the Rezko / house buying allegations regarding possible influence peddling between him now indicted Rezko. So, a few days after his campaign issued a huge list of the earmarks that have been requested by Obama since he's been in the Senate, he spent over 1.5 hours with each of the papers individually. And the Tribune actually put the entire taped interview online.

I'm sure Sen. Obama will have to jump over a few more hoops before his final destination as the Democratic nominee, and that's ok. November, is, after all, a long way away.

Finally, Obama addressed a rally on Saturday in Indianapolis. Just prior to finishing his remarks and answering audience questions, he evoked a speech made by Robert Kennedy in the days after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. He reminded the audience that it was in Indianapolis where Kennedy gave his speech, and it is these words that I would like to hold onto as we continue down the road to electing Obama as president and hopefully producing some healing to not only internal American wounds but external wounds as well.

By way of Mother Talkers and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, here is the speech given by Bobby Kennedy upon the death of Dr. King:
I have bad news for you, for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and killed tonight.

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice for his fellow human beings, and he died because of that effort.

In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black--considering the evidence there evidently is that there were white people who were responsible--you can be filled with bitterness, with hatred, and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in great polarization--black people amongst black, white people amongst white, filled with hatred toward one another.

Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love.

For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man. But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He wrote: "In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black.

So I shall ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, that's true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love--a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke.

We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times; we've had difficult times in the past; we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; it is not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings who abide in our land.

Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.

Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

In our current fever, I hope that there is a calm head amongst us to lead. I will try to be a calm head myself.

Here's to another week at the races and one more day closer to the White House.

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