Amid all this blogging about slavery comes the announcement that an African American is running for President of the United States. Barack Obama delivered his announcement speech in Springfield IL, evoking the memory of Abraham Lincoln who also went to Washington without much national experience. This is historic. (Of course, Monica is handing me tissue.)
It is not to negate or discount the previous Presidential runs of Rev. Jesse Jackson or Rev. Al Sharpton. These men ran with different goals. Neither had designs on the White House. Oh they ran in earnest, but they are both realists. Both ran to bring to national attention and to the platform, issues that are routinly forgotten during the campaign and nominating convention, and the Administration. They ran to win delegates that transform into clout at the table and in the ear of a perspective President. They ran to make sure issues important to minority and poor Americans are included in the agenda and plans of the party and the nation. They both achieved their goals.
But Senator Barack Obama runs for more than a voice at the table. He wants to sit at the head. It is ridiculously long overdue.
About his inexperience:
He is determined it will not be business as usual. That's a good thing.
"I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness – a certain audacity – to this announcement," Obama said. "I know I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change."
Ask Not What Your Country.......
"Each and every time, a new generation has risen up and done what's needed to be done. Today we are called once more — and it is time for our generation to answer that call."
Stop the blame game.
"And when all else fails, when Katrina happened, or the death toll in Iraq mounts, we've been told that our crises are somebody else's fault. We're distracted from our real failures, and told to blame the other party, or gay people, or immigrants. "
For the video and text of Obama's speech, click here.