Always thoughtful and well worded, “The Tin Man ” provides an insightful look at the speech made my Barack Obama on Tuesday concerning race relations in America. It deserves a full read at his site. A portion is here below.
It’s not an easy speech to digest. You have to do a little more work to understand it than you have to do with most politicians’ speeches. It’s only words, but it demonstrated a fine understanding of the racial divisions that contribute so much to mutual suspicion and animosity in our country today. And, not incidentally, Obama also did a fine job, I thought, of explaining that sometimes, you have emotional ties to people in your life who may say things and hold beliefs that you profoundly disagree with. You might choose to shun these people. Or you might choose not to shun them, because even though you disagree with them, they’ve become like family to you, and you prefer not to shun family.
And yet some people think it’s their place to judge Obama for the choice he’s made.
I’m tired of reading comments by people who think it’s their place to judge how another human being handles a particular situation. As I said, I’ve seen similar comments on numerous blogs in the last 24 hours, and it frustrates me to no end. People are coming to a situation with their preconceived notions, and they won’t let anything change their minds.
I’ve been guilty of this myself, of course. In this political season, I’ve felt a visceral dislike of Hillary Clinton over the last couple of months, and I’ve expressed it on this blog. I’ve been trying to combat that dislike. I can’t presume to know what’s in her heart or her mind. I don’t think she’s an Ambitious Dragon Lady; I think she has deeply held, deeply felt beliefs about health care, and about children, and about making this country a better place. I don’t know if she has the political skill to achieve her goals as president; she might be deluding herself, as all politicians do (including, perhaps, Obama). And I think she’s made some dishonorable political choices in this campaign. My primal instinct is to hate her guts and hold her in contempt for the way she’s conducted it. But I’m trying to get past that, because, really, what the hell do I know?
“What the hell do I know.” I wish more people lived by that creed instead of feeling secure in their certitude. I try to, even though I’m not nearly as successful at it as I’d like to be.