29 November 2014

Senator Obama, the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party for President, delivered a profound speech today at the NAACP Convention.

He deftly connected his campaign to the historic civil rights journey, and the leaders that paved the way for historic race for the presidency in 2008.  He coupled personal responsibility with government intervention, which triggers private sector investment, and addressed structural inequalities head on.  To me that is a sound and full gospel for change and a basis for hope.  This comprehensive “big tent” message is good for the healing of our nation. 

Senator Obama provided a comprehensive analysis of the problems and solutions needed to address today’s agenda.  It was a common ground analysis asserting that the civil rights agenda is an agenda shared by ALL Americans.  He spoke directly to the structural inequalities confronting Black America in the schools and expressed his outrage that one in five African Americans going without the health care.  He raised a pointed critique of poverty whether in Anacostia or Appalachia.  Quoting Dr. King, Sen. Obama emphasized that that social justice must be joined with its “inseparable twin,” economic justice.

Senator Obama articulated the shared role and responsibilities of government, the private sector and individuals families have in making American better "to break the cycle of poverty and violence gripping this country.”

He echoed Dr. King’s vision that freedom is a step toward real economic equality and equal protection under the law, "That means removing the barriers of prejudice and misunderstanding that still exist in America… It means fighting to eliminate discrimination from every corner of our country. It means changing hearts and changing minds and making sure that every American is treated equally under the law."

Lastly, he correctly asserted that the Black community and families must also take personal responsibility to lift ourselves up and not tear ourselves down.  This is an undeniable facet of our equality struggle, and Obama said, “no matter how many… government programs we launch -- none of it will make any difference if we don't seize more responsibility in our own lives."

In doing so, Senator Obama displayed his keen sense of the historic moment in which we find ourselves.  His campaign is a redemptive moment for America and indeed the entire world, demonstrating the best of America where people come together and assume shared responsibilities to create a more perfect union.