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Michelle Malkin verses Michelle Obama

There is an email wandering through the internet. No, this one is not from that guy in Africa who has $20 million that he needs your help and your money to procure. This one is an article that right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin wrote called, “Michelle Obama’s America—and Mine.” Michelle Malkin, like most of the neocons, took exception to Michelle Obama when she said, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.” Ms. Malkin’s article took off on the things that she is proud of as a woman-of-color, like Michelle Obama.

We were adults through several launches of the Space Shuttle, in case you were snoozing. [Ed. note: Speaking of which, welcome back, Atlantis!] And as adults, we’ve witnessed and benefited from dizzyingly rapid advances in technology, communications, science, and medicine pioneered by American entrepreneurs who yearned and succeeded to change the world. You want “change?” Go ask the patients whose lives have been improved and extended by American pharmaceutical companies who have flourished under the best economic system in the world.

If the fall of communism, American ingenuity, and a robust constitutional republic don’t do it for you, hon, then how about American heroism and sacrifice? (more…)

Michelle Malkin is a right-wing tool. Anything that a right-wing person says is okay with her and anything that a liberal says is wrong. It is clear to me that Mrs. Obama was speaking figuratively, not literally, but it doesn’t matter.

In the last 20 – 30 years what has America done to make us proud? The Space Shuttle is a stretch. It is nice, but I’m not sure that I get national pride out of the space shuttle. The Berlin wall coming down didn’t fill me with American pride. I’m sorry it didn’t. I was happy for Europe and the people liberated from Soviet oppression. I’m sorry, but on 9/11 I felt national sadness. Yes, there were individual acts of heroism and I sit here in awe of what they did or tried to do, but no it wasn’t national pride. I think that is an incredible stretch to say that you love America because of American antibiotics or a CT scan. Instead, you are happy that that service is available to you.

Now, I did feel national pride when the U.S. beat Russia in Olympic hockey back in 1980 or 1976? I did feel national pride when President Bush stood at Ground Zero and every one was chanting “USA, USA.”

On the campaign trail you give thousands of speeches. You can stick to the script and sound like John Kerry or you can wander off from time to time. Sometimes you will say something that rubs some folks the wrong way. All you can do is apologize and try to move on. Hopefully, folks will see through the smoke screen and see who you really are.

Finally, I don’t think that there is a Black man or woman in American who is in my place (as a trauma surgeon) or even in Mrs. Obama’s that doesn’t realize we couldn’t have achieved our status in any other country. We profoundly love America. We love America ever single day. But we see an America with great potential who needs to be pushed or pulled some times to get closer to the goal outlined in our Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I would invite Michelle Malkin to Asheville and ask her to come to my emergency room, or any ER (I’m guessing that Ms. Malkin lives in DC, Howard University Hospital would be a great ER to visit), in the country. Here you see suffering. You see people who are living in cars because they have been laid off. You see people who have returned to the emergency room with some complication because they can’t afford their medicine. Here is where you see the real effects of poverty. The spirit crushing effects. Your national pride falls when you are in the emergency room. Yes, you still love America but you sure wish that we could do better.

By | 2008-04-20T22:37:19+00:00 April 20th, 2008|Election 2008, Race|Comments Off on Michelle Malkin verses Michelle Obama

Why I Liked Obama's Race Speech

There are several reasons I liked Senator Barack Obama’s recent speech on race:

1. By correctly refusing to disown Pastor Jeremiah Wright, Obama showed loyalty.

2. By speaking at length about the good points and bad points of the black church, Obama acknowledged the basic humanity and complexity of the average person.

3. By addressing the historical experience of both blacks and whites in the United States, Obama asked us to consider context. Although this is something increasingly rare in our fragmented  and quick-paced society, context is a starting point of seeing the lives of others in a humane and caring way.

4. By speaking in a reasonably forthright manner about a difficult subject, Obama respected the intelligence of the average voter.

5. By offering the opportunity to move past divisive racial concerns in the 2008 Election, Obama offered voters a positive choice.

Here is a good USA Today story on the speech (No, you don’t need to read the 11,821 comments so far made about the story).

Here is the complete transcript of the speech.

Here is the Obama campaign web page.

By | 2008-03-19T22:03:01+00:00 March 19th, 2008|Election 2008, Race|4 Comments

Text of Obama's Speech on Race

Obama was 100% correct when he said that we have to confront race if we are going to get some of these tough problems solved.

I encourage everyone to read this speech and/or watch it. This is a great speech.

Below is the text of Obama’s speech, as it was prepared for delivery. I added some bold for emphasis.

———————

“We the people, in order to form a more perfect union.”

Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America’s improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.

The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation’s original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.

Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution – a Constitution that had at is very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.

And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part – through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk – to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.

This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign – to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America. I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together – unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction – towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.

This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story.

I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton’s Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I’ve gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world’s poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners – an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

It’s a story that hasn’t made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts – that out of many, we are truly one.

Throughout the first year of this campaign, against all predictions to the contrary, we saw how hungry the American people were for this message of unity. Despite the temptation to view my candidacy through a purely racial lens, we won commanding victories in states with some of the whitest populations in the country. In South Carolina, where the Confederate Flag still flies, we built a powerful coalition of African Americans and white Americans.

This is not to say that race has not been an issue in the campaign. At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either “too black” or “not black enough.” We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. The press has scoured every exit poll for the latest evidence of racial polarization, not just in terms of white and black, but black and brown as well. (more…)

By | 2008-03-18T14:09:34+00:00 March 18th, 2008|Election 2008, Race, Religion|1 Comment