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Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Obama Nomination: An American Triumph

    The Obama Nomination: An American Triumph

The nomination of Barak Obama was indeed an American triumph, a triumph over racism as a collective ill of our society. And, yes, it was a special triumph for the Democratic Party who took the lead in fighting for equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their race, in the 1940s. I can’t imagine that it will be too long before a talented and qualified African-American becomes the Presidential nominee of the Republican Party. We are indeed blessed to have two parties, both Republicans and Democrats, who oppose and detest racism in America. The Republicans may be late to the cause, but today they are just as ardent, from the precinct to the White House, in their rejection of racism. The fact is that over the past 30 years, both have led the way by nominating qualified candidates to major political positions, from the Secretary of State to the Supreme Court Justices. While the parties advocate different solutions to the major issues of our day, including those that affect minorities and black Americans in particular, racism is simply not tolerated within either party.

Senator Barak Obama became the Democratic nominee because he was the first choice of Democrats, black and white, on the issues they support, because of "Clinton fatigue," and not, one would hope, because he was black. I include the latter because to oppose or support someone simply on the basis of race is the very definition of racism.

Now, let us also hope that those in the news media will not dishonor Senator Obama by suggesting that opposition to the Senator is based on racism. To portray those who oppose the election of Barak Obama because they disagree with him on the issues or are concerned about his character or background, epitomizes the racism that America needs to put behind us. In fact, using race in any way to gain political advantage is not only cynical, but detestable, and detrimental to our nation.

Senator Obama is an American and to treat him fairly and honestly, as I believe the Democrats did in their primary process, his positions, his record, and his choice of confidants become fair game, just as they are for John McCain.

What is racism? It is, of course, hatred or dislike of another person, simply on the basis of race. It is also affection or support for anyone on the basis of race. Has racism been eliminated from our society? That is, of course, an uninformed question, to put it gently. Racism is a sin, just like stealing, jealousy, dishonoring your parents, adultery, lying, putting other things before God, or any of the other sins enumerated in the Ten Commandments. 

Are you a sinner? Am I a sinner? Of course, it is the nature of the human condition. Only a fool would assert that he or she is without sin. As it says in the Bible, "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8). Accordingly, hatred (racism), or lying, or stealing, or jealousy, or dishonoring God will never be eliminated as long as the sun comes up in the morning. Those who endeavor to create perfect societies, like the Communists do, are always doomed to create earthly hells.

Racism will regrettably continue to exist in isolated pockets and among individuals in our land (and throughout the world), but thankfully, it has long since ceased to exist as a consensus among any large number of Americans. This is the 21st century, not the 1940s, or 50s, or 60s, or even 70s. The Robert Byrd’s of our society have seen the error of their ways, as have the noblesse oblige Republicans like George Bush ’41 who practiced "soft" racism with his paternalistic approach to African-Americans. Apparently the senior Bush had his epiphany as Vice-President under Ronald Reagan, from whom he learned to honor and respect African-Americans as equals, not as a group of Americans who were inferior in any respect. 

Ronald Reagan was absolutely uncompromising in his intolerance of intolerance. As a young man, Ronald Reagan considered his African-American friends as equals. When Reagan was participating in sports and local hotels wouldn’t take in African-Americans, he refused to stay at the hotel himself. This was consistent with his support of the critical civil rights struggles of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Throughout his life, Ronald Reagan displayed his total commitment to equal rights and equal respect for all Americans, and this served as an inspiration to all around him to do the same, including George Bush ’41.
So, yes, the nomination of Barak Obama was indeed a triumph for the Democratic Party and for all Americans. Three cheers for the United States! Hip, hip, hooray! Well done, Uncle Sam!

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