I listened to Barack Obama's speech tonight that he gave today in Philadelphia. I have been saying for years that the biggest problem we face as a nation is the problem of Race in America. I have long thought that the Racial Divide and the Divide between the Haves and the Have-Nots is the biggest problem that we are not facing and thus will be the one that will eventually overcome us. Instead of "we shall overcome", the results of racism in America will overcome us.
Barack Obama so eloquently and so succinctly spoke of how we must make the attempts to bridge these gaps; that we must do so by realizing that by raising those who have fallen, we raise ourselves. We must do so by realizing that "those children" are "our" children, that we are ONE NATION.
But, I'll tell you what really scares me. I watched Barack Obama give his speech and I cried. I cried because I think that we, the United States of America, may not be good enough for him. I cried because I am afraid that we may not be ready for him and maybe never will be. I cried becasue we may lose the opportunity of a lifetime to choose a leader who has that great quality of seeing clearly, from many angles and through many eyes and can use that clarity towards changing the direction of our country.
I think that Obama is offering himself as a means to an end, as a way to reach across the many divides we have in this country between Black and White, Blacks and Jews, Black and Brown People, Black Christians and White Christians, Muslims and Jews, Muslims and Christians, Muslim nations and Western Nations, including the United States, Rich and Poor, Educated and Non-Educated and finally Red and Blue. He is offering himself as a bridge that may help to not only cross these divides, but perhaps bring the sides closer together and thus better able to understand how the "other" feels and why each side acts the way they do and through this understanding maybe each side can learn to, if not love, at least hate less "those people" on the other side of the divide.
The challenge is ours and the opportunity is ours to embrace or lose, maybe forever.