As I listened to Obama's speech, I thought about two comments that have filled our news sound bites in recent days.
First, there has been a loud outcry among conservatives about the selection of Sonia Sotomayor as nominee for the Supreme Court. She has been called a racist because she challenged the narrow life experiences of white men who have traditionally presided over the oppression of people of color in the name of "blind justice." Now, when a person of color suggests that the richness of a life experience that has overcome such oppression without losing sight of justice, makes this statement --"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." -- she is accused of reverse racism.
These outcries and accusations confirm exactly the point she was making. At least Newt Gingrich has been advised to recognize that he stepped on a political land mine. His worldview is no less flawed.
The second comment that rings in my mind is that of Mitt Romney, who has criticized President Obama for going on a "tour of apology" while traveling abroad. This is a stubborn view of the "righteousness of American power" that is dangerously ignroant of other viewpoints in a global society. His statement takes up where Gingrich and Limbaugh left off -- admitting no mistakes, nor apologizing for any past injustces of powerful white men in the leadership of our country.
As a wise Black man, Obama once again confirmed the "Latino wisdom" as described by Soni Sotomayor, with his closing comments in the speech:
"We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been written.
The Holy Koran tells us, "O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another."
The Talmud tells us: "The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace."
The Holy Bible tells us, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."
The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God's vision. Now, that must be our work here on Earth. Thank you. And may God's peace be upon you. "
That is global leadership in the Fast Lane.
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