What was on display today was the power of Obama. Let me explain. He frequently talks about unity and some dismiss it as naive dreaming. However, what was clear today was that there is a strength in talking openly and honestly about the issues that lie ahead of us. Race is such an issue, and he’s right that every time there’s an opportunity to have an open dialogue about it, the country tends to sidestep it. Usually, whites end up feeling defensive and black folks come across as too angry. And it’s true, we do end up retreating to our respective corners.
But, by not pandering, by providing powerful contexts for behaviors and feelings on both sides of the divide, Obama has not only clarified his position on this issue, but he has provided ways for ordinary Americans to begin honest discussions in their own neighborhoods on this subject.
Bravo, Barack! Now let’s see if the country is brave enough to follow where you lead.