A guest post from Cristina White, who contributed Political Tai Chi earlier this month. Thank you, Cristina! If you didn’t see Obama’s incredible speech, you’ll find many links to it at YouTube, or you can read the text here.
For the last several months, I have been trying to decide between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. One reason I leaned toward Hillary was that she has been through the worst of it with the Republican smear machine. She knows how to fight, and we will need that to win the White House. Then, during her 60 Minutes interview, she was asked about the rumors of Barack being a Muslim. I was shocked at the evasiveness of her answer. It seemed calculated to gain political advantage, and that is the kind of politics Bush-Rove gave us. I want a candidate who can fight, but still fights clean.
I turned toward Obama. I admire his fighting style, but wondered how he would deal with difficulty. During this long campaign, he has mainly met with adulation and success. The first real trouble he has encountered was in his proximity to his former minister, a man who condemned America. In Obama’s speech addressing the issue of race, my question was answered. He repudiated Jeremiah Wright’s vitriolic remarks, but he did not reject him. He spoke of the good that he had achieved and inspired, and reminded us of the history that the man had lived through, the tentacles of racism that had left an imprint of anger and bitterness. Obama asked us to look squarely at the road that brought us here, and to begin the work of repairing the fissures and cracks of our common national highway.
All these months, I have been constructing a bridge toward a decision. When the final trestle was in place, I realized it was Obama’s response to this current controversy that landed me squarely in his camp. Because there he was, between a rock and a hard place. What would he do? He put one foot on the rock, one foot on the hard place, and stood taller because of it. He said this is who I am, this is what I’m made of, these are the people who shaped me and brought me to this day and to what I believe. Here I stand. Will you stand with me?
Yes, Barack Obama. I will stand with you. And proud to be there.