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 Post subject: OBAMA'S SPEECH AND ME
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:09 pm 
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Obama's Speech and Me

By John Graham

As a 65 year-old white man, I thought I "got" Barack Obama's celebrated speech on race when he gave it. But I didn't. Not until yesterday, when a black stranger walked into the changing room at the gym I go to on South Whidbey Island, Washington. The man commented on my new cowboy boots and asked me if I rode. We got to talking and he said he worked with show horses.

The instant he said that I pictured this black man as a groom – the guy who walks the horses, brings in the hay and shovels out the shit. That picture stayed in my consciousness for no more than a second but most surely it was there, and it was the first picture I had. Of course I did not voice it. It turned out that the man was a professional rider and trainer.

Damn that one-second picture!

My politics are left of center. My friends would say I'm a thoughtful and compassionate person.

But not for that one second.

I'm getting better. Ten years ago I would double-clutch when I saw a black pilot walk into the cockpit of the 747 I was boarding. I would stare just a little when the black woman at the cocktail party said she was a scientist or engineer.

Still, it's there. The racism that Obama called me on. Called all of us on, black and white. Called on us to talk about it and work through it and fix it.


Read more of this excellent editorial at the link.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:21 am 
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Great editorial.

The black people I have known have been wonderful but I am still concerned about moving into a neighborhood of all poor people, most of which are black.

Is the problem skin color, or poverty? I believe it is poverty, but the concern is still there and I have absolutely no desire to be a bigot.

Again, great editorial.

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