I didn’t watch the speech, although I did read it in it’s entirety. You can watch or read it here.
I must say that I was shocked. Shocked and taken completely by surprise that a potential Presidential candidate would dare to get gray. Since the black and white issues in this country are anything but I was so pleased that someone running for the Presidency would be ready, willing and clearly able to sit in this gray area and stay awhile.
He didn’t go for the quick sound bite. He didn’t play it safe. He didn’t take the easy way out and simply follow the “How To Run For President” handbook. He told us his honest opinion and trusted us to actually think about the issue at hand. He trusted us with his truth. He thought that perhaps we the people deciding this race (unless of course the super delegates do) might actually be smart enough to hear his truth, as is, and not a watered down version. And then about 20 minutes in, once he shared some truths about the black experience he went a step further and spoke candidly about the frustrations of the white experience.
Basically he put it all out there and by doing so, gave us all an opportunity to have a conversation. Not a politically correct one, but one that allows a learning curve. One that says, you can misspeak and not be crucified for it because it’s in the uncertainty that the learning can happen. One that encourages all of us to put ours truths and experiences out there for they will be heard and considered not just simply dismissed and pushed aside.
If he’s willing to go gray on the issue of race in this country, imagine what other gray areas he may be willing to dive into. Immigration? World religions and how the mix with politics to shape this world? Boosting our economy without destroying our planet?
Hmm…a leader willing to lead the people not by scaring the shit out of them, but by encouraging them to make decisions from a higher place of understanding. A leader willing to not simply tell us what to think but whom might actually trust us to think and draw our own conclusions.
Imagine that indeed.