Reflection of Obama’s 03/18/2008 Speech

In our last class, we went over a speech President Obama had made in 2008. One of the things he said really stuck out to me.

“ For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding out particular grievances – for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs – to the larger aspirations of all Americans.”

Ignorance, as well as my inability to understand a transcending pain that has been passed on through the generations of the African-American community makes me question why it is that descendants of those who were persecuted feel victim to the action as well. It is in my experience that living in the past prohibits the individual from moving forward in life. The destruction of our past should not keep the American community from advancing together. The African-American community’s ability to “let go of anger and blame” is a critical step in uniting the American community. Uniting a community with a common goal set forth may reduce the effects of racism and discrimination; however, the abilities and success of men and women will always be different, creating the social ladder we all try to ignore, never admitting to stepping on the backs of others to get ahead.

I can sympathize with feelings of unjust treatment and unfair opportunities those in the African-American community may feel subject to. This is real, and I do believe racism and prejudice exists in full force; however, the question of whether racism can be eliminated from communities, societies and the world, does not seem promising. It is the broad question no one can answer. Can the world exist in peace? Can the world exist united? Can even a community of difference gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and social economic status live together without the social constructs that exist today? Can these constructs change without simply reversing the power construct that exists today?

Today, I do not believe it is possible.

1 thought on “Reflection of Obama’s 03/18/2008 Speech

  1. Tennille,
    I agree with you post and it really touched on how I also feel about the world today and the problems we face. Your questions at the end really struck me and are questions that I struggle with as well (and I think many of us do). For me, it sometimes seems like it is impossible for things to change or get better. But it has helped me to focus on the positive at times and remember how far we have come over the years, and this gives me hope that we can still continue to improve and answer these questions. My hope is that this class will help us to better understand these problems and find ways to make a difference in society, individually and as a group.

    ~liz

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