Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Political Will

In a recent weekly address, President Obama acknowledged that the aftermath of the tragedies that we've seen in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and Minnesota, can leave us struggling to make sense of those events.
Nevertheless, he again reiterated that our country is not as divided as it may seem, because numerous occasions, he has seen signs of people coming together.  He has met with law enforcement on the challenges they face, and traveled to Dallas for the memorial service of the five brave police officers who died while protecting protesters with whom they may have disagreed.  He convened and participated in a more than four-hour long town hall meeting with police chiefs, Black Lives Matter activists, and state and local leaders.  At that meeting, he explained, that there is no contradiction between honoring police and recognizing racial disparities exist within our criminal justice system.
President Obama has admitted that although those conversations can be very challenging, we have to be able to talk about our differences.  We have to be open and honest not just within our own little circles, but also with those who may offer different perspectives on those challenges.  Because that is what America is all about.  We can eventually find solutions to these differences not only through policy, but also by forging consensus and finding the political will to make change.
He has repeatedly emphasized: “It won’t happen overnight.  The issues we’re grappling with go back decades, even centuries.  But if we can open our hearts to try and see ourselves in one another; if we can worry less about which side has been wronged, and worry more about joining sides to do right, as equal parts of one American family – then I’m confident that together, we will lead our country to a better day.” 


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