Barack Obama

Not Going Back

A couple of days ago I wrote about the racism that is becoming infused into the campaign.  

bloggerinterrupted has video of some of the hateful and ignorant comments made by McCain supporters at a rally in Ohio.  It is truly disturbing.  

What I want to post here, though, is something Donna Brazille said this weekend at an event sponsored by The New Yorker.  We can not be afarid.  We can not go back.  We must go forward.  Here is a video of her comments and the transcript of them.  Emphasis is mine.

I’m going to say it, get it off my chest, because for the next 30 days I am going to be the best Catholic woman ever.

If Obama loses – as Joe said there is a possibility he might lose – I would hope people voted against him because they didn’t like his energy plan, they didn’t like his economic vision, they didn’t like the fact he came out againt the war so early when everybody else was being culpable in going with the status quo. I would hope that people decided that perhaps during the debates he didn’t do as well as he possibly could and, um,   Perhaps Ed is right we’re in a time of trouble and you want somebody who’s been on the planet much longer. (laughter)

ED ROLLINS: A lot longer.

A helluva  lot longer and God bless him.  I know his mother and I tell you if somebody keeps me around until I’m 94, God bless me, too. But, my friends, I have to tell you, as a child that grew up in the segregated deep south…we have come so far in this country. This country, and you have to have lived as long as I have lived and as long as many of you in this room, to have seen so much progress. But I remember when I would get on a bus, this was after segregation was so-called over with, my mother would tell me, because I would take my young brothers downtown, she said “Donna, when you get on the bus, you and your brothers go all the way to the back, and don’t look at anybody.” And of course, I would get onj that bus alright and tell my brothers, “Go straight to he back and don’t look at anybody.” Because I didn’t want them to get in trouble.  I sat right there and said, “Let me see if this everything is ok, has it really changed?”

We have changed. This is a more tolerant, open, progressive society. And yet, we’re having this conversation because [Obama] is biracial. He spent nine months in the womb of a white woman. He was raised for the first 18-21 years by his white grandparents. He spent no time in living rooms like I spent my childhood. And yet, he got out of school and went to Harvard, and all of a sudden he’s “uppity” and there’s something wrong with him? What is wrong with us to suggest that some kid can’t go to Harvard if he’s earned the grades to go there? I tell my friends, “You can vote against him, but don’t ever put me in the back of the bus.” I’m not going to the back of the bus! I’m not going to be afraid! My black skin does not make me inferior! And might I add: being a female does not make me dumb!

Now we can re-litigate all these fights on race and gender and sexual orientation until the cows come home, but at the time when we’re in crisis I want the best, I want the brightest, I want somebody to take me where we’ve never been as a country.  Perhaps we’ve been too stuck in the past, that’s why we can’t go forward. So let the next 31 days be about ideas, about inspiration, and about strength of character. Let it be about something that brings us together, not tear us apart.  I can sit on the stage with these men and if I had time this afternoon I would go hom and I would cook for them.

And we would all sit and drink some.

But this is where we are as a country, we’re comfortable with each other. Let’s not play these games.  

Don’t let people trick you.

Don’t let people divide you or distract you. My mother is not here.  Her mother is not here.

My grandfather, everybody in my family, the men have served this country.

Don’t let no one take us back because many of us are not going back. We’re going forward and come with us.


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