I just listened to the speech on race delivered today by Barack Obama. As I listened to his words, I could only think about Esther and her calling, for such a time as this. The time, the person, the context, the words. All seemed to come together today. This speech was in all aspects, moving and will sit with me for quite a while. I was particularly moved by his appreciation for the struggle, past and present when he talked of the movement towards a more just America.
And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part – through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk - to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.
The thing that moved me the most was that he was able to deal straight up with the complexities of race. He captured the complexities of the realities of race, while speaking with a directness that, I suspect, will speak to people across the many lines of our society. I have never heard a politician speak so much to my experience and understandings of such an overwhelming reality.
You can read the entire transcript [here] or watch it in it’s entirety below. It will be the best 37 minutes of your day.[image: Alex Brandon/AP]