I am truly naive. It has floored me how much ugly racism has crept out during this presidential election. I've seen video clips in the news or on YouTube of ignorant people saying, at best, misinformed, and, at worst, hateful things. Naive idealist that I am, I thought people were better than that and that we had come much further than perhaps we have. When I look at Barack Obama, I don't see the color of his skin; I just see a man I admire a lot whom I feel would make a great leader, especially in what I predict will be even more perilous times. Regardless of whether people like Obama or not, I hope it has to do more with his policies than his color. Here are two videos I've seen recently that hit on issues I agree with:
Donna Brazile speaks about race.
Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama.
If you don't have time to watch the entire Powell clip, this is the part I want to focus on in this post:
"I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, 'Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.'
"Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim; he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian.
"But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America.
"Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?
"Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, 'He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists.' This is not the way we should be doing it in America.
"I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards -- Purple Heart, Bronze Star -- showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old.
"And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross; it didn't have the Star of David; it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life.
"Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know. But I'm troubled about the fact that, within the party, we have these kinds of expressions."