Saturday, February 2, 2008

From Battleground to Higher Ground

I like what Rev. Jesse Jackson said recently on Linda Douglass' National Journal (1/28/08) about the issues in our country:
Everyone talks of racial reconciliation, but racial justice precedes reconciliation. You can't heal a sore with glass in it; you got to heal the wounds. You have to take the glass out. You have to make a commitment to close those gaps. But let's go a step further: It's not just race gaps, it's class gaps. In South Carolina, 62 percent of all working people have no health insurance. Most poor people are not black, by the way. They are white, they are female, they are young, where the white, black and brown hunger hurts. So I would think this is a great moment to move from racial battleground to economic common ground, to moral higher ground....

There's a lot of social maturation taking place, so some of the edge off of some of the outer layers of race reaction have changed. And so, to that extent, America is getting better. There is still the underlying challenge, however, of structural inequality. It's not enough to, as Dr. King would say, for us to embrace socially and not still have equality and access to education, health care, capital industry and technology. And I think that this campaign... I look at the scene in New Hampshire -- that night with Bill Richardson, the Hispanic; John Edwards, a populist from the South, South Carolina, indeed; Barack Obama, a black; and Hillary Clinton, a woman -- the four of them in that one camera shot; the backdrop of New Hampshire, discussing the great issues of our time. That's development.

We've not always been there as a nation. And I would hope that in the remaining days of the campaign, that the campaigns can focus on the issues that matter, not get caught sniping at each other. I mean, let's focus on issues that matter and come out of this and allow all people to be winners.

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