Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Juan Williams on Obama and racial politics

I meant to bring this NYT op-ed by Juan Williams to your attention yesterday, then got busy. Williams is an interesting American-enough guy (I should say that I happen to know and like him; he also lectures for us in Presidential Academy program) who in some ways resembles (in background, if not in his liberalism) Barack Obama. There is truth in this essay, which, among other things, explains why Obama is creating such anxiety and jealousy among older black politicians. Others have pointed to the cultural divide between Obama with his immigrant-like sensibilities (also speaking in "universal terms" about race relations) and other American blacks who seem to see more pitfalls than possibilities in the American dream (and speaking in "very race specific terms"). Obama is pointing to the possibility of transcending the American racial divide if immigrants avoid the identity politics of the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton School of Black Victimization and decide instead to jump into the American mainstream with both feet. Lincoln’s old "electric cord" linking all liberty-loving hearts together keeps America’s hopes alive.

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