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Response to Cha (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 03:32 AM

14. What MLK, Jr. saw and it took Obama to do it:

What has always made America a great nation is that for all our many flaws, we are established on a creed, one that is perhaps the simplest and yet most powerful political idea ever articulated, namely that all men are created equal. Living up to that ideal has been America’s arduous journey for 240 years and at the end of these 10 days we got that much closer to it. On Friday, the US Supreme Court ruled that gay Americans have the same right to marriage as other citizens.

Indeed, in his majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy articulated in one sentence the best of America – the self-corrective nature of our democracy. “The nature of injustice,” he wrote, “is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.”

Over the past several years, America has come to understand the meaning of freedom as it relates to gay people and, with a healthy majority now supporting the idea that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness means the right to marry whomever you love, the Supreme Court ratified this sea change. Consider that when Barack Obama finally endorsed same-sex marriage in 2012, only six US states allowed it. Today, it is the law of the land. Obama was late to the game, but to a large extent that it happened on his watch is fitting, because during his presidency America has moved closer to the more perfect union that he movingly spoke of on the campaign trail in 2008.

In the glow of Friday’s decision on same-sex marriage, it was almost forgotten that a day earlier the Supreme Court beat back what is likely the last judicial effort to topple the president’s signature healthcare plan, Obamacare. While Obama must share credit with Democrats in Congress, it is one of his signature achievements. It is a law that doesn’t just provide a means of buying health insurance, but one that lessens the economic anxiety on poor and middle-class Americans and begins the repair of this nation’s increasingly tattered and frayed social safety net. That these court decisions happened within 24 hours were fitting – progress on economic justice and social justice under a president whose very presence in the White House is a symbol of racial reconciliation.

But then he went to South Carolina on Friday afternoon to speak at the funeral of Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church and one of the nine people slain in Charleston. There, he delivered one of the most extraordinary speeches by an American president. It unblinkingly touched on themes of deep institutional and implicit racism in US society. But it was also a hopeful sermon on the concept of grace and sin that, in a distinctly American way, sought to find reason for optimism in the face of indescribable horror. Here was a black president, speaking to an overwhelmingly black audience in the raucous and welcoming venue of a black church with words that were withering in their honesty and rawness, but also grounded in the basic ideals of not just Christian theology, but America’s secular ideology.


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Cha Jun 2015 OP
Iliyah Jun 2015 #1
Cha Jun 2015 #2
pinto Jun 2015 #3
Cha Jun 2015 #5
flamingdem Jun 2015 #6
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MADem Jun 2015 #4
Cha Jun 2015 #7
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flamingdem Jun 2015 #8
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Iliyah Jun 2015 #12
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LineReply What MLK, Jr. saw and it took Obama to do it:
freshwest Jun 2015 #14
Cha Jun 2015 #16
KT2000 Jun 2015 #15
Cha Jun 2015 #17
brer cat Jun 2015 #18
Cha Jun 2015 #20
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