The Corner

Rev. Obama’s Sermon, Cont’d

Obama’s sermon will probably attract a lot of attention.  Some of it is boilerplate – discussing a “moral deficit” in this country, he says things like, “We have a deficit in this country when there is Scooter Libby justice for some and Jena justice for others” and “We have a deficit when it takes a breach in our levees to reveal a breach in our compassion.” But he’ll probably make some news with this line directed at African-Americans, beginning with the issue of bias in the black community and ultimately turning it around to Hillary Clinton:

For most of this country’s history, we in the African-American community have been at the receiving end of man’s inhumanity to man.  And all of us understand intimately the insidious role that race still sometimes plays – on the job, in the schools, in our health care system, and in our criminal justice system.  

And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that none of our hands are entirely clean.  If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King’s vision of a beloved community.  

We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them. The scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community.  For too long, some of us have seen immigrants as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity.  

Every day, our politics fuels and exploits this kind of division across all races and regions; across gender and party.  It is played out on television.  It is sensationalized by the media.  And last week, it even crept into the campaign for president, with charges and counter-charges that served to obscure the issues instead of illuminating the critical choices we face as a nation.  

Byron York is a former White House correspondent for National Review.

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