Friday, June 26, 2015


Brother Charlie Pierce sums up the reaction at our house to Barack Obama taking America to "chutch", as my former grandmother-in-law, a grand lady of the AME church, used to say:
So when the president got to that part when he recited "Amazing Grace" -- with spontaneous arpeggios from the organist! -- it seemed to me that he had gone a long way to summoning up at last the whole point of electing him president in the first place. He grabbed every live wire, unafraid. He went off on a riff about the Confederate flag that talked about how it represented to the people at the ceremony something more than heritage. (This got the organist and the guitarist going again.)

"The cause of slavery was wrong. The imposition of Jim Crow after the civil war, the resistance to civil rights for all people, was wrong...By taking down that flag, we express God's grace...We're guarding ourselves not just against racial slurs, but against calling Johnny back for a job interview, but not Jamal. We search our hearts when we consider laws that make it harder for some of our fellow citizens to vote...By doing that we express God's grace.

"We talk a lot about race. There's no short cut. We don't need more talk...It would be a disservice to Reverend Pinckney if we were to slip back into a comfortable silence...My liberty depends on your being free, too."
No president has spoken like that on this country's original sin since Lyndon Johnson told the Congress we would overcome and, before that, since Lincoln. This eulogy, this moment, is why the country elected this guy twice. And anyone who stands up and talks about how he "politicized" this funeral is going to have to account for all that applause, and for how the organist and the guitarist kept getting overcome by the Spirit, and they're going to have to account for the moment in which he sang "Amazing Grace," off-key but with the fervency of a prophet. No president, ever. Not like that.


Unknown said...

Wish I was as eloquent as my president or Charlie Pierce.

Ron Fournier's inevitable column about how Obama's failure to leeeead is the cause of this country's centuries-old racial tension isn't going to spoil such a powerful moment in history.

I'm sure a few Republican morons will take to the Sunday shows and do their fainting couch routine over Obama's eulogy. They'll look like even bigger assholes than usual.

Yastreblyansky said...

Glad I watched that over here. Thanks for posting.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

From Counterpunch: Ajamu Baraka begs to differ.