Steve Waldman has a terrific piece in a WSJ blog. He understands that part of what appealed to Obama about Trinity was precisely its occasional lapses into separatism and black nationalism. Why? Because Obama knew those elements were part of the urban black experience and also understood the need to include them in a dialogue in order to overcome them. From "Dreams From My Father":
“A steady attack on the white race, the constant recitation of black people’s brutal experience in this country, served as the ballast that could prevent the ideas of personal and communal responsibility from tipping into an ocean of despair…..It contradicted the morality my mother had taught me, a morality of subtle distinctions between individuals of goodwill and those who wished me ill.”
Balancing his rejection and understanding of these themes is the nuance Obama tried to explain. Some won't listen. More, I predict, will.
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