President Barack Obama is a lover, not a fighter. His remarks about Officer James Crowley’s actions at Henry Louis Gates’s house were ill-considered, and in advance of the facts, and he apologized. Good for Obama. I don’t want a president who can’t or won’t correct himself. Obama got a “do over” and got it right (as the above photo testifies). And if Obama hadn’t made his initially stupid remark, the whole scene down in Cambridge would have been simmering in the media today, with both men hardening their positions, and probably lawyers getting involved. But now peace has been made. A tiny victory for human solidarity. In an often too bleak world, I’ll take it. What’s not to like about seeing two people, once suspicious of one another, hand in hand? It’s wonderful, if you ask me. Hopefully, Obama can get the Israelis and Palestinians together for a similar White House love-in at some point. Good practice for Obama. Find the non-zero sum game. Make love, not war.
And where, on the conservative side, is basic charity being expressed? Why always the attribution of malign motives to Obama, even after he apologized? I thought the conservative side believed in religion—and aren’t the first principles of all religion:
- “Love your neighbor”;
- extend mercy; and in highest aspiration,
- love your enemies?
Where’s the love?
America has just elected its first black president. What a wonderful breakthrough for racial equality and human solidarity. And conservatives hate the guy. They hate him viscerally. Not smart. History is watching. The world is watching. People notice when you’re not being fair to another human being or exercising basic decency.
And just look at that beautiful picture again. America has its first black president, and a white man is helping an elderly black man down stairs. What great progress the country has made since the 1950s. A very different tape could be playing (and would be, were it not for brave people like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, and fair-minded white people, like Lyndon Johnson). What a wonderful, hopeful, life affirming thing it is, to be living in a country that has democratically defied the inertia of history, and broken through so much racial suspicion. What dignity and maturity is in that photo. What love.
All you need is love.