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Obama delivers eulogy for Charleston preacher, sings ‘Amazing Grace’ - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 26, 2015

Since he was elected in 2008 and became the first black man to sit in the Oval Office, Mr. Obama has usually been cautious in his pronouncements about race, speaking out only after incidents like the fatal shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin or the violence after the police shooting of a black man in Ferguson, Mo.

But the attack on a Charleston church last week was on another scale. The emotions it has provoked and the issues it has raised clearly called for a deeper, stronger response.

The result was an oration in which a president drawing toward the end of his second and final term put caution aside and jumped into the discussion of race that he himself is such a part of. He spoke to console but also to challenge, calling on Americans not to squander the moment of grief and of anguished questioning that has followed the Charleston killings....The best way to do that, he said, is not just to have yet another “conversation” about race but to work on the country’s problems, from poverty to failing schools to the “unique mayhem” of gun violence to the many thousands of men marooned in the vast U.S. prison system.

This was Mr. Obama’s first opportunity to speak at length about the shocking church killings that have Americans talking once again about racism, racial division and the sources of hate. Mr. Obama is reported to have been working on his speech all week.

When it came to delivering it, he was direct. Mr. Obama said the country had been blind to hurt caused by the waving of the Confederate flag – a symbol, he said, not just of ancestral pride but of “racial subjugation.” He said that the cause for which Confederates fought – “the cause of slavery – was wrong.”

He praised South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for moving to take down the rebel flag that flies on the grounds of the State House.

“But I don’t think God wants us to stop there. For too long, we’ve been blind to the way past injustices continue to shape the present.”
Obama  Marcus_Gee  tributes  Charleston_shootings  Clementa_Pinckney  grief  eulogies  racial_subjugation  Confederacy  slavery 
june 2015 by jerryking

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