President Obama has had the sad task, too many times, of delivering eulogies during his remarkable Presidency. Each one has been thoughtful, sensitive, and from-the-heart honest. Each one, to me, has been well worth watching – but to me, the eulogy he delivered yesterday, June 26th, at the funeral for Clementa Pinckney, was more than excellent – it was a speech of historic proportions that may be his best ever. It was the highlight of a week that brought a series of “good news” announcements for the President, each of which alone has great implications for his legacy, and as he approaches the last 18 months of his Presidency, he is admittedly emboldened to perhaps be more candid and honest than ever before. But it was also the end of a week of great tragedy, with the country now riveted on yet another horrible crime of hate that took the lives of nine good people, and that has finally moved many to acknowledge one of the most troubling facts of our time – institutionalized racism. Throughout his presidency, Obama has maintained his very early message of “there is not a blue America and a red America, a Black American and a White America – there is the United States of America.” In this eulogy Obama spoke the truth about the challenges of overcoming our deep divisions – the truth about so many challenges that we face in this country – with forcefulness and stunning heart-felt honesty. If you missed this speech – watch it here now.
You were in my mind this week Peggy. As you say it has been a truly momentous week, but sobering. There is much work to be done, but if we can open our hearts, as President Obama sais, and as the Charleston Families demonstrated, there may be hope for this country yet.
So great to hear from you Beth! Yes, there is so much to be hopeful about, but as you say much work to be done! The next big project — the elections!
Yay for Bree!! We are in for some really interesting days ahead for sure!
I also should have said that you can see the awesome woman, Bree, taking the flag down on Huffington Post where they have a link to her bail fund. They actually arrested her and the utility employee who helped her with safety straps!! Once on that site, you can go to another on the icon just to the left of their address that takes one to another great web site. Anyway, I’m sure all donations will be welcome!
It surely has been an overwhelmingly joyful and heart breaking week. Thank you so much for your words, and for posting the whole eulogy (half of it got lost on my TV). A good friend of mine in Charleston, who just also happens to be a consummate nurse researcher, attends a women’s group at Mother Emmanuel on Wednesday evenings. I was frantic when I heard, couldn’t reach her, etc., turns out she was in Iceland for a nursing conference. So, my heart particularly aches for other people who looked for their friends only to find out they were murdered. Five Black churches have been burned in South Carolina now. Yet, an incredible Black woman scaled the flag pole (with just her legs!!) that holds the confederate flag at the state house and tore it down with her hands. It’s going to be a long hot summer here in the land of Lindsay Graham, but also the land of others, like the awesome woman who scaled the flag pole. Keep us in your thoughts.