A Good Leader? A Good Person…?

We will never forget one of Barack Obama’s first interviews still in his President elect status. In the interview Obama espoused that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had done good things; however, he quite hastily added that there was so much more civil rights work to be done in the Judiciary, as well as for further concerns of issues he believed had not been squared away with the Civil Rights Act.

“I’ve been working with Latino leaders ever since I entered public service more than 20 years ago. We stood together when I was an organizer, lifting up neighborhoods that had been devastated when the local steel plants closed. We stood together when I was a civil rights attorney, working to ensure that Latinos were being well represented. And we marched together to fix our broken immigration system. That’s why you can trust me when I say that I’ll be your partner in the White House. (Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary Apr 16, 2008)

With all due respect to Mr. Obama, was he at that time espousing the truth? Now after a bit of reflection, has he lifted a finger to fix our broken immigration system?

“Because immigration reform was used as a political football instead of a way of solving a problem, nothing happened. It is absolutely critical that we tone down the rhetoric when it comes to immigration, because there has been an undertone that has been ugly. Oftentimes, it has been directed at the Hispanic community. We have seen hate crimes skyrocket in the wake of the immigration debate, & that is unacceptable. We are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants, and we can reconcile those two things. (Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008)

Rise in hate crimes against Hispanics? We are a nation of laws [full-stop] and a nation of immigrants who are to obey those laws through assimilation, is what we believe he should have said.

Q: You said about affirmative action that affluent African Americans like your daughters should probably be treated as advantaged when they apply to college and that poor white children should get special consideration.

A: The basic principle that should guide discussions not just on affirmative action but how we are admitting young people to college generally is, how do we make sure that we’re providing ladders of opportunity for people? Race is still a factor in our society. And I think that for universities to say, “We’re going to take into account the hardships that somebody has experienced because they’re black or Latino or women…”

The answer to the question from the reporter is never answered by Barack Obama; instead, he dances around the question with “how do we…providing ladders of opportunity…” and “Race is still a factor” and yet in the end his discourse turns into an abomination by mentioning “hardships because of being black, Latino, or women…” (Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary Apr 16, 2008)


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