More folks need to read Barack Obama's first book, in which he talks about the fact that when his white mother, from Kansas, married his black father, from Kenya, such a marriage was illegal in more than half the states in the Union.
In that book, Barack also writes of his grandmother's fear of black men, the sacrifices his white mother made to put him in a very good school in Hawai'i, the marginal economic situation of his white grandparents (who raised him for 10 years), his own service organizing poor black communities in Chicago, and his personal conversion to Christianity while attending Trinity United Church of Christ.
The book is entitled Dreams From My Father and is available, in paperback, in any book store or library in the nation. It is an excellent read, and though it was written 13 years ago (right after Barack finished graduating from Harvard Law School), no one who has read the book, or heard it, would find a note out of place from the speech he gave today.
This is not a politician recutting his jib. This is not a politician who has any fear of controversy, or who is confused about who he is, or what he wants to say to the world.
Instead of diving for cover, Obama used the Ferraro-Wright flap as a moment to reaffirm his message and how he came to it.
Instead of assuming Americans are fools, he spoke as if most Americans are smart, honest and looking to build a better America.
Of course, not everyone is going to get to the promised land. There are some who are too angry, too scared, or too vested in the politics of division. Is Reverend Wright one of those? Maybe. Are Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly? Maybe. Time and action will tell us who is most interested in dividing the nation along race or religious lines. One thing for sure: it's not Barack Obama.