I’m finishing up the bulk of my 5th Year Scholar project this week, which I’ll talk more about later, but part of it is reading through the blogs of CMU students who have studied abroad. In doing so, I found this video. It gives me chills:
This one still touches my heart:
Sometimes, his words can stand alone:
I know I’m talking a lot of smack about the Republican presidential candidates.
But I’m not in politics because I am scared of what would happen if I wasn’t (though that’s a good enough reason).
I am in politics because I have a vision of a future where women walk and work and grow without fear. I have a space in my heart for hope that we can live in a world without slavery, without violence against women, without the cradle of humanity and culture poisoned by the politics of hatred and the systems of fear.
I want you all to know: I support President Barack Obama whole-heartedly. He is the right man to run, represent, and reinvigorate our country.
Are you in?
(HT to Caroline for the first video.)
“Don’t tell me hope doesn’t matter. It’s fascinating to me to see, lately, my campaign criticized because I talk about hope too much. Oh, he’s talking about hope, again, he’s so naive, he’s so idealistic. His head is in the clouds. He’s a hope-monger. He needs a reality check. He’s pedaling false hopes. False hopes?
The notion is, apparently, if you talk about hope, you must not have a clear view of reality, that you must just be, you know, going around, happy as can be, ignorant of those mean Republicans out there, all the bears that stand in your way, listen, it’s true, I talk about hope a lot. I talk about hope because it’s very unlikely that I am standing on this stage here tonight. I was born to a teenage mom. My father left when I was 2. I was raised by a single mother and my grandmother. They didn’t have money. They didn’t have wealth. They had no status. They gave me love. They gave me an education and they gave me hope.
So I do talk about hope. We put hope on our signs. I delivered a speech in Boston about hope. I wrote a book, The Audacity of Hope. But this notion that somehow hopes are false. That implies that hope is blind optimism that you are passive and that you’re waiting and sitting back for good things to happen that, you are shirking from a fight.
That’s not what hope is. Hope is not ignoring the challenges that stand in your way. I know how hard it will be to bring about change in this country. I know how hard it’s going to be to deliver on universal health care, if it was easy, it would have already been done. I know how difficult it will be to bring about a sensible energy policy in this country. ExxonMobil made $11 billion this past quarter. They don’t want to give up their profits easily.
I know how hard it will be to alleviate poverty. That poverty is built up over generations, over centuries. Same thing in the reservations. There’s a long history we have never fully accounted for. I know how hard it will be to fix our schools, because it’s not just the function of money. It’s the function of changing altitudes. We will have to change how we teach our children, we have to change how we nurture them. We have to parent and changing culture is a hard thing.
I know, because I fought on the streets as an organizer. I fought in the courts as a civil rights torn. I fought in the legislature. I have won good fights, but I have also lost good fights because I know good intentions are not enough. We are not fortified with political will and political power. I have seen how politics can be used to make us afraid of each other, how we turn on each other, how fear can cloud our judgment, and suddenly we start scapegoating gay people or immigrants, or people who don’t look like us, or Muslims, because our lives aren’t going well.
I know how hard change is. But Democrats, I also know this, I also know this, that nothing in this country worthwhile has ever happened except somebody somewhere was willing to hope.”–Then Senator Barack Obama, February 2008