I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe. Ironically, this quintessentially American - and yes, conservative - notion of self-help found frequent expression in Reverend Wright's sermons. These are the Americans that I know. Likewise, many Israelis recognize the need for a Palestinian state.
In a sense, what brought me to Chicago in the first place was a hunger for some sort of meaning in my life. That is one option. Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."
America will align our policies with those who pursue peace, and say in public what we say in private to Israelis and Palestinians and Arabs. But we can only achieve it together.
That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And meeting them won't be easy. We have to do what we can, knowing it's hard and not swinging from a naive idealism to a bitter defeatism - but rather, accepting the fact that we're not going to solve every problem overnight, but we can still make a difference.
But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts - that out of many, we are truly one. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician's own failings. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful.
God bless you.

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