Friday, December 11, 2020

the last book I ever read (A Promised Land by Barack Obama, excerpt four)

from A Promised Land by Barack Obama:

Nowhere was this more evident than in March 2007, when I attended the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, that Congressman John Lewis hosted each year. I’d long wanted to make the pilgrimage to the site of Bloody Sunday, which in 1965 became a crucible of the battle for civil rights, when Americans fully realized what was at stake. But my visit promised to be complicated. The Clintons would be there, I was told; and before participants gathered to cross the bridge, Hillary and I were scheduled to speak simultaneously at dueling church services.

Not only that, but our host, John Lewis, had indicated that he was inclined to endorse Hillary. John had become a good friend—he’d taken great pride in my election to the Senate, rightly seeing it as part of his legacy—and I knew he was tortured by the decision. As I listened to him explain his reasoning over the phone, how long he had known the Clintons, how Bill’s administration had supported many of his legislative priorities, I chose not to press him too hard. I could imagine the pressure this kind and gentle man was under, and I also recognized that, at a time when I was asking white voters to judge me on the merits, a raw appeal to racial solidarity would feel like hypocrisy.

No comments:

Post a Comment