Toni Morrison’s endorsing Barack Obama

Don’t get me wrong, I like Sen. Barack Obama, and we all know that I endorse his candidacy, but Dr. Leslie Callahan did mention that her issue is that there is no woman of color who is poised in the political arena to move through the ranks of our representative government.  That being said, I believe that it is interesting that Ms. Morrison endorsed Obama after making the correlation between black men and former President Clinton.  I think that it is interesting that she used the word “black” as how many black liberation theologians use the word “black.”  The word “black” does not necessarily denote skin color, but rather a state of being.  Disenfranchised people, irrespective of race, would be defined as “black” persons of the world to many black liberation theologians.

That being said, keep it uppity, JLL

Here’s her full endorsement letter:

Dear Senator Obama,

This letter represents a first for me–a public endorsement of a Presidential candidate. I feel driven to let you know why I am writing it. One reason is it may help gather other supporters; another is that this is one of those singular moments that nations ignore at their peril. I will not rehearse the multiple crises facing us, but of one thing I am certain: this opportunity for a national evolution (even revolution) will not come again soon, and I am convinced you are the person to capture it.

May I describe to you my thoughts?

I have admired Senator Clinton for years.  Her knowledge always seemed to me exhaustive; her negotiation of politics expert. However I am more compelled by the quality of mind (as far as I can measure it) of a candidate.  I cared little for her gender as a source of my admiration, and the little I did care was based on the fact that no liberal woman has ever ruled in America.  Only conservative or “new-centrist” ones are allowed into that realm. Nor do I care very much for your race[s]. I would not support you if that was all you had to offer or because it might make me “proud.”

In thinking carefully about the strengths of the candidates, I stunned myself when I came to the following conclusion: that in addition to keen intelligence, integrity and a rare authenticity, you exhibit something that has nothing to do with age, experience, race or gender and something I don’t see in other candidates.  That something is a creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom. It is too bad if we associate it only with gray hair and old age. Or if we call searing vision naivete. Or if we believe cunning is insight. Or if we settle for finessing cures tailored for each ravaged tree in the forest while ignoring the poisonous landscape that feeds and surrounds it. Wisdom is a gift; you can’t train for it, inherit it, learn it in a class, or earn it in the workplace–that access can foster the acquisition of knowledge, but not wisdom.

When, I wondered, was the last time this country was guided by such a leader?  Someone whose moral center was un-embargoed?  Someone with courage instead of mere ambition?  Someone who truly thinks of his country’s citizens as “we,” not “they”?  Someone who understands what it will take to help America realize the virtues it fancies about itself, what it desperately needs to become in the world?

Our future is ripe, outrageously rich in its possibilities. Yet unleashing the glory of that future will require a difficult labor, and some may be so frightened of its birth they will refuse to abandon their nostalgia for the womb.

There have been a few prescient leaders in our past, but you are the man for this time.

Good luck to you and to us.

Toni Morrison

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One response to “Toni Morrison’s endorsing Barack Obama

  1. I am thankful to you posted Ms Morrison’s letter in it’s entirety. I also have a problem with Ms Morrison’s endorcement of Obama. I wonder if there is someone else behind her decision to do so. It looks almost hypocritical for her to come out of her closet now when a black man is running for president. I believe it is quite disingenuous for her to have being known for crowning Bill as the first Black President then turn away. So Bill was black enough for her but Hillary is not? Go figure!!!
    Just thinking out lol…

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