” But when you look closer at the picture, when the illusion of power gives way tot the reality of pain the world at which this woman sits, our world, that is a world which is torn by war, destroyed by hate, devastated by despair and devastated by distrust. The world on which she sits is on the very brink of destruction. Famine ravishes millions of the inhabitants of this world in one hemisphere while feasting and gluttony are enjoyed by inhabitants of another hemisphere. A time bomb ticking is the world on which she sits with apartheid in one hemisphere and apathy in the other hemisphere and enough nuclear warhead scientists tell us to wipe out all forms of life except for cockroaches and that is the world on which this woman sits. A world which cares about more bombs for the enemy than it does about bread for the hungry. A world that is still more concerned about the color of skin than it is about the content of character. A world more finicky about the texture of hair or what is on the outside of your head than it is about the quality of education or what is on the inside of one’s head. That is the world on which this woman sits. You and I think of being on top of the world as being in heaven, but when you look at the woman on Watt’s painting a little closer what you discover is that this woman is in Hell. And that artist Watt dares to entitled the painting “Hope.”
“with her clothes in rags, her body scarred and bruised and bleeding, her harp all but destroyed and with only one string left, she had the audacity to make music and praise God … To take the one string you have left and to have the audacity to hope… that’s the real word God will have us hear from this passage and from Watt’s painting.” (Jeremiah Wright, The Audacity To Hope)
What happened during his tenure that made him change his attitude so drastically as to resort to administrative measures in order to effect the ‘change we can believe in’?
I still remember the joy I felt when he was elected. I hardly knew anything about him, of course, but the way he talked made me hope he was going to behave differently than the one before him.
Even more important than his personality was that I had seen his election as an about-face of the American political scene. I presumed that by electing Obama to the Oval Office the American People was sending a powerful signal.
That they wanted to tell everybody, politicians included, that they had understood how much damage had been done by the constant bickering and extreme mutual distrust that was plaguing the political establishment. And that they had enough of it.
Could it be that Obama’s tears of yesterday were shed for the fact that he didn’t really deliver? That from the height of his position he had got an even clearer picture about the State of the Union than he one he had before becoming President yet he wasn’t able to do anything meaningful about it? Precisely because the Union is even more divided than before?
About almost everything?
Why have we allowed our respective ideologies separate us to the tune of making us see two different realities where there is only one?
Why do we have to get down to a ‘single string left on our harp’ before understanding that?