Monday, January 28, 2008

BREAKING: Toni Morrison Endorses...

Nobel Prize-winning author, Toni Morrison, who in a 1998 New Yorker article famously (or infamously) declared Bill Clinton "the first black president," has decided to endorse Barack Obama for president in 2008.

In that article, many took offense at the suggestion that a southern white guy might be "the first black president." Others complained that the comparison was based on Clinton's embrace (exploitation?) of African American culture, or a set of ideas tying black masculinity to infidelity. Some were angry that Morrison suggested that Bill was "blacker than any actual person who could ever be elected in our children's lifetime." To many, Morrison appeared to accept limits on black political empowerment.

Well, no longer. On the day Senator Ted Kennedy is not only set to endorse Obama, but to vigorously campaign for him acros the country, Morrison has stepped forth to embrace Barack, as well. Remember, this is one of our leading artistic minds; Morrison is a brilliant writer. Here is an excerpt of her letter to Obama:

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.

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