Deepening and widening Obama's conversation
For starters, make that plural: "conversations." Millions of them are happening all over the country — and perhaps all over the world in this age of the world wide web.
One friend who e-mailed me drew my attention to an anti-Semitic exchange between Richard Nixon and Billy Graham, who was the closest Nixon had to a spiritual advisor.
My friend somewhat obliquely wrote that Nixon's relationship with Graham was "something that Obama should keep in mind."
The "something" he had in mind was the sometimes toxic roles pastors can play in the lives of politicians.
Something else to keep in mind is anti-Semitism. And so is prejudice against Moslems, Hindus, gays, pacifists, agnostics and atheists. (Try running for public office in this country as an open atheist, just for starters.)
Obama's conversation needs to go was wide as he would have it go deep.
So far it has been defined by race because of Obama's life experience with racism and the fallout from it.
There are, obviously, other experiences and other prejudices.
What Obama has been able to do is articulate the duality of prejudice because he is so transparently bi-racial and inter-racial, and ultimately trans-racial. He combines whiteness and blackness and so is able to transcend both. His perspective and experience, and his ability to articulate what they mean for him (and ultimately us), create a whole new way for us to look at and, most importantly, experience race.
Following his lead, we must see that ALL is in each of us. To hate or demean anyone is ultimately to hate and demean ourselves and all humanity.
And that is a stark reminder that the opposite of hatred is love.