Thursday, August 30, 2012

Condoleezza Rice Speech

Reader thoughts via The Daily Beast:
There was a stanza that hit me very hard in former Secretary Rice's speech last night in Tampa:

A little girl grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham, the most segregated big city in America. Her parents can't take her to a movie theater or a restaurant. But they make her believe that even though she can't have a hamburger at the Woolworth's lunch counter, if she wants to, she can be president of the United States - and she becomes secretary of state.
Rice's resume includes an undergrad degree from the University of Denver, master's from Notre Dame, and Ph.D. from University of Denver. She now holds an academic position at top-flight Stanford University.
The point is: there is little difference in Rice's story and President Barack Obama's. Both are the ideal Republican narrative of triumphing despite considerable adversity (perhaps Obama'a even more so, being raised by grandparents and a single mother). The two figures both determined their own futures, worked hard as hell, and have changed the course of history. Yet when Obama tells his story, he's believed by many to be a foreigner with a faked birth certificate, a weak affirmative action beneficiary who can't give a speech without a teleprompter, and contemptible. When Rice tells her story she is greeted with raucous applause and old folks moved to tears.
I shook my head when I heard Rice tell her story, because despite it beauty and inspiration, Republicans don't care about stories like that unless they can use them for their own political grandstanding. I hear the stories of Barack and Condoleeza, and also the respective treatments of the military records of John McCain and John Kerry, and I vote Democrat.