Rational and thoughtful ways to bridge the racial divide

We’ve been told by liberal apologists this week in response to Barack Obama’s “Lincoln-esque” speech that it was right on the money, and provided a ‘painful’ but necessary reminder as to why we ‘need’ the Rev. Wrights of this world: to keep front and center in our minds our country’s history when it comes to race, so we can wallow in the guilt forever and ever. That, they believe, is the only way we can ‘move forward’ in an effort to bridge the racial divide. Much of what Wright has asserted wouldn’t be so ‘controversial,’ they asserted in so many words, had he ‘worded’ it better, because much of what Wright has preached from his pulpit on Sundays was/is supposedly ‘true.’ So instead of being critical, we should just sit back, listen, ‘learn,’ and let the guilt wash over us.

In contrast, Kathleen Parker writes today about Charleston Collegiate headmaster Bob Shirley, a 72 year old man who has his own way of bringing people together in a way that doesn’t include “damning” America via BS accusations of us a “white supremacist nation,” nor being an apologist for terrorists (both the 9-11 terrorists and Palestinian terrorists). From Parker’s opinion piece:

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. — Amongst the moss-draped live oaks of Charleston Collegiate School’s 33-acre campus — where children of all ethnicities, religions and abilities work and play together — the words of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright seem alien and hostile.

His sometimes hate-filled rhetoric is weirdly out of sync with this quiet corner of the Old South, where ancestors of the school’s African-American students worked as slaves, perhaps upon these very fields.

The differences between this microcosm of a near-utopian community and the world that informs Wright are as stark as the philosophies of the Chicago preacher and Charleston Collegiate headmaster Bob Shirley.

Both men are radicals, but their approaches to racial harmony can’t be confused.

At 72, Shirley is supposed to be retired, following a long career as an educator, headmaster, museum director and Marine. But the world has need of its Bob Shirleys and so he was easily pressed back into service in 2005 — after a three-week retirement — when this little school needed a new leader.

I happened to be visiting the nondenominational K-12 school, where my sister-in-law teaches, as Wright’s rants were stuck on continuous replay and couldn’t help comparing these very different men and their approaches to achieving a more racially balanced world.

Which works best? Inflaming old hatreds and feeding paranoia among the next generation? Or teaching children that what they have in common is greater than their differences?

The answer is obvious, but some people — both black and white — are deeply invested in preserving rather than healing wounds.

“You can either pass on a heritage of the world already made,” says Shirley. “Or, you can make people who change the world of the future.”

Read the whole thing.

This May 2007 article on Shirley also provides some great insight into they way he chooses to bring people from all walks of life together. You may not agree with everything he advocates, but when it comes right down to it, if we had to choose between the left’s way of ‘healing the racial divide,’ which equates to subjecting ourselves to daily guilt-fests, and Bob Shirley’s way of doing things, I think it’s safe to say that most of us would pick Shirley in a heartbeat. We know, at the very least, that his heart is in the right place. The same can’t be said for Rev. Wright.

If anything, the last couple of weeks of hearing Rev. Wright’s hateful “sermons” against “whitey” and reading/listening to the big race speech made by the man who once claimed he could “heal” racial an religious divisions in this country have reaffirmed among those of us who haven’t joined up with the Cult of Obama that there’s no way you can move forward if you stay stuck in the past, that while it’s important to learn from our history – both the good parts and the bad, and certainly not forget about either part, that willfully staying stuck in a bitter time warp only leads to deeper resentments, which resolves nothing. Barack Obama tried to make a similar point in the midst of all the moral equivalences he made, but it wasn’t believable nor credible, because as a 20-year member of TUCC, he sat back and did nothing while his “spiritual mentor” Rev. Wright repeatedly launched his vicious broadsides against white people and America.

We’ve seen this happen with the left with their obsession with equating Iraq to Vietnam, and now we’re seeing it with their lame defenses of Rev. Wright’s anti-America, anti-white, anti-Jew preachings. They’d prefer we live in the past and stay there, rather than work towards a better future, because that means that there would always be a “guilty” class they could blame everything for and a “victim” class they could take political advantage of, and as I hinted at in my prior post, there’s nothing better the left loves than making people out to be victims of “the white man,” “big business,” “America’s empirical desires,” etc etc. It’s a means to an end.

God bless the Bob Shirleys of this world, who view things in a different light and who are making positive impacts that will last for generations … and who are doing it in ways which don’t perpetuate victimhood.

Related: Speaking of staying in the past, Michelle Malkin blogs today about a far left anti0war group called “Re-create 68” which aims for a repeat of the very nasty 1968 Dem convention.

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