Earlier this morning, President Obama gave a speech in Cairo addressing the relationship between the U.S. and the Middle East. There are a number of things I want to address later, but for now I'm going to put up the video and the full text.
I'm sure you've already guessed, but this is my favorite part of the speech:
Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America's founding. This same story can be told by people from South Africa to South Asia; from Eastern Europe to Indonesia. It's a story with a simple truth: that violence is a dead end. It is a sign of neither courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children, or to blow up old women on a bus. That is not how moral authority is claimed; that is how it is surrendered.
A white president could say this. But it really wouldn't have as much meaning. The President is himself, a fruit of that very struggle, so what could come across as a rhetorical point is instead full of the promise embodied by the man giving the speech. He's living proof of the success of nonviolent resistance. Those who were once slaves can now be presidents.
Full speech after the jump.
-- A. Serwer