Eugene Cho

barack obama for president?

Well, the momentum is clearly building for Senator Barack Obama.  I have yet to read through his book, The Audacity of Hope, but  have only heard raving reviews.  Some celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon and the media knows a good story if there is one.  I’m seeing Mr. Obama left and right.  He has certainly impacted a growing number of folks at our church as well.  He’s popping up in blogs, conversations, and was even quoted on a recent Sunday morning at church.  He first came up in a conversation while the staff drove up to Vancouver, BC to listen to a Miroslav Volf lecture.  The question was posed in this manner:  “What will America see first:  a female president or an African American president?”

Most agreed a female president simply because there are more women than African Americans in the US.  But who knew that Mr. Obama would emerge to be such a viable political, social, and pop-culture figure?  But having said that, I’m not sure if I’m alone in thinking this but as a minority in this country, I just get afraid for Barack.  I know the USA is an incredible country; I could build a solid case that it’s the best country in the world but I’m not naive and stupid in thinking that racism and prejudice aren’t still pervasive – both in blatant or subtle ways.  This past weekend while talking with David Cho, a Quester, a professor at University Puget Sound, and leader of the Quest Faith & Race classes, I shared with him the root of my fear:  I am afraid for Mr. Obama’s life.   I hate thinking this!  While I have no doubts that the larger America can handle the idea of a black president, I don’t know if individuals can and fear possible attempts on his life.

While surfing, I read what I thought was an incredibly articulate post from a Jelani Greenidge, a young African-American musician, producer, emcee, and writer from Portland, Oregon.  He writes an open letter to Barack Obama sharing his reasons why Obama should run for the presidency:

And I felt it again today, thumbing through the prologue of The Audacity of Hope. It’s a nagging feeling, really. The inevitable sense of unrest that accompanies the habitual repression of deep desire. In this case, it’s the desire for our broader American culture to be healed of it’s racial and political divide.

Señor Senator, you convinced me with those first few pages that you have what it takes to help facilitate that healing process on a national scale. And despite grumblings aplenty that stick-in-the-mud pundits (read: realists) have been offering about your lack of Senate experience, I think you have the potential to wage an effective presidential campaign. Not only that, but I think an Obama presidency would galvanize our country, bringing a balm of civility and discourse that is critically absent from today’s political landscape.

For these reasons (and because I’m not afraid to jump on a good bandwagon when I see one), I urge you — please, run for president. I know it’ll be a gut-wrenching, soul-searching ordeal, but you’re the right man at the right time.

The entire post is worth reading!  This is not my personal endorsement of Mr. Obama and his presidency.  I am still reading and learning more about him but the more I learn, the more I am compelled by his substance and passion.   Regardless, it is now very lear that he will be a mover and shaker in the things to come – clearly in this country, and possibly, around the world.

Filed under: politics

13 Responses

  1. Unjin Lee says:

    PE

    As you know, I am a huge fan of Senator Obama. I am almost finished reading, “The Audacity of Hope” and I am so impressed by his honest, personable, intelligent ability to call people to recognize the polarizing and devisive politics that are bringing so much pain and despair to the U.S. as well as around the globe.

    This keynote address was shared at Jim Wallis/Sojourners’ Call to Renewal conference last summer and can also be found in his book. I thought you would be interested in hearing more about his personal faith and how he believes faith and politics must converge.

    Barack the Vote!

    http://www.barackobama.com/2006/06/28/call_to_renewal.php

  2. jeff lam says:

    all i have to say is, i love barack obama.

  3. Blake says:

    Wow. This guy really is showing up everywhere. I’d never heard of him until this past year and now it seems he’s all I read about. 🙂

    I’ll have to look into this guy… If he is what he seems to be, I agree that he could definitely bring a refreshing wind into American politics.

    God’s will be done…

  4. Jin says:

    Its the Oprah effect.

  5. Jin says:

    …not to take anything away from his accomplishments and qualifications.

  6. eugenecho says:

    oprah?
    do i need to mention oprah’s movie, ‘Beloved.’
    the oprah effect is dead.

  7. leah says:

    we are not given a spirit of fear,
    let us pursue instead the ‘audacity of hope’.
    barack the vote!

    (hmm…that could be the next t.shirt…)

  8. david says:

    i want to hug barack. and not let go for a long time. is that weird?

  9. gar says:

    Seeing Barack Obama run for prez would be awesome, but yeah, it is scary to think of the possibility of something bad happening.

    On a sidenote, I think his lack of Senate experience is actually a positive… Washington politics has a way of corrupting of just about anybody who stays there for too long.

  10. nicole says:

    This reminds me that once I have time to read again (when will that be? I’m not sure.) I want to read The Audacity of Hope. It is exciting and a bit scary to think of the possibilities that we really could see not only an African American presidential candidate, but one with such honesty and integrity. This also reminds me to keep him in prayer, as he is more and more in the public eye, and also more and more likely to be under spiritual attack.

  11. […] to hear from him and others – beyond the typical political rhetoric.  But as I wrote months ago, I still get scared for Obama’s life.  I hate even thinking those […]

  12. […] assassination plot on obama? When Barack Obama first announced his candidacy for the President of the United States, I was excited about the possibility of a person of color simply running for the highest office in the US.  Then after thinking, I got really scared.  Really scared for his life and I shared about it here and here. […]

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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