Debt Consolidation

An America That Heals (chapter six)

Posted on: June 05, 2008
Written by: UWSA Staff


The two most difficult divisions we face as a people are over abortion and race. These divisions are so deep and so ingrained that they require more than a paragraph in this book or more than a soundbite on the evening news. I don't expect to change any minds or win any hearts; I do ask that you read and reflect.


My personal position on abortion is well-known, but I will restate it just to make sure there's no confusion:

* I support a woman's right to have an abortion. It is the woman's choice.

* I support encouragement of adoption as an alternative to abortion.

* I support federal funding of reproductive counseling and education that can help prevent unwanted pregnancies so that fewer women will have to face this difficult decision.

* I support federal funding of abortions for poor women. Since these women have already made the decision, for public health reasons we should ensure that the procedure is done safely.

I believe it is time for Congress to codify these positions into law.

We're thinking, reasoning human beings. Each human life is a precious gift. We should not create a human life unless we're willing to take responsibility for it. It is irresponsible for two people to create a human life they don't want. For democracy to work, for this nation to be whole, every single one of us has to take responsibility for his or her actions.

This is the deepest moral question of our times precisely because it is about human life. It is time for moral leadership to heal the rift, to set a new standard of personal responsibility, and to turn both sides toward the enormous task of protecting and nurturing our children.


"A house divided against itself cannot stand." Many people know Abraham Lincoln said that just before the Civil War. Fewer people recall that he was quoting scripture. What a timeless message and simple truth.

We are divided by racial strife. We're a divided team in worldwide competition against united teams.

We must reunite. I break this down into three approaches. First, we ought to love one another. That takes care of most of us. Second, for those who can't quite lift themselves up to that level, we have to get along with one another so we can team up and win. Third, for the hard-core haters, we're stuck with one another. Nobody is going anywhere. We're here, side by side. You might as well move up to category two so we can win, not lose, as a nation.

Our two political parties try to divide our country to win elections. The Democrats go after the black and brown vote. Republicans go after the white vote. Then each professes to be distraught and uncomprehending when we don't unite after the election. They try to win by playing to fear and suspicion. Then they try to govern by being gentler and kinder.

The melting pot is our strength, not our weakness. Our culture is dynamic because it is varied. Our nation became the envy of the world because it is a unique tapestry woven of many strands drawn from every part of the globe.

I am not closing my eyes to the real world. I realize that some groups have advantages and that others have disadvantages, but we don't pull anyone up by pulling somebody else down. We're all in the same boat, and we will sink or sail together.

The law must be color-blind. Justice must be colorblind.

Where there are disadvantages, we must put our brains and our resources into helping people overcome them. In Chapter Five, I said we must put a ladder down into the worst areas of our inner cities. We must lend a hand in making sure children are able to reach the first rung on that ladder. This is the kind of affirmative action that works. We don't need to promote less qualified people over more qualified people. What we need is more qualified people. If we're to compete effectively, we need millions of more qualified people.

Unless we repair our economy, those who are down can expect to stay down. We need to repair our job creating engine. That's where we need to direct our energies. The NAACP should make it a goal to make black small business owners heroes to their neighbors. These are the ladder builders for the next generation.

This is not the problem of one community. It is a problem for our country, and we can turn it into an opportunity for our country. Our commitment must be to become one team again. On a team every member contributes. Only a team intent on losing tells some of its members to sit on the sidelines. We need to bring everyone off the bench and on to the field. Whatever it takes, we should do it. In the long run it's the only way we are all going to win.


If you're pro-life, think over my position, then ask a friend who is pro-choice to read it and think it over. Then discuss it together. Can't we do more to solve this problem by working together than by fighting one another? What more could we do? You two talk it over. Start with where you agree. We already know where you disagree.

If you're white, read my position here and in Chapter Five. Show it to friends who are black or Hispanic or Asian, and ask them to think it over. Is it enough? What more can we do? Argue over it. This is the kind of open, positive debate we've avoided for too long. We shouldn't be embarrassed to talk about race. We've tried to sweep these problems under the rug for so long the floor has risen a couple of inches. It's time to talk to one another.

We cannot expect our political leaders to lead where the people will not follow. However, it seems to me that the people are ready and willing to put these divisions behind us. Since these issues are also enmeshed in government policy, we should demand that our candidates for public offices undertake the moral responsibility of helping us to heal.

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Posted here on 5/24/97