Monday, July 09, 2007

Smart Words from Obama

in Newsweek:

What I'm constantly striving to do—whether it was on the racial profiling legislation, whether it was on the death penalty issues that I worked on in the state legislature, whether it was on some of the criminal justice bills that came up—was to see how could I be true to the core values of fairness and equality and move the ball forward. My experience tells me that we have a better chance of making progress on these issues when we can ground them in a broader appeal to America's aspirations and values than when we simply are shouting racism and trying to guilt people into acting.

Now that doesn't mean there aren't times for some righteous anger. But I strongly believe that Americans want to do the right thing. And if you can show them that racial profiling is neither a smart way to fight crime, nor is it consistent with our values as Americans, then we can get a bill passed. If you can argue to defenders of the death penalty that at minimum we should be able to agree that nobody innocent should be on death row, and by videotaping interrogations and confessions you are not only protecting the innocent person in custody but you are also protecting the police, then you have got a better chance of passing legislation."

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