Dr. Linda Shelton previously stated how President Obama well-deserved the Nobel Peace prize because he represents a sea-change in our thinking about solving problems and interactions between governments. He received the prize this morning, donating the 1 1/2 million dollars to charity. His Nobel lecture in receiving the speech once again revealed why he deserved it. The words speak for themselves.
Obama’s words also speak to people in every stituation of despair, hopelessness, depravation, injustice, or other evil. It is a message of hope, of human sacrifice, and of faith in the future and the fundamental good nature, dignity, and resolve of man.
In Crook County where our officials have been so corrupt and more concerned about power and influence than the needs of the people, our judges not just incompetent but the forces of injustice themselves, our police not just oppressors and enforcers of corruption but also on the take putting their selfish wants above their duty to the people, and our prosecutors more like the Cardinal executioners of the inquisition than the standard bearers of justice, we can sorely use this message of hope and faith.
A small group of whistle blowers and activists have faith that those of us, no matter how few, who stand up in the face of oppression, corruption, injustice, brutality, defamation by officials, police, judges, and prosecutors, with the press suppressing these facts from the public, will achieve change to remove the corrupt, punish the oppressors, and restore the rule of law and our faiths’ morality. That is why Dr. Linda Shelton, Dr. Maisha Hamilton, Tom Tressor, Tony Peraica, and so many others battle on to fumigate the government in Cook County and throw out the corrupt.
Obama spoke of universal truths and the concept that hope counts. His words should inspire the citizens of Cook County to stand up and join those of us who are on the front lines of fighting corruption and taking back our county into the hands of the people.
“But we do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place. The non-violence practiced by men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance, but the love that they preached – their faith in human progress – must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey.
For if we lose faith – if we dismiss it as silly or naive; if we divorce it from the decision that we make on issues of war and peace – then we lose what is best about humanity. We lose our sense of possibility. We lose our moral compass.
Like generations have before us, we must reject that future. As Dr. King said at this occasion so many years ago, “I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the ‘isness’ of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal ‘oughtness’ that forever confronts him.”
So let us reach for the world that ought to be – that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls. Somehwere today, in the here and now , a soldier sees he’s outgunned but stands firm to keep the peace. Somewhere today, in this world, a young protester awaits the brutality of her government, but has the courage to march on. Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty still takes the time to teach her child, who believes that a cruel world still has a place for his dreams.
Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the intractability of depravation, and still strive for dignity. We can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace. We can do that – for that is the story of human progress; that is the hope of all the world; and at this moment of challenge, that must be our work here on Earth.”