Here are a couple of insightful articles related to the whole messy mishmash surrounding Barack Obama and his retiring pastor Jeremiah Wright...
First one is from Jim Wallis - highly respected, deeply thoughtful, commitedly Christian political activist and author of God's Politics. Wallis contends that white Americans have always been uncomfortable with African-American pulpit rhetoric and this is one more example of how racism is still such a major issue in our country. Article is here.
Frank Schaeffer is one of my favorites and he makes a great point that his father, reformed theologian Francis Schaeffer and theological father of the religious right, often said the same kinds of things that Jeremiah Wright said, but because he said them about pet issues like abortion and homosexuality, they made him a hero and invited him to the White House for dinner. Article is here. Schaeffer is dead on in his analysis of this situation.
Personally, I tend to admire the fact that Obama has been very particular about not making this election about race. Others have pulled the race card time and again and Obama has been smeared as a radical Muslim and, by association with some of Wright's more strident comments, an anti-white racist. Add to that, the constant repetition of his middle name - Hussein - on Fox News and other MSM, it's a miracle he's gotten as far as he has.
I'd like to think we're above the kind of racial mudslinging we've seen in this campaign, but the simple reality is that old-line Dems, old-time Republicans, and neo-cons are all making the same case very loudly: we're not really ready for anybody but a white person to be our president.
And, honestly, that just breaks my heart. Not for Obama...but for us.
I think Stephen Denning is a genius. I really liked Squirrel, Incand this new book takes what Denning is good at to a whole new level. Denning has an uncanny ability to unpack the stories leaders are telling and get to the heart of why those stories work or don't work.
For instance, his assessment of why Al Gore lost the 2000 presidential election and yet was able to pull off almost cult hero status when it came to dealing with global warming is definitely worth the price of admission.
Leadership and narrative is a hot topic these days. The trajectory of any leader is commensurate with his or her ability to both tell stories and create them. All of us know that telling stories is important, but creating a story for your organization is a daunting task. And, once created, then building commitment to that particular story can be a mammoth challenge.
Denning's uniqe ability to break down leadership narrative into its various parts (getting people's attention, stimulating desire, reinforcing with reasons, and continuing the conversation) brings something to the table that is left behind in a lot of books on leadership. He is definitely the authority on this matter. He not only can unpack these elements, but can illustrate them with memorable stories of how they work in real life.
Okay...I missed it (easy to say that it's the first time since there ARE no other posts like this). I didn't like David Hernandez's performance all that much and, honestly, I have yet to see him do anything I've really liked, so it doesn't shock me that he's gone. I just couldn't understand how people could have voted for that hoedown that Kristy Lee put on. I do know there are a lot of country fans who watch this, but if they're looking for someone who could really make the grade in that genre, they probably should be voting for Brooke White.