From Obama to Osama: New Conversation

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[National: Op-Ed]

"Real Time with Bill Maher" was playing when my brother’s text arrived telling me that Osama bin Laden was dead.

While much of the rest of the country waited for President Obama to address the nation, I watched conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart echo others calling for the release of the president’s college records and suggesting that he didn’t write his first book.

Between his sharp-tongued performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and the killing of Osama bin Laden, President Obama effectively changed what was becoming an increasingly divisive, and for some, very painful, conversation about the president’s abilities, accomplishments and status as an American.

Now the news continues to be dominated by the unfolding details around bin Laden’s death. But one thing we in this country have learned during Obama’s two years in office is how quickly we can swing from moments of great unity to almost paralyzing polarization.

Inevitably the spotlight on bin Laden will fade and we will once again be left with the under girding issues that continue to divide us. They will continue to confound us unless we finally learn how to face them head on and learn to talk about race.....

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