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July 24th, 2008
07:32 AM ET

Wasting energy on racism

Program Note: In the next installment of CNN's Black in America series, Soledad O'Brien examines the successes, struggles and complex issues faced by black men, women and families, 40 years after the death of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Watch encore presentation Saturday & Sunday, 8 p.m. ET


We devote several days on the blog to smart insight and commentary related to the special.

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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/24/art.gossettjr.jpg]

Editor's note: Lou Gossett Jr. has focused recently on 'an all-out conscientious offensive against racism.' Lou says "Violence is a war, and the energy we exert on war, I would like to pray that energy gets reverted back to a communal effort to save the planet.'"He shares his thoughts here:

Lou Gossett Jr.
Actor

The planet is dying or dramatically changing. Hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis are taking their toll on humanity. We need to drop everything and pay attention to the planet. This should be our number one agenda – not issues like racism or our ethnic differences. It's like we are all in a plane at 30 thousand feet plummeting to the ground, and the people inside are fighting over who will be in first class.

Perhaps we need to go back to where we started. The most important commodity on the planet is not oil, or military might or other riches; on the contrary our single most important commodity is our children.

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Filed under: Black in America • Lou Gossett Jr.
July 24th, 2008
06:45 AM ET

Morning buzz: Obama ein Berliner?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/24/art.jfk.jpg caption = "US President John F. Kennedy delivers his famous speech "I am a Berliner" ("ich bin ein Berliner" ) in front of the city hall in West Berlin concerning the Berlin Wall, June 26, 1963."]

Barclay Palmer
AC360 Senior Producer

Good morning!! “Ich bin ein Berliner!”

With those words, nearly half a century ago, John F. Kennedy reassured Berliners, and Europe as a whole, that he would stand by them despite the Soviet Union’s erection of the Berlin Wall and its threatening clampdown on travel between East and West Berlin. The speech was one of the defining moments of the Cold War, expressing democracy’s defiance of the Kremlin’s totalitarian control.

Today, Barack Obama taps into that history with a speech in Berlin on the US-European relationship at the Victory Column before a crowd that Berlin authorities predict could reach a million people. Candy Crowley reports his campaign insists that it‘s not a political event, but adds that it could be the highlight of his trip abroad, and it has not ruled out using video in campaign ads.

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Filed under: Barclay Palmer • T1 • The Buzz
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