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Greg

I was not astonished too much by Clinton's stand in this issue. While not actually living the life of an out of wedlock child, a lot of Bill Clinton's early life experiences gave him a better understanding on the issues of poverty than most politians could have. It is hard to understand something or an issue, if you have never seen or dealt with it. Case in point it would be hard and almost impossible for George Bush to understand or deal with this issues of poverty. He has never experienced it, so he would have very little insight into this issue at hand. This is not a backhand insult of George Bush (whom I will freely admit I do not like) it is just a statement of fact. It doesn't make him a bad man, just not well informed on this issue.

Peg

Greg - I agree with you that it is almost always much easier to comprehend circumstances when you have lived through them. Having someone describe what it is like is never quite the same.

Still - surely people who have not lived through an experience should be able to think about it, make comparisons to similar situations which they have lived through, and then offer judgements that have some worth.

If not - we would be a tower of babel. I cannot know what it is like, exactly, to go through life as a black, a man, an elderly person (at least, not yet *_*), etc. - but I can listen to people in those categories, and then discuss. If we all are ONLY capable of rendering thoughts on our OWN circumstances, very limiting.

We can learn about what others have lived through by listening carefully, watching, reading and then seriously weighing what they have to say.

Greg

I in know why think that by not living through an experincve such as being poor or racism limits one's compassion or empathy for a situation. That was not my attempt at all. If that was the conclusion that was drawn, then I am wrong and need to word my response better.

I am just saying it offers a deeper insight into an issue, than those who haven't gone through it. I don't think you can ever actually know what it is like to experience racism first hand as I do (being that I am African American), but at the same time it I cannot say that this limits your ability to think that it is wrong and wanting to do something to rid it. But that is where I come to a fork in the road. While these experiences do give one an inside look at an issue, I sometimes wonder does it also jade my or anyone's view on how to deal with, or solve an issue. Do these or can these experiences sometimes lead one to be blind to answers and solutions that we may never of thought of? That I do not know, but often ytu to come to terms with. Just food for thought, I need to get back to work.

Peg

Greg - essentially, I think we agree.

I'm on the same page with you when you say that I can't know as well as you do what it's like to experience racism. Period; end of discussion.

On the other hand, I am Jewish, and a few times in my life I have met with anti-semitism.

Is it the same thing? No. I would argue strongly that our nation is still much more racist than it is anti-semitic. Still - my limited experience with that ... and my experiences with friends who are black and seeing what they have to face on occasion gives me some empathy.

So - put me down as agreeing with your basic point. Only adding that it should not stifle viewpoints from others.

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