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About That Slavery Analogy

It seems as if a lot of people are upset at Obama for this passage from his Cairo speech:

Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America's founding. This same story can be told by people from South Africa to South Asia; from Eastern Europe to Indonesia. It's a story with a simple truth: that violence is a dead end. It is a sign of neither courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children, or to blow up old women on a bus. That is not how moral authority is claimed; that is how it is surrendered.

The complaint--which everyone from Josh Gerstein to David Frum to Gateway Pundit makes--is that Obama was analogizing the plight of the Palestinians to the plight of blacks in the U.S. during slavery and Jim Crow and blacks in South Africa during apartheid. And if that was the only purpose of Obama's analogy, I could see the reason for these complaints. But it should be obvious from the above paragraph that the purpose of Obama's analogy is to explicitly criticize Palestinians for their acts of terrorism  and to encourage them to choose another path--the path of nonviolence taken by Gandhi and Martin Luther King. That seems like a laudable--and uncontroversial--point to make. It's one that, not so long ago, even the Weekly Standard supported.

--Jason Zengerle