While checking out the latest Rude Pundit smackdown of Ann Coulter, ran across this link to Bono's acceptance speech for the 2007 NAACP Image Awards Chairman's Award.
If you have about 5 minutes to watch, check it out. His remarks on human rights and poverty were moving and brought the audience to its feet.
I'm not usually one who gives a lot of thought to heritage or ethnic identity but Bono stirs up a bit of Irish pride.
And on a side note, if you are a U2 fan and have never heard 'Silver and Gold' live version, turn in your membership right now!
Ok, here is a rough transcript below, I've left out the opening pleasantries where Bono thanks the presenters and jokes around with Tyra Banks a bit.
Watch it if you can, the text dosen't do it justice.
"People talk about the greatness of America, I just think of the NAACP. Thats what I think of, it genuinely comes to my head. And, I'm also honored to be on the same stage as the other honorees. Bill Cosby, Prince, ah. So cool, so cool. See, I grew up in Ireland, and when I grew up Ireland was divided along religious lines, sectarian lines. Young people like me were parched for the vision that poured out of pulpits of black america and the vision of a black reverend from Atlanta, a man who refused to hate because he know love would do a better job. (Applause) These ideas travel you know, and they reached me, clear as any tune and lodged in my brain like a song, and I couldn't shake that. This is Ireland in the 70's growing up, people like me looked across the ocean to the NAACP and I'm here tonight and that feels good, feels very, very good. (Applause)
Well today the world looks again to the NAACP, we need the community that taught the world about civil rights to teach it something about human rights. (Applause) I'm talking about the right to live like a human, the right to live period. Those are the stakes in Africa right now, 5500 Africans dying every day from AIDS, a preventable and treatable disease. Nearly a million Africans, most of them children, dying every year from malaria, death by mosquito bite. This is not about charity, as you know here in this room, this is about justice, it's about justice and equality. (Applause)
Now I know that America hasn't solved all its problems and I know AIDS is still killing people right here in America. I know the hardest hit are African-Americans, many of them young women. Today at a church in Oakland, I went to see such extraordinary people with this lioness here (points to Lee in audience) Barbara Lee with her pastor J. Alfred Smith and may I say that was the poetry and the righteous anger of the black church. It was such an inspiration to me, a very white, almost pink (laughter) Irish man growing up in Dublin.
This is true religion, true religion will not let us fall asleep in the comfort of our freedom. 'Love thy neighbor' is not a piece of advice, it is a command. (Applause) And that means a lot, a lot. That means in the global village we are going to have to start loving a whole lot more people, thats what that means. Thats right. His truth is marching on. 2 million Americans have signed up to the ONE campaign to make poverty history, tonight the NAACP is signing up to work with us and so can you. His truth is marching on.
Because where you live should not decide whether you live or whether you die. (Applause) To those in the church who still sit in judgement on the AIDS emergency, let me climb into the pulpit for just one moment. Because whatever thoughts we have about God, who he is, or even if God exists, most would agree that God has a special place for the poor. (sustained applause begins) The poor are where God lives, God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is where the opportunity is lost and lives are shattered (audience stands). God is with the mother who has infected her child with a virus that will take both their lives. God is under the rubble in the cries we hear during wartime. God my friends is with the poor, and he is with us, if we are with them.(sustained applause) This is not a burden, this is an adventure, and don't let anyone tell you, 'it cannot be done.' We can be the generation that ends extreme poverty. Thank you" (loud applause)