In memory: Barbaro, 4/19/03 – 1/29/07

BARBARO, the American leader and winner of the Kentucky Derby, was born on some farm in either Kentucky or Pennsylvania. A brilliant runner and mudder, whose insistence upon nonviolence in the Gandhian tradition accounted for the success of the movement, Barbaro was assassinated on January 29, 2007, in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, by a white man.

I have bad news for you, for all our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that BARBARO was operated on and killed tonight.

BARBARO dedicated his life to love and to justice for his fellow human beings, and he died because of that effort.

In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you filled with bitterness, with hatred, and desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in great polarization – equestrian amongst equestrian, thoroughbred amongst thoroughbred, filled with hatred toward one another.

Or we can make an effort, as Barbaro did, to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand that compassion and love.

For those of you who are tempted to be filled with hatred and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all who deceive by saying they help horses, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man. But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He wrote: “In our sleep pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness, but love and wisdom and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of injustice towards those who still suffer within our country, whether they be a Clydesdale or they be Spanish Mustang…

We’ve had difficult times in the past. We will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; it is not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings who abide in our land. Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and to make gentle the life of this world.

Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

And for Barbaro.

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15 comments
  1. Bertrand said:

    So how much horse juice do you think his owners collected and froze in 8 months? You know that is the only reason they kept him alive and the only reason they are sad is because they can’t pimp him out to other horses now.

  2. arleen said:

    not sure if you are serious or just poking fun. if its the latter you should be ashamed of yourself.

  3. Becca said:

    You know you all want some ‘pimp juice’!

  4. Well, I’m pretty sure if folks recognize where the speech was taken from…the vagueness of serious or just poking fun becomes fairly crystal.

    As for whether I am ashamed of myself for the latter? Well, the words “uh, hell no” come to mind.

    Look this was not poking fun at BARBARO himself. It was poking fun at those who hold BARBARO out to be something more than a horse that was bred with financial intentions and some sort of symbol for hope. The reality is that if you want me to be ashamed of poking fun at that situation, it’s not going to happen and I’m going to live comfortably. Barbaro to me is a racehorse and while it is a travesty what happened to him out on the track, most people who talk about horses realize that he probably should have been euthanized a long time ago.

    But, no, let’s put this animal through months of pain and suffering so we can continue to live vicariously threw this animal. People are OK with that. With Barbaro as a symbol of what-the-hell-ever…and what does it do? It puts a gloss on an otherwise bleak situation. People prop Barbaro up to be this tragic hero because they can’t stand to talk about the reality of the situation. The horse would have been dead long ago if it weren’t a moneymaker. So, Barbaro suffered while a few were able to make money. Maybe we should have a discussion about whether that is right or wrong? Instead we get Barbaro the folk hero.

    Am I ashamed at poking fun at the people who direct discussion away from what these racehorses go through so that they can feel good about themselves? Uh, hell no.

  5. Wow, I can’t believe I didn’t get a “you should be ashamed of yourself” for the hell with Katrina post, but Doug gets one for mocking a HORSE. I guess this really means that people are tired of hearing about Katrina, but can’t get enough of a horse now headed to the glue factory.

  6. Becca said:

    So, does glue made from Barbaro dry faster than glue made from a regular horse? Or rather, is it good for one really big application, and then the container breaks so it is useless?

  7. arleen said:

    as has been the case in the past posts on this blog diverge into personal attacks and attempts at humiliation. *shrugging my shoulders* as i remove joboo from my blogroll.

  8. Wait, you’re the one who diverged this post to personal attacks. The only personal attack here is you telling me to be ashamed. I certainly did not personally attack you, I don’t think Ryan did and Becca’s just making funny comments in the form of questions.

    So, let me get this straight…you make personal attacks, but then label it a Joboo problem?

  9. Becca said:

    As in the past, someone tries to pull a guilt trip and force morals on others, *shrugging my shoulders* as I remove arleen from my list of. . . .wait a second, Arleen I hate to say that you had yet to crack the list of people whose opinions I actually valued. HA HA HA

  10. Hey, that kind of looks like a personal attack. About time, I mean if we are going to get blamed for it we might as well come through. Unless of course people were counting the jokes about Barbaro as “personal attacks”. In that case I need to remind people that Barbaro=dead horse, not a person. Barbaro was a miracle of modern science, but he DID not to my knowledge know how to read, so, in the event he reanimates and stumbles across this blog, mea culpa Barbaro.

  11. Kevin said:

    You all should be F’ing ashamed of yourselfs…BARBARO was a HERO; a hero in the same mold as Steven Segal, or even the judge who sentenced Lorrena Bobbit to prison for cutting off her husbands dong. To make light of such a tragic American loss is tantamount to saying it is OK for women all across the Country to lop off their mens’ dongs. I am going to take some time out of my busy day of yelling at clouds to say a prayer for all of you and hope that you come to your senses REAL QUICK!

  12. He is just a horse. But I have more respect for him than I do any politician. So I guess on my ladder of respect he is at a higher level than some real people. Well maybe not real people, you cannot, in all fairness to real people, classify politicians as real people.

  13. Becca said:

    Geist, how do you feel about that last post by ‘thescoundrel’ ?

  14. theChamp82 said:

    In all fairness to Mr./Mrs.scoundrel, most conventional politicians do tend to give off that vibe of being not much more than programmed robotic machinery. I, however, do not classify myself as being a part of such a crowd. Things will be done differently in my campaign, because well, I am different than your run of the mill politician. The much anticipated debut of my website will be coming within the week.

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