You have to make the commitment to trying to understand people in their own terms, to find out why certain ways of thinking and speaking and acting flourish in their world. Then you’re entitled to criticize, if you want, but now your criticism is going to be entangled in that understanding of a lived world, and limited by it.

I know some of you think that this vision is a kind of weakness in the face of malevolence.

Timothy Burke on Obama’s speech on race, emphasis added.