The UR community was given the opportunity Saturday to listen to former Senator and former New York Knicks basketball player Bill Bradley discuss his ideas on recent events and where the country should go now.

Bradley began his speech light-heartedly with a comment about speaking in the Palestra. ?Its not often I can speak in a facility like this wearing long pants,? Bradley said.

With an ancedote about speaking Russian in the 1964 Olympic basketball championship game, Bradley segued into the more serious side of his speech ? always try to be ready.

?The world changes dramatically and you can?t predict that change,? Bradley said. ?Globalization is clearly one of the forces changing our world.?

He used examples of technology, information and the standard of living to illustrate how fast the world changes, and how it has become more of a global world than ever before.

Bradley recounted his personal experience in an Indian teashop asking a young boy what he wanted to do when he grew up. The boy responded that he wanted to go into computers, to be like ?Billy? Gates.

Information about American technologies and standards of living ?had traveled 14,000 miles around the world and ignited the imagination of that little boy in a tea-shop in Central India,? Bradley said.

This exchange of information also has a negative side, Bradley pointed out. The terrorist today learns to hate America through CNN and U.S. counter-terrorism web-sites and is then trained in the United States.

The next issue Bradley addressed was the U.S. official response to the Sept. 11 attacks. ?We are entering a new phase and that new phase is the war on terrorism,? he said. ?All it will require is allies, allies, allies, allies and it will take years, years, years, years.?

In addition to an official response, Bradley stressed the importance of individual and community responses. ?We won the Cold War by what we did, but we also won by who we are,? Bradley said. ?Our strength is a pluralistic democracy with an economy that can continually take more and more people to higher economic ground.?

To accomplish this the country must act together-in the private sector, government and in the community Bradley said. ?We had to act. That spirit is there. It simply has to go beyond the moment of tragedy and infuse our communities.?

Bradley believes voting is one of the most important responsibilities of community members. He said in an interview after his speech that broadening participation by easing and simplifying voter registration was the first priority of the Democratic Party. He also stressed diversity.

?Diversity is our strength,? Bradley said. He used the example of a ?Korean American hiring Mexican Americans in Houston, Texas to prepare Chinese-style food for mostly black clientele.?

In his final remarks, he stressed the importance of each individual?s commitment to his own personal values. He hoped for a future where ?what we do every day leads to the deepest fulfillment of our internal desires.?

Bradley said it was thrilling to win a NBA championship and an honor to serve in Congress. ?During my eighteen years in the Senate I stayed true to my values, even when sometimes that didn?t make me popular with my colleagues.?

Miller can be reached at amiller@campustimes.org.



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