Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Barack Obama's Philadephia Speech

thanks to Ben Smith for video

text of speech here


Randy said...

I both listened to, and read, Obama's speech on race. It was well crafted, but less than persuasive. I found myself pondering the meaning of some phrases, like "this nation’s original sin of slavery". I can only conclude he believes the world was an Eden where slavery was unknown until Amerikkka invented it. Now that's a message that will unify the country!

Later Obama related the story of his white grandmother; "a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe." And exactly how did that experience shape the man? I can only conclude, based on his subsequent actions, that Obama chose his church and spiritual mentor on the basis of how much it made him cringe. How else can one explain his 20 year relationship?

Central to Obama's campaign has been an assertion that he represents a new kind of politics built around a post-racial, post-partisan unity and harmony. Obama and his supporters assert that experience is less important than judgment - a claim they back up by referring to his 2002 speech against Iraq.

In his speech on race today Obama said:

For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle – as we did in the OJ trial – or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina - or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time.” This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn; that those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

Those are fine words, but Mr. Obama's judgement and actions are a stark contradiction. When it comes to matters of race and unity, we do have a choice in this country.

Obama had a choice and he chose to be a member of Reverand Wright's church. He chose Reverand Wright as his spiritual mentor. He later chose Reverand Wright when he sought a pastor for his wedding ceremony and the baptism of his daughters. Each time Obama chose to affiliate himself with a person who is divisive and whose language is full of hate. He could have said "Not this time" many years ago and on many occaisons. He did not.

I can only assume that Obama's inadequate explanations and efforts to distance himself from Reverand Wright only came about when it became clear they were a liability to his campaign. How's that for change?


jpeg said...

when i listened to the 37 minute speech that Senator Obama wrote and delivered i heard him ask something of me. i heard him calling us all to the urgency of the moment. do i think he is perfect? of course not., i believe him to be human. it matters who is the next president. of those still standing he stands out far ahead of the others.
i hope we all rise to the occasion and save the planet for those who come after.

Ozy said...

One of the best most thoughtful speeches since King.

Maybe even better!

In Bill Clinton's Heart of Hearts He knows that Obama is the best choice for the country.

Those who are picking this apart are die hard Clinton fans.

Randy I couldn't disagree more!

I would Debate you but I don't have time.

They are thinking Hillary= Bill

Hello bill was more Republican than Dem.

Randy said...

I think this analysis by Dick Morris is spot on: Wright's Rantings Won't Sink Obama.