March 18, 2008

The Speech

Right down the street this morning at the National Constitution Center, Obama gave this speech:

Great speech. I know the stuff about Wright will get all the attention, but parts of this speech were truly groundbreaking. Especially the "racial stalemate" part- it's really hard to disagree with any part of that, and when was the last time an American politician talked about racism against blacks, resentment among working-class whites, and Bill Cosby-type talk all in one speech?
The full transcript is here; this is my favorite part:

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.”

I'll be doing some kind of column on this next week, and I'm also hoping to be at the presidential debate, also at the Constitution Center, next month.

Posted by Stephen Silver at March 18, 2008 03:39 PM

Did you get caught up in the 95 mess at all with the cracked highway?

Posted by: A at March 18, 2008 08:24 PM

I checked fox news web site for their take on the speech. Pretty much the angle I expected, but I noticed the byline: "By"

A couple reporters contributed, but, apparently, the final copy was written by the web site itself.

Posted by: PK at March 18, 2008 11:48 PM

As a black growing up in Boston during the 60's and having gone through busing I could feel the reverand but I don't. As corny as this may sound, Brotherhood is the answer and until people get over the illusion of race being a factor we will not ever really prosper as a nation we will always be stuck in the mud of our ignorance and stupidity. Unfortunately a terrible belief system was forged by the few to divide the many and it has worked to the favor of the few who hold all the wealth. They must watch and laugh as they continue on with their wealthy lives while the working class point fingers at each other instead of facing the real issues which Obama brought out - fair health care programs for all; fair access to a good education for all; so that the masses have an equal chance at a decent life like the small percentage of the wealthy get to enjoy without the worry or complexities that the masses must endure.

Posted by: Sedona at March 19, 2008 02:27 PM
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