A Race to Race

Statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Memorial with a bunch of 50's tourists looking on.So, will Barack Obama’s speech on race–you know, the speech he really did not want to have to make –be noted in future histories as a turning point in U.S. race relations? And more importantly, if it is an historical “event,” will it be in the context of the election of our first black president or in the context of a failed candidacy that helped to bring an open discussion of race in America?

Too early to tell. Too early to know if this will have any long-term impact. Too early to tell if skittish white-folk will use Rev. Wright as a reason why they can’t support Obama. But for the skittish, they would need to find something anyway.

So when Obama offers nuance and context about race in America, does he inadvertently give an out to folks who like to have simple choices laid out in a menu of numbers on the wall? [I’ll take the #2 meal, Britney Spears burger, Bill Cosby fries, with a supersize of O.J.?] When there is no easy sound bite–precisely because this is a discussion and NOT a sound bite–can it be heard?

Only a tiny fraction of Americans will ever see the speech in full. Once it went through the media sausage grinder all you were left with was him failing to disown the pastor,” says Michael Munger, political scientist at Duke University and a libertarian. “It showed he is the kind of candidate we should want as president but not the kind we tend to elect.Financial Times

Okay. Maybe I am just a pseudo-intellectual snob. And maybe I just need to learn more about stuff white people like.

And maybe, just maybe, no matter what happens in this upcoming election, we can actually

“…continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America. [B]ecause [we] believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together – unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction – towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.” —Barack Obama

Yeah, like that.

2 thoughts on “A Race to Race

  1. I don’t know, Doug. I have found it interesting to attend different types of worship services and find myself agreeing with < HREF="http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0308/Huck_defends_Wright.html" REL="nofollow">Mike Huckabee on the Rev. Wright controversy<>. There are many people that I know, and even love, that say things that I find awful. I don’t reject them, but I do reject their words or actions. We are all complex folks, and I don’t believe that a few firey samples from a sermon tells the whole story of a minister. I mean, do you agree with every single thing that <>your<> pastor says?


  2. We should judge a person by their actions and not their words. The fact that Obama choose Mr. Wright as his spiritual teacher for 20 years speaks well for actions. Words are easy to manipulate and it is unlikly that Obama’s recent speach was written by Mr. Obama anyway. Mr. Obama has a great staff that will do anything to get him elected. But clearly this man Mr. Obama is not to be trusted with the future of our great country regardless that if he is fashionably black.


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