I didn’t have the opportunity to hear the speech by Barack Obama on race, I just read the transcript from the internet–but it was truly an amazing speech and an indication of why Barack Obama should be our next President. Unlike most politicians, he doesn’t fudge on the difficult parts.
For the first time in my life, a politician has talked honestly about the wounds our nation has suffered because of racism, discussed how both sides share culpability for sweeping this discussion under the rug and then pointed a way out of the wilderness.
Whites must acknowledge the pain and suffering that still exists among blacks. Blacks must acknowledge that society can adapt and change for the better. Both sides must accept that their destinies are entwined.
But, of course, he also admitted that this isn’t something that will be accomplished within the span of an election cycle or by a single candidate.
I thought the most telling distancing of the candidate from Rev. Wright and black liberation theology was Obama’s statement that his pastor’s biggest mistake was couching his criticism of both white racism and his admonishment of blacks towards self-improvement in an attitude that denies the ability of our culture to adapt and improve. That is as much a function of younger African-Americans who have seen and experienced the benefits of improved racial relations in distinction to civil rights-era African-Americans like Rev. Wright whose experiences tended to reflect more outright bigotry and hatred, to say nothing of legal segregation and violence.
An eloquent speech–hopefully it will be enough to derail the Republican hate machine (not to mention the Hillary War Room.)