[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Obama's Race Speech

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama's Race Speech

I've read and seen Barack Obama's race speech today. It was a classic Obama speech, in many ways good. He mostly said the right things; about how we should all come together, black, white, everything else and in between, to solve our problems. On that no one can argue with Obama. His pointing out of the harsh language used by both blacks and whites in dealing with controversial and hurtful issues was honest and correct. His assertion that blacks can and do succeed was right on the money, as was his acknowledging of the white resentment that exists in some circles.

Not all was good about the speech. In fact, the more I read it and see it, the more the bad parts really irk me. Where Obama failed big time, ironically, was in distancing himself from the hateful rhetoric that keeps us divided. Ironic because he sees himself, and is seen by others, as a uniter. I believe him when he says that he vehemently opposes the statements made by Jeremiah Wright. But his defense of Wright, as admirable it may be from a purely friendship perspective, I can't accept. I'm sure Wright and his church have done many good things. We also know Mussolini made the trains run on time. Obama's usage of his white grandmother and her alleged racist statements to make a point about our contradictions as human beings was weak. You can't disown family, Mr. Obama, but you can certainly disown a bigoted preacher whom you chose to be your pastor and spiritual advisor. The fact that he hasn't disowned his pastor ought to raise concern about his judgement, if not his deep-down commitment to this country. If Obama is having a hard time distancing himself from an un-American and un-Christian pastor, imagine how difficult it would be for him to make the really hard decisions he would have to make as POTUS, not to mention that it goes totally against his whole "unity" theme.

Also, this comment about the cause of the Reagan Coalition and the fodder used by conservative talk show hosts:
Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.
does nothing more than draw lines in the sand. Criticizing political correctness and pointing the finger at affirmative action isn't racism, it's having an open and honest discussion about race and how it affects all of us. First Obama said that was good, but now it's bad when conservative talk show hosts do it? Hmmm.

Speaking of honest discussions about race, this is one really good thing we can take out of this. For once, the race issue is laid out bare for all of us to see. The thought that many (not most) black churches use Wright-style rhetoric is a real eye-opener for me. We know all about white racism, we've heard about it for years. But if blacks really want a seat at the table (and who's to say they can't already sit down, just ask Obama), they're going to have to do their part, just as whites and others have to. We realize the sad and tragic history blacks have faced, but we want to work together, don't we? These are different times, aren't they?

Finally, I want to address comments made by Rick and others who have criticized conservatives and Republicans for dwelling on this issue. When a presidential candidate and his family hold a personal relationship with someone of the likes of Jeremiah Wright, you can bet that we're going to harangue and wring our hands and pull our hairs out over it. It's simple. The presidency of the United States of America is at stake here. Character and judgement (and character judgement) matters. This isn't about a crazy uncle or a neighbor or your hairdresser. A pastor and spiritual advisor is a very important person in one's life. Obama himself admits this.

Ask yourself this question tonight: would you feel comfortable with the POTUS having a special relationship with a bigot? Then ask yourself another question: would you feel comfortable with this same POTUS making the tough decisions on key issues such as foreign policy, healthcare, the economy?

Indeed, this is something I will be dwelling on for a long time.



Blogger Agustin Farinas said...

Obama's speech was sop and pablum for his followers (as if they need anymore of it to drool)
One cannot compare something said by one's gandmother in the privacy of one's home with the hateful statements of one's preacher on his Sunday's sermon. They are not comparable. But he tried to compare what his preacher said, with his granma's racial stereotype criticisms. It won't wash.
Also he did not include the Reverend in his entourage when he declared for President. I wonder why? Was it because he knew back then about his racist speeches and knew they were a time bomb ticking away? ?
If one attends a church for over 20 years and still is unaware of what is being said during the Sunday sermons, how can a person with such ignorance claim he is qualified to be POTUS?
Obama cannot hide behind his so called ignorance, to avoid being tarnished by his spiritual guide fallout. The reverend speeches were full of hate and falsehoods and he had to have known what was being said there. In fact his own wife knew about them, because she sounds just like the Reverend.
I believe his run for the office of President is over and done. Republicans are wringing their hands in glee with the prospect of facing this impostor in November. They will make sure nobody forgets about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his relationship with Mr. Obama.

9:15 AM, March 20, 2008  
Blogger Ziva said...

So he want's to be president bad enough to stomp abuela? Putting his lack of experience aside, this man is a moral midget and not fit to be president.

11:13 PM, March 21, 2008  

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