Tuesday, March 18, 2008

US Race Relations

The future President on race in the US.



Check out the text here.

3 comments:

Kid Radical said...

A truly honest and courageous speech. Despite the fodder in the pundoctracy, this speech was not about politics, though it had a political message, it was a speech about all of us and what kind of country we want to be.

I think so many of us have forgotten that. Obama reminded us today and I hope this takes him to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue so we can move forward and stop the madness. I know i am living in a dream world, but today for an hour I saw a person transcend and give a remarkeable speech. One I will remember for a long, long time.

Oh, yeah and I won my case too!

Paul Newell said...

This was the most honest, thoughtful speech about America I have heard in my lifetime. If (when) Obama is elected, this will be remembered as a great moment in American thought. Obama’s “Houston moment”. But more than that - a speech in the line of great thought running from the Declaration through Gettysburg and the Cross of Gold and on to King's Dream.

Yes, I am a believer. No, it is not a surprise that Sen. Obama can give a good speech. But this was different. Not just inspiring, as Obama always is. Not unique in its call for unity, as many do.

This speech is unique in its extraordinary empathy. I have never before heard a call for unity that so well understands – and resolutely refuses to demonize – divisiveness. Barack Obama has done more here than answer questions about Rev. Wright. He has done more than “stand his ground”. He has begun to address in public what we all know in private. That race and racism are an essential part of America. They are not something to be proud of, but they exist and must be dealt with if we are to succeed in our common project.

“That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems;

But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.

Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze - a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns - this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.”

I have learned from this speech. I have learned about America, and about myself. I have learned (with a hat tip to Hillary) the difference between denouncing and rejecting. I have been reminded that while anger is human, so is hope.

Paul Newell said...

Oh, and KR -
Mazel tov on winning your case.