Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Aftermath of Obama speech on Race.

It is indeed a historic and important speech, no one has ever dared verbalized the pain of both black and white Americans as they both grapple with the legacy of slavery and segregation.
Until the element of race suddenly gained traction Obama appeared unstoppable. In the days leading to the Ohio primary Hillary‘s campaign launched a smear strategy in which everything was thrown at Obama including the Kitchen sink.
Instead of his hopeful and coalition building tone of his speeches, Obama has been forced to explain his dress code in Kenya, the Ferraro assertion that his candidacy is only succeeding because of affirmative action and the ultimate knockout or as many now believe was the moment the kitchen sink hit was publicizing of his pastor’s controversial remarks.

The genius of this speech is that Obama rolls up all the bad stuff and with an understanding of the core of the issues that is rare in Washington; he repackaged it all into a speech that appeals to America’s better angels to look beyond his color and come together to change America and secure a more perfect union for her children.

The setting could not have been perfect, Pennsylvania where the Governor Ed. Rendell a key Clinton backer said there are some whites here who will not vote for a black man.

However, university of Pennsylvania Political Science Professor Rogers M. Smith said this after the speech – “Pennsylvania is one of the places where Obama had to be careful not to appear to be "dissing" the black church, particularly outspoken clerical leaders, while he nonetheless did have to distance himself from the despair about white Americans and American progress that he discerned in some of Wright's sermons. The focus on Wright's comments and Obama's stance toward them was not helpful to him here, so it was risky but also wise to address the issue head on as he did,"

And for those still cringing at Rev Wright horrible words and are still reluctant to cut Obama some slack for attending his church Rev Huckabee a former republic candidates offers this.

"[Y]ou can't hold the candidate responsible for everything that people around him may say or do," Huckabee says. "It's interesting to me that there are some people on the left who are having to be very uncomfortable with what ... Wright said, when they all were all over a Jerry Falwell, or anyone on the right who said things that they found very awkward and uncomfortable, years ago. Many times those were statements lifted out of the context of a larger sermon. Sermons, after all, are rarely written word for word by pastors like Rev. Wright, who are delivering them extemporaneously, and caught up in the emotion of the moment. There are things that sometimes get said, that if you put them on paper and looked at them in print, you'd say 'Well, I didn't mean to say it quite like that.'"

Later, he defended Wright's anger, too:

"As easy as it is for those of us who are white to look back and say 'That's a terrible statement!' ... I grew up in a very segregated South. And I think that you have to cut some slack -- and I'm gonna be probably the only conservative in America who's gonna say something like this, but I'm just tellin' you -- we've gotta cut some slack to people who grew up being called names...

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