Mar 19, 2008

The Speech

It takes someone who is both white and black to be 100% credible to Americans when speaking like this. I can't say I've ever heard anything like this from a politician before. It was just ... truth. Unglossed and laid bare- just simple truth about the race divide and how to get past it. I know there are those of you who think he threw his grandma under the bus , and then there are those who think he threw Rev. Wright under the bus. I don't believe in moving towards the right, making concessions with those who have outright ruined so much in the past few years. But, when it comes to race, we can all stand to move a little closer together. This speech did that for me, and apparently quite a few others.

The Speech

Reactions:

at Ice Station Tango

at Crooks and Liars

Ornery Bastard

Yakety Yak

The Poor Man Institute

Morning Martini

It's hard to pick just one piece out of this very important and candid talk about race by Obama. Read the whole thing, please.

EXCERPT:
For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle - as we did in the OJ trial - or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina - or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright's sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she's playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we'll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, "Not this time." This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can't learn; that those kids who don't look like us are somebody else's problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

This time we want to talk about how the lines in the Emergency Room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care; who don't have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together.
This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life. This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn't look like you might take your job; it's that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit.

This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should've been authorized and never should've been waged, and we want to talk about how we'll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.

I would not be running for President if I didn't believe with all my heart that this is what the vast majority of Americans want for this country. This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected. And today, whenever I find myself feeling doubtful or cynical about this possibility, what gives me the most hope is the next generation - the young people whose attitudes and beliefs and openness to change have already made history in this election.

14 comments:

PoliShifter said...

I for one am a bit disheartened from the reaction I see in the mainstream media. MSNBC in the mornings have been highly critical of it. It flips a bit with Mathews and Olbermann who both thought it was a landmark speech.

I have not read the reactions yet that you linked to but what I keep hearing is "yeah but Obama's pastor said 'God Damn America' and Obama didn't reject him".

That's all the right wing wants to talk about and the Clinton supporters just pile up.

They don't want to let it go.

Which is fine. They think they have hit a political gold mine.

For Obama, I hope he moves on. It looks like he is trying to based on his recent statements criticizing McCain. He should just move on and talk about McCain, Iraq, and his plan for moving America forward. If people want to keep talking about race he should just refer them to his speech.

But I am an Obama supporter so I am biased.

as far as which candidate will get us out of Iraq. NONE of the candidates will get us out of Iraq as fast as I want.

Kucinich was my first choice. He wanted the troops out in 60 days.

The rest of them are going to hem and haw for a couple years. I do think that between McCain, Clinton, and Obama that Obama will work the hardest toward getting us out of Iraq.

McCain will obviously stay the course. Hillary will do what is politically expedient for her and what benefits her contributors the most. If that means stretching out our time in Iraq another 4 years then so be it.

Fade said...

hey- anyone who posted on Barack's speech- let me know, and I'll link your reaction on this post...

Fade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frederick said...

I have to second polishifter. Where are my aspirin.

Fade said...

Well, when you have expectations as low as mine, Fred, Aspirin is fine, washed down with a six pack and two shots of Cheap whiskey.

Comrade Kevin said...

Let us all dare to hope.

We'll need to be daring to make it.

navyswan said...

Wow the commenters at noquarter hit about every racist point they could think of. I especially like the comment near the bottom where they went on about how 'blacks' get preferential treatment at colleges and corporations. It reminded me of a study recently that said there are more African American males in prison than there are in college. It seems the Clinton supporters have latched onto the concept of the 'white man's burden.'

Fade said...

Man, just read through all the replies to my comment there. Larry Johnson's site used to be a bastion of defense against the right wing and their bs. Now its filled with people saying "Obama hates Democracy". It's like WTF? If you prefer Hillary, fine. But attacking the lead Democrat in what's going to be an extremely close race its just... well, its fucking unconscionable. I hope Larry takes that site over sometime in the near future and returns it to attacking the people who are responsible for outing Plame and screwing our intelligence community. I swear, I've been to freeper sites that didn't have as much racist drivel that was in the comments of that one post. Blows this redneck's mind.= And believe you me, I've seen some hardcore racist shit. I'm just sitting here wondering what the hell. Even Americablog's constant barrage of attacks on Hillary doesn't seem to touch the outrageousness of that post.

Let a little honesty in, the truth shall set you free, people.

pissed off patricia said...

Thank you so much for the link. I am surprised about the negative reactions. To me those reactions just serve to prove what Senator Obama was saying.

I was totally moved by the speech and I will never forget what I learned from it.

I just read that you are getting married in about eight days. Congratulations and I wish you many many years of love and happiness

Fade said...

hmmm ... Marriage AND Happiness- And blogging to change teh wurld!

My idealism knows no bounds!

angry ballerina said...

Thanks for educating me Fade.

You still suck ass

Fade said...

AB, sometimes late at night, that's all I have, the knowledge that I educated you in sucking ass.

navyswan said...

Your getting married?!? Congrats Fade. I hope you have a lovely wedding.

Mauigirl said...

I agree it was a great speech. I think it is ridiculous for some fellow Democrats not to support it no matter which Democrat they want to win the nomination.

And, congratulations on your upcoming marriage!