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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama Tackles Race Relations

Obama tried to put an end to the controversy surrounding his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, today with a speech on race in Philadelphia. According to MSNBC:

Describing his life as the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas, Obama called it a story that hasn't made him the most conventional candidate, but, 'a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts - that out of many, we are truly one.'

snip

In Tuesday's speech Obama called Wright's remarks not only wrong but divisive saying, 'they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America.'

In Tuesday's speech Obama added, 'Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions - the good and the bad - of the community that he has served diligently for so many years. I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.'

Obama went on to say, 'I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.'"

I think this last statement is a profound truth and I for one am satisfied with his explanation. He is the sum of all his family, no more, no less.

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