Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Obama: The Speech

(Disclosure: I am a full fledged Obama supporter)

We have all heard about in the news last few days about the amazing speech Obama gave on race. The media really can't stop proclaiming how great it was, yet they really don't explain why. They play a few choice sound-bytes from it but stop short of actually telling anyone what it was about.

Why this speech was important (and different from the politics we are all so used to):

He didn't blame this on anyone, he didn't point fingers, he didn't throw anyone under the bus, he didn't disavow his minister (even though everyone in the world would have understood, given his comments). He made picked up an underlying theme that nobody, especially politicians, likes to talk about: Racism in America. But he didn't do it like any other politician previously has. He explained to the white folks that there is racism against black Americans and they don't feel too kindly about it. He spoke of racial tensions in his own bi-racial family. But then he did something that I've never heard a Black politician do, he told black people about how white people feel some policies are unfair, affirmative action, economic and class tensions broken along racial lines, etc.

Politically genius, not to mention courageous. This guy just turned a major campaign gaffe into a conversation about the racial problems we have to solve in this country. And the Media who was ready to drag this juicy story on and on has to shut up about it, save Rush Limbaugh. That is why they are all speechless. In one reserved, quiet speech Barack Obama changed the national conversation about race from a militant black preacher to how this problem belongs to all of us. Hillary Clinton in her dreams could never accomplish such a feat.

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