Barack Obama's speech on race

Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by nanite1018, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. nanite1018

    nanite1018 Registered Member

    I just watched it, and I thought it was a fantastic speech. I believe he did a great job of painting all the sides of the racial tension in this country as based on legitimate concerns. I think he has successfully defended himself against those who paint him as a stereotypically "black" candidate, and may very well have changed the atmosphere of the campaign.

    What did you think about it and how will it affect the race?

  2. CMK_Eagle

    CMK_Eagle Registered Member

    Overall, I think it was a good speech. He rightly congratulated himself for running, not as a black candidate, but as a candidate who happens to be black. It was also one of the first times that he's echoed Clinton's first Inaugural Address and explicitly painted a positive overall image of the US, which is something I think he's needed to do.

    However, there were a couple parts of the speech I didn't like. The first is his reference to slavery as America's "original sin". This may be nothing more than a choice of language, but it's one that I worry may be indicative of his overall mindset. It implies that slavery is something that can never be fully atoned for. It further implies that the guilt and responsibility for slavery is held by the decendants of those originally responsible. Both of these are utterly rediculous. The responsibility for any crime, no matter how heinous, dies with those who committed or enabled it.

    The second is his refusal to strongly condemn racial anger that he called unproductive and distracting. Emotions and beliefs based in long dead realities are rightly condemned, and in the strongest way possible. Regardless of the circumstances in which a person comes of age, everyone has the capacity to use reason to judge the present. To call those who fail to apply reason and accept objective reality unhelpful is a vast understatement. Rather, they're nothing more than an obstacle to be overcome.
  3. MenInTights

    MenInTights not a plastic bag

    I thought the condemnation of Wright's words was good. I also liked that he stated clearly the problems of the middle east are not b/c of Isreal, but b/c of radical Islam. I was surprised and pleased that he said welfare was to blame (partially) for the demise of the black family.

    The Reagan talk was odd. I need to do some research to see if it was an anti-Reagan remark. It seemed that way, and I think that is very unproductive since the Reagan Democrats are still alive and he's going to need them to win.

    The talk radio part was a little alarming. I had no clue what he was talking about other than what I believe is a desire to resurect the Fairness Doctrine and kill talk radio.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2008
  4. CMK_Eagle

    CMK_Eagle Registered Member

    I think he's arguing that resentment over things like affirmative action have driven poor whites to vote for Republican candidates, and therefore supposedly against their interests.

    I think all he meant there is that people like Rush Limbaugh are the equivalent among whites of Reverand Wright among blacks - people whose resentment creates an obstacle to rationally addressing race-related issues.

    I also forgot to mention one other aspect of his speech that I disliked - his claim that big business is to blame for the problems of the working class. Blaming faceless corporations is an easy cop out, but it ignores the repeated failures of governments to properly educate the public, and especially the poor, and to prepare people to succeed in a knowledge-based economy with an ever-lessening need for unskilled labor.
  5. Jeanie

    Jeanie still nobody's bitch V.I.P. Lifetime

    I haven't seen the full text of it, but what I have seen/read gave me goosebumps.

    A caller to the Stephanie Miller show today said that Obama will be one of the pivotal figures of the 21st Century. I hope he's right.

    That speech gave me something that I haven't had for a long long time - hope.
  6. fleinn

    fleinn 101010

  7. Grizz

    Grizz Registered Member

    I'd say big business and greed has a lot to do with the lack of income movement for the middle class - you know, those folks who do get an education, work their butts off, continue to improve their efficiency and still wind up little better off than when they started? It wasn't all that long ago that workers shared when corporations did well, but that percentage has been dropping. Instead, senior management is reaping massive increases, as are stockholders, many of whom just happen to be senior management. As for "the repeated failures of governments to properly educate the public", I'd say that has a whole lot more to do with the inability or unwillingness to refuse the education that's put before them. I would also say that governments have done much more to bring children to education who previously were either denied access to a classroom or just shunted aside.
    Mirage likes this.
  8. CMK_Eagle

    CMK_Eagle Registered Member

    Right, that's why the US ranks in the lower half of industrialized nations in educational achievement, despite spending among the most per student. Sure, our education system is fine if you want to spend your life working in a factory, but those jobs are fast leaving the US (and rightly so, unless you dislike cheap goods). What our education system has failed to do is prepare people to move into the new high-skilled jobs that have been created as the economy has changed, and continues to change.
  9. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    It didn't move the earth or anything, and I do want to distance myself from Obama zealots with my words. I adamantly support the man, but I really want to say that it was a fine speech and signaled a move in this campaign without gloating or raving about it.

    As Jon Stewart said, a political candidate for once talked about race to the American people "as if they were adults." He said some stuff we already knew, but definitely went into dangerous, politically volatile territory be recognizing the white anger and showing that he's willing to rise above racism not just against blacks, but by all groups to all others.

    It was a mature, sincere speech that definitely elucidated that he's willing to deal with racial issues of all manners and aspects. Definitely not a black president in the White House in November, but rather one that's finally detached from racialized thinking in general.
  10. fleinn

    fleinn 101010 you think it'll catch on?

    The righto- sphere is going into overdrive, and via the politico, drudge, Msnbc, and so on - there will be a lot of personality- oriented garbage in the public square, as usual.

    But that he's still in the race - I suppose that shows the noise- machine isn't as effective as it used to be? (Or is that too hopeful?)

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