I didn't get a chance to watch Obama's speech, but did read the transcript on Drudge.
Overall, I though the speech was good, although Obama's delivery often improves it (unless he's standing on a podium in Texas). I don't think Obama was as forceful enough or direct enough in the speech - it certainly wasn't a Sista Souljah moment. It was, as I expected, an attempt to re-establish himself as a bargainer, explaining that Wright's sentiments are understandable given the generation he is from, etc.
But, this passage, where Obama basically calls on every single American to vote for him or else, is troubling:
The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through – a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American
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.
So, by voting for Obama, I can help to completely expunge the history of AmeriKKKa - Obama is truly the Messiah, the Deliverer, our Redeemer.
If I don't vote for him, the insanity of a Jeremiah Wright will only continue.
This isn't someone who's calling out the insanity and damaging messages of Jeremiah Wright's sermons. This is someone excusing their content and impact.
ARC: St Wendeler