Hiller Instinct: Obama speech on race
The Hiller Instinct: Hiller Instinct: Obama speech on race
Political Editor Andy Hiller has more on his remarks.
"This is where we are right now. It's a racial stalemate we've been stuck in for years," Obama said.
With his campaign weakened by a racial divide, and the leader of his Chicago church under attack, Barack Obama took on both.
He acknowledged Reverend Jeremiah Wright's comments were wrong and racially charged:
Rev. Wright from the pulpit said, "Not God bless America, God (bleep) America!"
But he stood behind the pastor who officiated at his wedding and baptized his children.
"I can no more disown him that I can disown the black community."
"But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races. In fact a similar anger exists within segments of the white community."
Obama then blended history, politics and his own life story into a call for progress, across racial lines:
"This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown it can always be perfected," Obama said.
And that, he said, is why he was giving the speech:
"I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together," Obama said.
This was an impressive speech: well conceived, well-written, well-delivered.
No, it won't solve the nation's racial problems, but no single speech will...and, so far, nothing has.
What this speech will do is put pressure on Hillary Clinton to take the color out of her campaign...and--should Obama win the Democratic nomination--this speech will always be included in the reasons "why."
Live in the newsroom, Andy Hiller, and that's my instinct.(Copyright 2008 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)