Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama's Race Speech

Brilliant. I'm saying this because it was the best speech on race - intelligent, nuanced, and rhetorically sparkling - perhaps since King and Malcolm. Because Obama gave a speech that no other politician would be courageous enough to touch, demonstrating again why he is far beyond the candidate and even person that Hillary Clinton and John McCain are. Because he just transcended the whole damn stupid discussion we've been having for the past few campaign weeks about "the race issue." And because this speech was not only a political speech intended to do campaign damage-control but a genuine and eloquent contribution to the deeper discussion of race and racism in the United States.

For the first time in my life, I have the opportunity to vote not simply for who can defeat the nominee from the other party - how John Kerry's candidacy felt for me - but the opportunity to elect a person who I truly want to become president.

Here's the video and text.


Andrew Sullivan
I have never felt more convinced that this man's candidacy - not this man, his candidacy - and what he can bring us to achieve - is an historic opportunity. This was a testing; and he did not merely pass it by uttering safe bromides. He addressed the intimate, painful love he has for an imperfect and sometimes embittered man. And how that love enables him to see that man's faults and pain as well as his promise. This is what my faith is about. It is what the Gospels are about. This is a candidate who does not merely speak as a Christian. He acts like a Christian.

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