Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama's version of a mixed race America

I'm going to let Senator Obama speak for himself--it's 37 minutes long, but it's a speech that says so much about the complexity of living in a mixed race America:

Here's a link to the transcript of the speech (click here).

I'll be back tomorrow for more of my own words on mixed-race America--for today, I think Senator Obama's said all that there needs to be said.


Brian Hunt said...

Will this speech extinguish or add fuel to the flames of subtle racial attacks that have been increasing in frequency as the race for the nomination gets tight. This was the correct move to tackle his critics head on. Unfortunately, I still think that it's only going to get worse if he wins the nomination because the Republicans will be more aggressive.

Jennifer said...

I think, Brian, that Obama was in a damned-if-you do/damned-if-you-don't position. He needed to address critics who were playing that loop of tape from Reverand Wright. And even before Wright, there has been so much over the last couple of months--starting, perhaps, in South Carolina with Bill Clinton's comments, that needed to be addressed about race.

And while I don't think we should hold, him, responsible for talking about race "as a *black* or *mixed-race* man," I do think SOMEONE needed to deliver that speech. In some ways, it was a missed opportunity for Hillary Clinton not to step up and talk about race and racism as a white American.

But really, I can't imagine anyone else giving the speech that he gave, so I suppose it just had to be him.

What the political fall-out of this will be in terms of the Democratic nomination or general election remains to be seen--but I'm *hopeful* that the speech, regardless of the political fall-out, will have some positive ends in terms of getting people to TRULY TALK ABOUT RACE and to understand that we have a problem that needs addressing that we can't hide from--that is complicated and complex--and that will take time.