Obama’s speech on race and racism in America

Obama gave a speech today on racism and politics that has been generally well-received. While the effectiveness of what was said and the implications of what was left out will surely be debated, he did come out and talk about issues that often ignored in politics, and surely shouldn’t be.

The full 38 minute speech is available on Youtube here and the full text of the speech is available on Obama’s website.

MoveOn.org hosted a shorter 8 minute “highlights” video on youtube, for those with time restraints:

64 thoughts on “Obama’s speech on race and racism in America

  1. Leon

    In the 80s and early 90s, it was common to hear in the gay and African American community “conspiracy theories” about AIDS as a government-created disease. In an essay, queer theorist Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick writes about asking AIDS activist Cindy Patton about her thoughts about such arguments. Patton responsed:”Suppose we were sure of every element of a conspiracy: that the lives of Africans and African Americans are worthless in the eyes of the United States; that gay men and drug users are held cheap where they aren’t actively hated; that the military deliberately researches ways to kill noncombatants whom it sees as enemies… Supposing we were ever sure of all those things—what would we know then that we don’t already know?”

  2. Leon

    In the 80s and early 90s, it was common to hear in the gay and African American community “conspiracy theories” about AIDS as a government-created disease.

    In an essay, queer theorist Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick writes about asking AIDS activist Cindy Patton about her thoughts about such arguments. Patton responsed:

    “Suppose we were sure of every element of a conspiracy: that the lives of Africans and African Americans are worthless in the eyes of the United States; that gay men and drug users are held cheap where they aren’t actively hated; that the military deliberately researches ways to kill noncombatants whom it sees as enemies… Supposing we were ever sure of all those things—what would we know then that we don’t already know?”

  3. Mad Joy

    “@mad joy”the difference in what people come out of after hearing that speech is not.”–> say what?”Sorry, I never got around to finishing that sentence, apparently :P You probably got my intended meaning, though. Despite there maybe being a difference in terms of actual meaning, the difference in what people who watch that speech come out thinking is minimal. The connection is still made in their minds between Islam and hateful ideologies.””instead just talking about the hateful ideologies of radical terrorists, he has to associate Islam by name”–> it’s called being specific, and accurate”Specific and accurate could involve a lot of different associations made. It could involve specific claims they have made about the US, it could involve specific people. Choosing to mention Islam and not other characteristics of terrorists is obviously a choice. And yet that’s the only mention in his entire speech of Islam. No mention of anti-Muslim sentiment, despite his speech being about discrimination in this country.

  4. Mad Joy

    “@mad joy”the difference in what people come out of after hearing that speech is not.”–> say what?”Sorry, I never got around to finishing that sentence, apparently :P You probably got my intended meaning, though. Despite there maybe being a difference in terms of actual meaning, the difference in what people who watch that speech come out thinking is minimal. The connection is still made in their minds between Islam and hateful ideologies.””instead just talking about the hateful ideologies of radical terrorists, he has to associate Islam by name”–> it’s called being specific, and accurate”Specific and accurate could involve a lot of different associations made. It could involve specific claims they have made about the US, it could involve specific people. Choosing to mention Islam and not other characteristics of terrorists is obviously a choice. And yet that’s the only mention in his entire speech of Islam. No mention of anti-Muslim sentiment, despite his speech being about discrimination in this country.

  5. Mad Joy

    “@mad joy”the difference in what people come out of after hearing that speech is not.”–> say what?”Sorry, I never got around to finishing that sentence, apparently :P You probably got my intended meaning, though. Despite there maybe being a difference in terms of actual meaning, the difference in what people who watch that speech come out thinking is minimal. The connection is still made in their minds between Islam and hateful ideologies.””instead just talking about the hateful ideologies of radical terrorists, he has to associate Islam by name”–> it’s called being specific, and accurate”Specific and accurate could involve a lot of different associations made. It could involve specific claims they have made about the US, it could involve specific people. Choosing to mention Islam and not other characteristics of terrorists is obviously a choice. And yet that’s the only mention in his entire speech of Islam. No mention of anti-Muslim sentiment, despite his speech being about discrimination in this country.

  6. Mad Joy

    “@mad joy
    “the difference in what people come out of after hearing that speech is not.”
    –> say what?”

    Sorry, I never got around to finishing that sentence, apparently :P You probably got my intended meaning, though. Despite there maybe being a difference in terms of actual meaning, the difference in what people who watch that speech come out thinking is minimal. The connection is still made in their minds between Islam and hateful ideologies.

    “”instead just talking about the hateful ideologies of radical terrorists, he has to associate Islam by name”
    –> it’s called being specific, and accurate”

    Specific and accurate could involve a lot of different associations made. It could involve specific claims they have made about the US, it could involve specific people. Choosing to mention Islam and not other characteristics of terrorists is obviously a choice. And yet that’s the only mention in his entire speech of Islam. No mention of anti-Muslim sentiment, despite his speech being about discrimination in this country.

  7. Anonymous

    @mad joy”the difference in what people come out of after hearing that speech is not.”–> say what?”instead just talking about the hateful ideologies of radical terrorists, he has to associate Islam by name”–> it’s called being specific, and accurate

  8. Anonymous

    @mad joy”the difference in what people come out of after hearing that speech is not.”–> say what?”instead just talking about the hateful ideologies of radical terrorists, he has to associate Islam by name”–> it’s called being specific, and accurate

  9. Anonymous

    @mad joy”the difference in what people come out of after hearing that speech is not.”–> say what?”instead just talking about the hateful ideologies of radical terrorists, he has to associate Islam by name”–> it’s called being specific, and accurate

  10. Anonymous

    @mad joy
    “the difference in what people come out of after hearing that speech is not.”
    –> say what?

    “instead just talking about the hateful ideologies of radical terrorists, he has to associate Islam by name”
    –> it’s called being specific, and accurate

  11. Anonymous

    Mad Joy, you asked if any of Wright’s comments are “that offensive”…Yes, especially where he accuses the U.S. of inventing AIDS to practice genocide against people of color.Sorry.

  12. Anonymous

    Mad Joy, you asked if any of Wright’s comments are “that offensive”…Yes, especially where he accuses the U.S. of inventing AIDS to practice genocide against people of color.Sorry.

  13. Anonymous

    Mad Joy, you asked if any of Wright’s comments are “that offensive”…Yes, especially where he accuses the U.S. of inventing AIDS to practice genocide against people of color.Sorry.

  14. Anonymous

    Mad Joy, you asked if any of Wright’s comments are “that offensive”…

    Yes, especially where he accuses the U.S. of inventing AIDS to practice genocide against people of color.

    Sorry.

  15. Mad Joy

    Wright’s words have been grossly distorted and interpreted by the media and thus citizens. Here are the offensive lines in question:”We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” Wright said. “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.””The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.””Barack knows what it means to be a black man to be living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people,” Wright told a cheering congregation. “Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger.””The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied.”Are any of these statements that offensive? Everyone I know is calling Wright a racist for these comments, and I just don’t see it. As a white woman, I’m never going to know what it’s like to be black in America. That’s just true. I don’t see how that is saying “that Hillary is unworthy simply because of the color of skin.” She’s never going to know what it’s like to be black in America. That means that Obama has some useful experience that will help him be a better President than Clinton. Then, he’s never known what it’s like to be a woman in America. That would also be a fair statement.Then there’s the God Damn America line. Wright is criticizing the blind patriotism that many in this country seem to feel. Perhaps he’d even think Obama seems to feel it, and I’m not sure I’d argue with that. He thinks that this government and this country has done and continues to do terrible things. And hasn’t it?And then, the 9/11 comments. He’s not saying “the nation deserved Sept. 11th,” as people have been claiming. Read it closely. He’s saying that America has done terrible things, things on the same scale and WORSE than the actions committed on us on 9/11, and then act surprised and “indignant” when it happens to us. The solution here is clearly that no one should commit these violent actions of murdering civilians. I don’t see how it’s not obvious that that’s what he’s saying.The HIV comments are the most controversial and offensive to me. Still, as is pointed out in this blog post (http://thinkonthesethings.wordpress.com/2008/03/17/about-rev-jeremiah-wrights-aids-comment/), there have been various disgusting acts of medical injustice committed in the United States, that make it not that surprising that Wright might believe some of it. Wikipedia the Tuskegee Syphilis experiment, or the sterilization programs on Puerto Rican women, or on black women in North Carolina. No, I don’t think HIV was spread intentionally, and I think it’s gross that Wright said that. Still, I don’t think that that’s a statement that deserves as much media criticism as it has had.Now, on my previous comments about “the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam” versus “the perverse and hateful ideologies of Islam.” Yes, there is a difference in what he actually says. However, the difference in what people come out of after hearing that speech is not. He mentions Blacks and Latinos and Whites and Asians – but he never specifically mentions Arabs, which surprises me, because some of the worst discrimination in the United States today is being committed against Arabs. He also fails to mention any sort of religious discrimination. And in his speech, instead just talking about the hateful ideologies of radical terrorists, he has to associate Islam by name, make that connection for the listener. I don’t think that’s good. And I don’t think that’s justified. I’m not saying his particular statement isn’t truthful, but rather, that it is misleading and harmful.

  16. Mad Joy

    Wright’s words have been grossly distorted and interpreted by the media and thus citizens. Here are the offensive lines in question:”We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” Wright said. “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.””The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.””Barack knows what it means to be a black man to be living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people,” Wright told a cheering congregation. “Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger.””The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied.”Are any of these statements that offensive? Everyone I know is calling Wright a racist for these comments, and I just don’t see it. As a white woman, I’m never going to know what it’s like to be black in America. That’s just true. I don’t see how that is saying “that Hillary is unworthy simply because of the color of skin.” She’s never going to know what it’s like to be black in America. That means that Obama has some useful experience that will help him be a better President than Clinton. Then, he’s never known what it’s like to be a woman in America. That would also be a fair statement.Then there’s the God Damn America line. Wright is criticizing the blind patriotism that many in this country seem to feel. Perhaps he’d even think Obama seems to feel it, and I’m not sure I’d argue with that. He thinks that this government and this country has done and continues to do terrible things. And hasn’t it?And then, the 9/11 comments. He’s not saying “the nation deserved Sept. 11th,” as people have been claiming. Read it closely. He’s saying that America has done terrible things, things on the same scale and WORSE than the actions committed on us on 9/11, and then act surprised and “indignant” when it happens to us. The solution here is clearly that no one should commit these violent actions of murdering civilians. I don’t see how it’s not obvious that that’s what he’s saying.The HIV comments are the most controversial and offensive to me. Still, as is pointed out in this blog post (http://thinkonthesethings.wordpress.com/2008/03/17/about-rev-jeremiah-wrights-aids-comment/), there have been various disgusting acts of medical injustice committed in the United States, that make it not that surprising that Wright might believe some of it. Wikipedia the Tuskegee Syphilis experiment, or the sterilization programs on Puerto Rican women, or on black women in North Carolina. No, I don’t think HIV was spread intentionally, and I think it’s gross that Wright said that. Still, I don’t think that that’s a statement that deserves as much media criticism as it has had.Now, on my previous comments about “the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam” versus “the perverse and hateful ideologies of Islam.” Yes, there is a difference in what he actually says. However, the difference in what people come out of after hearing that speech is not. He mentions Blacks and Latinos and Whites and Asians – but he never specifically mentions Arabs, which surprises me, because some of the worst discrimination in the United States today is being committed against Arabs. He also fails to mention any sort of religious discrimination. And in his speech, instead just talking about the hateful ideologies of radical terrorists, he has to associate Islam by name, make that connection for the listener. I don’t think that’s good. And I don’t think that’s justified. I’m not saying his particular statement isn’t truthful, but rather, that it is misleading and harmful.

  17. Mad Joy

    Wright’s words have been grossly distorted and interpreted by the media and thus citizens. Here are the offensive lines in question:”We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” Wright said. “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.””The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.””Barack knows what it means to be a black man to be living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people,” Wright told a cheering congregation. “Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger.””The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied.”Are any of these statements that offensive? Everyone I know is calling Wright a racist for these comments, and I just don’t see it. As a white woman, I’m never going to know what it’s like to be black in America. That’s just true. I don’t see how that is saying “that Hillary is unworthy simply because of the color of skin.” She’s never going to know what it’s like to be black in America. That means that Obama has some useful experience that will help him be a better President than Clinton. Then, he’s never known what it’s like to be a woman in America. That would also be a fair statement.Then there’s the God Damn America line. Wright is criticizing the blind patriotism that many in this country seem to feel. Perhaps he’d even think Obama seems to feel it, and I’m not sure I’d argue with that. He thinks that this government and this country has done and continues to do terrible things. And hasn’t it?And then, the 9/11 comments. He’s not saying “the nation deserved Sept. 11th,” as people have been claiming. Read it closely. He’s saying that America has done terrible things, things on the same scale and WORSE than the actions committed on us on 9/11, and then act surprised and “indignant” when it happens to us. The solution here is clearly that no one should commit these violent actions of murdering civilians. I don’t see how it’s not obvious that that’s what he’s saying.The HIV comments are the most controversial and offensive to me. Still, as is pointed out in this blog post (http://thinkonthesethings.wordpress.com/2008/03/17/about-rev-jeremiah-wrights-aids-comment/), there have been various disgusting acts of medical injustice committed in the United States, that make it not that surprising that Wright might believe some of it. Wikipedia the Tuskegee Syphilis experiment, or the sterilization programs on Puerto Rican women, or on black women in North Carolina. No, I don’t think HIV was spread intentionally, and I think it’s gross that Wright said that. Still, I don’t think that that’s a statement that deserves as much media criticism as it has had.Now, on my previous comments about “the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam” versus “the perverse and hateful ideologies of Islam.” Yes, there is a difference in what he actually says. However, the difference in what people come out of after hearing that speech is not. He mentions Blacks and Latinos and Whites and Asians – but he never specifically mentions Arabs, which surprises me, because some of the worst discrimination in the United States today is being committed against Arabs. He also fails to mention any sort of religious discrimination. And in his speech, instead just talking about the hateful ideologies of radical terrorists, he has to associate Islam by name, make that connection for the listener. I don’t think that’s good. And I don’t think that’s justified. I’m not saying his particular statement isn’t truthful, but rather, that it is misleading and harmful.

  18. Mad Joy

    Wright’s words have been grossly distorted and interpreted by the media and thus citizens. Here are the offensive lines in question:

    “We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” Wright said. “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

    “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.”

    “Barack knows what it means to be a black man to be living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people,” Wright told a cheering congregation. “Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger.”

    “The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied.”

    Are any of these statements that offensive? Everyone I know is calling Wright a racist for these comments, and I just don’t see it. As a white woman, I’m never going to know what it’s like to be black in America. That’s just true. I don’t see how that is saying “that Hillary is unworthy simply because of the color of skin.” She’s never going to know what it’s like to be black in America. That means that Obama has some useful experience that will help him be a better President than Clinton. Then, he’s never known what it’s like to be a woman in America. That would also be a fair statement.

    Then there’s the God Damn America line. Wright is criticizing the blind patriotism that many in this country seem to feel. Perhaps he’d even think Obama seems to feel it, and I’m not sure I’d argue with that. He thinks that this government and this country has done and continues to do terrible things. And hasn’t it?

    And then, the 9/11 comments. He’s not saying “the nation deserved Sept. 11th,” as people have been claiming. Read it closely. He’s saying that America has done terrible things, things on the same scale and WORSE than the actions committed on us on 9/11, and then act surprised and “indignant” when it happens to us. The solution here is clearly that no one should commit these violent actions of murdering civilians. I don’t see how it’s not obvious that that’s what he’s saying.

    The HIV comments are the most controversial and offensive to me. Still, as is pointed out in this blog post (http://thinkonthesethings.wordpress.com/2008/03/17/about-rev-jeremiah-wrights-aids-comment/), there have been various disgusting acts of medical injustice committed in the United States, that make it not that surprising that Wright might believe some of it. Wikipedia the Tuskegee Syphilis experiment, or the sterilization programs on Puerto Rican women, or on black women in North Carolina. No, I don’t think HIV was spread intentionally, and I think it’s gross that Wright said that. Still, I don’t think that that’s a statement that deserves as much media criticism as it has had.

    Now, on my previous comments about “the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam” versus “the perverse and hateful ideologies of Islam.” Yes, there is a difference in what he actually says. However, the difference in what people come out of after hearing that speech is not. He mentions Blacks and Latinos and Whites and Asians – but he never specifically mentions Arabs, which surprises me, because some of the worst discrimination in the United States today is being committed against Arabs. He also fails to mention any sort of religious discrimination. And in his speech, instead just talking about the hateful ideologies of radical terrorists, he has to associate Islam by name, make that connection for the listener. I don’t think that’s good. And I don’t think that’s justified. I’m not saying his particular statement isn’t truthful, but rather, that it is misleading and harmful.

  19. Anonymous

    I’m sort of shocked by these responses. The AIDS virus is commonly acknowleged as the epidemic that it is today because the Regan administration, probably the “whitest” in our history, refused to acknowledge the disease as a result of the populations through which it was spreading. But these weren’t Obama’s sentiments and if you don’t agree with them I don’t think they should be held against him.On the other hand, I think Wright was right about a lot of what he hand to say – although not strategic as an ally to Obama. And I’m white. The speech was not a far cry from the speech MLK Jr. made about the violence of his own governmnent being more fearful than any threat posed by the commmunist govt in Cuba or North Vietnam. And he’s the only person to whom the USA gives his own national holiday.

  20. Anonymous

    I’m sort of shocked by these responses. The AIDS virus is commonly acknowleged as the epidemic that it is today because the Regan administration, probably the “whitest” in our history, refused to acknowledge the disease as a result of the populations through which it was spreading. But these weren’t Obama’s sentiments and if you don’t agree with them I don’t think they should be held against him.On the other hand, I think Wright was right about a lot of what he hand to say – although not strategic as an ally to Obama. And I’m white. The speech was not a far cry from the speech MLK Jr. made about the violence of his own governmnent being more fearful than any threat posed by the commmunist govt in Cuba or North Vietnam. And he’s the only person to whom the USA gives his own national holiday.

  21. Anonymous

    I’m sort of shocked by these responses. The AIDS virus is commonly acknowleged as the epidemic that it is today because the Regan administration, probably the “whitest” in our history, refused to acknowledge the disease as a result of the populations through which it was spreading. But these weren’t Obama’s sentiments and if you don’t agree with them I don’t think they should be held against him.On the other hand, I think Wright was right about a lot of what he hand to say – although not strategic as an ally to Obama. And I’m white. The speech was not a far cry from the speech MLK Jr. made about the violence of his own governmnent being more fearful than any threat posed by the commmunist govt in Cuba or North Vietnam. And he’s the only person to whom the USA gives his own national holiday.

  22. Anonymous

    I’m sort of shocked by these responses. The AIDS virus is commonly acknowleged as the epidemic that it is today because the Regan administration, probably the “whitest” in our history, refused to acknowledge the disease as a result of the populations through which it was spreading. But these weren’t Obama’s sentiments and if you don’t agree with them I don’t think they should be held against him.

    On the other hand, I think Wright was right about a lot of what he hand to say – although not strategic as an ally to Obama. And I’m white. The speech was not a far cry from the speech MLK Jr. made about the violence of his own governmnent being more fearful than any threat posed by the commmunist govt in Cuba or North Vietnam. And he’s the only person to whom the USA gives his own national holiday.

  23. Anonymous

    mad joy, give me a break. we all know that radical islam and terrorism go hand-in-hand, while mainstream islam and terrorism do not. His use of the word “radical” absolutely makes the statement justified.

  24. Anonymous

    mad joy, give me a break. we all know that radical islam and terrorism go hand-in-hand, while mainstream islam and terrorism do not. His use of the word “radical” absolutely makes the statement justified.

  25. Anonymous

    mad joy, give me a break. we all know that radical islam and terrorism go hand-in-hand, while mainstream islam and terrorism do not. His use of the word “radical” absolutely makes the statement justified.

  26. Anonymous

    mad joy, give me a break. we all know that radical islam and terrorism go hand-in-hand, while mainstream islam and terrorism do not. His use of the word “radical” absolutely makes the statement justified.

  27. Justin L.

    Obama would’ve been politically destroyed if he didn’t condemn the stupid and hateful comments that Wright made. We created AIDS? Give me a break. It’s a good thing that Wright’s retiring from the pulpit. Maybe he can write a few books about how America kidnaps Third World babies and drops them into the fires of hell.The speech was an excellent political move. Obama looked very presidential with all those perfectly-draped flags. His speech was well-written. He didn’t say much that most would disagree with, maybe save for the affirmative action-esque justification. And most importantly, he sought to take command of an increasingly volatile campaign issue.I’m interested to see how the discussion of race will change now that Obama’s made it an open issue.Oh, and all of this “unity” mumbo-jumbo is getting to me. Politics will always be dirty, and the Democrats should bone up on the game, rather than pretend they can persuade the Republicans to see things as the Democrats do.Mad, in response to your first comment, I do think the word “radical” is important to Obama’s statement. There’s a big difference between the respectable Islam practiced by hundreds of millions of people, and the fringe, radical Islam that encourages people to crash jets into skyscrapers full of innocent people. Obama’s remarks on the subject reflected that distinction.That will be all I have to say on this topic.

  28. Justin L.

    Obama would’ve been politically destroyed if he didn’t condemn the stupid and hateful comments that Wright made. We created AIDS? Give me a break. It’s a good thing that Wright’s retiring from the pulpit. Maybe he can write a few books about how America kidnaps Third World babies and drops them into the fires of hell.The speech was an excellent political move. Obama looked very presidential with all those perfectly-draped flags. His speech was well-written. He didn’t say much that most would disagree with, maybe save for the affirmative action-esque justification. And most importantly, he sought to take command of an increasingly volatile campaign issue.I’m interested to see how the discussion of race will change now that Obama’s made it an open issue.Oh, and all of this “unity” mumbo-jumbo is getting to me. Politics will always be dirty, and the Democrats should bone up on the game, rather than pretend they can persuade the Republicans to see things as the Democrats do.Mad, in response to your first comment, I do think the word “radical” is important to Obama’s statement. There’s a big difference between the respectable Islam practiced by hundreds of millions of people, and the fringe, radical Islam that encourages people to crash jets into skyscrapers full of innocent people. Obama’s remarks on the subject reflected that distinction.That will be all I have to say on this topic.

  29. Justin L.

    Obama would’ve been politically destroyed if he didn’t condemn the stupid and hateful comments that Wright made. We created AIDS? Give me a break. It’s a good thing that Wright’s retiring from the pulpit. Maybe he can write a few books about how America kidnaps Third World babies and drops them into the fires of hell.The speech was an excellent political move. Obama looked very presidential with all those perfectly-draped flags. His speech was well-written. He didn’t say much that most would disagree with, maybe save for the affirmative action-esque justification. And most importantly, he sought to take command of an increasingly volatile campaign issue.I’m interested to see how the discussion of race will change now that Obama’s made it an open issue.Oh, and all of this “unity” mumbo-jumbo is getting to me. Politics will always be dirty, and the Democrats should bone up on the game, rather than pretend they can persuade the Republicans to see things as the Democrats do.Mad, in response to your first comment, I do think the word “radical” is important to Obama’s statement. There’s a big difference between the respectable Islam practiced by hundreds of millions of people, and the fringe, radical Islam that encourages people to crash jets into skyscrapers full of innocent people. Obama’s remarks on the subject reflected that distinction.That will be all I have to say on this topic.

  30. Justin L.

    Obama would’ve been politically destroyed if he didn’t condemn the stupid and hateful comments that Wright made. We created AIDS? Give me a break. It’s a good thing that Wright’s retiring from the pulpit. Maybe he can write a few books about how America kidnaps Third World babies and drops them into the fires of hell.

    The speech was an excellent political move. Obama looked very presidential with all those perfectly-draped flags. His speech was well-written. He didn’t say much that most would disagree with, maybe save for the affirmative action-esque justification. And most importantly, he sought to take command of an increasingly volatile campaign issue.

    I’m interested to see how the discussion of race will change now that Obama’s made it an open issue.

    Oh, and all of this “unity” mumbo-jumbo is getting to me. Politics will always be dirty, and the Democrats should bone up on the game, rather than pretend they can persuade the Republicans to see things as the Democrats do.

    Mad, in response to your first comment, I do think the word “radical” is important to Obama’s statement. There’s a big difference between the respectable Islam practiced by hundreds of millions of people, and the fringe, radical Islam that encourages people to crash jets into skyscrapers full of innocent people. Obama’s remarks on the subject reflected that distinction.

    That will be all I have to say on this topic.

  31. Anonymous

    Mad joy, I hope you will think more carefully about your viewpoint.The oppression of African-Americans will NEVER be justified. And nor will the deaths of three thousand on 9/11. Rev. Wright’s claims that America invented AIDS, that Hillary is unworthy simply because of the color of skin is just the exact opposite of what Sen. Obama says he stands for. On Friday, Sen. Obama denied that he had any knowledge of the comments in question. In his speech Tuesday, he backtracked on that statement. Which is which?

  32. Anonymous

    Mad joy, I hope you will think more carefully about your viewpoint.The oppression of African-Americans will NEVER be justified. And nor will the deaths of three thousand on 9/11. Rev. Wright’s claims that America invented AIDS, that Hillary is unworthy simply because of the color of skin is just the exact opposite of what Sen. Obama says he stands for. On Friday, Sen. Obama denied that he had any knowledge of the comments in question. In his speech Tuesday, he backtracked on that statement. Which is which?

  33. Anonymous

    Mad joy, I hope you will think more carefully about your viewpoint.The oppression of African-Americans will NEVER be justified. And nor will the deaths of three thousand on 9/11. Rev. Wright’s claims that America invented AIDS, that Hillary is unworthy simply because of the color of skin is just the exact opposite of what Sen. Obama says he stands for. On Friday, Sen. Obama denied that he had any knowledge of the comments in question. In his speech Tuesday, he backtracked on that statement. Which is which?

  34. Anonymous

    Mad joy, I hope you will think more carefully about your viewpoint.
    The oppression of African-Americans will NEVER be justified. And nor will the deaths of three thousand on 9/11. Rev. Wright’s claims that America invented AIDS, that Hillary is unworthy simply because of the color of skin is just the exact opposite of what Sen. Obama says he stands for.
    On Friday, Sen. Obama denied that he had any knowledge of the comments in question. In his speech Tuesday, he backtracked on that statement. Which is which?

  35. Anonymous

    Yay Obama! Present a speech that does not address why you did not openly reject your radical pastor who states that the government created AIDS for minorities and that the nation deserved Sept. 11th. The speech may have been well done with regards to racial problems in America, but it did not address the political questions that will not go away. It’s not over yet. ;-)

  36. Anonymous

    Yay Obama! Present a speech that does not address why you did not openly reject your radical pastor who states that the government created AIDS for minorities and that the nation deserved Sept. 11th. The speech may have been well done with regards to racial problems in America, but it did not address the political questions that will not go away. It’s not over yet. ;-)

  37. Anonymous

    Yay Obama! Present a speech that does not address why you did not openly reject your radical pastor who states that the government created AIDS for minorities and that the nation deserved Sept. 11th. The speech may have been well done with regards to racial problems in America, but it did not address the political questions that will not go away. It’s not over yet. ;-)

  38. Anonymous

    Yay Obama! Present a speech that does not address why you did not openly reject your radical pastor who states that the government created AIDS for minorities and that the nation deserved Sept. 11th.

    The speech may have been well done with regards to racial problems in America, but it did not address the political questions that will not go away. It’s not over yet. ;-)

  39. Mad Joy

    And also, I’m glad he defended his pastor to some extent. I agree with his pastor’s views of racism in America more than I do with Obama’s… but Obama’s a lot better than any of the other presidential candidates on the scene, so…

  40. Mad Joy

    And also, I’m glad he defended his pastor to some extent. I agree with his pastor’s views of racism in America more than I do with Obama’s… but Obama’s a lot better than any of the other presidential candidates on the scene, so…

  41. Mad Joy

    And also, I’m glad he defended his pastor to some extent. I agree with his pastor’s views of racism in America more than I do with Obama’s… but Obama’s a lot better than any of the other presidential candidates on the scene, so…

  42. Mad Joy

    And also, I’m glad he defended his pastor to some extent. I agree with his pastor’s views of racism in America more than I do with Obama’s… but Obama’s a lot better than any of the other presidential candidates on the scene, so…

  43. Mad Joy

    One line that really frustrated me was in his criticism of his pastor’s statements, where he found fault with “a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.”For someone who is so bent on talking about unity, I am continually saddened by Obama’s lack of regard for anti-Muslim sentiment in this country – especially considering the fact that he spent some of his childhood in a predominantly Muslim country, where hopefully he would have learned to respect individuals who practice the religion and the religion itself. Instead, he’s tried to distance himself from any claims of ties with Islam, instead of defending it. And now he has the nerve to reiterate the hateful ties that are made between terrorism and the ideology of Islam? The word “radical” as a prefix doesn’t do much to change the harmful effects of this statement.Other than that, I thought this was a pretty good speech, considering his political constraints. He addressed race as honestly as he could, admitted racism still exists in this country and tried to convince white viewers that it did, too. He pointed to some attempts at solutions to the racism problem, and he reiterated his ideals of unity over divisiveness. That’s cool. I just hope he practices what he preaches.

  44. Mad Joy

    One line that really frustrated me was in his criticism of his pastor’s statements, where he found fault with “a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.”For someone who is so bent on talking about unity, I am continually saddened by Obama’s lack of regard for anti-Muslim sentiment in this country – especially considering the fact that he spent some of his childhood in a predominantly Muslim country, where hopefully he would have learned to respect individuals who practice the religion and the religion itself. Instead, he’s tried to distance himself from any claims of ties with Islam, instead of defending it. And now he has the nerve to reiterate the hateful ties that are made between terrorism and the ideology of Islam? The word “radical” as a prefix doesn’t do much to change the harmful effects of this statement.Other than that, I thought this was a pretty good speech, considering his political constraints. He addressed race as honestly as he could, admitted racism still exists in this country and tried to convince white viewers that it did, too. He pointed to some attempts at solutions to the racism problem, and he reiterated his ideals of unity over divisiveness. That’s cool. I just hope he practices what he preaches.

  45. Mad Joy

    One line that really frustrated me was in his criticism of his pastor’s statements, where he found fault with “a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.”For someone who is so bent on talking about unity, I am continually saddened by Obama’s lack of regard for anti-Muslim sentiment in this country – especially considering the fact that he spent some of his childhood in a predominantly Muslim country, where hopefully he would have learned to respect individuals who practice the religion and the religion itself. Instead, he’s tried to distance himself from any claims of ties with Islam, instead of defending it. And now he has the nerve to reiterate the hateful ties that are made between terrorism and the ideology of Islam? The word “radical” as a prefix doesn’t do much to change the harmful effects of this statement.Other than that, I thought this was a pretty good speech, considering his political constraints. He addressed race as honestly as he could, admitted racism still exists in this country and tried to convince white viewers that it did, too. He pointed to some attempts at solutions to the racism problem, and he reiterated his ideals of unity over divisiveness. That’s cool. I just hope he practices what he preaches.

  46. Mad Joy

    One line that really frustrated me was in his criticism of his pastor’s statements, where he found fault with “a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.”

    For someone who is so bent on talking about unity, I am continually saddened by Obama’s lack of regard for anti-Muslim sentiment in this country – especially considering the fact that he spent some of his childhood in a predominantly Muslim country, where hopefully he would have learned to respect individuals who practice the religion and the religion itself. Instead, he’s tried to distance himself from any claims of ties with Islam, instead of defending it. And now he has the nerve to reiterate the hateful ties that are made between terrorism and the ideology of Islam? The word “radical” as a prefix doesn’t do much to change the harmful effects of this statement.

    Other than that, I thought this was a pretty good speech, considering his political constraints. He addressed race as honestly as he could, admitted racism still exists in this country and tried to convince white viewers that it did, too. He pointed to some attempts at solutions to the racism problem, and he reiterated his ideals of unity over divisiveness. That’s cool. I just hope he practices what he preaches.

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