What do y'all think of Obama's speech on race? Discuss.


Stuck in my head said...

I think the speech was good in some senses. There are just some things that white people don't regularly think about that are constantly on the mind of minorities. He is able to talk about some of them and get the whole country talking about some of the issues.

With his preacher-man... I know this will offend some, but he is really not saying anything that is too far from the truth. And then the media is not drawing attention to all the good things that man has done or been involved in.

Race is an issue that this country has tried to push under the table since its inception. When people try to bring it up, many get uncomfortable and change the topic rather than listening to what people have to say. People are afraid to even ask a black person how they do their hair, let alone what is really going on in their communities or what they feel about the government's actions toward people who are minorities.

I think Sen. Obama is finally able to get people talking.

I have seen more discussions of race on the tv and heard more on the radio these past few days than ever in my life. Seriously.

Who else could have done that?

I know that some of the conversations are not good ones -- simply trying to put blame on others -- but at least the conversations are occurring. And they will get better as time goes on.

Sorry for writing so much. I should just write a post about it all. Perhaps later.

Jaelithe said...

I've been meaning to blog about this. I thought the speech was quite good.

And I also thought that Rev. Wright's words were not really as controversial as some people in the media have been making them out to be. I mean, just compare him to some of the ministers who have endorsed McCain. Like that guy Hagee who calls the Catholic Church "The Great Whore." Look at how many white ministers have said Katrina was God's punishment on the U.S. I don't like everything Wright said, but I don't think it's appropriate to compare him, as some have been, to the KKK.

I think the main problem with Rev. Wright's words was the IMPLICATION that black voters have a responsibility of some sort to vote for Obama because he is black. I think that's just as backwards as the idea that I as a woman have some sort of RESPONSIBILITY to vote for Hillary Clinton because she and I both have ovaries.

Geoff said...

Obama's speech was fine, a few good points but still he was trying to make excuses for some outlandish thoughts and theories by his "spiritual mentor." The difference between Wright and any McCain endorser is that Obama has stated that the Rev. is like family to him.

I think the comments by Rev. Wright were offensive and it's funny how it has been spun in the media. There is no "out of context." Think back to Don Imus. His comments were also out of line and look at the outrage. Even Jesse Jackson (the ultimate race baiter) wouldn't comment on the Wright comments. However, he and Sharpton were the first ones to call for Imus' firing. Hyprocritical?

Also remember the fictional NY Times article about McCain. It brought to light the people that he associates with and his judgment to be president. Why is this not an appropriate issue with Obama (and his story is true)?

The double standard in this country is terrible. Wrong is wrong, regardless of a person's color.

I am tired of excuses for a lack of success. Every person is delt their own set of circumstances and every one of them has the ability to be something- if they choose to be accountable and not look for others to do it for them. If a person can't make it in American, they can't make it anywhere.

I am glad that Obama has called for unity between people of all colors and backgrounds. To his credit, he has brought that issue to the forefront. However, unless people really want change (do Jackson, Sharpton, the New Black Panthers, etc. really want change?), we will be stuck in the same spot spinning our wheels.

This election was one that couldn't be lost by the Dems. The longer they fight and drag this out, the higher each of their disapproval ratings climb. They might actually screw up a can't lose scenario.

McCain/Romney '08

KBO said...

Easy for the white upper-middle-class dude to say. This is the fundamental thing we disagree upon, Geoff.

I know how hard you've worked. I also know you've had several advantages afforded to you that other people are not fortunate enough to have. That is a fact. It's hard to admit you are privileged when you lived on not very much money for a while. But you always had a buffer, you had the capital to invest in your own business, and you always had parents to bail you out if necessary. Not everyone has this social capital. I'm not trying to take anything away from your success. I'm saying that berating people for not being as successful as you when they don't have the same social capital is unfair and unrealistic.

"A few good points?" I'm frustrated that you didn't acknowledge the level of discourse Obama showed here. This is probably the first national-level honest assessment of race relations in America. This is what campaigns should be about. Unfortunately, people will focus on him talking about his minister and not the content on race. People say he's all talk, but his speech was a courageous leap into real discussions that our country needs to have. To think that we're post-racism is naive. Do any real work at all with the Black community and that's easy to see.

Geoff said...


You're exactly right, I was very fortunate to have the parents and upbringing that I did. But, taking a chance by opening a business with a load of debt, living under the poverty level (and not collecting welfare that I had every right to), and taking the road less traveled was not easy. I made the choice of my own free will and shall suffer the consequences or reap the rewards of that decision.

My basic thoughts on poverty and the ability to have success in this country boil down to this: personal choice and making wise decisions.

It is blatantly evident that some are dealt a tougher hand and have a challenging lot in life. However, it is those that choose to be something better, to rise up from their current situation, that make America the best country in the world (think the Pursuit of Happiness movie).

I think we need to help those that are not as fortunate. However, we cannot make it comfortable. 97% of the "poor" own a color tv. Over half own their home and a car. Is that really poor? Our definition of being "poor" keeps broadening.

It is idealistic to think that every person in this country will be happy, self sufficient and live a good life. But, there is no country in the world that allows its people to be anything and do anything they set their mind to.

I don't like handouts and I really don't like punishing those that have success (more taxes for the "rich"). I am not even close to rich but surely hope to be some day. Punishing those that make the jobs for everyone else (business owners/corporations) makes absolutely no sense to me.

Obama can't win the big states, Hillary is disliked by too many people. Not that I'm McCain's #1 fan, but I think that the scales are tipping in his favor.

A lot of random thoughts and a quick political analysis.

Go Urbandale.

KBO said...

I agree that people have to make better decisions. But many people aren't even raised with that knowledge. For example--you or I would never go to a payday loans place because we know it's a ripoff. Our parents would never do that. For someone who can't get a checking account (because they don't just give them out to anyone) or who has no idea about alternatives, they might not understand why it is such a tremendous ripoff or what the alternatives are.

Look, I don't want to make poverty easy for anyone. But if you work with kids who've grown up in long-term poverty, like I do, you see kids who have no concept of how to escape that. Get good grades and go to college, right? How do you fill out a FAFSA? How does the NCAA clearinghouse work? What are the differences between scholarships, grants, workstudy, etc? There have to be organizations that help provide people with the social capital necessary to break the cycle of poverty, or you are going to continue to support the impoverished with your tax dollars.

Also, a color tv isn't luxury. This isn't 1956 and I hate that would would begrudge impoverished people any type of recreation or escape from their shitty lives. Damn, a tv? That's a luxury these days?

I disagree that rich people shouldn't pay higher taxes because they provide jobs. Many of the jobs these people "provide" are shitty jobs that provide shitty benefits and create the conditions we're talking about. Many wealthy people "earn" their money off the oppression of other people. For example, it's pretty asshole to offer aide to Africa if your business practices are simultaneously directly creating impoverished conditions. Yet this is something many philanthropists can't wrap their head around. If people were less concerned with their bottom line and were more concerned with treating employees as living human beings who are trying to take care of families, we wouldn't have half of the societal problems that we have.

Geoff said...


Good point. Good discussion.

Help and empower people. Make good, informed decisions.