Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Senator Obama's Speech on Race in America

The full text of Senator Obama's speech can be found here If you have not read it, I urge you to. I have not heard the speech. apparently too many folks trying to download it, I couldn't get any videos to load.

For the record, I have not decided who I might vote for in the Indiana Dem Primary. I've always like Senator Clinton, even before she was controversial, divisive, all the crud that the pundits and her opponents like to say about her.

Anyway, this speech is eloquent. I have no doubt he wrote it. I cannot imagine someone writing this for him. It is authentic, which is supposedly something everyone is looking for (until they find it in the wrong color).

As someone who has read more research on race than most, his speech is factually and sociologically accurate. Senator Obama displays not only an experiential understanding of race relations that is far beyond most, but also a theoretical understanding that is exceeding rare, in my experience, for sitting politicians. Politics and complex theory don't mix well in a sound byte driven media. I'm surprised the NYT would publish the entire text of his speech.

I'm impressed. Will it stanch the blood of this gash at his candidacy? Not on the far right, not among ideologues. Among regular people who don't understand race relations beyond the simplistic zero sum perspective that most view it through? Maybe half will get it.

I do expect that when he quietly suggested that social class is the real inequality in the US, that many, if they can pick up the subtlety, will berate him for that. But not Mike Huckabee....hmm.

Anyway, what does anyone else think about his speech, either its substance or the political gamesmanship of it all.

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