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Obama's speech on race


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Well, here's where the firestorm begins.

 

 

OBAMA SPEECH IN FULL: A MORE PERFECT UNION

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008/ 10:17:53 ET

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

"We the people, in order to form a more perfect union."

 

Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America's improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.

 

The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation's original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.

 

Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution

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Well, here's where the firestorm begins.

 

 

 

 

As for me, I think that this is the kind of speech that, at least in days past, would find its way into the history books. But today, with soundbites and pundits taking every phrase out of context and parsing the thing to no end to meet their own agendae.... well, we'll see what becomes of it.

 

But, take it as a whole and I think it's as powerful a piece of oratory as we've had in four decades or more.

 

thanks for posting that. i think it's a great speech.

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why do you hate Ashley?

 

Agreed that the Ashley story smacked of contrivance (regardless of whether or not the story is true).

But aside from that, it was an incredibly insightful, inspiring, and personal speech that just about every American should be able to relate to in one way or another.

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I am a Sen. Clinton supporter, but I will vote fro him if he is nominated. Didn't this speech come about due to some speeches the pastor at the church he goes to made about 9/11? I have not really been following the story.

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Kinda makes me want to get up and sing "My Country 'Tis of Thee." Whoever wrote it should get a gold star - one of the most elegant, insightful statements on race in America in a long time.

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I thought it was a pretty great speech, but I also found many of the problems he says are due to race have more to do with poverty.

 

Right, but a lot of poverty is directly tied to race. And was even more tied to race in the past, and those fissures resulting from old racist policies haven't been fixed. That was the point. As tempting as it is to separate the issues, it's also sort of naive.

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Right, but a lot of poverty is directly tied to race. And was even more tied to race in the past, and those fissures resulting from old racist policies haven't been fixed. That was the point. As tempting as it is to separate the issues, it's also sort of naive.

 

I understand that, but my point is that quotes like this:

 

But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven't fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today's black and white students.

 

Legalized discrimination - where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments

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But the race issue and, more specifically, his pastor's speech, is what he was responding to. So, yes, he was speaking to racial issues.

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You can replace "black" with "poor" and it makes just as much sense. That is because this isn't a racial issue. Rich black people don't face any of these problems. Poor white people do. It's a poverty issue, not a race issue. What we need to figure out is why poverty affects races other than white (not just black), at higher levels than they should. I just think making this a "black" issue is ignoring the real problem, which is poverty in general.

I think that's at least partly true, and I doubt that Obama would entirely disagree with you. But, this speech was about race, which is why he specifically addressed those issues as issues which are in many ways tied to the history of race relations in America.

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Right, but a lot of poverty is directly tied to race. And was even more tied to race in the past, and those fissures resulting from old racist policies haven't been fixed. That was the point. As tempting as it is to separate the issues, it's also sort of naive.

Yep.

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