OK, this speech will work for Barack. I was with him for quite a while, but he lost me at the end (I want a transcript!).
I don't want to promise that this is what he said, but this is what I heard, in outline, after denunciation of Wright and a dubious linkage of Wright and Obama's grandmother with her stray racist comments. [Hmm, did Obama choose his grandma? Or, is his point that he didn't confront his grandmother when he was ten, so he couldn't confront Wright when he was forty?]
- Black people have reasons to be angry about slavery, Jim Crow, and ongoing discrimination;
- Whites have reason to be unhappy with (pre-reform) welfare, affirmative action, busing, and being called a racist for worrying about black crime rates.
- Wright was wrong in both his racial divisiveness and his belief that American society was static, and progress was not occurring. [But is this a generational thing? Moss, the new minister, is younger than Barack (and about as charismatic) but seemingly cut from the same divisive cloth as Wright.]
- whites needed to do more to raise up black schools and black communities.
Wait! Did he lose a page here - what, if anything is the black community meant to do differently? [Thank you Matt Drudge - see below]
Then his conclusion left me at sea - he seemed to be saying that, as in elections past, we could ignore race except as a distraction, but that he was committed to discussing it. Huh? His new-found commitment seems to be a direct response to this Wright controversy, not something he wanted to do.
And his discussion of healing race relations seemed to be disappear into a talk about health care, jobs, and everything else. Baffling.
Still, this will slide him past the Dem primary voters. For the general, time will tell.
OH, YEAH! Obama does summon the Dem dream of working class whites and blacks (and browns and yellows) uniting against their oppressive corporate overlords.
FROM THE TRANSCRIPT (emphasis added):
For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding our particular grievances – for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs - to the larger aspirations of all Americans -- the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man whose been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives – by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.
Ironically, this quintessentially American – and yes, conservative – notion of self-help found frequent expression in Reverend Wright’s sermons. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change.
Hmm, in the post-speech commentary I see that Pat Buchanan also missed that call to responsibility. Let's guess that no one will fault Barack for over-emphasizing that point.
WERE MY QUESTIONS ANSWERED? Developing...
IMAGINE MY DISAPPOINTMENT AND SURPRISE: More Victims Studies as part of the path to racial reconciliation made a brief appearance over the weekend but seems to have been dropped. And my suggested spin - Who better to speak to the Muslim youths emerging from their hate-filled mosques than a man coming from a hate-filled church - never arrived.