Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Barack Obama's "Race Speech"

I haven't posted much in quite some time, so believe you me, I MUST say this. I've spent the afternoon listening to snippets of peoples' responses to Obama's speech today, on talk radio and the news networks.

I am disheartened by the pundits who continue to dissect the timelines, the reasons, the whys regarding where Obama decides to attend church and what his pastor (who ain't runnin' for anything) said. I'm frustrated by the (mostly) white callers into talk shows who complained that he ignored the plight of their disadvantaged brethren from Appalachia.

What Barack Obama said today was as real and frank and true as it gets about the modern state of race relations and about the causes and effects of our race problem. As a black person who has studied and understands racial dynamics more than most people of any race, he added something to my understanding of why many whites react to racial issues the way they do. What I admired most was the Senator's ability to so eloquently illustrate the ties that bind all Americans together without glossing over the pain and the ugliness that resides in us individually and within our collective racial groups.

But that's not what I really needed to say. What I need to say is this: If you are still focusing on his pastor or still dissecting his speech or complaining he left out white people, you just plain missed the boat. When it comes to understanding race relations in modern America, if you listened to Obama's entire speech and you still don't "get it," you truly just don't get it; and you very likely never ever will.

2 comments:

celestewhite said...

Haha - RIGHT ON. I wasted my breath trying to get people to really listen to the speech in its entirety b/c the fucking thing was beautiful. But, alas, only a patient minority of them did so.

You said it - if you still don't get it, you probably never will.

E.J. said...

It's like folks are allergic to hearing the full, unadulterated, de-soundbyted truth. Or they're say they're too busy -- but will waste 45 minutes (and God only knows how many brain cells) ingesting Sean Hannity, et fools.