Yesterday Barack Obama delivered one of the finest speeches in decades. Pundits across the political spectrum have praised him for his honest, straightforward discussion of race and how it continues to influence our society. Well, it turns out Barack's latest rhetorical victory was written by none other than Barack Obama -- and no one else.
Obama was responding to criticism thrown at him as the result of some highly controversial comments made by Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama's pastor. Of course the fact that this is even an issue speaks to the depth of racial tension still present in this nation. Obama has never said anything approaching the black separatist or conspiracy theory comments made by Rev. Wright, yet he is considered guilty by association. I am sure there are some controversial pastors in George W.'s past (and probably other presidents), but they were never held up as evidence against him. I believe the racially charged nature of this issue is the driving force--were Obama and Wright both white, this would be a non-issue and dismissed quickly. However, because Wright is black, and his statements still bear anger towards the white man, his comments are blown out of proportion and used to attack Obama, which is blatantly unfair.
Obama did a masterful job in attempting to defuse the situation. He did not shy away from this difficult issue of race, but faced it head on. He talked very frankly, yet with grace and nuance, in a way that no one could really disagree with. He truly understands the issue, and how Americans view it. This is why I think he will make an excellent president.
Oh, and he wrote the whole thing by himself.