Prepared text of Obama speech


Here’s the text of Obama’s speech as written. It came in at 10:52, embargoed until he gave it. I’m posting it as it ends, and as I go into a meeting…

"A More Perfect Union"
Remarks of Senator Barack Obama
Constitution Center
Tuesday, March 18th, 2008
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

As Prepared for Delivery

“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 – a Constitution that had at is very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time. 

And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States.  What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part – through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk – to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.

This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign – to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America.  I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together – unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction – towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.   

This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people.  But it also comes from my own American story. 

I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas.  I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton’s Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas.  I’ve gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world’s poorest nations.  I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners – an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters.  I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible. 

It’s a story that hasn’t made me the most conventional candidate.  But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts – that out of many, we are truly one. 

Throughout the first year of this campaign, against all predictions to the contrary, we saw how hungry the American people were for this message of unity.  Despite the temptation to view my candidacy through a purely racial lens, we won commanding victories in states with some of the whitest populations in the country.  In South Carolina, where the Confederate Flag still flies, we built a powerful coalition of African Americans and white Americans. 

This is not to say that race has not been an issue in the campaign.  At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either “too black” or “not black enough.”  We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary.  The press has scoured every exit poll for the latest evidence of racial polarization, not just in terms of white and black, but black and brown as well.

And yet, it has only been in the last couple of weeks that the discussion of race in this campaign has taken a particularly divisive turn. 

On one end of the spectrum, we’ve heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that it’s based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap.  On the other end, we’ve heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike.   

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy.  For some, nagging questions remain.  Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy?  Of course.  Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church?  Yes.  Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views?  Absolutely – just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.   

But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial.  They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice.  Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam. 

As such, Reverend Wright’s comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems – two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.

Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough.  Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask?  Why not join another church?  And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way 

But the truth is, that isn’t all that I know of the man.  The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor.  He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God’s work here on Earth – by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

In my first book, Dreams From My Father, I described the experience of my first service at Trinity:

“People began to shout, to rise from their seats and clap and cry out, a forceful wind carrying the reverend’s voice up into the rafters….And in that single note – hope! – I heard something else; at the foot of that cross, inside the thousands of churches across the city, I imagined the stories of ordinary black people merging with the stories of David and Goliath, Moses and Pharaoh, the Christians in the lion’s den, Ezekiel’s field of dry bones.  Those stories – of survival, and freedom, and hope – became our story, my story; the blood that had spilled was our blood, the tears our tears; until this black church, on this bright day, seemed once more a vessel carrying the story of a people into future generations and into a larger world.  Our trials and triumphs became at once unique and universal, black and more than black; in chronicling our journey, the stories and songs gave us a means to reclaim memories tha t we didn’t need to feel shame about…memories that all people might study and cherish – and with which we could start to rebuild.”

That has been my experience at Trinity.  Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety – the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger.  Like other black churches, Trinity’s services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor.  They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear.  The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.

And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright.  As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me.  He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children.  Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect.  He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.  I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

These people are a part of me.  And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable.  I can assure you it is not.  I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork.  We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias. 

But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now.  We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America – to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality. 

The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through – a part of our union that we have yet to perfect.  And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American. 

Understanding this reality requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point.  As William Faulkner once wrote, “The past isn’t dead and buried.  In fact, it isn’t even past.”  We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country.  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 – meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations.  That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today’s urban and rural communities.

A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one’s family, contributed to the erosion of black families – a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened.  And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods – parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement – all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us. 

This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up.  They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted.  What’s remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them.

But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn’t make it – those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination.  That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations – those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future.  Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways.  For the men and women of Reverend Wright’s generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years.  That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends.  But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table.  At times, that anger is exploited by politicia ns, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician’s own failings.

And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews.  The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright’s sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning.  That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change.  But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.

In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community.  Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race.  Their experience is the immigrant experience – as far as they’re concerned, no one’s handed them anything, they’ve built it from scratch.  They’ve worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor.  They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense.  So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committ ed; when they’re told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time. 

Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren’t always expressed in polite company.  But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation.  Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition.  Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends.  Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.

Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze – a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many.  And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns – this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding. 

This is where we are right now.  It’s a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years.  Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naïve as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy – particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own.

But I have asserted a firm conviction – a conviction rooted in my faith in God and my faith in the American people – that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice is we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union. 

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. 

The profound mistake of Reverend Wright’s sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society.  It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country – a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old — is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past.  But what we know — what we have seen – is that America can change.  That is true genius of this nation.  What we have already achieved gives us hope – the audacity to hope – for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination – and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past – are real and must be addressed.   Not just with words, but with deeds – by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations.  It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper. 

In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world’s great religions demand – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.  Let us be our brother’s keeper, Scripture tells us.  Let us be our sister’s keeper.  Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well. 

For we have a choice in this country.  We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism.  We can tackle race only as spectacle – as we did in the OJ trial – or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina – or as fodder for the nightly news.  We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words.  We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction.  And then another one.  And then another one.  And nothing will change. 

That is one option.  Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time.”  This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children.  This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn; that those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem.  The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy.  Not this time.   

This time we want to talk about how the lines in the Emergency Room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care; who don’t have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together. 

This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life.  This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn’t look like you might take your job; it’s that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit. 

This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag.  We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should’ve been authorized and never should’ve been waged, and we want to talk about how we’ll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned. 

I would not be running for President if I didn’t believe with all my heart that this is what the vast majority of Americans want for this country.  This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected.  And today, whenever I find myself feeling doubtful or cynical about this possibility, what gives me the most hope is the next generation – the young people whose attitudes and beliefs and openness to change have already made history in this election. 

There is one story in particularly that I’d like to leave you with today – a story I told when I had the great honor of speaking on Dr. King’s birthday at his home church, Ebenezer Baptist, in Atlanta.   

There is a young, twenty-three year old white woman named Ashley Baia who organized for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina.  She had been working to organize a mostly African-American community since the beginning of this campaign, and one day she was at a roundtable discussion where everyone went around telling their story and why they were there. 

And Ashley said that when she was nine years old, her mother got cancer.  And because she had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her health care.  They had to file for bankruptcy, and that’s when Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom.

She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs, and so Ashley convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches.  Because that was the cheapest way to eat.

She did this for a year until her mom got better, and she told everyone at the roundtable that the reason she joined our campaign was so that she could help the millions of other children in the country who want and need to help their parents too.

Now Ashley might have made a different choice.  Perhaps somebody told her along the way that the source of her mother’s problems were blacks who were on welfare and too lazy to work, or Hispanics who were coming into the country illegally.  But she didn’t.  She sought out allies in her fight against injustice.

Anyway, Ashley finishes her story and then goes around the room and asks everyone else why they’re supporting the campaign.  They all have different stories and reasons.  Many bring up a specific issue.  And finally they come to this elderly black man who’s been sitting there quietly the entire time.  And Ashley asks him why he’s there.  And he does not bring up a specific issue.  He does not say health care or the economy.  He does not say education or the war.   He does not say that he was there because of Barack Obama.  He simply says to everyone in the room, “I am here because of Ashley.” 

“I’m here because of Ashley.”  By itself, that single moment of recognition between that young white girl and that old black man is not enough.  It is not enough to give health care to the sick, or jobs to the jobless, or education to our children.

But it is where we start.  It is where our union grows stronger.  And as so many generations have come to realize over the course of the two-hundred and twenty one years since a band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia, that is where the perfection begins.   


March 18, 2008

There were, of course, minor changes in the actual delivery, but I’m not going to try to provide a transcript — you’d have to wait until the fifth of Never for that. But I think most of the changes were minor. For instance, the text says "That is true genius of this nation." But he corrected that to say, "That is THE true genius of this nation…"


43 thoughts on “Prepared text of Obama speech

  1. Brad Warthen

    Note that, after the speech, I looked up info on this young woman he mentioned who had organized support for his campaign in the Pee Dee. I found this story at the NYT, and linked to it and a picture in the text above.

    The report is from back in October, and it includes video of Ms. Baia talking about Obama at beauty parlors around Florence.

    One beautician on the video expresses what seemed to be conventional wisdom among many black voters at that time, which was a reason why Hillary Clinton was leading in the polls here at that time — they worried that Obama wasn’t viable because whites wouldn’t vote for him, and they expressed the fear that he would be assassinated, something that we still hear about now.

  2. Lee Muller

    Instead of just being a conduit for this empty rhetoric, how about publishing what Obama has said in the past about national issues, the beliefs of his inner circle, and how he has actually voted?

  3. Mr Weed

    “In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination – and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past – are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds – by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.”
    When I read this I couldn’t help but think of my sons. And how they will be forced through whatever confiscatory policies to pay even more for the sins of their forefathers.
    Try this speech instead Senator:
    Just more boilerplate that will reach deeper into my pocket and meddle more in my life.
    No thanks.

  4. Lee Muller

    Since the Great Society, over SIX TRILLION DOLLARS has been spent on welfare programs, federal meddling in education, and “urban revitalization”, in addition to the massive welfare program of Social Security… with little results.
    Not surprisingly, almost all the blacks who have really prospered have done so in the private sector. Yet Mrs. Obama gives speeches to young blacks telling them to avoid working for big business, not to be entrepreneurs, to “not buy into the middle class”. Meanwhile, she lives in a house on a $1,000,000 lot, bought at a deep discount from indicted slumlord and pal Resko.

  5. slugger

    Obama has tried to save his candidacy by uttering a few feel good words. That is what he has been about from the beginning. Trying to sell a dream instead of selling facts and what he intended to do to correct the situations that persist in this country by taking from the “rich and giving to the poor”.
    For Obama to think for a minute that the church sermons would not come out in the campaign proves that his head is in the clouds and his hand into our pocketbooks.
    For Obama to stay in a church knowing that the sermons were about hate the white folks, goes beyond belief. I could go on and on about all that Rev. White preached in his church with the cheers from the congregation. No need to repeat them at this time because we apparently all know what the Rev. White said and with the enthusiasm by which he addressed the issue.
    The bottom line is when he repeated twice “God damn America” is reason enough for Obama to resign from the church and denounce Rev. White. Obama chose not to do either one.
    Race relations have been brought out of the closet and placed on the political platform. What a shame for the United States of America. We take l0 steps forward and then we have someone like Obama come along and we take l0 steps backward.
    I feel ashamed for all the people that were fooled by Obama.

  6. Think

    It’s sad to see that Obama’s effort to address issues of race in this country and campaign is still met with cynicism and unwarranted attacks on the person. As for the person who posted the link referencing Bill Cosby’s speech, what you and many others – including Mr. Cosby himself – fail to realize is that there is a distribution curve in the Black community, yet it is feasible for racism to affect every standard deviation within that distribution. Sure, there are people who sit on their asses, thinking that the world owes them something and complaining about racism while waiting to rob somebody, trying to get into the drug game, or shooting somebody because they were “disrespected”; then, these same sorry bastards have the nerve to stand up in court and act penitent once they are caught. And at the other end of the spectrum there are highly educated and/or affluent Blacks who have achieved the successes that are promised by the American dream. Then there are those in the middle – people who work hard every day and still can’t get raises they deserve; students in college trying to better themselves with education, but struggle to pay tuition and fees and getting the schoolwork done while trying to earn a living (and/or raise a family) because they do not get sufficient financial aid. What about the black person that’s quietly going about his or her business in a store, only to be addressed with a racial slur by a bunch of white high-schoolers or college students? I could go on, but I have work to do. Hopefully, this will encourage someone to at least think about their own role in the racial divide – even if it’s no more than just admitting that the divide does exist, that both sides have had a role in fostering it, and that Obama is at least trying to address it.

  7. Lee Muller

    Maybe Obama shouldn’t hang out with racists and shouldn’t pander to the blacks who clamor for “reparations” from whites, Asians, and Latinos, most of whom have no connection to slavery in the 1850s.

  8. slugger

    The speech goes to the character of the man. He lied on Friday when he told FOX News that he never heard the Rev. Wright make any of the inflammatory remarks.

  9. Karen McLeod

    This speech is one of the most succinct about our racial divide that I have heard. And he is calling for a healing that we greatly need. If we want to condemn his pastor for seeing the world through a strictly african american lens is the same as agreeing with the crew that insists that the confederacy had nothing to do with slavery (purely a disagreement about state’s rights). Yes condemn the statements; but accept that that point of view is out there and needs to be addressed. As far as money is concerned has anyone noticed how much this current administration has cost us, both in war and at home. Yeah, he has cut taxes, but that’s resulted in incredible national debt. I’d rather spend money to see our country built up, rather than see another country and ours destroyed.

  10. Brad Warthen

    It was a very fine speech. It was everything it could have been. It was Barack Obama doing what he does, and doing it well.
    But did it solve the problem he has with Rev. Wright? No way. Frankly, I can’t think of anything that he could have said that would. The problem is there, and there’s no escaping it.
    The question is, how BIG a problem is this for Obama? I mean that in several ways. Basically, it’s a big problem if voters THINK it’s a big problem. But I don’t know the answer to that, because I can’t decide to what extent I personally want to hold Obama responsible for what his ex-pastor said.

  11. kc

    I thought it was, overall, a terrific speech (I read the text, didn’t watch it). I could quibble with bits and pieces. Like the way he tossed off that bit about Ferrarro . . . why, that was, dare I say, almost Clintonian.
    But overall, really good. What I really liked was the way he criticized Wright’s comments (which I didn’t really think were all that shocking, but that’s me), but praised the good the man has done.
    The speech really impressed me.

  12. weldon VII

    If Obama’s pastor really said “God damn America” twice, or even once, this eloquent, intelligent, insightful speech really only scratches the surface of how far Obama needs to go to condemn the man and divorce his candidacy from such melodramatic bitterness.
    How ironic that such a marvelously crafted oration might serve only to reveal that Obama has finally been forced to play the race card.
    By the time the Republicans and talk show hosts finish chewing up this whitewash of the Rev. Wright and spitting it out, Obama will have lost the white support he has enjoyed up until now.
    He should have kept his mouth shut or changed churches. This speech is too much rhetoric, too much smoke for what should have played out as a very little fire.

  13. Big Blue

    Let’s all stop pretending that the only sermons Rev. Wright ever gave were the kind typified on the cable news networks over the last week. If that were the case, then there’d be a lot more footage.
    And I can’t help but think that Obama’s speech on race was one of the most courageous speeches a politician of his stature has given since the days of the Civil Rights movement.
    I can’t shake the impression that many of the posters on this thread did not bother to actually listen to the speech. Obama directly called for black Americans to take responsibility for their own lives and to not be “victims of the past.” He unequivocally rejected and denounced Wright’s inflammatory statements, which is more than I’ve seen McCain do to Hagee’s statements.

  14. Phillip

    The impression I have of Obama is of a man who, whatever the storms going on around him, no matter the hailstorm of advice around him to embrace and utilize some of the techniques of the “old politics,” is simply going to walk forward, at a measured pace, with dignity, with conviction, towards the goals in which he passionately believes. I get the feeling Obama knows he may very well lose, perhaps in this race against Hillary, perhaps in the race against McCain, and his feeling is, if that’s the cost of trying to establish a new model for presidential politics in this country, then so be it. He’s not going to be swayed from his calm path forward.
    I’m trying to be optimistic about the American people’s capacity for rational thought. Sean Hate-nnity and his ilk will keep pumping this for all its worth, to be sure. But maybe, just maybe, to quote Obama, “Not this time.”

  15. Mr Weed

    Posted by: Think | Mar 18, 2008 4:03:53 PM
    “Hopefully, this will encourage someone to at least think about their own role in the racial divide – even if it’s no more than just admitting that the divide does exist, that both sides have had a role in fostering it, and that Obama is at least trying to address it.”
    Um right. So where precisely did I say a racial divide doesn’t exist?
    How bout this.
    “…wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together…”
    “Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation”
    “…they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic…”
    But Senator Obama tells me to basically get over it cause, you know, his grandma said the same and so do many preacher etc, “… can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.”
    So the most racist hatemongering kind of speech ultimately I have to understand cause black folks have legitimate anger issues?
    I reject Obama’s left wing political policy on a variety of issues and I certainly reject his fellow travellers that he openly associates with. I’d rather not have a man in the White House who, with a nod, would approve such folks to the bench and other government positions.
    “and that Obama is at least trying to address it.” – Yes he is. And he is doing so by tacitly embracing people that I would rather not.
    Simple as that.
    I have a question for you. What language would this preacher have to use for you to completely reject? How far would he have to go for Senator Obama to finally say enough?

  16. Lee Muller

    Karen McLeod repeats the Democrat lie that, “the Bush tax cuts caused deficits”.
    The fact is the the small tax cuts pulled the economy out of the Clinton Recession of 2000, and generated more new tax revenue to the government, by enough to have had a balanced budget at 2001 levels of spending.
    The ENTIRE DEFICIT is due to social programs.
    The Democrat leadership wanted to run deficits twice as large, but were beaten back by bipartisan majorities.

  17. Miss Calculate

    The speech was great, but then when you hire the best speech writers you should get a big return on your investment. I’m afraid he threw grandma under the bus for nothing. We can’t pick our family, but we sure as heck can pick our spiritual advisors and church home. To defend him with the analogy to his grandmother (which wasn’t even close to the same league) was grasping at straws. Sadly I wanted to believe his messages, but like the Emperor in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”….I see the naked truth behind the pretty words.

  18. bud

    Everyone is blowing Reverand Wright’s comments way out of proportion. He specifically mentioned some of the atrocities that America has committed over the years. His language was, perhaps, a bit overly provocative but the examples he used were true. Why hide from the truth? America has not been perfect. Look at the ongoing occupation of Iraq. The entire world is condeming that bit of imperialism. Have we reached a point where we can never criticize anything our country does? And besides, unlike McCain who embraced his religious bigot supporter, Obama repudiated the comments. What more is he supposed to do?

  19. James D McCallister

    Thank you, bud. I was about to post something to that effect. “God damn America” is pretty dicey, but I’m still waiting to see a clip of the Rev’s sermons with which I find serious disagreement.
    Did the CIA “invent” HIV in order to kill all the blacks? Possibly, but that’s stretching things a bit. There’s no dodging the fact that elements of our government have facilitated drug-running in and out of the country through the years–and in and out of poor urban neighborhoods.

  20. Bob

    Obama is now doing the Clinton shuffle. First he was “never” in the chaurch when Wright went on his racist, anti-American rants. Now he admits that he was. He “denounces” Wright but refuses to distance himself from him. Remember what the media did to Trent Lott for a simple off the cuff joke with Strom Thurmond? Will they doggedly pursue this issue with Obama? NO! Blacks have been getting a pass by the liberal media for years on racist rantings such as Wrights and would have done so this time if not for Fox news and talk radio and also Youtube. Hearing Wrights racist ranting was one thing but seeing the glee with which he delivered his hate was another. It was also telling that the congregation was literally slapping him on the back for his comments and shouting amen to every hate-filled sentence.
    One must ask themselves what the media would do to McCain or any other white candidate if they said that David Duke was their mentor and spiritual advisor. I believe any rational thinking person would know the answer to that question.

  21. miss calculation

    It’s not about what Obama should do’s what he should have done years ago and didn’t do which is remove himself from this “spiritual leader”. Colin Powell and Oprah Winfrey both attended this church and walked out and away from it. Why didn’t Obama see fit to do the same? Perhaps he agrees with Wright. Perhaps he doesn’t and merely used this church as a stepping stone to seal black votes in order and make his way into congress. Who really knows? Regardless of his reasons, it’s come back to bite him now. The problem is that the gift of questioning when it’s matter of racism seems to only be granted in one direction. If the racist finger is ever pointed in the black direction much gnashing of teeth and rending of cloth ensues.
    Interesting perspective:

  22. bud

    This is begining to look a lot like the Swiftboating event of 2008. Obama is a great man of conviction who wants what’s best for all Americans. He sees America as a force for improving all the people of the world, not just a nation who exploits other nations for thier valuable natural resources. Wright was far too strident in making similar claims for America and Obama has repudiated the comments. Obama is not reverand Wright but he does understand what he was trying to say. I believe Obama has handled this situation with class and he should be rewarded for doing what is right. Instead the twisted neo-con machine has turned this non-issue into something more sinister. And of course much of the public buys into it.
    Compare this to McCain’s endorsement by a far more sinister minister, Reverand Hagee. Hagee is by all accounts a pure bigot, filled with hate and venom. Yet, McCain gladly accepted his endorsement and even embraced him on stage. Where is the outrage over that? There remains a huge double standard by the media when it comes to GOP candidates and Democrats. It is ridiculously obvious. Here are the words of reverand Hagee, a McCain supporter:

    Adolf Hitler attended a Catholic school as a child and heard all the fiery anti-Semitic rantings from Chrysostom to Martin Luther. When Hitler became a global demonic monster, the Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII never, ever slightly criticized him. Pope Pius XII, called by historians ‘Hitler’s Pope,’ joined Hitler in the infamous Concordat of Collaboration, which turned the youth of the [sic] Germany over to Nazism, and the churches became the stage background for the bloodthirsty cry, ‘Pereat Judea'[19]…. In all of his [Hitler’s] years of absolute brutality, he was never denounced or even scolded by Pope Pius XII or any Catholic leader in the world. To those Christians who believe that Jewish hearts will be warmed by the sight of the cross, please be informed—to them it’s an electric chair. (pp. 79-81)
    The Roman Catholic Church, which was supposed to carry the light of the gospel, plunged the world into the Dark Ages…. The Crusaders were a motley mob of thieves, rapists, robbers, and murderers whose sins had been forgiven by the pope in advance of the Crusade…. The brutal truth is that the Crusades were military campaigns of the Roman Catholic Church to gain control of Jerusalem from the Muslims and to punish the Jews as the alleged Christ killers on the road to and from Jerusalem. (p. 73)

    -Excerpts from Reverand Hagee’s book Jerusalem Countdown

  23. Lee Muller

    If Obama’s close associates were meeting with Khadafi and other Muslim terrorists, it is reasonable to suspect Obama.
    Which real journalist will step forward and ask Obama the blunt questions about his ties to Muslim radicals, or any of his other nutty ideas, for that matter?

  24. miss calculation

    Haggee is far more sinister? This is the teachings from Wright’s pulpit:
    “James Cone sees the matter very differently. Either God must do what we want him to do, or we must reject him, Cone maintains:
    “”Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community … Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love. [1]””
    In the black liberation theology taught by Wright, Cone and Hopkins, Jesus Christ is not for all men, but only for the oppressed:
    “”In the New Testament, Jesus is not for all, but for the oppressed, the poor and unwanted of society, and against oppressors … Either God is for black people in their fight for liberation and against the white oppressors, or he is not [Cone].””
    Perhaps you agree with Wright’s “spiritual” teachings and that is why you feel that we shouldn’t question why Obama and his wife have allowed their children to grow up in a church that endorses and preaches this rhetoric. I do know that the majority of Christian blacks that I am associated with do not agree with this church’s doctrines and are equally appalled.

  25. bud

    Unlike McCain, who continues to welcome the support of the bigoted Reverand John Hagee, Obama has repudiated and rejected many of the openly offensive comments by Jerimiah Wright. That’s the difference. Apparently the koolaid kooks on the right simply are incapable of seeing that obvious distinction.

  26. weldon VII

    Bud, Obama ATTENDS the church led by a man who has shown himself to be a black racist. That’s not quite the same as being endorsed by a bigot. It’s more akin to Obama endorsing a bigot.
    The speech above attempts to excuse Wright, and therefore Obama, by saying something like well, you have to understand, he’s a black preacher, and black preachers have it tough, like black people all do, so it’s OK, and I’m OK.
    Stick a fork in Obama. He’s done.
    Or, if this speech, which hems and haws when it should be damning, doesn’t sink his candidacy, stick a fork in America.

  27. bud

    Weldon, you are so full of it. Obama does not embrase the most contentious words of Reverand Wright, he comdemns them. But he recognizes that Wright is basically a good man with good intentions who wants only the best for the congregation he serves. Much of what Wright says makes sense to me. America has been an aggresor nation in many instances and fails to understand the sensibilities of people in other nations under differing circumstances. Why should Obama condem a man who is mostly an honorable spokesman for the people in his congregation? Obama is saying condem the most flagrant words but embrace the intent. That’s what Obama did in what is perhaps the greatest speech of the 21st century.
    But the obvious point here is that we should be looking to solve racial and economic problems in this country and not focus on a few words spoken by a relatively minor player in world politics. McCain’s embrace of John Hagee and other hate-mongering evangelicals on the right is far more damning of his character. Yet I’m willing to let that go as a somewhat minor incident. But what is of utmost importance are the policy positions of the two parties major candidates. Obama has a message of hope, McCain a message of fear. I choose hope over fear.

  28. ruintuit

    “Apparently the koolaid kooks on the right simply are incapable of seeing that obvious distinction.”
    Apparently there are plenty of kooks on the left that still want to blindly drink from Obama’s koolaid supply. Actions speak louder than words. One chooses the church that bests expresses their religious views. They are not forced to join or attend.
    Hmmm…why does this denouncement sound vaguely familiar from other politicians? Oh..could it be “I did NOT have sex with the woman” or maybe “I didn’t inhale.” Actions are what counts and I listened to a beautiful speech that never addressed the wrongness of this church’s doctrine (exterminate the white race).
    But that’s okay..keep plugging away to convince us there is nothing alarming about a potential POTUS who belongs to a church that advocates its members turning away from God if He doesn’t destroy the white race. Your rebuttals amuse me. On the upside..I hear the Church of Obama is serving the red Koolaid to his followers. So drink up!

  29. Mr Weed

    Via Mark Steyn:
    Old Barack:
    Don’t tell me words don’t matter.
    ‘I have a dream.’ Just words?
    ‘We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.’ Just words?
    ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ Just words? Just speeches?
    New Barack:
    ‘God damn America.’ Just words.
    ‘US government created Aids, supplied drugs to our community.’ Just words.
    ‘US of KKKA.’ Just words.
    ‘What we are doing is the same thing al-Qaeda is doing.’ Just words.
    ‘Until now, I was never proud of my country.’ Just words from my wife.

  30. Uncle Elmer

    What a sad discussion. It compels me to come clean about some things:
    I have a sister-in-law who believes dinosaur bones were buried by God to tempt the unworthy into disbelief and help sort good Christians from bad people. Despite her nutcase, offensive beliefs, I have not repudiated her.
    I have an uncle who believes the lunar landings were faked and will tell anyone who will listen. Twice. Despite that, I have not repudiated him.
    I have a neighbor who staunchly maintains that Al Gore only won the Nobel Prize because Denmark is afraid Copenhagen will be flooded by rising seawater. He would like Congress to take it away. Despite his poor knowledge of where Nobel Prizes come from (and go) I have not repudiated him.
    My wife occaisionally contradicts me in front of my kids (shock!). Despite her wild undisciplined ways, I have not repudiated her.
    Worse yet, I actually like all these people. I even married one of them! I guess I, like those few other Americans who know and associate with people who hold odd opinions, are completely unfit for higher office. Sad indeed.

  31. bud

    Why is this so hard to understand? Obama denounced the most provocative words of the Reverand Wright. I keep pointing that out and for some reason no one seems to understand that important point. Obama doesn’t believe the U.S. government created AIDS. Obama doesn’t believe the U.S. government supplies drugs to our children. It’s ludicrous to even think Obama believes that nonsense. He’s repudiated the hateful words of not just the Reverand Wright but also some racially tinged comments by his white grandmother. I bet everyone’s minister who writes on this blog has made inflamatory comments at one time or another. I’ve been in a white Southern Baptist church where the minister made some very harsh and untrue comments about then President Clinton.
    Indeed much of what Reverand Wright says makes sense. The GOP run government has been extremely damaging to the wealfare of millions of people throughout the world. It is fair game to point out this destruction. Yet the kooks on the right continue to believe that liars like George W. Bush are somehow honorable and capable men. Or that McCain’s embrace of bigots like John Hagee is somehow O.K. I find the hypocricy and distortions from the right appalling.
    Barack Obama is a man of class. He’s a man we can trust as POTUS. Unlike the destructive current POTUS or the phony John McCain, Barack Obama will be POTUS for all the people. This is nothing but a Swiftboating attack on a fine man of great integrity. And that’s the kind of man I can proudly support.

  32. Mr Weed

    Posted by: Uncle Elmer | Mar 19, 2008 11:47:05 AM
    “I guess I, like those few other Americans who know and associate with people who hold odd opinions, are completely unfit for higher office. Sad indeed.”
    Interesting juxtaposition you pose here. Let’s compare shall we?
    “I have a sister-in-law who believes dinosaur bones were buried by God to tempt the unworthy into disbelief and help sort good Christians from bad people.”
    “The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied.”
    “My wife occasionally contradicts me in front of my kids (shock!). Despite her wild undisciplined ways, I have not repudiated her.”
    “We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye”
    Yes – you’re correct. Exactly the same (removing tongue from cheek).
    I’ll ask the same question I did in a previous post, “What language would this preacher have to use for you to completely reject [him]? How far would he have to go for Senator Obama to finally say enough?”

  33. bud

    “We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye”
    -Rev. Wright
    What is untrue about that statement? Did we not drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima? Did we not drop an atomic bomb on Nagasaki? Did those atomic bombs not kill more people than were killed in the terrorist attacks on NY and Washington? Have we reached a point in this country where people cannot even say something that is true? I suggest you hypocrits on the rights examine American history carefully and understand both the good and the bad America has done over the years.

  34. Mr Weed

    Mr. Bud:
    Of course the United States in fact dropped nuclear weapons. That isn’t what is in dispute.
    The issue in that quote is Rev. Wright equating terrorists who killed 3000 innocent people on 9-11 the same as US Armed Forces during WWII that dropped atomic weapons and effectively ended the war in the Pacific. You are the president and have the instrumentality to end the war and do not do so? Cold comfort to those American soldiers gearing up for the invasion of the Japanese home islands.
    But this is an aside.
    “I suggest you hypocrits on the rights examine American history carefully and understand both the good and the bad America has done over the years.”
    It is irrelevant to the good and bad of American history. The issue is carrying water for the likes Rev. Wright.
    Either you fully repudiate him and refuse to have anything to do with him further or you compromise and justify your position to not do so.

  35. bud

    We’re going around in circle here. But I’ll say it just one more time: Obama HAS repudiated Rev. Wright’s incendiary and inappropriate comments. John McCain HAS NOT repudiated the repugnant, vile, loathsome, slanderous, written comments by John Hagee.

  36. bud

    Here’s the bottom line in all of this. The GOP has failed and failed miserably in it’s time in power. The economy is a disaster. Our military in stretched thin fighting endless wars of imperialism. Big business continues to destroy working and middle-class families in areas such as banking and healthcare.
    So they are left to drum up some phony non-issue about Obama’s preacher. This issue is based on nothing more than a selected few sermons by Obama’s minister. Give me a break. With all that we have to do in this country it’s time to look at who is best to address the issues of race, economics and security. Clearly John McCain is not up to the task. He has admitted that he knows nothing about economic matters. But more importantly he has promised us 100 years of war, complete with all the death and expense that entails. Never has the choice been more clear than it is in this election. Do we choose hope or do we choose fear.

  37. Lee Muller

    Obama and his wife have repeatedly given speeches daming “big business” and urging blacks to not go to work in the mainstream. you can see how that appeals to the Delusional Victim Mentality of people like “bud”.
    Big business began providing medical insurance during the Hoover administration. Big business began offering medical care to employees in the 19th century at textile mills and large machine shops like Winchester and Remington. Big business began offering medical insurance to workers during the 1940s to bypass the wage freeze imposed by FDR, which was hampering recovery from the Depression.
    Obama’s and Hillary’s proposal for “healthcare reform” is to REQUIRE every worker to buy an insurance plan costing $2,500 on average. Those with “high incomes” will be taxed on their plans, to generate $33 BILLION in subsidies to workers with lower incomes.

  38. Joanne

    I sense a little of fear from some of you. Not of what Obama could do as President but fear that he MIGHT get the chance.
    Many of these posts prove exactly what he said about just perpetuating the same stuff over and over.
    Phillip, I agree with you. He is a powerful man who has tried to do this right. I’m not sure anyone will let him, though.

  39. weldon VII

    Bud, Obama raised his children in a church overseen by a madman so blinded by his race he couldn’t see the big picture.
    But you can see the picture, if you look past your Democratic partisanship. Obama’s the black candidate now. He finally dropped his facade. The black subtext means more to him than the human text. His overspeak underestimated the gravity of his situation.
    So much for change. So much for the future. Obama’s back fighting the war that Martin Luther King and others so noble as he won a long time ago. He’s redefined himself.
    He’s toast.

  40. Lee Muller

    Reverand Wright is not an exception, but is no different the other radical socialists which Obama has as longtime close friends or as close advisors to his campaign:
    * Rev Wright – met with Kaddafi and other terrorists
    * Louis Farrakan – leader of Black Muslims, hates whites
    * David Axelrod – chief strategist
    * Benardine Dorn – Weather Underground, bomber
    * Bill Ayers – WU bomber of police stations and the Pentagon
    * Naomi Wolf – sympathizer of Al Qaeda
    * Angela Davis – bomber
    Hillary has a similar problem.
    * Her long-time advisors include radical communists who are the children of Stalinists.
    * She worked for the Communist Party USA and the Black Panthers.
    * She and Leon Paneta were associated with Castro and with convicted Puerto Rican terrorists.
    * Bill Clinton pardoned Hillary’s terrorist friends and the bomber buddies of Barak Obama.

  41. bud

    Bud, Obama raised his children in a church overseen by a madman so blinded by his race he couldn’t see the big picture.
    – Weldon
    There is a particle of truth in that statement. Rev. Wright certainly focused his energy on the many grievances against people of color. His sermons at times crossed the line. But what I find so refreshing about Obama is that he does not do that. He’s focused on the big picture for people of all races and religions. Indeed this man has transcended race in a way I find incredible, awe-inspiring and progressive.
    Contrast Obama’s magnificent speech last week with the embrace by McCain with the hate and fear mongers of the religious right. Now there is a real head-scratcher. McCain appeared to be a man of conviction during his last run at the presidency but now he’s pandering so hard to the right-wing nutjobs in this country he simply does not seem like the same person.
    The right in this country has become so afraid of it’s own shadow they simply cannot see the way forward. McCain represents the past with all it’s obnoxious bigotry and war-mongering. Obama represents a break from the failed policies of the past, especially the recent past of the Bush Administration and his GOP enablers.
    Is it risky to take a different path? Yes, all change involves risk. Is the status quo viable? Absolutely not. Obama represents change, progress, hope and a path toward peace. McCain represents repression, tyranny, death and destruction for thousands, economic stagnation and the whole gauntlet of problems endemic with the Bush crowd.
    It’s time for something new besides fear and bigotry. It’s time to break with the past. Obama represents that break.

  42. Lee Muller

    Obama represents the simmering hatred of racist, delusional blacks who have been raised in an environment of racist hatred for America, for whites, for Asians, and for any black who works their way out of that mentality.

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