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The Obama Speech

Reader comment on item: "America's Chickens are Coming Home to Roost"

Submitted by gary fouse (United States), Mar 18, 2008 at 22:39

Barack Obama's address on Race today in Philadelphia was a desperate bid to save his presidential prospects in the light of release of videotapes of his pastor, Jeremiah Wright's sermons. While much of the mainstream media has tried to downplay the story, Obama had obviously come to the conclusion that it was major news-and it was threatening to kill his campaign. While reactions to the speech are still playing out, I would like to comment on my reaction at this time.

Without repeating the various lines in his speech, suffice to say that, like most of his speeches, Obama's prepared remarks today were typically eloquent-especially in contrast to when he is answering questions on uncomfortable topics-as he was this week on the TV news circuit. The problem with the speech was, as I see it, that he tried to appeal to everyone, and, in the process, may have alienated everyone with the obvious exception of those who choose to believe and accept whatever he says because he is their guy.

Obama, while condemning Wright's remarks, stated that he could no longer disown the pastor any more than he could disown the black community. Personally, I am not sure the two are linked. I sure hope not although Wright's parishioners have spoken out loud and clear in their support of him. Is Obama the only member of the church who rejects Wright's sentiments?

Obama also reiterated the racial grievances of black Americans and made the usual calls for racial healing. Obama obviously felt he had to give something to his black listeners and speak of injustice. No question, Obama is walking a very thin tightrope here, trying to hold on to wavering white voters while not alienating black voters who may conclude he is an "Uncle Tom" (a ugly term also used by Wright in some of his sermons).

Obama spoke of Wright's good works and good qualities, stating that he will not turn his back on him. He also referred to his white grandmother, who allegedly referred to her fears of encountering black men on the street. He also acknowledged that he had, indeed, been in the pews on occasions when Wright made "controversial" statements. This is an apparent contradiction from statements he had been making just in the past few days to the effect that he had not been present during these particular diatribes. (Is it possible Obama realized that there may be some video out there showing him in the audience on these occasions-perhaps doing what everyone else was apparently doing-standing, clapping and cheering?)

It appears that Obama's theme is that, yes, he disagrees with Wright's statements about whites and America, but that he will not turn away from his spiritual mentor and his church. America must deal with black historical grievances and present-day "real anger", but he wants to bring about racial conciliation. In other words, Obama's speech had something in it for everyone, just what a politician's speech is supposed to be.

I still am left with serious questions about Mr Obama:

First, how could you sit there in that church for two decades and listen to this rhetoric and racial diatribes. Senator Obama, when Minister Wright was railing about white people, he was talking about your mother-and grandmother. Did you never take offense at that?

You talk about your love of this country. Yet, you sat there and listened to the worst things being said about your country by Wright. I don't know about you, sir, but I would have gotten up and walked out of my church and never gone back if the pastor talked like that about America-or about other ethnic groups not my own. But you, sir, are a sitting US Senator. If nothing else, as a US Senator and aspiring presidential candidate, what kind of judgement does this show? The same kind of judgement that allowed you to do business with a character like Tony Rezko?

Already, many news commentators sympathetic to Obama are raving about the eloquence of his speech. It is spin. The fact of the matter is that in attempting to please all sides, in my view, Obama has hurt his cause only more. As I acknowledged above, Obama is caught squarely in the middle of the racial divide in this country. He doesn't want to be regarded as simply the "Black Candidate", rather one who cuts across racial barriers. Sadly, that is going by the wayside very quickly. I don't know how the senator is going to reconcile these issues. Certainly many white voters who are wavering wanted Obama to cut his ties to Wright and the church in strong and forceful terms. To do so, however, would have alienated many black voters. So he tried to cut it both ways. I don't think it will work.

I don't know if Obama secretely sympathizes with Wright's views; I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. His continued membership in such a church and association with Wright would make any reasonable person suspicious. What is really sad and ironic is that the candidate and the campaign that held out hope of advancing black-white relations in America to so many, even among his opponents, is now turning into something that, in the end, may only set relations back.

All of the above, of course, is written from the perspective of a white male in his 60s who probably doesn't understand what goes on in black churches and has possibly deluded himself into thinking that over the course of his life, he had seen dramatic racial progress. All I can say is that if Jeremiah Wright is typical, then we have made very little progress. If there is actually someone out there who can bring Americans together, that person is not going to come out of the Trinity United Church of Christ of Chicago.

So is there a secret side to Mr Obama that he has tried to hide from the public? I don't know, but one thing is becoming more obvious every day.

Barack Obama is just another politician.

gary fouse



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Reader comments (67) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
The connection to Malcom X [45 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
AlexMay 23, 2008 11:25129689
20 years before Obama denounce the hate. [202 words]Phil GreendMay 18, 2008 18:58129041
that being said Obama is a Black Marxist [144 words]fatchaMay 14, 2008 16:02128648
FUD You! [130 words]MatericiaApr 30, 2008 09:17127258
Obama [40 words]Straight_Talk_LuigiMay 4, 2008 01:18127258
missing the point [78 words]mz ravin blackApr 29, 2008 22:48127224
Another troubling quote from Wright [120 words]LynnApr 29, 2008 10:02127162
The best part is [45 words]Straight_Talk_LuigiMay 4, 2008 01:21127162
Obama reflects Wright's Ideology [611 words]JanetApr 15, 2008 12:30125722
"What Malcolm X said ..." [253 words]CanaanApr 5, 2008 12:49124748
Malcolm X [110 words]MatthewJun 23, 2008 12:49124748
What Obama Didn't Say and Doesn't Believe [188 words]Sofa SogoodApr 1, 2008 07:21124305
THE ENTIRE SPEECH [57 words]RalphieMar 31, 2008 23:02124262
Sorry to bother you with FACTS, but... [91 words]saraApr 1, 2008 19:33124262
Black Chickens [31 words]R. O'DonnellMar 29, 2008 21:19124063
Wright WAS quoting someone else: a well-known Israel-hater [126 words]Natan OstrichMar 28, 2008 01:21123870
Chickens and 'leftists" [118 words]John CoffinMar 26, 2008 22:28123749
BARACK OBAMA HUSSEIN FEW QUESTIONS FOR YOU??? [169 words]Tirdad GharibMar 22, 2008 16:47123264
Iran, China dialogue, Wright and chickens [168 words]EllieMay 2, 2008 12:43123264
ELLIE i will respond to your questions, how about giving your reall name dont be scared,we are debating here [397 words]TIRDAD GHARIBMay 2, 2008 18:47123264
Re: Iran, China dialogue, Wright and chickens; Ellie [89 words]Pete DaggettOct 21, 2008 15:21123264
Rev. Wright was quoting someone else!! - watch the video [91 words]ChrisMar 21, 2008 14:28123180
'Barak, I didn't do it for this': -- An Homage to Andrew Goodman. Poem from a 1960's Civil Rights Worker [210 words]Sofa SogoodMar 20, 2008 16:35123119
Wake Up People! [339 words]Builders of ZionMar 20, 2008 15:25123111
Re: Chickens coming home to roost [100 words]Sharon LoewMar 19, 2008 17:34123030
Obama's response in his own words [377 words]RickMar 19, 2008 13:13123022
‘Chickens Coming Home to Roost'" [31 words]Arthur CohnMar 19, 2008 02:19122990
So What Have We Learned? [82 words]KeithMar 18, 2008 23:06122984
The Obama Speech [1016 words]gary fouseMar 18, 2008 22:39122981
great letter, gary fouse [139 words]jennifer solisApr 2, 2008 00:04122981
Agree with you , Jennifer- On Obama [266 words]YnnatchkahApr 2, 2008 19:52122981
Hello Ynnatchkah [76 words]jennifer solisMay 6, 2008 22:42122981
The Dali Bhama exposed [97 words]DestinyBenderMar 18, 2008 18:37122958
Guilt By Association [274 words]Roy WeinbergMar 17, 2008 19:08122882
laughable denial [24 words]MarkleyMar 27, 2008 13:36122882
Who You Gonna Believe, Me Or Your Lyin' Eyes [1432 words]Sofa SogoodMar 17, 2008 16:34122874
Senator Obama's Lies Exposed [88 words]Big BangMar 18, 2008 21:11122874
Link article [73 words]MikeMar 17, 2008 16:21122873
the chicken's are here sittin' on the roost [396 words]robert fusfeldMar 17, 2008 11:35122859
Just another politician lying to the public for a vote [60 words]Dorine McKinnonMar 17, 2008 06:24122852
These comments are of no Christian source [104 words]f.shaMar 16, 2008 17:22122827
Unbelievable [140 words]C .CannonMar 16, 2008 17:17122826
Obama and his race card. [46 words]brad bucherMar 16, 2008 08:41122792
oprah: 'America Needs Obama' ????? [85 words]michael ackermanMar 16, 2008 07:58122790
The question is: true or false [98 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Ghulam Muhammed, MumbaiMar 16, 2008 05:38122787
Wright's Shirt [30 words]Peter FarisMar 16, 2008 03:00122780
The irreverent Wright and his chicken [125 words]Steven lMar 16, 2008 01:06122767
Coming home to roost [511 words]Kyle GosnellMar 16, 2008 00:34122766
Priority, priority, priority... [160 words]Jim BaxterMar 17, 2008 10:25122766
Blame America First! [125 words]Richard B.Mar 16, 2008 00:15122765
Why did Barak Obama wait until this moment when is so close to the elections to disavow Rev. Wright? [70 words]Bobbie GhitisMar 15, 2008 23:08122764
Rezko, Auchi and Obama [50 words]Linda HaslamMar 17, 2008 12:17122764
Malcolm X better than Wright and Obama [99 words]DrewMar 15, 2008 23:07122763
The Chicken flew the Coop [160 words]jennifer solisMar 15, 2008 22:23122761
So what? [56 words]TristenMar 15, 2008 20:52122753
People don't forget [795 words]ahmadzafireMar 23, 2008 22:39122753
No, They're Not Obama's Words, BUT [122 words]JohnnyTMar 27, 2008 06:58122753
wright is proving that he maybe just that wright [198 words]ahmadzafireMar 28, 2008 00:57122753
Sovereignty! [238 words]Abu NudnikMar 15, 2008 19:58122751
1What Pipes failed to mention [180 words]Benjamin KweskinMar 15, 2008 18:59122745
War Against Muslims the World Over? Old Uncle Indeed. [1569 words]Sofa SogoodMar 17, 2008 17:02122745
true enough [53 words]michael breslauerMar 15, 2008 18:18122742
His Spiritual Mentor and Friend [72 words]Ralph C Whaley MDMar 15, 2008 17:26122737
Leave the Great Satan and Go to Your Paradisal Homes [162 words]MaureenMar 16, 2008 12:43122737
It Wouldn't Surprise Me [66 words]BlackspeareMar 15, 2008 16:33122730
Guilt by association [137 words]Rebecca MouldsMar 15, 2008 10:17122711

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