Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Obama's Greater Challenge

By Brent Budowsky
March 19, 2008

What Obama can now do is take the debate on racial injustice to a powerfully transforming level that reaches across all racial and religious divisions and gives voice to the voiceless, respect to the disrespected and power to the powerless.

Read on.

8 comments:

Jimmy said...

Obama's speech "A More Perfect Union" was just brilliant. Most impressive was his ability stand with one foot in his White heritage and the other in his Black heritage and speak frankly about race in a way neither a Black or White man ever could.

Even more impressive for me, is that after 8 years with a slack-jawed dufus in the Whitehouse, we can look forward to not only a President that can string a 6 word sentence together without drooling on himself, but he can actually WRITE such an elequent speech.

That's right - Obama wrote that speech he gave. By Himself. This speech, being lauded over by both critics and pundits alike as "Historical", was written by Senator Obama. He gets it. Without being told what to say and think by polls and advisors - he really gets it.

The man is impressive and uniquely qualified to lead our country in these Dark times.

Anonymous said...

Marc Lamont Hill from theRoot:

In series of interviews, Obama feigned ignorance and shock regarding Wright’s statements. During his interviews with CNN and Fox News, Obama swore on a stack of bibles that he had never heard such “incendiary” and “unacceptable” language from his “former” pastor. When backed against a wall, he promised his interviewers that he would have done everything from walking out of service to quitting the church had he heard such rhetoric from the pew.

From a purely strategic standpoint, Obama’s absolutist stance was a bad move. After all, no one really believes that Obama has not heard Jeremiah Wright make similar statements during their twenty-year relationship. Anyone who knows Pastor Wright, who is one of the most well known preachers in the nation, will tell you that he is deeply committed to the theory and practice of African-centered liberation theology. As such, Wright’s socio-political commentary–which the media has mendaciously edited and twisted into a mélange of cultish rantings—are the rule rather than the exception in both his personal and public conversations. Instead of allaying public anxieties by owning up to this fact, Obama’s dishonest response has merely prompted the media to look for the inevitable video clip of him sitting in church while Wright is giving a provocative sermon. At that point, he will not only be seen as anti-white, but also a liar.

More significantly, however, Obama’s failure to defend Jeremiah Wright reflects a deeper character flaw. By all credible accounts, Obama’s decision to join Trinity United Church of Christ in the first place was prompted by a desire to earn points with blacks in Chicago. By standing close to Wright, Obama was able to convince local people that he was “black enough” to represent their political interests. Now that Wright is a political liability rather than a source of street cred, Obama has decided to throw his mentor under the bus to protect his own image. This only reinforces the growing notion that Obama is a political opportunist who is driven more by interests than feelings.

not buying the damage control rhetoric said...

I didn't watch Obama's oratory...but I did read the transcript. For the most part, all I can say is, nice words, but no cigar. So, I guess it must have been the delivery that made the speech.

I don't see how he squared the circle on what played out last week on TV screens -- a deep chasm between "black liberation theology" and the mainstream understanding of Christianity. Obama claims to be a unifying figure, but now it appears he is living proof of a deep clash. (Too bad certain politicians wear their religion on their sleeve for political points -- it usually backfires.)

We Americans say we dislike double standards -- but, a white radio jockey makes a "racist" remark about a women's basketball team and is dragged 'round the coliseum to the delighted howls of the self-righteous. However, a man of the cloth uses his pulpit authority to damn the nation and curse white people and is praised as a "biblical scholar" by a candidate for the presidency. (Full disclosure, I didn't like Imus's remarks, but they pale in comparison to Wright's rhetoric.)

Obama was forced into delivering this speech by his own doing. Obama first claimed he was unaware of Wright's most inflammatory rhetoric because he "didn't hear such incendiary language personally." Yet, the record tells us that David Axelrod told Obama, well over a year ago, that he'd probably have to distance himself from Wright because of his pastor's past "sermons." Obama also made excuses for Wright's rants, until his spiritual mentor's words became a political liability. So, that alone makes Obama an obvious liar and typical politician, IMO. Very obvious.

If one buys that Obama's speech transcends the negative, restrictive aspects of this problem, I've got some Bear Stearns stock to sell you.

Skeptic said...

With all due respect to Mr. Budowsky, I do not see this speech as a defining moment for unity or racial and social justice.

It was a well-crafted political speech, made necessary because of the reality of the day and because of Obama's own hesitancy to take action back when he should have.

He is a charismatic politician who has displayed his sycophantic need for praise (and embracement) from the Washington establishment. He is a clever politican, not a MOVEMENT leader.

What we need is less "uplifting" rhetoric and more focus on solutions that expand wealth, create an environment of innovation, provide access to resources that levels economic playing fields, and provides justice for all.

Nothing unites better than shared failure or shared success. In order to experience either, we need to be working on the real. Obama is where he is because he "plays the race card" to his advantage. It shouldn't be about race -- but shared opportunity.

So, how is he going to accomplish this great realignment? Certainly not with politically-motivated damage-control words -- when he starts talking about solutions and leads accordingly, I might be persuaded.

Bob said...

Yes Obama can do all of that, but
why hasn't he done that? This has
been a long campaign with more than enough time to address the real issues, something that neither
Obama nor Clinton have done.

Edwards did and pretty much paid for doing so. Look how the msm focused on just two candidates while ignoring Kuchinich and paying the minimal amount of attentiion they could to Edwards.

I don't expect that Obama will now
run a populist campaign. He gave a
speech to defuse an attack not to
inspire the nation.

Sorry, no sale here.

zeldon said...

budowsky is, like Obama, inspired
by the sound of his own noble words.

however, when "we"--obama, ferraro,
Toxico Inc.--all join hands, you and I wont be there, nor will we be
represented.

the idea that when those folks get
together, the voiceless will have a
voice is the fraud at the heart of
Obama's campaign

curious said...

Why did Obama reject the endorsement of The New Black Panther Party?

Winter Patriot said...

It's a shame his eloquence and charisma are not accompanied by a desire to tell the truth.

Horrifying: Obama's Brilliant Speech Of Hope And Unity Scares Me Half To Death