Sunday, March 23, 2008

Race in America

Mom asked me why I hadn't posted about Mr. Obama's speech yet. It's because I've been busy. I certainly have nothing new to add to the debate and, as usual, Jon Stewart said everything I wanted to say much better and with more insight.

I had my students in my 330 class read the speech and then discuss it. My 525 class wathched it on YouTube. This was the day of the speech. (THhese were both speech classes). A lot of my students are from black and live in Harlem, the South Bronx, and Brooklyn, including Brownsbille and Flatbush. They have opinions and they run something like this:

*Who cares?

*Reverend Wright was just preaching the truth. White people don't like to hear the truth.

*This won't effect Obama at all because he didn't say these things, his reverend did.

*What's the big deal? This is the way black people talk in church.

When discussing Reverned Wright's comments about 9/11 and about racism in America, they conceded that it could make some Americans uncomfortable.

As to the speech they thought it was pretty good. They thought it answered all of the criticism leveled at Obama and now people should move on. They saw it as totlaly true.

Before the speech I thought Obama was sunk. He was done and buried. Now I think he's got a slim chance. It is a long way till the convention in Denver and a lot can still happen. I fully expect the Democrats at this point to tear themselves apart and hand the presidency to John McCain on a silver platter. But McCain's negatives are so great that even totally ineptitude and infighting among the Dems might not spell defeat. The economy stinks and nobody likes the war, and he's tied himself to the president who is responsible for both. Wouldn't it be sad if the only reason a fractious and inept Democratic party could elect a president is because the Republican nominee was just a terrible candidate?

Oh. The speech. I thought it was Lincolnesque. I think it ranks up there with the Gettysburgh Address and Kennedy's Inauguration speech and and the Four Freedoms. Unless Obama doesn't win. Then it will be a footnote, like the Cross of Gold. Look it up.


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