On Tuesday March 18, 2008, Senator Barack Obama made a speech about race, in response to recent attacks on his affiliations with Reverend Jeremiah Wright of the Trinity United Church of Christ. If you have not yet seen the speech, click here for the YouTube video that was posted by BarackObama.com. Below, I will share key quotes from the speech, as well as my personal viewpoint on the situation.
Obama has recently been under intense scrutiny over words from the mouth of his former pastor at United Trinity Church of Christ. Barack decided to give a speech about, not only the issue with Reverend Wright, but about racial issues in America.
Key Quotes from the Speech:
Here are a few memorable quotes from Obama’s March 18 speech on Race in 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 our children and our grandchildren.”
“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.”
“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.”
Barack said many more memorable things in this speech. For the full transcript, click here.
A church is like a family. Most people have the same one for a great portion of their life. Sometimes, even when a family member says something a person doesn’t like, they still stick by them. Why? Because they are family. Many people view church the same way. I believe, based on Barack’s words, that he also believes this.
At some point, there is only so much you can take from a family member and even though you love them, you then have to separate yourself from them for a while, which is what Barack is doing right now. When you care about somebody, that is hard to do, no matter what they have done wrong. If you truly care about someone, you always will, even when they aren’t doing what you’d like them to do.
While I don’t think Jeremiah Wright pursued these issues the correct way at all, I do feel there is a problem with race in America. Yes, many problems have been solved, but many also have not.
However, calling names is not going to solve that and Barack Obama obviously knows that, judging by his own behavior. Barack has always spoken about bringing everyone together. He does not speak against any race, religion, or denomination.
Here are some of Barack’s quotes on people being equal:
“We can be one people, reaching for what’s possible, building that more perfect union”
“There is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and latino America and asian America – there’s the United States of America.”
“The true test of the American ideal is whether we’re able to recognize our failings and then rise together to meet the challenges of our time. Whether we allow ourselves to be shaped by events and history, or whether we act to shape them. Whether chance of birth or circumstance decides life’s big winners and losers, or whether we build a community where, at the very least, everyone has a chance to work hard, get ahead, and reach their dreams.”
There are many more where those came from. However, I will move on to the rest of my thought. I think those quotes speak loud and clear about how Senator Obama feels.
Back to My Thoughts:
When Obama discusses freedom in America, he is talking about ALL of America. When he speaks about fixing healthcare, he is talking about ALL of America. When he talks about solving problems in education and making this world a better place for ALL to learn and grow in, he is talking about ALL of America.
Listen to Barack’s speeches on YouTube. Research where he stands on the issues. Research some of the causes he has supported, such as educational programs for children. He was a part of making the Earned Income Tax Credit happen, which helps millions of families each year around tax time.
Barack is not the bad man that some of the media is making him out to be. He has worked as a community activist, helping all kinds of people. He is currently fighting to get war veterans the kind of health care they need after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
There are so many good things Obama has done in the past and that he continues to do, yet the media focuses on the one bad thing – the thing that isn’t even his own doing. Yes, perhaps he could have left the church before, but as I stated above, sometimes people stick by the people they they consider family, even when they shouldn’t.
It’s called compassion. Caring for other people unconditionally is a quality many people don’t have, but should. Perhaps if more people had such a caring mentality, many things would be different.
I, for one, will continue my support of Barack Obama. In my eyes, he is a great example of the values I want my kids to have. I don’t want my kids to turn their backs on people, unless it is absolutely necessary. I want them to love everyone, no matter who they are. Our family is Christian and that is what the Bible teaches. As Christians, we are to love everyone. God is to be the only judge.
I think Barack did make the correct choice in leaving Trinity United Church of Christ, but I also believe it was a hard decision – one that took great strength and courage. Why? Imagine how you would feel if you left your church. There’s your answer. Don’t have a church? Imagine how you would feel if you left a close a family member. There’s your answer.
Note to Curious Readers:
I originally started this as a blog post, but decided to elaborate further and turn it into this article.