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Obama's Speech on Race: Did it win you over?
Okay, I'll admit it: the Reverend Wright scandal may have raised some doubts in my mind about Obama. It wasn't his character that I began to question but his judgment. Why would a politician have so close an association with someone who made such strong remarks? And why would his campaign not be prepared with a prompt and strong response to this controversy?And then came his speech in Philadelphia. Rather than trying to bury the issue, Obama took race head on and delved into the roots of his pastor's remark. He broke down some truths on the history of minorities in this country and made it relevant to issues like immigration and health care. To me the most powerful part was when he said he could not disown the reverend any more than he could his white grandmother for some of her remarks. Being Italian and Mexican (sure, that one's by marriage, but it amounts to the same anyway), I certainly have my share of "grandmothers." I listened to this speech right before I saw the second episode of HBO's John Adams series and I was struck by the import role that oral and written statements play in history. Whether or not Obama gets the candidacy may still be up in the air, but I think this work stands on its own as a comment on race in America today. I only wish it came earlier.