Barack Obama | Democratic Party | News

Barack Obama to Give 'Major Race Speech' Tomorrow

On religion too, apparently. Politico reports:

Obama"Barack Obama will give a major speech on 'the larger issue of race in this campaign,' he told reporters in Monaca, PA just now. He was pressed there, as he has been at recent appearances, on statements by his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. 'I am going to be talking about not just Reverend Wright, but the larger issue of race in this campaign,' he said. He added that he would 'talk about how some of these issues are perceived from within the black church issue for example,' he said."

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  1. Great, another speech to correct a lack of action. How are they going to explain away being a member of Congregation whose leader is an obvious racist and extremist. I have no problem with anyone choosing a an extremist as their spiritual adviser, that is their right. I do not appreciate any more bullshit from Obama and his followers.

    Posted by: pete | Mar 17, 2008 5:05:03 PM

  2. So he thinks a speech is going to get him out of this Jeremiah Wright mess?

    Speeches cannot make up for 20 years of attendance and financial support.

    Posted by: chris | Mar 17, 2008 5:06:19 PM

  3. This is exactly what Obama needs to do to defuse the Wright situation. I was worried his campaign was going to consider it fully handled after it got dumped into the late Friday news cycle. It wasn't. He needs to get it fully aired, with all of America paying attention, not just those of us who are following the primary process closely.

    It's a tall order, but if Obama handles this correctly tomorrow, and it gets enough coverage, he can inoculate himself against Wright-based attacks during the fall.

    Posted by: 24play | Mar 17, 2008 5:13:16 PM

  4. Pete and Chris:

    Thanks to you both, I see how the world works now! For the last 30 years I've been visiting my grandparents, and have been taking care of them as much as I can now that they need it. But you know what, sometimes they say racist things! I guess I can just forget about all the things they've taught be about love, being a good person, the importance of family, and morality because the are obviously irreparably flawed. See you later, Grandma and Granddad. I refute and reject you completely, you fucking extremists.

    Posted by: Adam | Mar 17, 2008 5:20:39 PM

  5. How can someone be held responsible for what their pastor says unless he endorses those statements?

    This is just the media being bored at craving conflict. At the very least, this will dispel the Muslim meme for the troglodytes.

    Posted by: oregonstudent | Mar 17, 2008 5:24:13 PM

  6. Have you actually watched the sermon he gave? This is not something light he said in passing. What the reverend said was rather appalling. Regardless of whether Obama agrees or endorses, it reflects a general lack of judgment on his part to choose someone who as a spiritual leader who would say what this reverend said. This speech, in my opinion, will only add fire to the damage his affiliation with this reverend will do in the general election against McCain. Unfortunately it might temper the superdelegates and remaining primary voters, therefore not likely stalling his apparent win of the nomination, but I feel it will certainly play a huge hand in accounting for his loss in November, which I find inevitable. He has some hefty declines in the polls (even prior to this reverend incident) against McCain since Ohio and Texas. These comments by his spiritual advisor will only make it less likely he will win the swing states necessary to take the Electoral College. It will test the limits people have gone in choosing a fairly unknown minority candidate. I can see a lot of people he's brought into his camp bailing if they cannot disassociate him with this reverend.

    Posted by: Banne | Mar 17, 2008 5:34:09 PM

  7. This isn't just a matter of Obama distancing himself from a supporter. There was BILATERAL support here between Obama and Wright. The recent $22,000 donation makes this pretty clear along with the long time relationship.

    Mrs. Obama recently said that for the first time in her life she is proud of her country. That is pretty telling. If you add these to minor things (the pledge incident, the flagpin comments, and never talking about a love for his country) there's a pattern to Obama's overall image.

    Even if I feel this is irrelevant to Obama's qualification for president, it seems obvious that he will no longer do well against McCain.

    Posted by: | Mar 17, 2008 5:34:15 PM

  8. I find it interesting when I hear it said that he's not responsible for what the man preaches; which could not be any more true. The problem lies within Senator Obama touting this man as his spiritual advisor. Not the Trinity Church as a whole, but this man specifically. Not Christianity as a whole, but Rev.Wright.

    It's curious to note that Sen. Obama said he wasn't aware of these sermons from Rev.Wright untillast year. Yes, last year. Not last week when the story broke, but last year when he first started his campaign. And when he learned of them he did not denounce or repudiate them then. No, he allowed Rev. Wright to be part of his campaign. Knowing of the mans stance and rhetoric.

    If one is to suspend complete disbelief and take the Senator at his word that in the past twenty years of him attending this church, he never once heard the good Rev. give these kinds of sermons while he was in a pew, then how can one not ask him where his stance didn't change once he was made aware of the Rev.'s views; an entire year of knowledge and he did nothing. Where is his good judgment in that? Where is the unity in his association with and then disassociation when it is convenient. This is a relationship of TWENTY years! The same as with Rezko.

    He says that the man who is now on trial for seeking extortion and fraud, and who was known in Illinois circles for soliciting political favors in exchange for campaign contributions. Again, he knew nothing of it, being a politician himself, of these things.

    He speaks of judgment and demonstrates his complete lack there of.

    Posted by: silverskreen | Mar 17, 2008 5:37:09 PM


    What kind of rhetoric is that? Pretty much every poll right now has Obama beating McCain in November. Those are the best proof of his electability, and even those are not useful, because it's too soon to call.

    American are going to have a tough time picking Bush #2 after the past 8 years.

    Posted by: oregonstudent | Mar 17, 2008 5:40:50 PM


    Posted by: Lito S. | Mar 17, 2008 5:46:36 PM

  11. This will sound like a contradiction of my lobbying against Obama, particularly perhaps to you, 24, but I hope he succeeds in his speech tomorrow night.

    Because if he doesn’t, if he attempts to turn it, as the church itself has into a "why are you blaming us"/"this is just more white racism" whine and then the Party is still foolish enough to give him the nomination, I fear that McCain will win through all the crossover votes from white and Jewish Dems and independents who hear nothing but black racism in Wright and black racism plus antiSemitism in Wright’s bosom buddy Farrakahn.

    And all of this is NOT being helped by pseudo intellects like “undecided superdelegate” wink wink nudge nudge Donna Brazile telling TV viewers that Wright is one of the “more moderate” black preachers, and others saying it’s just a different “style” of preaching rather than addressing the substance. And it will take a lot more than erasing various policy statements from the church’s Website such as the "Black Value System" manifesto, as they have. And a lot more than erasing Wright’s picture and endorsement from Obama’s site, as they have done, or removing Wright himself from his campaign’s religious advisors committee.

    Obama was tested with McClurkingate and failed but most Americans don’t care about homophobes like McClurkin so he got away with it. But this will be his biggest test yet...the biggest in his entire public career.....involving many complex topics that no one speech can ever adequately address [e.g., OF COURSE a great deal of evil has been done in America’s name BUT...]...and the simplest, ultimate one....why the candidate exalted for being “above race” didn’t detach himself from dated race victimologist Wright and Wright from his campaign before being forced to. However long the litany of good works Wright might have done that Obama might recite is not going to erase in those voters' minds the kind of Farrakhanish "Whitey is the enemy" cons that Wright should have thrown out with his bell bottoms and Redd Foxx LPs long ago.

    We might not just lose the White House but see race relations generally set waaay back.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Mar 17, 2008 5:46:55 PM

  12. ADAM- With all due respect -

    You didn't pick your family, you were born into it. Senator Obama picked this man as a mentor and spiritual adviser. No, not as a political adviser, certainly, but a man who has such strong political beliefs that he feels like it is necessary to inject them into his sermons and affect and influence the opinion of a large body of citizens, his views then become a player on the political spectrum of Senator Obama.

    Unless your grandparents are holding rallies to spew their beliefs and trying to influence a mass, I hardly see a correlation between the two.

    Posted by: silverskreen | Mar 17, 2008 5:48:05 PM

  13. Damage control.

    Posted by: Mike | Mar 17, 2008 5:48:14 PM

  14. All I have read on the NY Times and Wash Post blogs have been Obamaheads defending him and th majority of others saying he is dead meat. There is no way he is going to even get the nomination. Three weeks until PA and this is going to be the story.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Mar 17, 2008 5:54:03 PM

  15. I'm happy I will never run for office. Leaves me free to say that my country disgusts me and the level of political discourse disgusts me. I am not currently proud of my country and I think the current political leadership, including 90% of the press, should all be brought up on war crimes charges.

    Posted by: Will | Mar 17, 2008 6:01:04 PM

  16. WILL -
    That said...Hillary '08!!
    Just messin' with ya...I hear ya loud and clear; It's disheartening.

    Posted by: silverskreen | Mar 17, 2008 6:07:52 PM

  17. What do you mean by "set race relations back? They've ALWAYS been shitty. White people just like to pretend they're not.

    Buh-Bye Magic Negro!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Mar 17, 2008 6:09:18 PM

  18. We might not just lose the White House but see race relations generally set waaay back.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Mar 17, 2008 5:46:55 PM
    Mr B you and I do not always see eye to eye but you are dead right, the only thing I would disagree with is your use of the word might. They have already done so. Hope and change went out the door, along with my respect, my admiration, and my vote. If he's lost me you can imagine what those sitting on the fence are thinking.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Mar 17, 2008 6:17:06 PM

  19. You don't see a correlation because you don't know how church works. For a lot of people, leaving their church would be just like leaving their family.

    At any rate, church isn't first and last a political experience--even if the priest, pastor, or all the parishioners are political. Sermons speak to the nexus of religion and life--sometimes that intersection is politics, oftentimes it isn't. Sometimes sermons contain both prescriptions and proscriptions, but most of the time they're food for thought.

    What I don't understand is why people are ignoring everything Obama has been saying in the last year, and in the last few days about this in particular, and are perfectly willing to assign Wright's views to him. Where else does this happen? Are you responsible for your father's or brother's words? Are you responsible for your boss' or your teachers'? Do you expect to be held accountable for the deeds and decisions of the people you've chosen--your friends, your mentors, or your heroes? No. If they do something idiotic, would you be accused of doing the same thing? Should their flaws be ascribed to you as well?

    Even after Obama denounced the remarks, you all are seeking ten pounds of flesh; it doesn't really make sense to me. Reasonable people can see that you can hear a sermon (or twenty sermons) and choose how to apply that to your own life. Do you believe that hearing "God damn America for treating its citizens as less than human," makes Obama pray for the wrath of God to rain down on America, or do you think it makes him think "we can do a lot to improve this country"?

    Posted by: Adam | Mar 17, 2008 6:21:57 PM

  20. Here's one white guy who has no problem with Rev. Wright or TUCC, and who believes Obama more than sufficiently separated himself from any message that could be construed as anti-American.

    To say that Rev. Wright "hates" America means that in order to love America, we must also love America's 400+ years of brutal slavery and unfathomable violence, centuries of unequal legislation, and continuing racial bias in housing, employment and education.

    I'm proud to be an American, and this is the best country on Earth. But I will always hate America's racist past (and present). We all should.

    Especially those of us glbt.

    Posted by: Jeff | Mar 17, 2008 6:28:39 PM

  21. I hope he resigns for the "good of the party".

    Posted by: z | Mar 17, 2008 6:29:56 PM

  22. Yet another speech? "Just words!" Make that more like his regular stump-speech sermon.

    But, who gave Barack the green light to school the nation on race relations in the country?

    If anything, it shows that he is just as opportunistic as the Washington politicians he loves to bash - He'll (1) throw anyone under the bus when they are of no use to him (2) say anything that his followers want to hear to appease them.

    He sits in the pews for 20 years and didn't know till now what his Pastor was capable of saying? Bollocks!

    A little aside: Oprah was a member of that church from 84-86. Hmm!

    Posted by: James | Mar 17, 2008 6:34:55 PM

  23. Do you believe that hearing "God damn America for treating its citizens as less than human," makes Obama pray for the wrath of God to rain down on America, or do you think it makes him think "we can do a lot to improve this country"?

    Posted by: Adam | Mar 17, 2008 6:21:57 PM
    What I believe is that Obama has no chance in hell. Hope and change left the room.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Mar 17, 2008 6:43:38 PM

  24. David, David. Don't be petty when you've be so right about Obama for so long. Of course, I meant "race relations generally set back from where they are now"—which if you don't believe are better than they were when Jeremiah Wright's brain apparently froze in Time then.....

    Historical note: the infamous Fred Phelps has a history of fighting for racial equality, but look where he is now in the eyes of nongay Americans of all colors. Fairly or not, Jeremiah Wright is Barack Obama’s personal Fred Phelps. Even “Saturday Night Live” aired a mocking cartoon about Obama’s long-distancing himself from Jesse Jackson, Sr., and Al Sharpton...and all the time he was with mindnumbing stupidity ignoring the giant albatross in his own backyard.

    Obama's challenge is bigger than JFK's was in his speech about his relationship to Catholicism or Romney's to Mormonism because despite whatever preconceptions voters had they were never encapsulated [or seemed to be] in incendiary video clips starring a black Elmer Gantry with 'roid rage. Will the campaign that has been given such life by YouTube die by YouTube?

    Conversely, Obama doesn’t have the advantage of his famous “blank screen” this time but the memories of countless TV screens over the last five days projecting what is for many Americans a nightmare. It is Wright's and Obama's chickens that have belatedly come home to roost.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Mar 17, 2008 6:49:29 PM

  25. found this and wanted to share in this disscussion:

    Don't let anybody make you think that God chose America as His divine messianic force to be -- a sort of policeman of the whole world. God has a way of standing before the nations with judgment, and it seems that I can hear God saying to America: 'You are too arrogant! If you don't change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power"" - MLK Jr.
    "I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government.... There is something strangely inconsistent about a nation and a press that would praise you when you say, "Be nonviolent toward Jim Clark," but will curse and damn you when you say, "Be nonviolent toward little brown Vietnamese children!" There is something wrong with that press...." - MLK Jr.
    "I'm convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values....When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered...." - MLK Jr.
    Rev. Wright is an elderly minister who is african-american... in describing what the CIA calls "BLOWBACK", the MSM have forced Sen. Obama to apologize.... should he apologize about Martin Luther King as well?

    Posted by: yeahisaidit | Mar 17, 2008 6:56:24 PM

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