With a very good speech that he wrote himself. (Read his books to see that he is a very good writer.) Is it enough to change people’s response to his pastor. Perhaps. A small portion;
The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.
And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Rev. Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children.
Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions — the good and the bad — of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.
I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother — a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.
CNN’s Jack Cafferty may have the accurate response to it – unlike the conservative idiot on CNN right now. (Forgive me.) That fellow is just doing negative conservative spin. Cafferty:
Barack Obama’s speech today on race may have been a blessing in disguise.
Perhaps the biggest question surrounding the senator from Illinois was whether he had the stomach for the kind of bare knuckle campaign he is likely to face at the hands of the Republicans if he is the nominee. Pastor Jeremiah Wright gave Obama the chance to “show us the money.”
In the face of a withering barrage of taped replays by the media of Wright’s comments, Obama had little choice but to suck it up and face the issue head on.
Obama wrote the speech himself. No speechwriters. At one point he said that while he absolutely disagrees with some of the things Reverend Wright said, he can’t disown his pastor anymore than he can his white grandmother… a woman he says sacrificed for him and helped raise him, but who also confessed her fear of black men who walked by her on the street and who used racial stereotypes. Obama said, “These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.”
In retrospect, this episode may have given us all a chance to see how Obama responds when the going gets a little rougher than what he’s probably used to. The Pastor Wright incident may have been the baptism by fire that Obama needed to seal his credentials to make the run for the White House.