Chicago Daily Observer
Today’s Philadelphia Speech, as it may become known, is a milepost in American race relations, approaching the significance of the “I have a dream speech” delivered in 1963 by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Just about everything Obama said in the speech was exactly right.
The carefully crafted speech is a landmark because it is was built around the premise that America can change.
“The profound mistake of Reverend [Jeremiah] Wright’s sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society,” Obama said. “It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country – a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old—is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past.
“But what we know—what we have seen – is that America can change. That is true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope – the audacity to hope – for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.”
This is no small acknowledgment. Recognition of great progress is something that both “sides” need to hear. It must echo through black churches that are enslaved on a plantation of never-ending recriminations against past wrongs. It needs to be understood and not ridiculed by the gaggle of bug-eyed, conservative talk show hosts.
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