I listened to it and was struck by three things.
- Pastor Wright - He addressed in a honest and candid manner this situation. He denounced the outlandish snippets of sermons that have offended many Americans of all colors. At the same time Obama clearly shared the reasons that he won't disown Pastor Wright. I thought he effectively shared the complex world we live where many of us say things privately or in a barbershop that we wouldn't say in polite company. However, even when our parents, grandparents or pastor say things that make us cringe ... we can't disown them.
- Race Relations in America - He gave a point-by-point history of race relations in our country. He challenged us to work towards solving big problems together ... in unity ... rather than continue to be played against each other based on our fears, our anger, our frustrations or our resentments. He talked to us from the perspective of Blacks in America, whites in America and immigrants in America. He gave us the opportunity to rise above our fears and our divisions to create 'a more perfect union'.
- Obama Campaign - He laid it on the line for us in both the Democratic nomination process (vs. Hillary Clinton) and the general campaign (vs. John McCain). He gave us a choice of reacting to this moment in time with the same ol'-same ol' ... letting race-baiting and fears cause us to go back in our corners and react in the same, predictable manner * OR * consider the hope and promise of an Obama presidency and what it could mean for creating a new paradigm for race relations and for solving the big problems of health care, economy, jobs and the war. Do we want more of the same? Or do we have the audacity of hope for a new country and a new politics in the 21st century?