Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama's Speech 

I listened to it, and it made some good points, but it raised a few red flags for me, too, in particular the class warfare/anti business themes. I applaud Obama's message of racial reconciliation, but he sure isn't MY messiah--never has been and never will be. At best he's a good politician, doing what politicians do--that which is necessary to win the next election.

I don't think this speech will provide the layer of Teflon that will be necessary to protect him from backlash to Rev. Wright's rants during the general election. Whatever Obama has said or will say about his relationship with Rev. Wright, it will be impossible for people to "unring the bell" and forget what Wright has said. It will be equally impossible for many people to feel comfortable about Sen. Obama's candidacy because of it. How many? Who knows? The point is, Obama has no record to run on, so he has to run on trust, "judgment" and goodwill. This episode has cast doubt on the quality and quantity of those characteristics that Obama has, some of those doubts will never go away.

One nagging question: Why does it seem to me that black people who grow up outside the African American experience, such as Colin Powell and Barack Obama himself, are more often able to surmount all the prejudices and societal barriers that supposedly exist to keep black people down and achieve high office and otherwise become major successes than those who grow up within the African American experience? Maybe it's the crappy inner city schools, maybe it's something else, but it suggests that those prejudices and barriers are not what they're made out to be.

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