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Will He Overcome?


Reporters across the country can come home. Obama admitted today that he was
indeed in the pews when Reverend Wright gave some of his fiery, angry speeches.
One part of this nightmare that will not follow him forward. The text of the
speech is here
.

Senator Obama clearly didn’t want to give this speech. But give it he must,
so he unwound his feelings about Wright, Trinity Church, but also utilized this
opportunity to let people know that through the campaign the subject of race
has been a burden for everyone. Obama opened up, even as he did it tightly,
the dread of the moment palpable as it was political. Even Iraq made it in.

But will Obama’s speech today resonate deeply enough? Or will it disappear
in an age of YouTube inundation, which is much louder than any civil rights
outreach?

Beyond the primary and political realities, my personally hope is that a new
conversation begins, instead of a rehash of the past. But it has to go both ways, as Wright’s presence hovers
over the debate. It is a new century and the hatred and animosity held over
from the 1960s has got to be released, including from Trinity Church.


“We have listened and watched as the wonderful work of our church has
been vilified this week. … “This week should be special for us because
I guess we know a little something about crucifixion.”
Rev. Otis Moss
III
(current pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, delivered Palm
Sunday, 3.16.07)

Senator Obama gave a speech today that is larger than politics, but it in no way ends
his political challenges. The national wound of race Barack didn’t want to touch is now reopened nationally and in the spotlight again. While his campaign wants to move on, the country will not, because everyone will be talking about race, through the invitation of Obama’s speech today. A powerful political candidate has now become what he’s been trying to avoid, a civil rights symbol, however reluctantly he takes on the role.

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