Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Barack Obama Addresses Questions of Race & Rev. Jeremiah Wright in Philadelphia March 18, 2008

For the archives:
Interactive video and transcript of the Illinois Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate's speech from the New York Times.









Endnote I:
The response of Rev. John H. Thomas, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ, the religious denomination to which Senator Obama and Rev. Jeremiah Wright belong, to the recent controversy over some statements made by Wright's as pastor of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, Sen. Obama's home church can be read here, along with responses from some UCC members to both Thomas and Wright.

Endnote II:
Video of an address by Rev. John H. Thomas honoring Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright's ministry at Trinity UCC on Sunday, February 24, 2008. This video also appears at the end of the above-linked statement by Rev. Thomas on the UCC website.



Endnote III:
As has been pointed out elsewhere, and in Rev. Thomas's comments the United Church of Christ is a predominantly white religious organization and Trinity is one of the few predominantly African American churches among its membership. It is also reported to be the UCC's largest congregation.

Endnote IV:
Rod 2.0 notes the ill-advised release of the 1998 photo of Bill Clinton and Rev. Wright to the media by the Obama campaign, and links to the NYT response commentary by Kate Philips. This is disappointing given Obama's words about conceding to a politics of division:

"For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism...We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, 'Not this time.'"
Faith is not a facile achievement, but I definitely want to see a candidate who can hold to a committed faith in her/his own beliefs, particularly the ones to which he/she asks me to ascribe and share.

Endnote V:
Fox News and ABC News soundbyte excising of selected sermons by Rev. Wright.
Again for the archives, and not because I support the soundbyte analysis methodology (30 seconds or less from a likely 30-40 minute sermon) engaged by these media outlets and others.

Endnote VI:
From Kalamu Ya Salaam's e-drum, Jon Stewart's post-Obama speech commentary on the Daily Show (to quote Ya Salaam: "watch the whole thing.")

May we each know "a more perfect union" in our respective lifetimes.

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