Barack Obama delivered an awesome speech today at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the home church of Martin Luther King, Jr.. Here’s a clip:
The full text of Obama’s speech is here.
Lynn Sweet notes:
After a hardball, bitter campaign in Nevada, that cracked open racial rifts, Obama called for unity in his speech; unity was a theme throughout, as Obama and Clinton open up aggresive new fronts in their campaigns as they both hunt for African-American votes. Their challenge is not to divide the Democratic base in their primary fight and make it impossible for a Democrat to win in November.
“Unity, Obama said, is the great need of the hour” Unity is the great need of the hour.. Unity is how we shall overcome. What Dr. King understood is that if just one person chose to walk instead of ride the bus, those walls of oppression would not be moved. But maybe if a few more decided to walk the foundation might start to shake.”
He also told the mainly African-American audience, “And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that none of our hands are entirely clean. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King’s vision of a beloved community.
“If we are honest with ourselves, We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them. The scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community. For too long, some of us have seen immigrants only as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity.”
I thought Obama’s speech was very moving and his call for unity so eloquent. Checking through the discussion on the blogosphere I ran across this which troubled me. Matt Yglesias weighs in Obama’s speech saying, it “is extremely good.” And he notes, “nobody’s ever doubted that he’s a great orator.” But, the “difficulty is that he hasn’t established a policy argument on his behalf that people find compelling.”