Thursday, March 20, 2008

Obama on Race

The New York Times has the transcript of Barack Obama's recent speech on race in the United States.

I was really impressed by how clearly Obama addressed the issues: the challenge of being "too black" or "not black enough", being considered by some people as an affirmative action candidate, the fact that his background is extremely racially diverse. He admits that he has friends who are more radical than he is, and that he has purposely distanced himself. By addressing issues head-on, he avoids rumours and suppositions.

I believe in the way he speaks about race, and I am encouraged by the way that he makes his faith personal, powerful and active.

I don't have any eloquent additions to the speech, but as a white South African (and Wellesley alum) living in the United States, Obama is the candidate who represents the world I most believe in. He has hopes and dreams that I understand, and speaks in a way that makes me listen.

If he can surround himself with wise advisors and change the exclusive and oppositional stance of the United States towards the rest of the world, I really believe that he may help the rest of the world heal after the various wounds-- to our dignity and to our countries-- inflicted by the United States over the years. If the world becomes more international, then the United States NEEDS to have this relationship with the rest of the world.