Taking Race Head On: A Speech



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Yo, this is Barack Obama. Whassup? I know, I am cool like that.

Today I wanted to talk about race. I feel like I am on my way to becoming the first black president of America. I mean, I am not strictly black. If you do the math, I am half white. My mother who birthed me and who raised me, my grandparents who raised me were all white. My father was black, as in African. But then I am one of those guys, I have blood relatives on all continents, and if you will believe Lynne Cheney, in a few different parties.

Race is for real, but if you have my perspective racial differences and prejudices and divides just come across as so superficial and plain stupid. I would like to believe my face, my diverse background, my open minded perspectives are the future of this country. We are one people. Diversity is a good thing, otherwise they also have skyscrapers in Shanghai, but only our biggest cities can boast of diversity unmatched on earth. Diversity is strength.

Globalization and the internet are here very much to stay. We were once primarily an agricultural nation. Then we became an industrial nation. Overall most people won through that transformation. But while it happened, many people went through a lot of pain. We are now on our way to becoming a full fledged knowledge economy. We have to envision the industries, companies and the jobs of tomorrow. We have been losing the old industrial jobs for decades now. People have been hurting. I am not opposed to the economic transformation that is underway, for it will create more wealth for most people. But I am opposed to not helping people through that transformation.

It does not matter if you are black or white. If you are hurting, you are hurting. I just want you to know help is on its way. In a knowledge economy, human capital is king. You can't imagine a knowledge economy without universal health, without lifelong education. When you move from one job to the next, one career to the next, you should not have to lose your health care. You should be able to take health care for granted, that it will be there as you move about and on on your career paths.

There are many high school graduates who grew up thinking after a certain age your doors to college are permanently shut. That need not be true. It is never too late to take a college course or two. But not everyone will end up a rocket scientist. We are not about to become a nation of Ph.D.s. Many industrial jobs have been unfairly shipped abroad to nations that have gross human rights records, ugly environmental standards, and outright criminal child labor laws. I am a democrat, heart, body, mind and soul. I intend to use trade laws as tools to spread democracy and human rights and environmental renewal across the globe. And we are not just going to create the knowledge jobs of tomorrow, although that we are. We are also going to create the green industrial jobs of tomorrow that people with only high school degrees can hope to hold. Those green collar jobs, by definition, can not be exported.

I am very much for the economic transformation underway that will create more wealth for all of us. But a slice of that future wealth belongs to all of us, equally. We will use that slice to achieve the knowledge economy goals of universal health and lifelong education, and to help people with job retraining so their individual transitions are as smooth as possible.

I do not take the anxieties of the working white Americans or the working black Americans for granted. If I can not address those anxieties as president, I will not be able to tackle chronic poverty in the inner cities, something I very much intend to do.

Our economic anxieties are not white or black, they very much cut across the race lines. To blame the traditionally marginalized groups of people would be cowardice. If we have the guts to face our challenges like they are supposed to be faced, I think we are in a great position to create a win-win situation for most people. This is a new century. We stand at the cusp of a new millenium.

There is not a town in America today where globalization has not already made its presence felt. The thing about globalization is people who work towards achieving natural comfort around diverse people end up making more money. Diversity pays. Diversity fattens your bank account.
We do need to take race relations in America to the next level. Race has to be talked about. Race relations are like a marriage. There is no marriage if there are no conversations.

There is a need to forge a new, positive black identity, one that is not about slavery and segregation, grave historical injustices that can never be forgotten, but then disease can't be identity. The new black identity has to be about digging deeper into our African heritage for its art, music, culture, religion, language, cuisine, and just plain heritage. The new black pride has to be about engineering a total debt relief for Africa. Your African heritage is not about the past centuries, although that it is. Africa is still there, vibrant, alive, very much there. To this day Africa is shortchanged like no other continent on earth. We have to turn things around there. As long as Africa is destitute, in the grip of corrupt dictators, disease, ignorance, black pride in America will always have a sore thumb. We have to make Africa an active part of our black identity in America. The hard work the Africans will do on their own for the most part, but our reaching out can make all the difference.

It is going to be a win win situation, it always has been in the past. Blacks earning the right to vote did not dilute white democracy. China and India doing well economically for the past few decades means we are not in a deep recession today.

We head towards a common future. Our biggest problems and challenges no one country can solve. And so we have to rise up above our old prejudices. That is the only way to create a better future for our children and grandchildren. That is how we will turn this into a more perfect union.

Let's go win this one.

JFK, Obama Parallels: Catholic, Black



In The News

Maoist Ex-Rebels Are Likely Leaders of Nepal Transition New York Times
they appear to have won 217 seats, double that of their closest competitor, the centrist Nepali Congress ..... Prachanda, said he sought to advance peace efforts but could not “renounce every kind of violence,” only what he called “reactionary violence.”
For Obama, a Struggle to Win Over Key Blocs his weakness among blue-collar voters, older voters and white voters. ...... racial attitudes in this country are changing at a breakneck pace ....... “Race is intertwined with a broader notion that he is not one of us” ....... “They react negatively to people who are seen as different.” ...... “Our problem has less to do with white working-class voters,” Mr. Obama told reporters Wednesday in Indiana. “In fact the problem is that — to the extent that there is a problem — is that older voters are very loyal to Senator Clinton.”
Actor Snipes Gets 3 Years for Tax Charges New York Times three misdemeanor convictions of failure to file his income taxes. ...... an unlikely public face for the tax denier movement ..... he had a years-long record of defying the tax laws. ...... Mr. Snipes was indicted in October 2006 for filing a false claim for a $7 million refund (of taxes paid in 1997, before he stopped paying taxes) ...... Since 1986, Mr. Snipes has appeared in more than 50 films, earning at least $103 million, court papers showed, including more than $58 million in the years covered by the indictment, 1999 through 2004.
McCain to New Orleans: Never again The Associated Press
Indiana Primary Likely a Crucial Test in Democratic Presidential Race
Voice of America Clinton has an uphill climb to the Democratic nomination, even with her convincing win in Pennsylvania. ...... until I see a collapse of Obama in North Carolina and a collapse in Indiana, I remain deeply skeptical that she has a path to this nomination ...... Clinton may be able to reduce his margin in the popular vote. ...... a disturbing trend for Obama, his inability to win over working class white voters. ...... roughly 300 remaining uncommitted superdelegates ..... more delegates, more votes and more states ..... it is toughening up Obama ...... no one has entered presidential politics with less experience than Obama ...... "Democrats are still winning the enthusiasm contest, they are clearly winning the [voter] turnout contest, they are winning the money contest, they are winning the congressional recruitment game, and they are also winning the expectations game. McCain's strength in the face of all of this is quite impressive"
Youth vote growing, supporting Obama Boston Globe 70 percent of Democrats ages 18 to 24 favor Obama, compared to 30 percent for Clinton ..... margins were similar regardless of whether or not the voters attended four-year colleges. ..... the upward trend in youth participation in politics has been building since 2000, he said. "This is a lot bigger'' than Obama
Clinton's Win in Pennsylvania Helps Raise Millions in Campaign Funds Voice of America more than $10 million to her bid for the Democratic nomination in the 24 hours after her victory ...... 100,000 donors, including 80,000 new donors ...... Obama rejected Clinton's new method of measuring voter support ...... opinion polls indicate a very close race in Indiana.
Clinton Claims Popular Vote Lead - Sort Of FOXNews
'Gang of Four' could decide Obama's fate after May primaries
Independent John Edwards; the former vice-president Al Gore; the Democratic Party leader Howard Dean; and the House speaker Nancy Pelosi – to intervene after the primaries on 6 May. ...... call on the superdelegates to make a commitment within 10 days .... the submerged racial prejudice of older white voters ....... poorly educated white voters have grave doubts "about a young, inexperienced African-American guy with an Islamic-sounding name and a highfalutin fluency with language". ......... Indiana's population is concentrated in the smaller cities like Gary, where he has a high profile ...... a nine-percentage point victory ..... A big part of Mr Obama's problem is race. The exit polls in Pennsylvania revealed that 20 per cent of voters think race is important and heavily backed Mrs Clinton.
Lingering Doubts About Obama TIME Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Florida--the Big Four that so often decide a presidential election. ...... on four separate primary days has failed to drive Hillary Clinton from the race, each time exhibiting a touch of entitlement and defensiveness rather than a fighting spirit. ....... Obama's college-town and urban strength
The Incredibly Shrinking Democrats George W. Bush has been a historic screwup as President ..... Her campaign had been an assault on Obama's character flaws, real and imagined, rather than on matters of substance. ....... entered the primary as a fresh breeze and left it stale, battered and embittered — still the mathematical favorite for the nomination but no longer the darling of his party. ....... he was "friendly" with an American terrorist who had bombed buildings during the Vietnam era, and that he seemed to look on the ceremonies of working-class life — bowling, hunting, churchgoing and the fervent consumption of greasy food — as his anthropologist mother might have, with a mixture of cool detachment and utter bemusement. ........ you have to get the social body language right if you want voters to consider the nobler reaches of your message ........ most people make their choice on the basis of "low-information signaling" ....... Bill Clinton was the lone Democratic master of low-information signaling — a love of McDonald's and other assorted big-gulp appetites gave him credibility that even trumped his evasion of military service. ......... the relentless vulgarity of its questions, with the first 40 minutes focused exclusively on so-called character issues rather than policy. Obama was on the defensive from the start, but gradually the defensiveness morphed into bitter frustration. ....... Too often, Obama has seemed unwilling to get down in the muck and fight off the "distractions" that are crippling his campaign. ........ as a black man, he wants to send low-information signals that he is neither angry nor threatening ....... "Why aren't you guys wearing pins? Why isn't Hillary?" ...... He seemed fed up with campaigning — as any reasonably sane human being would be at this point — and embittered by the turn the race had taken. ......... I'm not sure that Bill and Hillary Clinton are reasonably sane human beings, at least not when they are running for office: they become robo-pols, tireless and seemingly indestructible. Senator Clinton was on fire in the days before the Pennsylvania primary, as energized as I've ever seen her. ........ She had embraced the shameless rituals of politics, including some classic low-information signals ..... threatening to "obliterate" Iran ...... It helps to be a warrior, for one thing. ...... the only way to reach the high-minded conversation he wants, and the country badly needs, is to figure out how to maneuver his way through the gutter.
Next Stop for the Dems: Indiana Obama slightly ahead of Clinton, 40% to 35%. ...... in March, Indianans gave some $218,800 to Obama's campaign, and $79,600 to Clinton's ..... hoping to connect with nearby Obamanistas ....... His first neighborhood captains meeting drew just 5 people. Last week's drew 160.
Why Do Women Need To Be Perfect? Kim seemed to have everything — a happy marriage, four well-adjusted kids, a well-to-do lifestyle, good health and a trim figure. ..... It turns out that Kim was distressed by the messiness in her house. She told Domar, "Every time I open a drawer or closet and see the clutter, I feel like a miserable failure." ....... your average, everyday woman who feels uncomfortable going to bed if there are dishes in the sink. ...... men on average worry about three things every day, but women on average worry about 12 things every day ....... I have never in my career seen a woman — and I've seen patients who are models and celebrities and such — who would look in the mirror and like everything they saw. What we do, no matter what we look like, is look in the mirror and zero in on the flaws. ....... I've treated a lot of young women in my practice with anorexia and bulimia. That's a pathological need to control one's body. ........ When she comes home, she looks right past the fact that the kids are fine and she focuses on his unshaven face and the pizza boxes in the garage and the laundry. She knows she's wrong but she can't help herself. She worries her husband is going to leave her for somebody who loves him for who he is and the fact that he doesn't drink and he doesn't beat them and he brings home a good paycheck. So I think it can be toxic in a relationship. ........ jotting down what that day you are grateful for, can have very significant positive impact on your mental and physical health
Somalia Takes a Turn for the Worse foreign reporters and volunteers have been held for ransom by gangs, to the south, where they've been executed to show the low regard their Islamist captors have for the West. ....... the 17 years since it last had a functioning government ...... ecent fighting, and especially the latest in Mogadishu, are signs that Somalia is entering its bleakest chapter yet. ....... fundamentalist fighters will capture a town in a lightning raid and then retreat, more to show off their muscle than anything else ....... the al-Shabab, a band of mostly young men who adhere to Taliban-style Islamic codes. ...... the civilian suffering that has made Somalia one of the world's greatest and most ignored humanitarian disasters.
Clinton Goes After Obama's Strengths CBS News attempting to re-write the presidential campaign narrative using a new two-pronged argument ...... The two talking points - pushed by campaign aides to reporters in conference calls, impromptu gaggles on her campaign plane and by Clinton herself in a round of network interviews, a morning speech in Indianapolis and a call with donors - are intended primarily for the consumption of the superdelegates who will decide the nomination. ......... at the end of March he’d raised $236 million for his campaign compared to $195 million for Clinton and $72 million for McCain ....... After the rally, she told donors on a conference call: “we’ve been just runnin’ on fumes.”
Clinton, Obama each arguing that they are ahead in the popular vote CNN
Clinton Not Too Sleep Deprived for a Debate
ABC News
Top House Democrat denounces Clinton campaign tactics Reuters speculation that Clinton is staying in the race only to try to derail Obama and pave the way for her to make another White House run in 2012. ..... the Clintons know that she can’t win this. But they’re hell-bound to make it impossible for Obama to win” in November
Clinton's Pennsylvania win seen as giving her momentum Xinhua the former first lady "is on a roll." ...... has Democrats wondering, if not worrying, about what role race may be playing

Maoists sweep Nepal polls: final results AFP

For Democrats, Questions Over Race and Electability
New York Times
Clinton ratchets up the rhetoric against Obama
Globe and Mail
Should Obama Play Rougher?
TIME
Clinton wins Pennsylvania Jewish vote with surprising ease Ha'aretz
Fresh Off Pennsylvania Victory, Clinton Raises Millions, Mostly Online
New York Times
Seizing on Primary Win, Clinton Says Tide Is Turning New York Times
Party leaders don't seem to care Clinton has taken the big states San Francisco Chronicle
Obama, Clinton add endorsements Boston Globe

Clinton 'Confident' After Pa. Win ABC News
Analysis: Obama still struggling to win key constituencies The Associated Press
Clinton buys time with Pennsylvania primary win Dallas Morning News
Don't Call It a Comeback: Hillary Clinton's PA Primary Victory
Village Voice
Obama Shifting Focus From Clinton to McCain New York Times
Clinton Clearly Outduels Obama in Pennsylvania
New York Times In his concession speech, he kept the focus on the presumptive Republican nominee, Senator John McCain, a subject Mrs. Clinton avoided in her address. ...... her strong performance among women, older voters and less affluent and less educated voters; among white union members with no college education, she won almost three-quarters of the vote ........ they were having their best night ever in fund-raising online, bringing in $2.5 million in less than four hours ...... her campaign is essentially out of money, with unpaid bills piling up ...... “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran,” she said. “In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.”
Obama congratulates Hillary after Pennsylvania primary loss NDTV.com
Victorious Clinton pleads for cash
The Australian

Obama Site Visitors Redirected to Clinton Campaign Washington Post According to Symantec, someone embedded computer code into a posting on the Obama blog. The content in this case targeted a cross-site scripting flaw (XSS), an exceedingly common type of vulnerability that can be used to automatically redirect Web browsers viewing the affected page to another site.


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