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Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Obama Speech Reactions Trickle In

Thomas Sowell:

Among the many desperate gambits by defenders of Senator Obama and Jeremiah Wright is to say that Wright's words have a "resonance" in the black community.

There was a time when the Ku Klux Klan's words had a resonance among whites, not only in the South but in other states. Some people joined the KKK in order to advance their political careers. Did that make it OK? Is it all just a matter of whose ox is gored?

Christopher Hitchens:

Looking for a moral equivalent to a professional demagogue who thinks that AIDS and drugs are the result of a conspiracy by the white man, Obama settled on an 85-year-old lady named Madelyn Dunham, who spent a good deal of her youth helping to raise him and who now lives alone and unwell in a condo in Honolulu. It would be interesting to know whether her charismatic grandson made her aware that he was about to touch her with his grace and make her famous in this way. By sheer good fortune, she, too, could be a part of it all and serve her turn in the great enhancement.

Greg Rodriguez:

In some ways, Barack Obama's speech on race last week was as brilliant as it was nuanced. But for all its rhetorical beauty, it was also an enormous step backward and, in the end, a rather self-serving call for more discussion about racial grievance in a country that has already done way too much talking.

Until last week, so much of Obama's appeal lay in the fact that he was not asking us to talk about the racial divide. Instead, he offered himself as a living and breathing symbol of racial reconciliation; his very origins pointed to the goal of unity and, from his own account, created in him a desire to bring together opposing sides.

Jonah Goldberg:

It all seems so otherworldly. I feel like one of the last humans in an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" movie in which all of the pod people are compelled by some alien DNA to pine continually for yet another "conversation" about a topic we've never, ever stopped talking about. And if I just fall asleep, I too can live in the pod-people's dream palace, where every conversation about race is our first conversation about race. Snatching me from any such reverie was this masterful understatement from Thursday's New York Times: "Religious groups and academic bodies, already receptive to Mr. Obama's plea for such a dialogue, seemed especially enthusiastic."

Indeed, didn't Al Gore and Bill Clinton talk about the need for a national dialogue on race? By which, of course, they meant that whites were to shut up except when it came time to acknowledge that yes, indeed, they were racists.
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