Sunday, January 20, 2008

Obama Calls for Unity on Martin Luther King Day

Barack Obama spent his Sunday in church calling for unity as America deals with its problems. In front of a packed house, the Senator stated that "none of our hands are clean" as it pertains to racial divisions.

Obama was speaking at Ebenezer Baptist Church the day before the Federal Martin Luther King Holiday. He based his speech on a famous quote by King that "Unity is the great need of the hour."

"The divisions, the stereotypes, the scape-goating, the ease with which we blame the plight of ourselves on others, all of that distracts us from the common challenges we face: war and poverty; inequality and injustice," Obama said. "We can no longer afford to build ourselves up by tearing each other down. We can no longer afford to traffic in lies or fear or hate. It is the poison that we must purge from our politics; the wall that we must tear down before the hour grows too late."

The next Democratic Primary will be held in South Carolina on Saturday, and this is the first state with a large percentage of black voters. Some argue that Obama needs a strong victory here in order to remain in the fight with Senator Hillary Clinton.

In Nevada, Obama lost to Clinton in spite of having 83% of the black vote. The biggest concern for many Obama supporters is that the recent spat over Dr. Martin Luther King identified Obama as "The black candidate", leading to a decline of white support.

Some African Americans were originally skeptical over whether Obama had the ability to defeat Senator Clinton. However, his win in Iowa, which is predominantly white, gave voters a great deal of confidence. His black poll numbers jumped dramatically after this win.

"I understand that many of you are still a little skeptical," Obama said Friday night in Las Vegas. "But not as skeptical as you were before Iowa. Sometimes it takes other folks before we believe ourselves."

"We had to fight, bleed and die just to be able to vote," the Rev. Raphael G. Warnock said while introducing Senator Obama. "Now we can select presidents, and now with credibility and intelligence and power, we can run for president."

Obama mentioned the fact that there have been some divisive issues in his campaign recently. "Last week, it crept into the campaign for president, with charges and countercharges that served to obscure the issues instead of illuminating the critical choices we face as a nation. None of our hands are clean," he said.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, both realizing the destructive nature of their public spat, called a truce on the issue last week. But the problems are still present, yet beneath the table.


Anonymous said...

I don't think Obama just recently became the "black candidate". However, the Clintons just realized that he could indeed be the first "black president"!! This is threatening to smash Bill Clinton's legacy as the first black president and his claim to ownership of African Americans. Be clear, own the dream of our people and Dr. King and stop allowing ourselves to be owned by a false legacy.

Anonymous said...

Action is louder than words. This is still America. America that is a descendant of Great Britain who has never had a black/woman prime minister. Considered women as property and blacks 3/5 of a person. We had to have Amendments and more importantly the CRA of 1964 and VRA of 1965 to even give women and blacks the right to vote and basic civil rights. Ok, I know many are not privied to history. But, don't be fooled. Politics is tough. If you can't take the heat, get out of the freakin kitchen. Obama can't have it both ways, talk form over substance and then call unity. Clintons did attack the facts of his record and were effective in pointing out his wishy washy stance on the Iraq War (and subsequent bills) as well as what collective effort it took to pass the important legislations in 1964 and 1965. He has to know this would happen and unfortunately his inexperience is showing in politics.