you've never heard a politician talk like this - obama

Obama's speech Tuesday on race is the most straightforward speech I've ever heard from a public official. One small portion on his controversial pastor:

Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety - the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity's services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.

And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. ...He contains within him the contradictions - the good and the bad - of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

And it gets wider, discussing white backlash to affirmative action, and noting that the thing that would help him more politically would be to let this fade. Read the fulltext for faster reading (it's the best about 50-60% of the way through). But you can watch at least part of it to get the tone (although he's a bit bound to the teleprompter in the first eight minutes).


Quick few more links: it's being compared to Kennedy's speech on being a Catholic, Time magazine compiles academic reactions, web traffic about the speech (ironically) is soaring, Sean Hannity's discussion boards are outrageous as usual (Obama is still a muslim), and John Kass even decided it was for real.