Sunday, March 23, 2008

Why Did Barack Obama Have To Give A Race Speech?

I watched the Roundtable discussion segment on the This Week with George Stephanopoulos television program on ABC this morning. You can watch it here.

While watching the discussion about Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama’s “race” speech I began thinking about how white-centric the United States is. White is the norm and everything else is judged from that norm. I’m not saying this is the way it should be, I’m saying that this is the way it is. This is wrong. White people seem to think that they are the standard, and that other races are the deviation from that standard. White people tend to forget that they belong to a racial group when they think of their identity. If Black Americans are African-Americans, Indians are Native Americans; what are white Americans? They are most often, simply Americans. This is what I mean by white-centric.

The attitude that seems to be expressed from all the discussion of the Obama/Wright situation is that Obama HAD to make this speech. This means that Obama is being held to a different standard because of his race. If you don’t believe this, then ask yourself why George W. Bush has never HAD to give a “race” speech. Ask yourself why John McCain doesn’t HAVE to make a “race” speech. Ask yourself why Hillary Clinton doesn’t HAVE to make a “race” speech. Why is Barack Obama being held to a different standard?

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