This morning, Barack Obama gave a speech on race in America, as response to the flap about remarks by his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. If you didn't see it, you should at least read or better yet, watch it. It was a direct, unflinching look at the background that every black citizen in this country brings to the discussion of race, and a wonderfully hopeful look at how we might move past those divisions to make real progress in healing those wounds in our society.
Obama acknowledged that he had heard Wright say controversial things from the pulpit (though not, as several talking heads have said, those specific remarks that we have seen constantly seen replayed on our TVs for the last week). He observed that the anger in the black community about years of racism and oppression sometimes manifested itself in bitter criticisms of our country, but more importantly, he observed that if we are ever to get past those resentments, we have to be able to talk about them without resigning ourselves to that bitterness.
If I weren't already impressed with Obama, that speech would have been reason enough to want to see this man in power in this country. It was a great speech, and whether Obama's prospects are improved by it or not, he has done his country a great service.