Obama Perfect Union Speech - Contemporary Racism

Topics: African American, Racism, White people Pages: 3 (1070 words) Published: November 19, 2012
Contemporary Racism
President Obama’s speech “A More Perfect Union” was a response to many outbursts made about things that Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s former pastor, had said on issues of racism. The reverend made statements that Obama called dismissive when what the world needed most was unity to overcome the continual racism in the country. Quotes from the Reverend such as “In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01. White America and the western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns” and “Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!…We [in the U.S.] believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God” caused an uproar in Washington. Obama used this opportunity to address race and the problems in the country relating to it. This speech relates to many of the topics we learned about in class regarding race and racism. Obama talks about his family’s background and how various people don’t like him in office for ridiculous reasons such as that he’s “too black” or “not black enough” to be the first black president. They even go as far as to say that he’s in office due to affirmative action. He goes on to talk about his white grandmother and the racist statements she would make, such as that when a black man passes her by on the street she fears him. President Obama’s speech relates to white privilege in the sense that the country has only ever had white presidents and therefore a stereotype has been formed that only the typical white collar, white male deserves to be in office. White people say things like that because they feel like power is being taken away from them and given to black people by having a black president in office. Obama even quotes about white privilege and the power of whites being taken away...
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