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Obama's Speech Analysis: A More Perfect Union

By adwoae Feb 14, 2012 639 Words
Obama’s speech on race
In the 2008 speech titled ‘A More Perfect Union,’ then-senator Barack Obama speaks about the current issues affecting the country. In this forum, Obama discusses the many challenges that were facing the nation heading into the upcoming election. This famous speech would later go on to be called ‘Obama’s speech on Race.’ In a political forum telling stories of racially charged situations, Obama speaks on the need for unity in the nation. While explaining the effects of the racial barriers that exist in communities, he appeals to the American people. Obama does this by addressing the value that they place on being strong as a nation. The former senator starts off his historic speech with a quote from the preamble to the United States Constitution. “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union.” This introductory quote set the pace for an inspiring and motivational atmosphere. Obama then goes on to speak of the founding fathers of America, and their original intent when creating the constitution. He often reminds listeners of the struggle that between is occurring between people of different race and social class. Obama then goes on to encourage his listeners to come together and continue to work towards achieving those goals set out by the founding fathers, forming a more perfect union. When Obama speaks about race, he utilizes very personal situations to gain empathy from his followers. He speaks about his own family, and how race has played a part in their lives. Born the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas, Obama tells of how he was brought up in a very poor neighborhood but still managed to attend some of the best schools in the country. He acknowledges his multiracial family and declares that in any other country his story would never have been possible. Obama then goes on to speak about the controversy behind his relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Wright had come under criticism for comments he made in a sermon. These comments were deemed unpatriotic, and because of his relationship with the Reverend Obama was also criticized. Obama explains that while he does not agree or support all of Wright’s political and social opinions, he has been a good friend for over twenty years. He describes the church experience, and how the experience there has made him a firm believer in unity. When Obama speaks of the church community, he says that “these people are a part of me, and they are a part of America, the country that I love.” When Obama speaks about the relationship between the races, he talks about the disparity between the black and white race. The black person who gave up on their American dream after suffering from discrimination, ending up so worried about one small injustice to see the bigger picture. Or the white person, who has worked hard for the things they have only to be called privileged. These are the people who hear of a black person receiving a free ride because of their race and develop resentment toward African Americans. Obama challenges everyone to work together to overcome all of the racial wrongs of the past. He asks that those same black people accepting the past burdens without making them present burdens. Instead Obama asks that the African American unite with all others and fight for the equal treatment of all races. And to the white community, Obama asks for a more empathetic approach. He says that whites should acknowledge that discrimination has been and still is a real thing in society for the African Americans. Obama asks the white community to take actions necessary to see to it that all races have equality and a fair chance at obtaining the American dream

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