It’s taken almost seven weeks, but Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama has finally distanced himself from his former pastor after a couple of recent speeches. Rev Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s pastor for 20 years, the man who married him and his wife and baptised his children, claimed back in March that the United States had brought on the 9/11 attacks with its own “terrorism” and the government had invented AIDS to kill black people.
Originally Senator Obama denounced his comments as “incendiary” and “completely inexcusable”, yesterday his tone changed, “They offend me. They rightly offend all Americans and they should be denounced. And that’s what I’m doing very clearly and unequivocally today.” Here are a couple of blogs with their own views.
But this goes beyond Rev Wright’s comments. Race, specifically Barack Obama’s race, is an issue that has been bubbling away in the Presidential campaign for weeks now. Looking at exit polls from the Pennsylvania primary, pollster John Zogby said “Let’s not pretend, some of it is race.”
Last weekend Senator Obama admitted that he had to fight harder to win over white working-class voters, who have so far stubbornly stuck with his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
So is Senator Obama’s race hurting his chances of becoming the Democrats’ presidential nominee? Or is it helping, as Clinton supporters have suggested? Is America ready for it’s first black President? Or does race have nothing to do with this contest?
Tell us who’s right.