Derrick Ashong on CNN.com Responds to Obama Speech (also in NYT)


cross-posted to Jack & Jill Politics

I'm just so proud of my folks. Yall remember Derrick from the now-infamous (900,000+ views) set of YouTube videos featuring him discussing Obama. This past Monday, the NY Times business page featured him on the front.

Today, CNN.com has his response to the Obama speech. An excerpt:
Like many Americans I watched Sen. Barack Obama deliver his speech titled "A More Perfect Union."

I watched in a state of minor shock, not so much at the deftness with which he defused the sophomoric conflation of his call for national unity with the inflammatory rhetoric of the retired head pastor of his church -- a conflation that would imply that we must each swallow whole the entirety of views expressed by our friends and associates.

It was not his repudiation of small thinking that struck me. It was the fact that here we had an American politician speaking with both candor and compassion about the proverbial elephant in our national living room.

Race is an issue that continues to confound this country. It is an undercurrent that paints our description, understanding and valuation of people in American society whether spoken or not. It is the subtext that places NBA star LeBron James and Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen on the cover of Vogue, in uncomfortable caricature of brute and ingénue.

It is in the minds of some the very reason a person of color would even be considered a serious candidate for the presidency of the nation -- never mind that three centuries into the American experiment there has been to date, only one such person.

More Derrick Ashong. Less Pat Buchanan!

Be sure to check out the closing line. It echoes what I've been saying for some time, which is that in most elections it's the candidates being tested, but this time around, it's America that's being tested. Will we pass or fail?

Follow Derrick's Take Back The Mic initiative, and see the resulting winners on health care.