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Obama's Speech: A message of unity

La Opinin, Editorial, Posted: Mar 20, 2008

Editor's Note: An editorial in the Spanish-language newspaper La Opinin argues that Barack Obama's speech on race shows that he is a different kind of political leader. La Opinin, the country's largest Spanish-language newspaper, endorsed Barack Obama in the Democratic primary.

The thorny issue of race relations is rarely addressed in depth by politicians, and even less by candidates fearful of alarming potential supporters. In this instance, Senator Barack Obamas speech in Pennsylvania was further evidence that he is an unusual politician and the right person for the presidency in these times.

Obamas talk was a response to concerns about controversial sermons of Pastor Jeremiah Wright, an influential religious leader involved in the life of the Illinois senator. Obama distanced himself from the strongest rhetoric but, in defense of the pastor, recalled that racism is alive among us in the form of stereotypes and frustrations. Sometimes, for lack of clear explanations for problems, people cast blame on another race or ethnic group.

Racism has a long and tragic history in the United States. And, while legal discrimination is now part of the past, more subtle yet no less unjust sentiments and resentments live on.

His origins and multicultural life experience give Obama the knowledge and authority to point out that racial divisions are an obstacle to better schools, a more accessible healthcare system, and other changes necessary in our society. Beyond the obvious differences, many social and economic challenges facing whites, African-Americans, Latinos, immigrants and others are similar. Obamas message is a call of unity for a common goal of a more just and equitable society for all.

We support the senator because he is direct and represents real change. He is a unifying force and, fundamentally, he is a different kind of political leader. His vision of race relations confirms this.

Related Articles:

La Opinin Endorses Obama and McCain

Latino Voters Look Beyond Race-Gender Dichotomy

How Clinton Won Texas: Hispanic Media Weigh In

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