Obama Readies Major Speech on Race

Will respond today to furor over Wright's inflammatory remarks
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2008 6:56 AM CDT
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., left, shown here with his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, March 10, 2005.    (AP Photo/Trinity United Church of Christ)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama will deliver a major speech on race and politics in America in Philadelphia this morning. The candidate will address the racial issues that have dominated the campaign in recent days, fueled by the firestorm over the divisive remarks of Jeremiah Wright, Obama's former pastor. An aide told the Chicago Tribune that the Illinois senator's speech will be "very candid."

Although Obama has distanced himself from Wright's remarks, he thinks the media is painting an inaccurate picture of the preacher. The candidate told PBS yesterday that Wright's generation and his own have different understandings of race in America, and that "I'm not sure that we benefit from continuing to perpetuate the anger and the bitterness." Obama didn't answer questions about his understanding of Wright's teachings, but he promised they would be fully covered today.