Speech Sparks Candor on Race

Churches, advocates, universities say race taboos have been lifted
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2008 3:44 PM CDT
Michelle Obama, wife of Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., listens to her husband speak.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – While a verdict on the political wisdom of Barack Obama’s race address might be months in the coming, the speech has sparked a national conversation on the topic, the New York Times reports—with universities, churches and TV commentators chiming in. The Tuesday speech is the top video on YouTube; one pastor called it a “Rorschach inkblot test” for national feelings on race.

Barbara Walters proclaimed on The View, “Finally we can talk about” race “without being afraid we are offending” anyone, and co-host Whoopi Goldberg said questions “that we tiptoe around” are now on the table. Even Fox’s Bill O’Reilly found much to admire, the Times reports. Students expressed excitement to return from spring break and dig in on formerly taboo topics.