Confrontado com graves acusações relacionadas com os discursos inflamados do pastor da sua igreja, Barack Obama transcendeu a polémica, transcendeu as divisões raciais, transcendeu a habitual retórica política e fez um discurso de um presidente, de um presidente invulgar. Um discurso de uma geração. Mesmo que não ganhe a nomeação Democrata e/ou as eleições em Novembro, este discurso não será esquecido. Um discurso que foi escrito por Obama (e não nenhum speech writer) e que foi proferido contra a opinião do "staff" da sua campanha. Um discurso que poderá dar a presidência a Obama.
As reacções não se fizeram esperar. De conservadores a Democratas, de brancos a negros, de latinos a asiáticos, os elogios vieram de todo o lado. Os jornais de hoje também estão cheios de elogios. Aqui fica uma amostra do editorial do New York Times (que apoia Hillary Clinton):
"There are moments — increasingly rare in risk-abhorrent modern campaigns — when politicians are called upon to bare their fundamental beliefs. In the best of these moments, the speaker does not just salve the current political wound, but also illuminates larger, troubling issues that the nation is wrestling with... Mr. Obama spoke of the nation’s ugly racial history, which started with slavery and Jim Crow, and continues today in racial segregation, the school achievement gap and discrimination in everything from banking services to law enforcement. He did not hide from the often-unspoken reality that people on both sides of the color line are angry...
There have been times when we wondered what Mr. Obama meant when he talked about rising above traditional divides. This was not such a moment. We can’t know how effective Mr. Obama’s words will be with those who will not draw the distinctions between faith and politics that he drew, or who will reject his frank talk about race. What is evident, though, is that he not only cleared the air over a particular controversy — he raised the discussion to a higher plane. "
Aqui está um extracto do editorial do Washington Post:
"Obama's mission in Philadelphia yesterday was to put the controversy over inflammatory statements made by the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., his spiritual mentor and pastor for 20 years, behind him. But Mr. Obama (D-Ill.) went deeper than that. He used his address as a teachable moment, one in which he addressed the pain, anger and frustration of generations of blacks and whites head-on -- and offered a vision of how those experiences could be surmounted, if not forgotten. It was a compelling answer both to the challenge presented by his pastor's comments and to the growing role of race in the presidential campaign...
Mr. Obama's speech was an extraordinary moment of truth-telling. He coupled it with an appeal that this year's campaign not be dominated by distorted and polarizing debates about whether he or his opponents agree with extreme statements by supporters -- or other attempts to divide the electorate along racial lines. Far better, he argued, that Americans of all races recognize they face common economic, social and security problems. "