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James Fallows has a good reaction to Obama’s speech in Selma Alabama on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday”. Fallows thinks it may be the best speech ever given by Obama, and I would not easily disagree.

Here’s one quote from near the end of Obama’s speech:

That’s what America is. Not stock photos or airbrushed history, or feeble attempts to define some of us as more American than others.

We respect the past, but we don’t pine for the past. We don’t fear the future; we grab for it. America is not some fragile thing. We are large, in the words of Whitman, containing multitudes. We are boisterous and diverse and full of energy, perpetually young in spirit.

Fallow’s article is a good review, but you should watch the whole (30 minute) speech:



  1. ralph wrote:

    We’ve come a long way since Selma, but it’s hard to gauge whether we’re even halfway where we ought to be by now in light of recent events (Ferguson, the racial video at Univ. of OK SAE frat, another cop killing of an unarmed black teen this past week in Madison). The list goes on. And let’s not kid ourselves about what motivates much of the vitriol aimed at Obama. I’m talking about you too, Rudy.

    Of course, racism and prejudice runs in many directions and takes many forms not only here but globally. Unsurprisingly, for example, the residue of apartheid still runs deep in South Africa more than 20 years later and a resurgence of anti-semitism has been noted here and in Europe. We remain, at least for many of us in many ways, a very tribal and petty species.

    Monday, March 9, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    Amen. I do think we have come a long way, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do much much better.

    Monday, March 9, 2015 at 11:53 pm | Permalink
  3. redjon wrote:

    The best line I’ve heard from the Obama speech so far is (that), “We are strong enough to be self-critical.”

    Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink