March 18th, 2008
12:03 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama: We can move beyond some of our racial wounds


Watch portions of Obama's speech Monday. (Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday he chose to run for president because he believes "we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together."

Speaking to supporters at Philadelphia's National Constitution Center, the Democratic presidential candidate said he rejected racially charged comments made by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but explained the root of his remarks.

Wright used to preach at the Trinity United Church of Christ, where Obama worships.

Obama said that his belief that all people want to move in the same direction comes from his "unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story."

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (314 Responses)
  1. SONIA

    and ur church gave award to FARRAHKHAN ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


    March 18, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Yankee Dog

    Senator Obama has again shown me why he has my vote. We need his vision to move us forward, and frankly, we need his manner and temperment to heal this great nation after 28 divisive years of Reagan, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush.

    March 18, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. ACE, Denver

    Thank you, Senator Obama, you are a beacon of light for all of us.

    March 18, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Thank you

    An amazing speech and helpful in understanding the situation – I have not decided who support yet – but I am sure from reading the blogs many will only hear the words that support their own way of thinking. Including the media... that is what is sad and frightening

    March 18, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Alex

    What kind of judgment did Obama show by subjecting HIS OWN CHILDREN to hearing "pastor" Wright's messages?! Oh please people wake up! If he can't use common sense to run his own household, how does he begin to pretend to have the good judgment to govern our nation?!

    March 18, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. Audrey

    I thank God for Barack Obama standing up and talking to America. I am a black christian woman who has been in some of the same situations as Obama. I have white people in my family too. If you want to hate others because of thir race or differences in religion...that's up to you, but God condemns it.

    March 18, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Cory

    I'm a white man and a union worker the speech was incredible I was not sure before if I was giving my vote to Hilary or Obama . Obama is definitely the kind of President this country needs to move forward. He really connected with me in this speech. He was very bold and peaceful at the same time.

    March 18, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. SONIA

    AND UR WIFE IS PROUD OF THIS COUNTRY ,,,FOR THE FIRST TIME,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    March 18, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Jeff Dallas

    I didn't buy his speech.

    Spending 20 years being preached to with such hate rhetoric does not make for a President.

    I wish I could take back my vote.

    New voters beware. Check the merchandise carefully. Just like you do when you go to Big Lots

    March 18, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. Adam FL

    No more speeches!!

    March 18, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. Rob

    If you listened and didn't 'hear' – these were not just words but history, there is a true opportunity now to sincerly bring a new dialogue to the fabric of this nation

    do not hold on to the past prejudices that too many still believe cannot be altered and look to a better future

    a courageous moment at an important time

    March 18, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. PEGGY





    March 18, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. julia, miami, florida

    one of the most positive speeches i have ever heard. Well said President Obama!!!! You have my vote. not that i ever lost faith in you

    To the "Obamahaters" - think about whether or not you should be accountable for everything your peers say??? What about Clinton and McCains controversial religious leaders.... sigh.... only in America.

    Obama – i tip my hat to you for rising above the pettiness. You have manned up to some serious historical problems and I respect you for it.

    March 18, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. Denise

    There will always be racists, and many of them are on this blog. They will never change.

    March 18, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  15. Devo-Mar

    I agree with President Theodore Roosevelt and his speech:
    Addressing the Knights of Columbus in New York City
    12 October 1915
    I would like to know if Senator Obama considers himself a Hyphenated American (Affican-American).

    March 18, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. aliou salam

    Obama 08. You will be my president .

    March 18, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. xtina

    Even if we completely disregard Pastorgate from consideration, how can we trust someone whose judgment includes close ties and deals with Tony Rezko? Last week Barack Obama finally admitted he made repeated lapses of judgment in being so close with Rezko. He had said in late 2007 that he didn't do anything wrong. How can we trust him now to do anything for our country when he can't even conduct himself honorably ?

    March 18, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. Independent in DC

    And Obama said he was in church and witnessed Wright making controversial comments. He never retracted his original claim that he WAS NOT in church when the specific comments that have been looped over the news for the past week were I swear people just hear whatever they want to hear.

    March 18, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  19. Shirley

    I think most of the people that are voting for Obama don't see the real picture. They just want a change but he is the wrong change for America. They don't see the real Obama but he will come out soon enough...

    March 18, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  20. GO HILL!!!!!


    March 18, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. Hellen

    The sins of hate are a two way street-hatred is voiced by white, black, brown, male and female. Racism, sexism and discrimination will only be beaten back when all of us start to speak of not what you must do, where 'they' have failed but what 'we' can do. less

    March 18, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  22. PEGGY

    SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW ,,,,,,,,,

    March 18, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. Darth Vadik, CA

    How amazing is this guy, he can reduce the tension in the room automaticaly.

    I am still amazed at some of the Hillary fans saying he's a liar, a man who has put everything out in the open, from his early life drug use to the comment of his reverend (NOT HIM, HIS REVEREND)... the same time you have someone, who her whole life has done stuff behind closed doors, Hillary, who you think is more honest than Obama.

    OH MY GOD, talk about being dillusional, all of you belong in the Bush LALA land.

    March 18, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. Dre

    I feel sad for Obama, because the media make it seem like he's a racist which he's not. Obama just want us as American people to come together. We as the people of US let leave race out of this election and vote for the best person as our great leader.

    March 18, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. LINDA


    March 18, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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