Nia-Malika Henderson and Carrie Budoff Brown
It was a year ago today that Barack Obama, then a candidate for president fearing a divisive racial backlash over his pastor, took to the stage in Philadelphia and said it was time to have a new conversation about race.
“We have a choice in this country,” Obama said that day. “We can tackle race only as spectacle — as we did in the O.J. trial — or in the wake of tragedy — as we did in the aftermath of Katrina — or as fodder for the nightly news. ... That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, ‘Not this time.’"
But in the year since that speech — through campaign and convention, election and Inauguration — Barack Obama hasn’t taken part in the discussion of race in America in any sustained way, the way he did that day in Philadelphia to get out of a campaign jam.
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