Re: That Speech


Heard the eulogy in the car on the way to St. Louis, thought it was good.

Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 2:51 PM
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Only listened to the first few minutes so far but I'm pretty sure Obama just told the world that his pubes went gray before the hair on his head.

Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 3:03 PM
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OK, the TMI at the beginning notwithstanding, that was a hell of a speech.

Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 3:43 PM
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Remarkable. Thought the middle third of the speech was the most powerful part.

Transcript here.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 4:03 PM
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Removing the flag from this state's capitol would not be an act of political correctness; it would not be an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers. It would simply be an acknowledgment that the cause for which they fought -- the cause of slavery -- was wrong -- (applause) -- the imposition of Jim Crow after the Civil War, the resistance to civil rights for all people was wrong. (Applause.) It would be one step in an honest accounting of America's history; a modest but meaningful balm for so many unhealed wounds.... By taking down that flag, we express God's grace.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 4:07 PM
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But I don't think God wants us to stop there. For too long, we've been blind to the way past injustices continue to shape the present. Perhaps we see that now....
Perhaps it causes us to examine what we're doing to cause some of our children to hate. Perhaps it softens hearts towards those lost young men, tens and tens of thousands caught up in the criminal justice system -- (applause) -- and leads us to make sure that that system is not infected with bias; that we embrace changes in how we train and equip our police so that the bonds of trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve make us all safer and more secure.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 4:08 PM
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That really was extraordinary.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 4:35 PM
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Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 4:39 PM
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Also, do we still think the flag coming down was a scapegoat? No? Good.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 4:40 PM
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It seems premature to declare this speech more significant than the Gettysburg Address. But it was good.

Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 4:44 PM
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Once every decade or so I think maybe it's not all hopeless.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 5:24 PM
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2,3 : OK, the TMI at the beginning notwithstanding, that was a hell of a speech song.

Well my friends are gone and my hair is grey
I ache in the places where I used to play

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 5:33 PM
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Worth re-linking. Obama's podcast interview with Mark Maron.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 5:36 PM
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Does someone have a link to an audio only file?

Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 5:43 PM
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Well, I guess it's nice he gets to go out on a high note.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 10:34 PM
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So can a drone and an M16 get married now, as long as they don't do it under a Confederate battle flag?

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 11:03 PM
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Set a course for adventure,
Your mind on a new romance,

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 11:06 PM
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You joke, but thanks to the Supreme Court, criminals can now marry the cops that arrested them, meaning they can never be tried for any crime.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-26-15 11:59 PM
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Posted by: OPINIONATED BRAWNY MATRON IN A WOMEN-IN-PRISON MOVIE | Link to this comment | 06-27-15 12:13 AM
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Thanks for the link in the OP - I've seen the video go past a couple of times in my twitter feed, but I haven't had a chance to watch it yet.

Posted by: antipodestrian | Link to this comment | 06-27-15 1:36 AM
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The church I grew up in was a very very liberal Baptist church in Durham that broke with the Southern Baptist Convention over gay rights back in the 80s and instead worked with the American Baptist Convention which, in NC, meant the three white liberal Baptist churches in Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh, and then a whole bunch of black Baptist churches. So conventions and various gatherings were very much black services. Religion did not, of course, stick with me, but they were always pretty amazing displays of the power of the format and style, compared with the quiet, hands-in-laps services we were used to. Obama rocked that shit.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-27-15 5:28 AM
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13 makes me happy. I haven't yet listened, but I've been a fan of Marc Maron since the days of Air America, and have listened to most of his podcasts. He's an interesting guy, and a good interviewer.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-27-15 7:03 AM
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Bree Newsome climbs the flagpole in Columbia and takes down the flag. Climbs down carefully to arrest, quoting Psalm 27:1. The police appear to take the flag away (evidence?). Really happy-making.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-27-15 8:02 AM
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Black people are really giving Jesus Christ some of the best PR he has gotten in two thousand years.

— Nicole Cliffe (@Nicole_Cliffe) June 27, 2015

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-27-15 8:12 AM
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I watched that eulogy and got whirly-eyed like it was 2008 all over again

Posted by: Knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-27-15 9:27 AM
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Jew question: what is the theological significance of "grace" as employed in the speech?

According to the Christian tradition, grace is not earned. Grace is not merited. It's not something we deserve. Rather, grace is the free and benevolent favor of God.
As manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. Grace -- as a nation out of this terrible tragedy, God has visited grace upon us for he has allowed us to see where we've been blind.
He's given us the chance where we've been lost to find out best selves. We may not have earned this grace with our rancor and complacency and short-sightedness and fear of each other, but we got it all the same. He gave it to us anyway. He's once more given us grace.

Later on...

Clementa Pinckney found that grace...
... Cynthia Hurd found that grace...
... Susie Jackson found that grace...
... Ethel Lance found that grace...
... DePayne Middleton Doctor found that grace...
... Tywanza Sanders found that grace...
... Daniel L. Simmons, Sr. found that grace...
... Sharonda Coleman-Singleton found that grace...
... Myra Thompson found that grace...
... through the example of their lives. They've now passed it onto us. May we find ourselves worthy of that precious and extraordinary gift as long as our lives endure.

It seems as though there's more than one meaning -- an everyday meaning, of graceful behavior and movement, a very literal meaning of "free and benevolent favor", e.g. "God shed his Grace on thee," meaning "He likes us! He really likes us!" and something else that is... not quite beatification or forgiveness? Or maybe this is just my talmudic overinterpretive straining at work.

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06-28-15 8:58 AM
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But by characterizing their reaction as a reflection of grace rather than mere "forgiveness," Obama was able to present it as something much different than patient victimhood


And on throughout the speech. We were blind to a problem; but now through God's grace our eyes have opened; and we can see what we should do. Another example:
For too long, we've been blind to the unique mayhem that gun violence inflicts upon this nation. (Applause.) Sporadically, our eyes are open: When eight of our brothers and sisters are cut down in a church basement, 12 in a movie theater, 26 in an elementary school. But I hope we also see the 30 precious lives cut short by gun violence in this country every single day...

The vast majority of Americans--the majority of gun owners--want to do something about this. We see that now.

If you watch the speech again, note how carefully the "was blind, but now I see" theme knits together its elements. As a matter of composition, this is harder to pull off than you would think. And as a matter of political framing, it may not actually make a difference, but it's as much as a political speech could possibly do to induce people to think about issues in a different way. Appreciate how this approach comes across, versus "you were wrong, we are right."

I think the part that I have the most trouble understanding is "Oh, but God works in mysterious ways... [The killer] didn't know he was being used by God." And there's huge applause. Which feels like exceptionally hollow silver-lining-ism to me, but obviously it's not, and I'm not sure why.

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06-28-15 9:08 AM
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As an atheist, I understood grace to be something that consumes senseless and painful acts of hatred into a bottomless well of love and optimism. So it's less that God wants innocent people to die but more that our love is so strong that it maintains itself even in the face of hatred and suffering.

Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 06-28-15 9:45 AM
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27: I briefly thought to venture an answer, but it would have been lame and useless, so I'll outsource it to Simone Weil.

Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-28-15 10:10 AM
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Una poca de gracia

Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-28-15 10:18 AM
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Le Passeig de Gracia

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-28-15 10:44 AM
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26/27: I grew up in an area that has similar, but not identical religious tradition. Grace in this case is probably best explained as strength and dignity to withstand life's tragedies (think "grace under pressure" or resilience). A combination of forgiveness of sin, promise of eternal life in heaven, solace from grief, and strong faith in god (as a comfort and a good example to others).

27.last: Evangelical Christians find great comfort in imagining tragedies as part of a larger design. A common sentiment (that I don't understand and that turns off a lot of people) when someone dies is "Well, they've gone to their eternal reward, which is part of god's plan, and it's selfish to wish them back to their struggles and trials on earth." People say this earnestly, even to sudden deaths of children. "Part of god's greater plan, even if we can't understand it." I think it helps some people to imagine that senseless tragedy isn't senseless or random, but a design by a loving god who knows best.

I think the last is awful, personally, but if it brings people comfort to believe, I can't object. It's beyond awful, though, as intended "comfort" to folks who either aren't part of this tradition or can't quite make themselves believe in a greater purpose for a loving god to visit them with cruel circumstances.

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 06-28-15 11:19 AM
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So I'm in Greece right now for work. The Greek government just announced all of the banks are closed tomorrow, and possibly for the week. It's very exciting. I've never been on site for a major international crisis before.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-28-15 11:55 AM
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Buy a pack of Twizzlers in case of food shortage.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-15 12:13 PM
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Maybe if we have a Greece thread d^2 will come back (and bring cargo).

Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06-28-15 1:11 PM
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Cargo that complains about people not using a strict definition of "capital controls."

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-28-15 1:18 PM
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