Obama's Challenge — and Ours

His speech on race was a triumph. Now he has to keep telling hard truths

Jeff Zelevansky/EPA/Corbis

Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama speaks at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Penn. on March 18, 2008.

"I can no more disown [the Rev. Jeremiah Wright] than I can my white grandmother," Barack Obama said in the most powerful sentence of his extraordinary speech about race on March 18 in Philadelphia, "a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me ... but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe."

Too often in this campaign, Obama's rhetoric has been gorgeous but...

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