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France to Obama's Speech on Race: It's About Time

Categories: Western Europe, France, Democratic Party, Civil Rights & Ethnicity, Globalization

Embruns [1], authored by Laurent Gloaguen, is one of the most read blogs in France. Gloagen highlighted Barack Obama’s speech on race [2]by providing an excerpt from a post by fellow blogger Otir [3]. She wrote the following [4]:

“A chaud, je peux d'ores et déjà dire pour ma part que c'est un discours qui était tellement nécessaire dans ce siècle, et que s'il n'est pas obligatoirement un discours de campagne électorale, il restera, je l'espère de tout coeur, dans les annales de l'histoire de ce grand pays qu'est l'Amérique des Etats-Unis.Il était grand temps d'entendre quelqu'un, avec éloquence certes, et émotion sincère, présenter en toute simplicité toutes les données du problème racial à l'heure d'aujourd'hui, être capable d'embrasser dans un même mouvement l'histoire passée douloureuse, la capacité à changer d'une nation, et toutes les légitimes souffrances, peurs exprimées ou non dites, de toutes les catégories qui constituent les citoyens d'un pays libre. Il y avait fort longtemps que je n'avais pas entendu quelqu'un dire avec des mots qui me touchent profondément ce que j'ai toujours voulu défendre et prôner, l'inclusion des différences, le respect des souffrances, et la capacité de résilience de chacun »

« My first reaction is to say that from my point of view, it was such a necessary speech for this century and that even if the speech is not really a typical campaign speech, it will remain in the annals of this great nation that is the United States of America.
It was about time that someone, with eloquence and sincere emotion, presents in simple terms all the factors of the race issue today; that someone can embrace all at once the painful past, the ability to change a nation, the rightful suffering, the expressed and non-spoken fear, all the categories that represent the citizens of a free country. It’s been a while since I have heard someone utter words that touch me so deeply, words that I have always advocated and fought for: the acceptance of differences, the respect for people’s suffering and the resiliency in each and everyone of us.”

Embruns also linked to James Carney’s article on “Obama’s gamble on Race.” [5]
Another popular French blog Superfrenchie [6] notices that US citizens abroad voted massively for Obama [7]. Superfrenchie quotes Christine Schon Marques of Democrats Abroad [8]who states:

“With the U.S. image so badly damaged by the present Administration, American Democrats living overseas were eager to have their voices heard”.

Superfrenchie explains his take on Obama's appeal:

“My guess is that American expatriates view it like I do: he was that rare American politician with the courage, wisdom and judgement to call the Iraq war a mistake before anybody else did. In the poisonous environment that prevailed in 2003, during which pretty much any dissent was labeled treason, that is no small feat.”

Supefrenchie also wonders why the Republican Party does not hold such a primary abroad.