Obama to Deliver Speech on Race

Amanda Carpenter

3/17/2008 2:28:40 PM - Amanda Carpenter

Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama is planning to deliver a major speech about race Tuesday.

The speech has been prompted by controversy surrounding sermons delivered by Obama’s longtime friend and pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a scholar of liberation theology.

“I am going to be talking about not just Reverend Wright, but the larger issue of race in this campaign,” Obama told reporters at a campaign stop in Monaca, Pennsylvania.

Conservative talk radio has questioned the influence Wright has on Obama for months, but their relationship became a major issue when ABC News aired a report showing Wright condemning the American government and invoking racial slurs when discussing Obama’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s candidacy last week.

After the report aired, Obama said he was not aware of those specific sermons made by the man he once called his “spiritual mentor.” Wright married Obama and his wife, Michelle, and baptized his two children. One of his best-selling memoirs, “Audacity of Hope” was inspired by one of Wright’s sermons, “Audacity to Hope.”

Wright has since resigned from the campaign’s African American Religious Steering Committee.