artobamaap.jpgWASHINGTON (CNN) — He would surely make history. But would Sen. Barack Obama’s election as America’s first black president transform the nation? Obama says yes. Sen. Barack Obama tells the Urban League that his presidency would unleash a “transformation.” “The day I’m inaugurated, the country looks at itself differently. And don’t underestimate that power. Don’t underestimate that transformation,” Obama told the crowd Friday at the National Urban League convention in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Democrat from Illinois was answering a question about the racial polarization in America. Obama said “race is still an enormous factor in our society. But economics can overcome a lot of racial division.” The Democratic presidential hopeful also said that action, rather than high-minded discussions, is the way to end racial inequality.

Obama said “if we’re doing the right thing and making sure that our young people are going to school, that they’re getting good jobs, that they’re starting businesses, that they’re living in thriving neighborhoods and communities, that will do more to lessen racial tension, division and conflict than any set of roundtables and blue ribbon commissions are going to do.” Two of Obama’s main Democratic rivals, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, and former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, also spoke about racial inequality during the Urban League convention.

Clinton told the crowd that she rejects “a conversation about 1.4 million young men as a threat, as a headache, or as a lost cause. I reject the conversation about 1.4 million disappointments, failures, and casualties of a broken system. That is not who these young men are. I believe it is long past time for a new and different conversation. It is time for America to begin a conversation about 1.4 million future workers, entrepreneurs, taxpayers, community leaders, business executives.”

Edwards addressed affirmative action, saying “I would ensure that my administration was a representation of what affirmative action can be. I would make sure that my administration looks like America, and I mean, from the top to the bottom, all the way through the administration.” Edwards continued, saying “I would ensure that judges that I appointed to the federal bench and justices nominated to the United States Supreme Court believed in real equality and believed in the concept of affirmative action.”

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, also spoke at the National Urban League convention, but no Republican candidates came to the presidential forum. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee met with members of the league at a gathering Thursday night. This is the second forum with a large African-American crowd that the Democratic candidates attended this month. All of the Democrats showed up in Detroit on July 12 for the presidential forum at the NAACP convention.

Black voters are crucial to the Democratic Party. “Nearly nine in 10 blacks vote Democratic, making them the most reliable Democratic voting block in the country” said CNN Pollster Keating Holland. And they’ll play an important role in picking the next Democratic presidential nominee, especially in South Carolina and Florida, two early primary states.

In CNN’s most recent polls, Clinton and Obama are running neck and neck among black voters nationally, though Clinton was well ahead in South Carolina. But it’s still early and many voters haven’t made up their minds. “I’m not feeling that at this point either candidate would be that much of a difference” says Amy Johnson, an undecided black voter in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Source: CNN

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  • stephen brimberry

    i live in albany,ga. and i feel like it’s up to our people now to vote for a president that can sercure our future from terrorist threat and stop this continuing talk that our people are still under the white mans thumb.
    i’m living martin luther king jr. dream NOW.I keep my children more into culture learning experinces then teaching them that white people are out to get us.

    all of us in this country have a right for better schools,homes, jobs and yes FAMILIES that teach the right things in life… Family values is what missing in today society.

  • joseph oliver

    Transformation? What in the worl is he talking about?
    He could be thinking of having churches replaced by mosques. There will be no economic prosperity in the USA until the Middle East problem is resolved. Obama is definetely the wrong individual to become president of the USA at such an improtant time in the history of our country and, in fact, the whole world. From his recent comments anyone can conclude that this man, if he was to get elected president, would eagerly submit to the kinds of Bin Ladden and Al Qaida. To believe that leaving Iraq will resolve the terrorism problem is naive. The United States of America must lead this fight to the end whatever that might be. If we leave the Middle East we will be fighting them here in Washington and elsewhere. Just look at whats going on in Europe (France, Germany, Spain, etc.)

  • RONNIE

    Y DON’T YOU SO CALL PEOPLE NEED TO KRIT SAYING BAD THING ABOUTH OBAMA THIS MAN IS NOW OUR PRESIDENT AN WILL BE LEADING US ALL IN USA OK WHAT ABOUTH BUSH WAS HE ANY GOOD NO BUT WE ALL YOU ALL WHITE PUT HIM IN OVER AL GORE BUT WAS PAD HIS WAY IN AN DID NOTING BUT CAUSE WAR EVERDAY OF HIS LIFE SO OBAMA IS OUR PRESIDENT OF THE USA THANK YOU ALL

  • Johanna

    I dont really understand any of the comments that were written, but race and class are the most polarizing things in our nation that continue to divide us as a nation and we continue to move backwards in these regards as well as many other….GO OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sarah P ;-)

    Obama has a GREAT vision for the future of our country… but he lacks the experience needed to run this country. It’s one thing to lead this country in this country, but how will he lead this country internationally? America has some relationships to nurture and re-build if we’re going to continue on as a successful world leader. And I don’t know if Obama has the ability to do that yet.