Listeners React to the Barack Obama Speech
ALISON STEWART, host:
Big news going on in the world today, the Bryant Park crowd is heating up our blog. A lot to say about Obama's speech yesterday. Our web editor Laura Conaway is here to tell us a little bit more. You found something very interesting in our Twitter feed. I should say, Krista found us.
LAURA CONAWAY: Krista found us. Her name is Krista Summit (ph). She lives in the research triangle area of North Carolina, that's around Raleigh, and you might know her on Twitter as KristaSphere (ph). She went to this church with Reverend Jeremiah Wright from 1988 to 1993 in Chicago, Trinity United Church of Christ, and she has some very interesting things to say about the Reverend. She's a real fan of Reverend Wright, but she understands how he might sound to outsiders.
Ms. KRISTA SUMMIT (Caller): If you look at it from an alien point of view, it's probably frightening, you know? Whereas those of us who, A, have either been in a black church, or B, have been a member of Trinity who go, yeah, that's Jeremiah, and I could say it's shocking, not the way I would express it, but I think he's, you know, the best (inaudible) in the country. I mean, bar none, I mean, the man has two masters, an earned Ph.D., speaks seven languages. I mean, he's just awesome.
STEWART: So she's saying the person you see in the soundbites isn't necessarily the person he is.
CONAWAY: Yeah, and one of the things that she goes straight to when you talk to her is this idea that some people equate the patriotism of African-Americans, and they say, well, if you're angry about discrimination in America, then maybe it means that you don't really want to be American, and she just she goes right at it and she says that's just not a fair reading of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
Ms. SUMMIT: I'm hoping that maybe a few people who might have thought this guy doesn't consider himself part of America would say, yeah, this guy does consider himself, he wants to be a part of America, but he doesn't feel necessarily that America wants him to be there, or wants him to be a full part.
CONAWAY: So she wrote a piece a while back for her own blog about her time at Trinity with Reverend Wright. I'm going to throw that up on the blog, and the rest of the interview. It's really interesting. Check it out.
STEWART: And we suggest that people who don't have that point of view weigh in as well.
CONAWAY: Bring it on.
STEWART: There's a lot of people who just can't get their heads around it, and don't think he's a good guy. So...
CONAWAY: You're welcome to talk about it with us.
STEWART: Laura Conaway on our blog, our web editor, I should say. And stand-in newscaster this week. Doing a fine job, by the way.
CONAWAY: Thank you.
STEWART: Laura, thanks. Hey, that's it for the Bryant Park Project for this hour, anyway. I'm Alison Stewart. It is the last day of winter, and it is March 19th, not the 20th, but, you know what? I'm still holding on to that horoscope. Enjoy your last day of winter. This is the Bryant Park Project from NPR News. I have some ladders to climb and places to conquer.
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