Obama Encourages America to Break “Racial Stalemate”

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., speaks about race during an address in Philadelphia, Tuesday, March 18, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
By  | 

Philadelphia (AP) Barack Obama, standing before a row of eight american flags near the building where the declaration of independence was adopted, has urged the nation to break “a racial stalemate “ he says “ we've been stuck in for years.”

The speech was Obama's most prominent airing of racial issues of his campaign and follows attention focused on explosive statements by his long-time pastor and mentor.

He acknowledged real anger generated by the nation's troubled racial history and he said that unless it's understood the chasm will widen.

In an interview for tonight's ABC's “nightline” Obama says he knew he'd have to give a speech on race but didn't expect it come up the way it did. It follows a firestorm of controversy because of sermon comments on race by his former pastor.

Obama, who is bi-racial, says perhaps he can “lend some special insight into the issue.”