Department - Author 1

Communication Studies Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BA in Communication Studies



Primary Advisor

Bernard K. Duffy


During the 2008 Presidential Election, Democratic candidate Barack Obama faced political controversy surrounding his pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Videos surfaced on ABC News of Wright making racist and anti-American statements during his sermons. Obama who had strong ties to Wright over many years was criticized for his relationship with Wright. Because of their connection, Obama's political success was tied to his association with Wright. In a speech titled "A More Perfect Union", Obama makes an Apologia or defense for himself, and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Addressing the Kategoria or attacks made against himself and Wright, Obama uses the speech to focus on the much larger issue of race relations in America. Painting Wright with a much broader stroke, Obama shows that the media's portrayal of Wright is limited. While acknowledging the comments made by Wright, Obama gives a broader context for Wright's ideology. In making a defense for Wright, Obama is simultaneously creating a defense for himself. In the speech, Obama deals with the realities of racial inequalities and injustices that Wright is fighting against. Obama also seeks to transcend race, uniting the country around common goals. While recognizing the importance of race in America, Obama calls to make more perfect our union by working towards the shared visions of hope this country has.

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Rhetoric Commons