After mostly avoiding the issue of race during his campaign, Barack Obama chose the controversial topic to be the thrust of an address this morning in Philadelphia. The highly-anticipated speech comes on the heels of racially-charged statements by Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, comments that the Senator spent the weekend distancing himself from.
In the address, Obama said that being the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas is "a story that hasn't made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts-that out of many, we are truly one."
In addition, he said, "race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now."
Bookending his speech with a discussion of the Constitution-a document "stained by this nation's original sin of slavery" and signed in Philadelphia-Obama at last took on the elephant that's been hanging around the room during the entire campaign.
The Huffington Post has the full text of the speech available.