That we may have different stories but we hold common

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that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction * towards a better future for our children and our grandchildren. ’’ In Allen s terms, this is a union that aspires ‘‘ to the coherence and integrity of a consolidated but complex, intricate, and differentiated body. ’’ 25 This vision of a single entity composed of differentiated parts strains against cultural norms of unity and commonality. Obama describes these norms in terms of his campaign, noting ‘‘ the temptation to view my candidacy through a purely racial lens, ’’ a one-sided tactic that would fragment his doubled image into separate racial halves: ‘‘ some commentators have deemed me either too black or not black enough, ’’’ and ‘‘ the press has scoured every single exit poll for the latest evidence of racial polarization, not just in terms of white and black, but black and brown as well. ’’ But it has been only ‘‘ in the last couple of weeks that the discussion of race in this campaign has taken a particularly divisive turn. ’’ Specifically, he condemns Wright s comments as being too narrowly single minded and as therefore fomenting division. Wright s comments, in other words, impede the development and deployment of a productively doubled consciousness. The comments were not ‘‘ simply controversial, ’’ Obama says, but presented a ‘‘ profoundly distorted view of this country * a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America. ’’ 26 Obama acknowledges that ‘‘ if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television sets and YouTube . . . there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way. ’’ In other words, were Obama himself informed by only a single perspective such as that supplied by the media, then only a single and predictable reaction would be available to him. ‘‘ But the truth is, ’’ he points out, ‘‘ that isn t all that I know of the man. ’’ Obama does not directly refute the one-sided perspective of Wright ‘‘ being peddled by some commentators, ’’ but instead places it alongside a second perspective, complicating the picture without making an effort to resolve the two portrayals. ‘‘ The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, ’’ Obama says of Wright, ‘‘ a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor. ’’ Obama s doubled consciousness is reinforced as he describes the congrega- tion at Trinity United in a series of balanced pairs: ‘‘ Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety *

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