Monthly Archives: June 2008

John Yarmuth Hits Race Head On

Last Friday night I attended the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. This dinner happens the night before the state Democratic convention, and usually consists of your standard political speeches: lots of jokes about Republicans, lots of calls for hard work and unity, and lots of cheerleading. The usual rubber-chicken fare.
This time, though, Congressman John Yarmuth — former independent newspaper publisher and long-time editorial writer not afraid to speak his mind — decided to skip the empty calories of political rhetoric and lay out a banquet course rarely seen in such settings: a speech on Democrats and race, served with passion and purpose.
When he started, you could feel the tension build. You could almost hear the 1,000-plus attendees thinking, “This wasn’t on the menu.” And then, “… oh my, he’s really going to talk about it.”
John Yarmuth called out the elephant in the room, and it wasn’t the Republicans. Ignoring the silence one could cut with a knife, he kept going.
You keep going over the fold, and I’ll share how it turned out.
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