Quote: “The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.” Barack Obama in his race speech.
Figure of Speech: enantiosis (eh nan tie OH sis), the figure of contraries. From the Greek, meaning “opposite.”
Figaro apologizes for his tardiness, a combination of constant travel and software problems. (Does anyone know how to send group opt-in emails?) But you knew he would talk about Obama’s Big Speech eventually, didn’t you?
Thanks to his “God damn America” preacher, the Dems’ leading candidate has to walk a wobbly line between loyalty and disavowal.
To his figurative credit, Obama manages to walk both sides of the paradoxical line with instinctive use of an enantiosis, a figure that lists a series of contraries side by side. (“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”) It’s a wonderful way of showing the other side of a tarnished coin. In Obama’s case it implies that his personal loose canon blesses America—when he isn’t damning it.
Still, with preachers like him, who needs ministers?
Snappy Answer: “Is there one black experience?”