It was a rare scene in Iowa: an audience that included a large percentage of minorities.
After a two-day swing through western Iowa, Sen. Barack Obama held a forum on urban issues at a Des Moines high school, packing the gymnasium with 500 Iowans of every variety. He fielded a series of questions that touched on race - not a common topic in this overwhelmingly white state, and one that Obama, by his own measure, views from a rare perspective.
In one exchange, the Illinois senator tackled the steep obstacles faced by inner city youth. He said he would dispatch nurses or social workers visit "at-risk parents," to "meet with them and talk to them about you've got to read to your child...Here's how you talk to your child. Don't tell them to shut up. Let them ask questions, that's what children do."