Skip to comments.RACE AND POLITICS (Reinhard)
Posted on 03/20/2008 9:47:04 AM PDT by jazusamo
Barack Obama gave a speech about Jeremiah Wright Jr. on Tuesday. Of course, the Illinois senator couldn't say the speech was about his pastor's nutty and hate-filled rants. He had to pretend it was about more than controlling the damage from ties to his fire-breathing Chicago friend. So he gave an address about "race in America."
It was, as such, a high-sounding affair with some noble phrases ("I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together") that were orated in signature Obama style. But his bid to give a major speech and fit Wright into the grander black-white issue veered from the conventional to the nonsensical. In doing so, Obama minimized the offensiveness of Wright's words and demeaned the views of Americans who don't share Obama's views on welfare, crime, racial preferences and even politics. Only those who already share his liberal views will likely find his words convincing.
Oh, Tuesday's speech included the required condemnation of Wright's "controversial" statements and his "profoundly distorted view of this country." But consider what views Obama equated with Wright's "not only wrong but divisive" words.
"We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro . . . as harboring some deep-seated racial bias," Obama said. "But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. . . . The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country."
Really? Ferraro made the unexceptional point that Obama's race has something to do with Obamania. If he were a white first-term senator with a thin record, he likely wouldn't be getting near the attention he's received. Just as Ferraro wouldn't have been the 1984 Democratic vice-presidential pick if she had been a junior New York congressman.
How is this equal to Wright's words on the treatment of African Americans by our government? "The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strikes law and then wants us to sing 'God bless America.' No, no, no, not 'God bless America,' God damn America . . . God damn America for treating us citizens as less than human."
Obama also sees Wright's words as the flip side of white anger over welfare, affirmative action, reverse discrimination and crime. But how is any of this comparable to Wright's claims that, say, the government "lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color"?
Obama's moral equivalence claims don't settle questions about his relationship with Wright. They raise questions about Obama's judgment.
Obama said he'd been at his church when Wright made "controversial" remarks -- something he denied until Tuesday -- but said "I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed."
Hold on there. "Controversial" is one thing. Hate-filled paranoid rants are something else. Here's Wright four days after 9/11: "We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. . . . America's chickens are coming home to roost."
Obama says he would like us to "move beyond" racial divisions. A swell line. Yet, like his call for bipartisan cooperation, there's no record he's done more than talk about this.
What did he do to lead Wright and his church away from the anger, hate, racial polarization and victimology? Did he ever urge him to change his anti-American ways? Or threaten to leave the church or not send his young girls there if Wright kept up his poisonous rants? Did he protest when Wright gave Louis Farrakhan an award? Did he even give a speech on the topic before Tuesday?
No, Obama attended the church for 20 years, taking in his pastor/friend's "controversial" words. He gave $22,500 to the church in 2006 and made Wright a leader of his campaign's "African American Religious Leadership Committee." No, Obama did nothing until the media forced him to address the Wright mess.
"Race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now," he said Tuesday.
Just words? Yes, just words.
Its not a church it is a cargo cult.
You’re probably correct and I shudder to think of BO possibly being our president.
I’ve been so disgusted with both parties for the past 12 years, that I considered sitting this election out. But if Obama is either the Demon-crat Pres. Candidate or VP Candidate, I will vote for McCain. BO WILL destroy this nation if given the chance to, and half the damn fools will love him for it.
You're right and that's the scariest thing about almost half our population, they'll love our great nation as we've known it to be reduced to a second rate power in the world.