Skip to comments.Obama's Speech Leaves a Few Question Marks(Charles Krauthammer)
Posted on 03/20/2008 11:27:51 PM PDT by kellynla
WASHINGTON -- The beauty of a speech is that you don't just give the answers, you provide your own questions. "Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes." So said Barack Obama, in his Philadelphia speech about his pastor, friend, mentor and spiritual adviser of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright.
An interesting, if belated, admission. But the more important question is: which "controversial" remarks?
Wright's assertion from the pulpit that the U.S. government invented the HIV virus "as a means of genocide against people of color"? Wright's claim that America was morally responsible for 9/11 -- "chickens coming home to roost" -- because of, among other crimes, Hiroshima and Nagasaki? (Obama says he missed church that day. Had he never heard about it?)
What about the charge that the U.S. government (of Franklin Roosevelt, mind you) knew about Pearl Harbor, but lied about it? Or that the government gives drugs to black people, presumably to enslave and imprison them?
Obama condemns such statements as wrong and divisive, then frames the next question: "There will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church?"
But that is not the question. The question is why didn't he leave that church? Why didn't he leave -- why doesn't he leave even today -- a pastor who thundered not once but three times from the pulpit (on a DVD the church proudly sells) "God damn America"? Obama's 5,000-word speech, fawned over as a great meditation on race, is little more than an elegantly crafted, brilliantly sophistic justification of that scandalous dereliction.
His defense rests on two central propositions: (a) moral equivalence, and (b) white guilt.
(a) Moral equivalence. Sure, says Obama, there's Wright, but at the other "end of the spectrum" there's Geraldine Ferraro, opponents of affirmative action and his own white grandmother, "who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe." But did she shout them in a crowded theater to incite, enrage and poison others?
"I can no more disown (Wright) than I can my white grandmother." What exactly was grandma's offense? Jesse Jackson himself once admitted to the fear he feels from the footsteps of black men on the street. And Harry Truman was known to use epithets for blacks and Jews in private, yet is revered for desegregating the armed forces and recognizing the first Jewish state since Jesus' time. He never spread racial hatred. Nor did grandma.
Yet Obama compares her to Wright. Does he not see the moral difference between the occasional private expression of the prejudices of one's time and the use of a public stage to spread racial lies and race hatred?
(b) White guilt. Obama's purpose in the speech was to put Wright's outrages in context. By context, Obama means history. And by history, he means the history of white racism. Obama says, "We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country," and then proceeds to do precisely that. And what lies at the end of his recital of the long train of white racial assaults from slavery to employment discrimination? Jeremiah Wright, of course.
This contextual analysis of Wright's venom, this extenuation of black hate speech as a product of white racism, is not new. It's the Jesse Jackson politics of racial grievance, expressed in Ivy League diction and Harvard Law nuance. That's why the speech made so many liberal commentators swoon: It bathed them in racial guilt, while flattering their intellectual pretensions. An unbeatable combination.
But Obama was supposed to be new. He flatters himself as a man of the future transcending the anger of the past as represented by his beloved pastor. Obama then waxes rhapsodic about the hope brought by the new consciousness of the young people in his campaign.
Then answer this, senator: If Wright is a man of the past, why would you expose your children to his vitriolic divisiveness? This is a man who curses America and who proclaimed moral satisfaction in the deaths of 3,000 innocents at a time when their bodies were still being sought at Ground Zero. It is not just the older congregants who stand and cheer and roar in wild approval of Wright's rants, but young people as well. Why did you give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation with precisely the racial attitudes and animus you say you have come unto us to transcend?
“Why did you give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation with precisely the racial attitudes and animus you say you have come unto us to transcend?”
Because Obama is anti-American proven by his refusal to place his hand over his heart during the national anthem and his refusal to wear the American flag pin on his lapel. That’s why.
If he didn’t approve of what Wright was saying, Obama could have & should have picked up and left the “church” twenty years ago and NEVER RETURNED! But he didn’t...
Obama is toast.
Here is the text of the letter I sent to the editor of my paper today. BTW, I hope it appears in tomorrows paper. Obama acually will be giving a speech in my hometown (Salem, OR) tomorrow.
The more I think about Obama and his “historic” “throw Granny from the train speech”, the madder I get.
How dare Barack lecture me about race. How dare he tell me that those of us that were a part of the Reagan Revolution did so because we were racists!!!
Listen Barack, you didn’t give that speech because you WANTED to. You gave that speech because you HAD to. And why was that Barack? I’ll tell you why! It was because you sat under the teachings of a rabid racist for 2 DECADES!!!! You Barack! NOT me!
Don’t lecture me. I’ve spent my years as a white mother teaching my kids, in the words of MLK, to judge someone not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. What have you done? You’ve taken your kids and put them under the racist views of Wright only to raise up another generation to hate. Which one of us is the uniter here Barack?
If you can’t stand up to Rev. Wright, how in the world can we trust you to stand up to Ahmadinejad, Bin Laden or Chavez? The answer is, we can’t! And when I think about it, the only difference between YOUR pastor and these guys, are their addresses. ALL of them hate America and Israel and all of them do it in the name of God!
I have judged the content of your character by those whose company you CHOOSE to keep and I find it to be severely lacking! My prayer is that America will do the same in the privacy of the voting booth.
In other words, SCREW YOU Barack and the RACIST pastor you rode in on!!!
“That’s why the speech made so many liberal commentators swoon: It bathed them in racial guilt, while flattering their intellectual pretensions. An unbeatable combination.”
Beautiful! Krauthammer is up there with Steyn as a wordsmith!!
In one sentence he explains all the tears of the DU and dailyKos crowd at hearing the speech. Masochism rewarded.
Yep, Obama Hussein’s rhetoric sounds just like radical muslim rhetoric. Definitely hard to tell the difference.
I thought it was to get rid of Elton John.
‘Then answer this, senator: If Wright is a man of the past, why would you expose your children to his vitriolic divisiveness? This is a man who curses America and who proclaimed moral satisfaction in the deaths of 3,000 innocents at a time when their bodies were still being sought at Ground Zero. It is not just the older congregants who stand and cheer and roar in wild approval of Wright’s rants, but young people as well. Why did you give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation with precisely the racial attitudes and animus you say you have come unto us to transcend?’
....that sentence above is a killer blow...absolutely devestating...
If that last line is part of your letter to the editor, I’m guessing it won’t get published. Keep us posted.
Charles Krauthammer is imho about the sharpest commentator on the block. Hard or impossible to beat.
The government invented AIDS to take our minds off of herpes.
Ummmm ... Senator Obama ... your "statements of condemnation" took 20 years to be made and, if not for the videos seen around the World on YouTube and on news programs, your "statements of condemnation" may never have been made.
You were not fighting racial hatred with your staments. You could have done that at any time in the past 20 years. You were merely saving your political fortunes.
Taken as a whole, your conduct of the past 20 years up to and including the speech has been a "Profile in Cowardice".
Thanks for this post. Krauthammer is great (as well as concise!)
I left that sentence out actually. I had it posted first to another thread and someone suggested that I send it to the editor. I did, but I did have the foresight to leave out that last sentence.
Chuck Hunbanger states the obvious better than anyone.
Once found out as an enabler of racism the frost has gone off the Obama pumpkin.
Recalcitrant sad,silly and sick liberal white guilt along with the historical violence-prone threat of paranoid African-American umbrage are the only two things that can still give Barrack the nomination.Political correctness will then give him the presidency.
Look for Barry X to exploit all three to the max.
Instead of spending all of her time blabbing racist and ethnic bigotry,his grandmother could have taught him some traditional values.
It's absolutely appalling that Obama can stand by and continue to associate with this man. It demonstrates a profound lack of judgement. Who would he appoint to be his advisors and cabinet members? Rev. Wright as Sec. of State? Al Sharpton as Sec. of HHS? Louis Farakkhan as Sec. of Defense? What evidence do we have that his administration would not include people like this?