If a president’s honesty, judgment and deeply held beliefs about race aren’t important, I don’t know what is. I’m getting a little sick of leftwingnuts telling me that the Wright affair doesn’t matter, its trivia, the media is pushing this and the right is exploiting it, the stupid, racist right etc. etc.
There is no more important issue that cuts right to the heart of the guy’s soul: does he believe what he and his wife have been nodding, agreeing and cheering with in front of their impressionable young daughters all these years?
It might not matter to you, but stop telling me that I’m stupid for believing its important to me. I think you’ll find a majority of Americans disagree with you, and if the shoe were on the other foot with a Republican, he’d have been long ago hounded out of the race.
I’ll bet the Dems wish that could happen in this case. Obama is over as a viable candidate, count on it. Lesser gaffes than this have sunk his predecessors.
I was going to comment and say how hilarious this post was, but I read further and it got kind of sobering, and finally reminded me that actually, more than anything, I’m angry at Barack Obama. He came in with a completely different story, and although I disagree with the guy on almost every policy issue, I have to admit I was sort of excited and not all sorry with the concept that we might elect a black president.
I’m not immune to the criticism that America is a racist country. I don’t like being thought of that way, I’m not that way, and I truly believe I never have treated anyone differently on account of their race, and here was a guy who genuinely seemed to have transcended race, who had rejected the main impediment to a black man being elected: the perception that he harbored great resentment against white people and he would rectify those resentments when in office. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton made no secret of this agenda. That makes them, at least, more honest. I was more than ready to take the guy’s word at face value. I was HAPPY to.
But Obama hasn’t transcended race at all. Right now, and on through this election, and no matter who wins and forever after, he has severely damaged race relations in this country.
Personally, I thought we’d made progress. Call me naive or stupid, I had no idea there were black preachers who held such animosity toward whites, and congregations who would whoop and hollar approval for such animosity. And I never knew such a cynical, devious, calculating man as Obama could rise so fast and come so far with no one finding out the pernicious lies and hate to which he and his wife surely ascribed and were teaching their young daughters, week after week, ensuring the hate would continue through the next generation.
While we stupid, unseeing white people thought things were improving and tensions and prejudices were easing on both sides. Ok, now I know we were wrong. I don’t know how to fix it, or what I’ve personally done wrong, but there is still a boiling pool of racial hatred out there.
I feel like there is a great mass of people in this country to hate my guts because I’m white and nothing will ever change their minds, and there is a gulf between us that nothing I can do can ever change it, and with the way things are going, what will ever break the cycle? If they are teaching their kids that white people invented AIDS to kill black people, how can they ever look at a white face and smile back? How can a member of that church, or any such, not see an evil monster in every white person? How many black people attend a church that teaches as Rev. Wright’s does?
Judging by the cheers at the press conference, there are more than a few. I wonder just how many? All of them? I don’t know, I really don’t.
What the heck is going on? I don’t even know this country, I guess, just like Obama didn’t know his pastor.
I’m angry, I’m hurt, yes, and I’m resentful. I doubt I’m alone. And there’s nothing he can say, no speech he can make that can fix that or make it go away. And I’m plenty pissed off about it, and I shudder than had he pulled it off for a few more months he might have fooled everyone until it was too late.
Far from being unimportant, this is the most pernicious and vile racism possible: to dehumanize and demonize another race so as to make them appear repugnant, repellent and repulsive. To make his black congregate fear, hate and despise white people as enemies who would kill all blacks if they could. To smear an entire race as being greedy, duplicitous, dishonest, violent, murderous and disgusting.
It sounds very much like white supremacist hate-speech that the black community rightly condemns. To me personally, the very worst thing is that Obama attended with his family, with his small children in attendance. If a white politician had to attend clan meetings to discuss how blacks were no better than apes and Jews were related to vermin and rodents, how much more depraved would he be if he took his children as well, to indoctrinate them? I don’t even think Robert Byrd stooped that low.
Make no mistake, Wright was deeply involved in Obama’s formulation of principles, policy and action. He says so himself. Well, he used to, not so much now:
I was struck by Barack Obama’s blaming the press for identifying Reverend Wright as his spiritual mentor or spiritual adviser:
OBAMA: I know that one thing that [Wright] said was true, was that he wasn’t — you know, he was never my, quote-unquote, “spiritual adviser.”
He was never my “spiritual mentor.” He was — he was my pastor. And so to some extent, how, you know, the — the press characterized in the past that relationship, I think, wasn’t accurate.
I had always thought that this notion came from Obama himself. A LEXIS search of news articles tends to indicate that it was Barack himself who so identified Wright, at least initially. But then, of course, perhaps the press repeatedly misreported what Obama told various reporters over the last four years.
Here are some of the news stories I found (all except the last are over a year old):
‘I HAVE A DEEP FAITH,’ Chicago Sun-Times, April 5, 2004
These days, [Obama] says, he attends the 11 a.m. Sunday service at Trinity in the Brainerd neighborhood every week — or at least as many weeks as he is able. His pastor, Wright, has become a close confidant.
Race Against History, The New Republic, May 31, 2004
Shortly before leaving Chicago for Harvard, he had a meeting with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the charismatic black pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, one of the most socioeconomically diverse all-black congregations in Chicago. Obama was taken with Wright’s worldview.
Sen. Barack Obama’s Pastor Frames Progressive Issues Through Lens of Faith, Religion News Service, March 10, 2005
Obama met Wright 20 years ago in the process of trying to get Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ involved in some community organizing he was doing. Ever since, Obama has been a devoted member of Wright’s church. Obama says that Wright is not only his pastor, but he also is his friend and mentor. And Wright is one of the people to whom he turns [to] help him explain how his liberal positions jibe with his faith.
Keeping the Faith, In These Times, February 28, 2005
Wright and Obama developed a close relationship in the intervening years, and Obama counts the Reverend among his spiritual advisers.
There’s many more. And there’s video, of course. Its quite clear Obama is lying out his ass when he says he was unaware of Wright’s beliefs and teachings. And, it appears Obama shared them and based his candidacy on them. Until it became inconvenient to do so. Then he denied and demeaned Wright, just as Obama did to his white grandmother, who raised him, in an act of political expediency. This is a deeply despicable and dishonest man, who would disparage and demean white people by embracing lies and slander designed to prejudice and turn blacks against them, then have the unmitigated gall get indignant and lecture them on race and their intolerance.
At first, Obama downplayed Wright’s public appearances. But Obama now tells us he had to wait 24 hours to convene a press conference to denounce Wright’s National Press Club speech because he “hadn’t seen it.” After all this time on the campaign trail, we’re back to the Obama-as-clueless-naif narrative again. When he finally did view the Washington speech, Obama explained, he was “shocked” and “outraged” and “saddened” because “the person I saw was not the person that I’d come to know over 20 years.”
What a load of pure unadulterated horse manure. Anyone with eyes can see that Wright’s performances are finely honed, time-tested acts. His anti-white, anti-American, “imperialist”-bashing shtick was not developed overnight or over the past few years. He’s been peddling AIDS conspiracies for decades. He’s been grievance-mongering about slavery for decades. He’s been flirting with the Nation of Islam, which provided security for his speeches, for decades. He’s been a shouting left-wing radical for decades.
Obama’s best-selling Audacity of Hope is named after the first sermon of Wright’s that he heard — decades ago — in which the pastor of racial resentment inveighed against an environment “where white folks’ greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere.” Yet, only now has Obama concluded that Wright’s sermons are “a bunch of rants that aren’t grounded in truth.”
That “great speech”, lauded by the media and gleefully and triumphantly embraced by the leftwingnuts as hitting the ball out of the ballpark and finally schooling all us intolerant, redneck racist whities on our fucked up selves, particularly angers me. It was pure, unadulterated bullshit, we now are asked to believe. What other reaction and conclusion can you draw?
What prevented Obama from specifically noting and denouncing Wright’s absurdities in his March Wright speech? A denunciation of the AIDS conspiracy theory would have fit the rhetorical flow just fine. [And let’s add that, per this 2005 RAND study, belief in the AIDS conspiracy leads to decreased condom use, increased risk of HIV infection, and, we presume, increased loss of life. This conspiracy belief ought to be denounced at every reasonable opportunity, since silence equals death. So where was Barack’s leadership in his March 2008 speech, when he was well aware of Wright’s position?]
Instead, Obama contented himself with denouncing statements that were vaguely described as “not only wrong but divisive“. And he recycled his classic formulation, assuring us that “I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy” without risking the public’s ire by detailing just what the controversies were.
But now, in slightly more dire political circumstances, Wright has finally made it possible for Obama to speak the truth about the US government and AIDS. What a relief. And what leadership from Obama.
and also, Obama’s venal reasons for getting his ass up now, when other degenerate utterings by his hero never bothered him before, but by God don’t you blaspheme God’s Only Begotten Black Son, Barack Hussein Obama!:
“And what I think particularly angered me was [Wright’s] suggestion somehow
that my previous denunciation of his remarks were somehow political
And why ever would Wright have thought that? Here is the Pastor of Disaster telling Jodi Kantor of the Times about the circumstances behind Wright’s disinvitation to the Obama campaign kick-off. Her reporting included this:
Mr. Wright said that in the phone conversation in which Mr. Obama
disinvited him from a role in the announcement, Mr. Obama cited an
article in Rolling Stone, “The Radical Roots of Barack Obama.”
According to the pastor, Mr. Obama then told him, “You can get kind of rough in the sermons, so what we’ve decided is that it’s best for you not to be out there in public.”
In his follow-up, Wright unloaded:
I do not remember reading in your article that Barack had apologized for
listening to that bad information and bad advice. Did I miss it? Or did your editor cut it out?
Ms. Kantor also printed the thoughts of the campaign spokesman:
Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, said the campaign disinvited Mr. Wright because it did not want the church to face negative attention. Mr. Wright did however, attend the announcement and prayed with Mr. Obama beforehand.
“Senator Obama is proud of his pastor and his church, but because of the type of attention it was
receiving on blogs and conservative talk shows, he decided to avoid having statements and beliefs being used out of context and forcing the entire church to defend itself,” Mr. Burton said.
The statement itself sounds like posturing; if the explanation offered by Wright is accurate, he had every reason to believe it was. The Obama people had seen this Rolling Stone article which presented an edited version of Wright’s Ten Facts About America. The full list, transcribed by Sweetness (or Light)includes the AIDS conspiracy.
Tom Bevan has lots more about the circumstances under which Obama couldn’t quite bring himself to say good-bye to Wright in early 2007.
Now, for everyone other than Wright, there are a number of questions raised by this, none of which have good answers for Obama. First, was Obama’s March speech just posturing? Second, how could it have taken Obama six weeks (not to mention twenty years) to figure out that the Wright the rest of America saw in those news clips shouting “God DAMN America” was the real Wright? Where is the judgment? How can Obama have this nation’s confidence in negotiating with foreign leaders or making senior level Administration appointments when he was so wrong about Wright for so long?
Well, if the leftwingnuts had their way, those questions would never be asked because what we all need to understand about Wright is, shut the fuck up about him and MoveOn.
“This sudden obsession with Rev. Wright is, if you can get through the banging-your-head-against-a-wall part of it, fairly amusing. It’s like the American media has just discovered — OMG! Black people! And with religion!? Now, none of these pundits gave a flying, candy-coated damn about some of the most influential preachers in America saying vile, despicable things and being continually rewarded for it with political praise and power. [Pat] Robertson, [Jerry] Falwell, [James] Dobson, [John] Hagee — there is an entire movement of evangelicals devoted to saying vicious things on national TV under the cloak of religion. […] Wright’s past link with Obama is I think almost secondary, at this point…certain segments of the media seem absolutely giddy at the idea of being able to hold this guy up and examine him, and the Obama connection has given them an ‘in’ to do it without looking quite as salacious as they would under other circumstances. It’s a typical media Shark Attack Week, but with scary black people instead of sharks.”
There you go: the “scary black people” is the give-away: translation; don’t criticize Rev. Wright or you are a racist trying to drum up hate toward black people. Well God damn it, are racists despicable people who don’t belong in decent, civilized discourse and politics or are they acceptable within the bounds of your culture and upbringing? I’ve never heard the nutroots being so understanding about the cultural roots of white bigotry. Are we to accept and allow, in line with tolerance and cultural relevance, the teaching that the “other” is engaging in genocide against your race. Or that his entire government is dedicated to the proposition that men are not created equal and works 24/7 to enforce that?
the always execrable Glenn Greenwald:
“I think the most important thing to note about the Jeremiah Wright Story is that we’re a Nation plagued by exceedingly few significant problems; [laundry list of liberal talking points] So it isn’t as though we really have anything else to talk about besides Jeremiah Wright. There are some countries in the world — probably most — which have so many big problems that they could ill-afford to devote much time and energy to a matter of this sort. Thankfully, the United States isn’t one of them. I believe it’s critical that we keep that in mind as we discuss him for the next seven months.”
Well what we do have, apparently, is a huge racial divide in this country, and its people like Jeremiah Wright who are invested in perpetuating it and teaching it to children, citizens and Senators and potential POTUS. Looks like we damn sure need to talk about it. What happened to all that worshipful ass-licking you gave Obama in March for shaking white America by the collar and telling us to get in a conversation about race, because its damn well time.
Well, I’m convinced. Because there is a group of Americans out there who detest the majority with a rancor we little dreamed of. They hate you, sir. You might forgive them, but they will not be forgiven. Partisan hack Greenwald, as usual, exhibits plenty of snark and zero intelligence or light. He can’t write in anything but sarcastic, condescending manner, pooh-poohing any concerns that don’t fit his radical left agenda. He, and the rest of the leftwingnuts, are shitting their drawers over this episode, make no mistake.
Will none of the Obama defenders/Wright condemners grant one inch on the fact that, if nothing else, this shows a great lapse of judgment on Obama’s part? I mean come on, he has for 2 years, and before that in his book, saying in interviews that Wright was one of his political and policy touchstones, not just spiritual mentors. Now he says he hardly knew the man, or didn’t at all.
It’s not Wright who has changed his loony tune.
It was just last year that Obama was telling the Chicago Tribune that Wright was his sounding board for truth: “What I value most about Pastor Wright is not his day-to-day political advice. He’s much more of a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible and that I’m not losing myself in some of the hype and hoopla and stress that’s involved in national politics.”
It was just this March, in his Philadelphia racial reconciliation speech, that Obama was urging us not to dismiss Wright as a “crank or a demagogue” and protesting that he could “no more disown him than I can disown the black community.
Which brings us to the alternative, John McCain
You should read Rove’s column about McCain today, though. The guy is a class act, with a stellar character. I admire him, even though I don’t always agree with him on issues. He will make an outstanding president, he will be a credit to the office.
Obama is a liar, a charlatan, a race-baiting hate-monger who used Wright for his own political ends, and with whom, I believe, Obama actually agrees. He just can’t say so.
I’m waiting for Wright to really get pissed off and break out videos of Obama clapping and cheering and nodding to one of the very sermons he’s denouncing now.
There are probably witnesses. We all know Obama heard plenty, and there are people who can prove it. He better watch out, calling Wright a liar. The feces is really going to hit the fan if he pisses off the Rev too much.