As the Wright revelations ricochet round our political landscape it’s not time to duck for cover as many might think. Certainly Barack Obama can’t run and hide at this point, and today he will make a speech to deflect the criticism over the insane oratory made by his Pastor, the Reverend Wright for 20 years. He has to counter the position his associations with that pastor and church for twenty years have put him in, and he has to do that against a backdrop where people are already questioning his love of this country.
What is troubling however is that the speech is being billed as a speech about race, and that worries me. Wright’s problem isn’t that he’s black — it’s that he’s subscribed to several highly anti-american conspiracy theories, and he’s put them forth cloaked in gospel and black identity populism to his congregation every Sunday for 20 years. One of our future presidential candidates was sitting in the pews sometimes. While Wright has woven some identity based ravings into his sermons that are simply mirror image to Don Black’s Stormfront rants and racialist theories, they are really secondary to hating America.
The theory that the US was responsible for 9/11 abrogates personal responsibility, absolving a murderous ideology and their adherents of murdering close to 3,000 Americans that horrid day. Here’s a hint for the Reverend since he’s highly focused on Black Identity populism: the people in the World trade center towers that day weren’t all white. The firefighters and police who died trying to rescue people weren’t all white.
So this isn’t about race at all – it’s about Wright’s willingness to believe in “they.” You know about “them” for “they” are talked about all the time. You know “they” are keeping us down. “They” are responsible for all the ill in the world. When I hear this stuff I know I’m dealing with someone who’s shirking responsibility, for as the wonderful Walt Kelly quipped: ” ‘They’ is us. ”
The buzz around the country right now isn’t about Wright and blackness, it’s about the kook-punditry he puts forth. Barack Obama’s campaign is in free-fall at the moment for the same reasons that Ron Paul’s revolution deflated.
It’s never ok to attack america based on conspiracy theories of nutballs, regardless of your background. Just as Ron Paul doesn’t get a pass because “he’s a strict constitutionalist”, Barack Obama’s church doesn’t get a pass because they are black. Just as Vlaams Belang doesn’t get a pass for identity politics because they say they are “conservatives and anti-jihad”, Barack Obama doesn’t get a pass because he says he is a “uniter.”
As a contrast think about whether President Bush could have been selected and elected twice if he were from say, the Westboro Baptist Church.
In the end regardless of what people tell you, we select our candidates, and we elect our representatives, senators, and presidents. So if you think some hidden cabal is controlling america, go stare in the mirror and you will see one of the cabal members.
Is America ready for a black president? You bet. Is america ready for a socialist president supported by anti-american kooks? Never again — we already tried that with Jimmy Carter.
Post Speech UPDATE:
This will be a bit of a ramble as I am on a call, however I just listened to Senator Barack Obama’s speech and want to question some things he said.
First impression: He won over the press with this, said a few stirring things that will win back some who have faded, and this will save his candidacy.
He also tried to resurrect the Reverend Wright. Keyword which you will hear every commentator repeating endlessly “caricature”. In other words Reverend Wright isn’t really anti-American, he’s just “venting” He’s not a bigot, he’s just “angry’ and that’s ok.
Update: h/t itellu3times: Obama esentially outed himself on a lie in this speech. Previously he denied hearing these sorts of things in the church to CNN and Fox News, in this speech he admits it.
The worst part of this speech is that it made racial venting ok. Whether you are black or white. I don’t think it a good idea to excuse, forgive, or to stand by bigots. The basic theme of the speech is that in the US we have great promise, but we are all victims. In the speech he simply reframed The Reverend Wright’s “Them” to the standard evils Socialists see in the world. He widened the array of victims beyond just blacks, and wants to make us all victims.
It’s those lobbyists (forget for a moment that your 401K has lobbyists, forget for a moment that your Church has lobbyists, forget for a moment that one of the biggest lobbies in Washington is the Environmental lobby. Forget for a moment that everyone in America has special interests.)
It’s those evil corporations (forget for a moment that both your job and your retirement depend on those corporations, and their boards are elected by stockholders, if you have a 401K you own part of the corporations he attacks, they are American as apple-pie, yes a few have strayed onto evil ground, just as Reverend Wright did — when that happens corporations, execs, and shareholders get punished.)
It’s those “forces of divisiveness” (forget for a moment that making a speech that retreads historic wrongs to renew the anger does not aid that, forget for a moment that the “forces of divisiveness” he speaks of now originated in the Democrat Party, his party.)
He talked stirringly of our Revolution and how we overthrew tyranny, but in other speeches he doesn’t think Iraq should have the same opportunity. (Without the aid of France we would still be British subjects, without our aid the Iraqi’s would still be Sadaam’s subjects.)
The speech was all about victimhood and glossing over bigotry – so while it might have been stirring in parts, I’m going to respectfully disagree.
We are not a nation of victims, we are instead the land of the free, the home of the brave, the land of opportunity, and the leader for the world in the great challenges and responsibilities before us in the first half of this century.
We can’t throw Iraq under the bus and switch to Sudan. We can’t ignore tyrannies and hope they will go away – they won’t. We can’t put US interests at the mercy of Euro-socialist direction, and we certainly can’t forget that we have enemies out there who would kill us in a heartbeat were they but given the chance.
To sum up, it’s not ok for pastors to piss on america from their pulpit, never will be.
It’s also not ok to speak to the opportunity of America, and and then turn to rip on the institutions and mechanisms that make that opportunity possible.
Remaining question: If everyone in America is a “victim” then who the heck is “THEY”? I think Walt Kelly knows: They is us.
I say screw victimhood, because in 42 short years there will be 9 Billion humans on this planet — we seriously do not have time for whining and whinging.