Demonizing Barack: The enduring racist double standard

Standard

(Obama sets the record straight on Race, Religion, and his Pastor)

Having absorbed all of the calumny, reprobation, and histrionics I can stand regarding Barack Obama, Trinity United Church of Christ and its former Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, I can be silent no more.

Having failed to make the manufactured Farrakhan smear stick, Obama’s tormentors have succeeded in distorting Jeremiah Wright into his horrifyingly racist doppelganger.

First, let me say that Barack Obama’s “denunciation” of some of Dr. Wright’s justifiable indignation about America’s hypocrisy regarding race, war, and Hillary Clinton, left a bad taste in my mouth, a very bad taste indeed.

Obama, the Junior Senator from Illinois, has labored mightily to run a campaign which focuses on that which unites rather than that which divides because it is a reflection of the way he has lived his life and made his career as an organizer, lawyer, state legislator, senator, and presidential candidate. He hasn’t always met that goal. His unequivocal support of Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of innocent Lebanese civilians in 2006 and his failure to adequately address the Clinton campaign’s deliberate and repeated attempts to racially polarize Democrats reflect his craven accommodations to America’s racial hypocrisy.

A sistah named Cassandra from Michigan emailed me saying, “For the first time I don’t care whether or not he wins if he must shed his spirituality and dilute his soul to neutralize the stench and sting of truth that so many White Americans refuse to acknowledge…The hypocrisy and denial of how racism is destroying the integrity of working class and poor American blacks, whites, Latinos, Arabs and Asians is the seam that is dividing and will eventually shred the Democratic Party.”

Americans talk a good game, but in the end, as Jesse Jackson before him, he is being held to a racist double standard that previous white Presidents and Presidential Candidates were not held too.

Barack Obama’s religious affiliation with Trinity United Church of Christ is an affirmation of his own bi-racial heritage as the son of a Kenyan and white Kansan. To say that his membership in the United Church of Christ, a predominantly white denomination created in 1957 from the Congregational Christian Church and the Evangelical Reform Church is somehow suspect or racist is both ludicrous and false.

Trinity United Church of Christ is both integrated and welcoming of all people-including gays and lesbians. When Hillary Clinton’s denomination, the United Methodist Church, sent conflicting signals over the issue of homosexuality and restricting the role of gay clergy and the ability of gay congregants to have their unions blessed in the Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ went in the opposite direction in affirming its covenant with gay clergy and parishioners. Years before then, Wright established an AIDS ministry and a singles ministry for gay and lesbian congregants.

Lisa Miller, writing in Newsweek said, “As a leader, Wright defied convention at every turn. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune last year, he recalled a time during the 1970s when the UCC decided to ordain gay and lesbian clergy. At its annual meeting, sensitive to the historic discomfort some blacks have with homosexuality, gay leaders reached out to black pastors.”

“At that session, Wright heard the testimony of a gay Christian and, he said, he had a conversion experience on gay rights. He started one of the first AIDS ministries on the South Side and a singles group for Trinity gays and lesbians—a subject that still rankles some of the more conservative Trinity members, says Dwight Hopkins, a theology professor at the University of Chicago and a church member.”

Given the hatred and venom spewed forth in too many black pulpits toward black gays and lesbians, Dr. Wright stands out as enlightened, inclusive, and welcoming. But he would have to be in order to grow the church from 80 to 8000 members in three decades. Dr. Wright is the opposite from the bitter, angry, and bigoted portrait the corporate media has fashioned.

Come on, people. Do you really believe that a “black racist” would choose a 90% white denomination in which to plant his flag or are you just some kind of a damn moron engaged in a typical form of racist projection. I defy anyone to name one integrated, gay-friendly, mainline, protestant, predominately African American congregation you’ve ever stepped foot in where you’ve experienced hatred. I know damn well that nobody can because there is no such thing. Are you seriously scared of a moderate, bi-racial politician who bends over backwards to be inclusive, mainstream and non-threatening? Please.

Don’t fall for the right-wing attack campaign launched by Fox News and its corporate mimics.

Obama’s rise to prominence has been swift but it is not unlike that of another little known state politician who rose to prominence over thirty years ago, Jimmy Carter. Carter, you’ll recall was a born-again Baptist layman who also made common cause with all people regardless of race, religion, or background in order to heal the nation after Watergate. During the first months of his presidency in 1977, his home congregation, the Plains Baptist Church, of Plains, GA, forced out Pastor Bruce Edwards, because he sought, with the support of the President, to integrate the church.

During the waning days of the Presidential campaign, a black minister and “publicity seeker,” Rev. Clennon King, challenged the official policy of the church forbidding “Negroes and other civil rights agitators,” from membership. I find no record of the firestorm of criticism we see regarding Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright. Nobody called on him to resign his membership or denounce the racially prejudiced people with whom he had lived his entire life.

Plotting a middle ground, the church, following Carter’s lead, denied Rev. King membership. The final straw, however, came after Pastor Edwards and his wife adopted a half-Hawaiian child. According to the President’s brother Billy, it was bad enough that the pastor was a liberal integrationist, but adopting the “tan-skinned” child was “99 per cent of the preacher’s problem,” wrote Margaret Montagno in Newsweek.

The Plains Baptist Church subsequently changed its policy in word, but not in deed. Nicholas King, writing in the New Republic said, “The ‘opening’ of the Plains Baptist Church was achieved last fall under the leadership of the Carter family…But there was opposition to the opening from the church’s old guard, and the only black face in the congregation the Sunday Jimmy Carter first returned to Plains as President belonged to a Secret Service man.” After he left the presidency, Jimmy Carter left the church and joined with former Plains Baptist Church members at Maranatha Baptist Church. The small congregation of 135 opens its doors to 12,000 visitors a year to hear the President teach Sunday School. A few years ago, Carter also left the hopelessly right-wing Southern Baptist Convention.

According to the Los Angeles Times, during the 1980 presidential campaign, in the midst of a conservative tide taking over the Southern Baptist Convention, the President of the Southern Baptist Convention, Bailey Smith, proclaimed, “God almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.” Again, nothing was heard from the media calling on President Carter to renounce the convention of which he was a member or for then Governor Ronald Reagan, who had addressed the same gathering of evangelicals in Dallas that same day to renounce the divisive and anti-Semitic statement of a right-wing supporter. The Washington Post covered the story on page F10 on September 26, 1980. The New York Times covered the story on three occasions and A 18 was the closet it came.

Lastly, can anybody recount for me the media firestorm over Pat Robertson’s endorsement of Rudy Giuliani. Refresh my memory about how many times the clip of the Religious Broadcaster and Baptist Minister advocating the assassination of the president of Venezuela, a supplier of oil to the United States, was run on Fox News and the rest of the corporate media in denunciation of Giuliani. How many times did they run the clip of Robertson agreeing with Jerry Falwell about the proper blame for 9/11 on abortions and gays and lesbians in a manner meant to accuse Giuliani of intolerance?

Today, nothing is materially different for the Hawaiian bred Barack Obama than it was for the half-Hawaiian son of Jimmy Carter’s Pastor. America, like Plains Baptist Church, has the same problem and like Jeremiah Wright has pointed out eloquently for thirty-six years as Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, race is 99 per cent of it.

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126 thoughts on “Demonizing Barack: The enduring racist double standard

  1. Cliff

    “For the first time I don’t care whether or not he wins if he must shed his spirituality and dilute his soul to neutralize the stench and sting of truth that so many White Americans refuse to acknowledge…The hypocrisy and denial of how racism is destroying the integrity of working class and poor American blacks, whites, Latinos, Arabs and Asians is the seam that is dividing and will eventually shred the Democratic Party.”

    Damn SB, sounds like that Sistah is closing the chapter. :)

    “I, Andrea, would defend my fundamental right to speak out against the government and my fellow countrymen. I would point out that America has not learn from its history in how the Quakers were punished by the Puritans and Catholics were shunned.”

    Go head and close that chapter Andrea.

    “THE BLACK PEOPLE ARE BEING TRAMPLE ON LEFT AND RIGHT.
    OBAMA CANNOT DENOUNCE HIS SPIRITUAL LEADER AND MUST NOT BE ASKED TO DO SO BY THE SAME PEOPLE WHO SOLD NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY TO APATHEID SOUTH AFRICA ONLY TO SCATCH IT OF WHEN NELSON MANDELA CAME TO POWER.”

    Close that chapter Lucia, close it.

    “You may not like it but if Obama is going to be the next president he will have to convince a lot of white folks that he isn’t trying to bring on the great revolution by which America atones for her past and present injustices to the black man and all the downtrodden people of the world that she has ground under the boots of her racist, imperialist, industrial war machine. ”

    Close that chapter Lance.

    “he understands the vagaries of American racism, but he also understands the pulse of white America. He is not going to take this bait. He is not going to commit political suicide to prove to us that he is down. ”

    Close that chapter TripLBay

    It would only be natural for us to produce a Pastor to have this kind of courage to say the truth like this, amid a religious environment. I think that the best way to pursue justice is to not remain stagnant in speaking your mind despite political pressure, or the pressure from society. If Obama can’t come out and say that he loves every word that his Pastor spoke, then society will turn towards the black community, and ask the overall suffering masses

    “What the hell do my slaves think?”

    Generation by generation the Scared-to-Death Negro mentality is dying, and activism is at an all time high.

    I’m raising my hand. OOOOO, Me Me. OOOOO.
    I don’t have any political pressure. Don’t have any cameras in front of me. Don’t have more white followers than my own people, or don’t have any pressure from my white counterparts, therefore I could come out and say it.
    I can say that I love every word that Pastor Wright spoke.

    Brother you are blessing, and a voice that speaks the pain of your black family. You spoke the pain of the ancestors, and you speak the pain of the suffering society.

    GO HEAD WIT YA’ BAD SELF.

    “Jesus taught me how to love the hell out of my enemies, and not be reduced to their level of hated and small mindedness”

    Close it, Close it, Close it, Pastor Wright.

    The Scared-to-Death-Negro, CLOSED CHAPTER.

  2. I bow to your elegance with a turn of phrase, SB. You put in to words what has bothered me about Barack Obama, and why I couldn’t fully drink the kool-aid.

    Cassandra from Michigan said it right; if Barack Obama has to dilute who he is in order to get the White House, America is not good enough for him, and most certainly not worth it. It’s left a nasty taste in my mouth, too.

    Bush made it fashionable to be racist in this country, mark my words. Since when have you seen racist attacks on such a scale, since Bush’s stealing the White House?

    Think about that.

  3. Andrea

    SB,

    You should have written his speech.

    SERIOUSLY!

    Cornell West should have helped him too.

    Has any of them approached you, ever?

  4. NuPolitico

    For what it was, this speech was good. Very good. Did he say anything new? Nope. But we try to have honest discussions on brutal racial truths daily on this blog. Most Americans have never had an honest talk about race ever. This speech was aimed at the masses, not those who try to tackle race on a daily basis.

    Would I call Obama a coward? Hell NO. I view Obama as a politician. When is the last time an American politician talked about race for 37 minutes on live television/webstream?

    Is it arguable that he might’ve missed his Rosa Parks moment. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. But there were others before Rosa and many after Rosa.

    After watching the speech in its entirety, I don’t view Obama as having thrown Rev. Wright under the bus. “I’m not going to disown Rev. Wright anymore than I’m going to disown the Black community.” This past weekend, I thought that was going to happen.

    ****

    Oh, and Lance:

    You’re probably a delightful guy. No one is making an argument otherwise. Unfortunately, point and counter-point with you is like two ships passing in the night. Disgust with America and being a proud American is not mutually exclusive. To imply inconsistency is setting up a false dichotomy.

    I love my country for its potential. But I am disgusted with its lack of fortitude. I’m a sports fan, so I’ll use a sports analogy. Kobe is one of the greatest players to never be. Re-read the last sentence to make sure you get it. Kobe has the talent and drive to be the greatest NBA player of all time. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get that basketball is a team sport and no matter how great the individual, success in basketball requires a team working as one.

    Do not presume to reject my experience in America. I repeat from my previous post MY relationship with America is akin to a batter wife who won’t leave her abusive husband. I love my country, but I wear its pain daily. There are some whites who get it. And there are some who don’t. There are some whites who won’t even consider validating my right to feel like an abusive spouse. Which one are you?

    Are you really enlightened? Your central thesis seems to be that you are open minded otherwise you wouldn’t have visited Africa, married an Ethiopian, etc. etc. My friend, that is a circular argument, also known as a tautology.

    As to what do I want from America? Reparations (i.e. material benefit) would not be the salve to heal America’s racial wounds. In a word, I seek acknowledgment.
    1. Acknowledgment that *some* of our past domestic and foreign policies have been atrocious.
    2. Acknowledgment that the current American construct facilitates systemic injustices.
    3. Acknowledgment that if as an American society we don’t change, racial injustices will be perpetuated in our future.

  5. Denise

    Today’s remarks confirmed, once again, that Senator Obama is a man of personal honor.

    I was moved both by his humility and the sincerity of his words.

    Good job, Senator!

  6. Kelvin

    The Senator did an excellent job impeding the tide of criticism stemming from the rhetoric of his former Minister Jeremiah Wright. Some of the comments made by Rev. Wright were certainly outrageous they offended me as a black man so I can imagine what white America must have felt.

    But despite America’s past injustices I don’t hear many of us talking about leaving this great country of ours. It was time for Rev. Wright to retire. It is time for a lot of other black leaders from the civil rights era to retire and pass the torch to a younger generation of leaders. Many of these leaders as is Jeremiah Wright still carry bitterness and hatred from events that happen 40 and 50 years ago. Therefore, they still preach the rhetoric that a lot of us have bought into, in that we as black people are victims. That may have been true at one time, but we are not victims anymore. America has changed people.

    There is nothing today that is unobtainable for you with a good education. The problems that inflict black people are us and how we raise our children. We don’t read to them, we allow them to listen to any music or watch anything they want on TV. We buy them things even when they haven’t earned it. We don’t attend PTA meetings or attend teacher conferences. If we did a better job in educating our young people we would be much better off in overcoming the racism that still exists today.

  7. Andrea

    Of course because now you are looking at him try to clean up his mess. Of course now you are looking at him not having thrown Rev. Moss under the bus because this is the reconnaisance of the collateral damage already made. This is a man who was so arrogant to do it “his way” when repeated times he had the chance to tackle this before having to be on the defensive.

    Obama is not on the offensive. I watched him try to redirect the controls but this was not, in any way, commendable. It was however, yes, a first discussion…he wanting to stall for brokerage until after he won the presidency.

    How convenient?

    He stated over and over that he did not want to talk about it. That was arrogant and it did us no favors. I rather have someone walk directly into the fire with grace than try to fight their way out in fear.

    There is nothing heroic about today. His feet was held to the fire and he jockeyed. You are an easy group to impress and sway. I am not.

    “We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.”

    Dr. King

    Obama’s FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW should not have been determined by desperation. He’s bluffing…hoping to gain ground in impressing and fooling people that he always had the courage.

    That’s not honor. That’s a con.

  8. Kam

    Andrea,

    Can you adjust to new information, new facts. Obama supported Wright. He called him family. His contextualized his remarks. It was smart, moving & honest. Most of all, it was honorable.

  9. Cedric

    I find it hard to condemn Obama’s handling of the Wright situation. Though, Obama is a “black” man, he is not one in the traditional sense of the words. I found his speech extremely believable and understandable given his background. He has a different set of experiences. So, he chooses to focus on unity, of which his entire existence is a testiment, rather than inciting a continuation of the past this country has experienced.

    I don’t share the same nobility–I regularly make statements just like Rev, Wright’s. But, I understand his. The idea that he was cowardly in rejecting Rev. Wright’s statements, implies that he was dishonest. If he truly disagrees, then he the right, just as much a Rev. wright had the right to make the statement in the pulpit. If he didn’t want to get into a race war, then he also has that right. But, the idea that he is running from controversy is a very narrow analysis, given his explicit disclosures in the Chicago Tribune about the Rezko situation.

    I think he tries to steer clear of the issues that will are not specifically relevant to his campaign. This country’s history of racism is one of them. Before today’s speech, how did the Rev. Wright situation help any voter decide who is the best candidate in this election?

  10. Andrea

    Judgment versus experience (excerpt from Jim Lehrer’s Newshour)

    GWEN IFILL: The distinction between you and Senator Clinton that’s been drawn by both of you over the last several weeks has been judgment versus experience, so let me ask you about your judgment on some issues, not only Reverend Wright and your association with him over the years, but also Tony Rezko, who you’ve talked a lot about recently, the Chicago developer who is now on trial on federal charges.

    Do you think that your association with those two people or people we don’t know about would raise questions about your judgment?

    SEN. BARACK OBAMA: Well, no. Look, all of us have people in our lives who we meet, we get to know, and in some cases form friendships with who end up getting themselves into trouble or say things that we don’t agree with.

    And, you know, probably what’s true is, because I haven’t been in Washington as long as Senator Clinton or others, that, you know, I have not distanced myself from these people for as long of a period of time as somebody, you know, more steeped in Washington politics might have.

    But keep in mind, on all these issues, there’s no allegations that I’ve done anything wrong. Just as in the situation with Reverend Wright, there’s no allegation that I said something that was inappropriate.

    And so I think the American people recognize that all of us have friends or associates or people who we meet along the way who are not ideal or perfect, but that’s part of — you know, part of what life is about.

    I have issue with the subtext:

    …all of us have people in our lives who we meet, we get to know, and in some cases form friendships with who end up getting themselves into trouble (How in the hell does a preacher telling the truth get himself into trouble. He might as well call Rev. Wright, Boy or Uncle.

    …because I haven’t been in Washington as long as Senator Clinton or others, that, you know, I have not distanced myself from these people for as long of a period of time as somebody, you know, more steeped in Washington politics might have. (He is saying if he had longer time to be craftier he would have dumped Rev. Wright quicker than now.)

    …Just as in the situation with Reverend Wright, there’s no allegation that I said something that was inappropriate. (Although he is insinuating Rev. Wright, a grown-ass preacher with conviction to tell the truth was INAPPROPRIATE. I used to have a sign that I used when I displayed that read one, TOO BLACK, and two, INAPPROPRIATE.)

    …I think the American people recognize that all of us have friends or associates or people who we meet along the way who are not ideal (How do you say your preacher is not ideal? That makes no sense to follow him for 20 years if he is not ideal.)

  11. NuPolitico

    After King talked about the fierce urgency of now, he went on in the next paragraph to say:

    Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual…In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.

    It is easy to talk about the fierce urgency of now, but how and what does a campaign look like that is fueled by the fierce urgency of now and is conducting its struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.

  12. Cedric

    To say that all of the Rev. Wright’s statements are “truth” seems to equivocate just a bit as to definition of truth. I have no doubt that he believes that the govt. cooked up AIDS to kill people of color, but is it true. Hell, I’ve said that same thing a time or two, but not because it was true. Rather, because I thought it could be.

    Rev. Wirght has the right to say whatever he wants, and Barack Obama has the right to disagree. I will have to re-read the transcript, but the idea the Rev. Wright “got himself into trouble” with his statements is problematic, at least. As stated, Wright is a grown preacher with conviction, so the troubles of the American political scene, I’m sure, are far from his daily concern when drafting sermons.

    But, Rev. Wright, like all other preachers, is a man. Everything he says is not of divine origin, and I have an issue with dumbing Obama down by insuating that you have to believe in all of a man’s personal beliefs to follow his ministry. Like Rev. Wright, my pastor has a proclivity for cursing. Though I disagree with that aspect of his ministry, I still have no problem sitting under his teaching.

  13. Andrea

    The statements the news kept running was about Hillary not being privileged and “God Damn America”. What is untrue in those? I never said ALL of his statements are true because I have not heard them all. I was speaking of what I saw in the clips and that is what Barack was minimizing.

    And no one is dumbing Barack down. He is double-talking when he claims when he promotes that his preacher is not ideal in explaining who his preacher is. That makes no sense. That is pure bullshit because no one would have a non-ideal person marrying them and baptizing their children unless it is an ideal memory they wanted.

  14. Quanli

    Andrea, want do you want the man to do? I can undestand the sentiment but with that logic he may as well bow out of the race or never run at all. It is a given that he would have to compromise his personal positions to appease the the majority of the voting population. No black man or woman could run for the presidency at this point in history under the standards of accountability I understand you to hold.

  15. SB, I just recently came across your site and for just the few days I’ve been lurking, I have to say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your honest assessments, informed opinions and thought-provoking commentary. But that’s not all! The commenters here are refreshingly frank and often so entertaining I feel I’m sitting around with some friends on my porch, having a few drinks and some spirited conversation. Thanks for that!

    I listened intently to Sen. Obama’s speech this morning. And it was a great speech. He emerged from behind the curtain, a “whole man,” as my grandmother used to say, finally expressing what I believe were HIS complete views on race.

    He stood up like that whole man and SAID, “I cannot disown this man….” though he’s, in his words, “already condemned in unequivocal terms the statements of Rev. Wright that have caused such controversy and in some cases, pain.” (Okay, he’s still got some truth to face!) He stood up like that whole man and SAID, “Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American foreign and domestic policy? Of course.” “Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in the church? Yes.” “Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely, just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests or rabbis with which you’ve strongly disagreed.” (Okay, he could have left that last part off, no need to qualify his disagreement by pairing it with that of others.). My point is – at least he stood up for a change.

    That one paragraph above was all I expected from this Black man running for president confronted with a media-fueled firestorm such as this. And had I heard it when he wrote “On My Faith and My Church.” for The Huffington Post, my expectations would have been met. But he did the knee-jerk thing – first (no doubt on the advice of those “handlers” of his), denouncing the words of his mentor and denying he ever even heard him say anything like that.

    That didn’t sit well with me at all for a couple reasons. First of all, anybody with a few firing brain cells could figure out he’d lied about never hearing Rev. Wright’s statements over the 20+ years he’s sat in that church. And secondly, but most important for me, “denouncing” and distancing himself from somebody who’d had his back far longer than those “alleged kingmakers” he calls advisors for the sake of making history was unconscionable to me. It had me thinking, “Shit, if he’ll do that to his mentor, what about me?”

    And what do I think now? The jury’s still out on that one, mainly because he was “forced” to do the right thing. I know, I know – he did the right thing regarding his pastor! But WOULD he have? He’s been campaigning for a little over a year and it sure didn’t look like he would have.

    If this had not become an issue, would he have continued his “change-train” without ever addressing the fundamental issue driving the inequity in this country? Was he planning to be the “undercover brotha,” stealthily pulling the elephant out of the corner AFTER he’d gotten the nomination, the seat? And if that was the plan, that ain’t too cool either because plenty white folks would have felt bamboozled for sure – and rightfully so. I don’t care how much they protest, many of them would not have been supporting him so vociferously had he come out at the bell with this speech. What happened to John Edwards is evidence of that.

    I can’t say for sure how this will all play out or how I will respond in November (I’m a “hold the feet to the fire kind of girl”). But this much I know is true, he has done today what needed to be done as a Black man running for president in my book – he stood up. Granted it was grudgingly, be he stood up. This speech allows him to really become the agent of “Change We Can Believe In.” I hope he is being honest. And if he isn’t? Well, at least he’s raised the bar – a little.

    Oh, and Rev. Wright, you can safely roll on out from under that bus now.

  16. Quanli

    If this had not become an issue, would he have continued his “change-train” without ever addressing the fundamental issue driving the inequity in this country? Was he planning to be the “undercover brotha,” stealthily pulling the elephant out of the corner AFTER he’d gotten the nomination, the seat? And if that was the plan, that ain’t too cool either because plenty white folks would have felt bamboozled for sure – and rightfully so. I don’t care how much they protest, many of them would not have been supporting him so vociferously had he come out at the bell with this speech. What happened to John Edwards is evidence of that.
    ________
    Is that not essentially the way Bush got re-elected? Presenting one main idea (morality) and pushing another (war)? I can conceed to the validity of setting the bar high, but the bar for this man seems to be one that is amazingly high and unreachable. Both McCain and Clinton need only talk tough and mudsling yet their supporters are staunchly in their corner no matter what. It seems that all Barack’s views, past, eating habits, sleeping, habits–you name it must be laid bare in order for him to constantly earn the respect the others candidates receive by simply being. I can’t just call it racist because it comes from black folks too.

  17. Quanli,

    That’s what rikyrah would refer to as a “black tax.” I refer to it as a racist double standard. I am exhausted by all of the phuckin’ hand holding that he and he alone is required to do to reassure skittish whitefolk. I have little patience for that despite the manifest necessity of it.

  18. white guy asking some questions...

    pardon me, but didn’t he say “god-damn America” in one of his sermons ? Since when do pastors, priests, reverends, etc., take the lord’s name in vain? Since when does a legitimate man of the cloth let his personal politics interfere with preaching the word of god? I don’t care what “color” or “race” a church leader is – until he or she uses it in a harmful way…especially when the accusations made are factually incorrect. He should be embarrassed and personally ashamed at his personal conduct.

  19. WGASQ,

    This may not be the place to have your questions answered. If you want to reduce a 36 year ministry to a single three minute rant-fine. If you want to believe the lies that you’ve been told by the media-that’s fine, too. If you want to ignore the answer given by Barack Obama, that’s your choice as well. But don’t you dare come here under the guise of “asking questions,” when your damn mind is closed, your viewpoint is narrow, and your willingness to engage in debate is non-existant.

  20. sdg1844

    SB

    I enjoy your blog so much. I lurk alot, but often nod my head in agreement to so much of what is expressed here. Everyone is bright and knowledgeable.

    There’s a conflict going on within me because the concessions that an individual must make to attain power are disturbing. I understand folks anger w/Obama’s stance regarding Pastor Wright.

    I thought his speech was moving whether his hand was forced or not. I guess my frustration is as you say the damn “double standard”. Look at what a Black Man feels he needs to do to win.

    It must steal bits and pieces of your soul. It’s this sick balancing act believing that you can do good things w/power and yet the road is fraught with the need to appease those who control this juggernaut.

    I wonder that any Black Man or Woman can be an effective politician sometimes. The price we pay is so much higher. How much do you denounce and reject before there’s nothing left?

    Sometimes I wonder that we expect too much from Obama; not that he shouldn’t be held do standards, but because he is one of our “own” and the knife cuts so much deeper when feet of clay and human failings and weakness is revealed.

    Forgive my rambling. These thoughts were just flowing through my mind reading all the comments and your post.

    I still intend to support him if he gets the nod. I still believe that at his core he is a decent man and an all too fragile human being like most of us.

  21. Trinity

    I disagree with many of the opinions on this blog regarding whether Obama was wrong in denouncing his pastor’s flaming words. Honestly, ask yourselves, if you are a member of a church, whether you agree with everthing your pastor teaches. I believe this is the point Obama is trying to make. I attend a church in Detroit whereby my pastor is hated for his apologetic teachings of the bible. I don’t always agree with how he defends the faith, and truth be told I am sometimes offended by things he says, although they may be true. But, I have not left the church, because there is value in what and how he teches, even when I don’t agree. So before everybody goes off with “fight the power”, listen to the entire speech in context. The speech, in my opinion did not cause him to “shed his spirituality, nor did it dilute his soul.” He defended his position from his experiences, which in the end, is what we all do.

  22. TripLBee

    I’m going to play Devil’s Advocate and say why I was disturbed by Rev. Wright’s comments. I don’t disagree with everything he said, but I am tired of anger and accusation being used as motivational tools in our community. We can spend the rest of our lives detailing the countless injustices to which black people (and brown people, and women, and American Indians, and gays and Muslims and Arabs and on and on) have been subjected. I think that venting is important and at times necessary, but you know what, we’re also complicit in our own demise. Good Lord, we need to turn off that damn TV, throw away the garbage that passes for pop music these days, stop using physical and emotional violence against one another, kiss our children more, eat better food, read more books, hold our heads higher, exercise, and on and on and on. There is so much more that we can do for ourselves.

    Back in the 90s I taught school in a neighborhood called Anacostia in Southeast Washington, DC. The neighborhood was entirely black and poor. There were several occasions when we devoted entire class periods to the discussion of how life could be improved in Anacostia. A lot of the times students attempted to blame all of the neighborhood’s problems on “the white man.” I poked and prodded on this point because I wanted my students to think critically. I asked who this white man was and what exactly he was doing to keep students from coming to school. We had some lively discussions and I often recounted the fact that I have been held at gunpoint four times in my life. In each of those instances the person on the other end of the barrel was another black man. While I am fully aware of conditioning that can create a person who resorts to armed robbery, the fact of the matter is that in each of those cases a fellow black man put a gun to my head. We can focus on all that’s been done to us by others. We can focus on what we are doing to ourselves. We have more influence over the latter than the former. I know that Rev. Wright is not a monolith and that his ministry is much deeper than the clips now floating around YouTube. At the same time, we need to be encouraged to do what we can to improve ourselves because at the end of the day nobody else gives a damn.

  23. Trinity

    Andrea and Cedric,

    What are you reading. You are reading into something that is not there. Mr. Obama did not say Pastor Wright was someone who got himself in trouble. That was a general statement that illustrated his point about “different people” who cross paths throughout anyones lifetime.

  24. Sometimes, you are so powerful, you make me cry. Cry. You speak such truths that make me numb, and make me want to just HOLLA – in every sense of that word.

    I’ve gone back and forth between your piece and Obama’s speech, and I still really don’t know how to express my words.

    But, I wanted to leave something for you because I wanted you to know that I appreciated your brilliance once again shining through for us like that light.

    The one thing that I will comment is on folks having the nerve to ask why he didn’t leave the church. Wrapped up in that lame ass, presumptive statement is the totality of the ignorance of the mainstream community toward our community.

    Why the fuck don’t they ask those millions of Catholics why they’re still in the pews after finding out that THEIR church shielded PEDOPHILES and helped assist in the destruction of countless thousands of lives through sexual molestation? Why are THEY still in those pews.

    If Wright said, Kiss my Black Ass, Whitey every single Sunday, it ain’t none of their goddamn business. Period.

    And Trinity is worth 10,000 of their posturing, poseur Christian houses of worship.

  25. white guy who was just insulted

    Dear Skeptical Brother – Your entire response to my posting were inappropriate, rude, and totally uncalled for. Your wrote: This may not be the place to have your questions answered. If you want to reduce a 36 year ministry to a single three minute rant-fine (YOUR ILLOGICAL WORDS, NOT MINE). If you want to believe the lies that you’ve been told by the media-that’s fine, too(WHAT LIES – I WATCHED THE VIDEOS OF HIS SERMONS). If you want to ignore the answer given by Barack Obama, that’s your choice as well (HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT I BELIEVE). But don’t you dare come here (OR WHAT? ) under the guise of “asking questions,” when your damn (CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS, IF POSSIBLE) mind is closed (IT IS OPEN), your viewpoint is narrow (I AM A 26 YEAR US ARMY OFFICER, FRIEND), and your willingness to engage in debate is non-existant(IT SEEMS YOU ARE THE ONE UNWILLING TO ENGAGE IN DEBATE…AS CLEARLY EVIDENCED BY YOUR RANT). If all you can do is insult me, I will post somewhere else, where viewpoints other than your own are tolerated. You see, it’s all about tolerance in the end. We are all God’s children.

  26. I do have this to say about Obama’s speech, and this is all that I can express right now.

    White people need to wake the fuck up. This is the olive branch you’ve been waiting for. This is the man to help us all to at least try and see what’s on the other side of the page. He’s extending the hand. You know what’s on this side. Sure, the other side might not be all milk and honey, but it’ll be something new, and dammit, aren’t you tired of the same old shyt?

  27. I would like to comment on the Black Commentators that I saw today.

    Blackwell, Larry Elder and Juan Williams need to be stuffed and mounted in the House Negro Hall of Fame.

    I never thought I’d say that McWhorter was a voice of reason. The rest of the Black Commentators I thought did a good job, and SB, your vampire girl, Bernard, was excellent today on MSNBC.

  28. Befree

    No major speech on race with all the things whites have said about blacks during this campaign, but ONE black man says something to offend some Red Legs and now it’s a major speech on race. Huh? So it was not needed BEFORE now…..why? I know why….white people got offended, if anyone says it’s not……. it’s a damn lie.

    We can hear white pundits daily talk about Obama not having racial baggage like “us”……no race speech . Bill Bennett can say Obama can teach blacks how to act…no race speech…Bill O. can say he won’t go on a lynching party UNLESS there’s evidence (referring to Michelle)…no race speech.

    His attpempt to be even handed with White ills….and black ills..did not sit well with me.

    His idea the Rev. Wright is in some time capsule in 1965 made me cringe? Did we not see Katrina, did when not see Jena, did we not see James Byrd, did we not see Amadou Diallo, did we not see a 20 year-old Black woman Tortured? I could go one, but I won’t. It’s is voices like Wright’s who forced change in America.

    No Sir Rev. Wright is NOT in a time capsule, he’s WRIGHT on TIME.

    If you got to do all this crap to get the job, I hate to see what the Hell you got to do to keep it!

  29. TripLBee

    Befree, this is exactly the reaction that Obama’s detractors were hoping to elicit when they began peddling this nonsense. They knew that Obama’s choice was between standing on principle and defending Rev. Wright—and thus committing political suicide—-or expressing that he does not agree with the snippets that have been circulating on TV. I am not suggesting that your views are irrational or misguided. I am asking you to consider the deeper tactic that’s being used to divide black voters and hence conquer Obama’s campaign—it’s classic divide and conquer strategizing. You can support whomever you wish, but I am going to stick with Obama. Obama is going to continue to be hounded by people unwilling to cede their power to him, and I am not going to take their bait.

  30. I’ve been thinking for days about this whole notion that Senator Obama is a coward, only because he didn’t act and move when the situation opened the door for some type of action to be renderred. I wondered if those that would accuse Obama of being a coward for not jumping on every opportunity to “act” would also classify Nat Turner as a coward. I’m sure that there were many times he could have executed his plan. I’m sure there were many times he was tempted to kill everyone in sight, with good reason. But he waited. He waited until the time was right. If he had acted any sooner, he may not been able to carry out his plan and produce the same results.

    I read the autobiography of Nat Turner. One thing that stands out is that the brotha had a plan, and that he waited until he had a sign from God to move. Was Nat a coward for not rising to the occasion sooner than he did? Did he fail himself and his people for not standing up for what he believed before that faithful day? Hell no!

    Nat Turner was a hero. Nat Turner understood that wisdom, timing, spiritual insight, careful coordination of support from fellow slaves, a workable plan, as well as courage, was needed to effectively carry out the tasks that God had called him to accomplish in his life.

    I think that we must be careful that we don’t do the same thing that many did to Martin Luther King and other great men and women. We cannot expect them to do everything in the time and fashion that we think they should do it. Can we demand that they are honest? Yes. And I think that Senator Obama has been honest. He was honest when he said that he agrees with most of the things that his pastor has taught him. And he was honest when he said that he disagreed with some of the things that his pastor said. What, do we want the brother to lie and say he agrees with everything that Pastor Wright said?

    I’m going to make the following statement, knowing that many of us on this blog are believers in Christ. But with that being said, I don’t want to offend anyone that doesn’t believe. (My disclaimer… LOL)

    Jesus was the only man that walked on this earth that was perfect. And even he was criticized a coward when he didn’t liberate his people in the time and fashion that, even his strongest supporters, thought he should.

  31. Angie,

    don’t worry about the typos. I’m reading and I hear you.

    For me, I realize that, in his entire speech, this was really all I wanted to hear:

    He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

    I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.

    That’s what made me cry.

  32. zeitgeist9000

    I can’t imagine anyone else but Barack successfully delivering a speech like this!

    While I think he has a long way to go to be President (like being VP first), this speech was a true indication to me that only Barack, who bridges so many divides and divisions, could be caught in the middle of something like this–that really goes back to the founding of the nation–and tie it all together for us common folk to understand.

  33. Michael Mandel

    Like many folks here, I wish Senator Obama went further in his critique of white privilege and systemic/institutional racism, did not try to equate the unequal injustices faced by the black and white communities in the U.S. as a whole, addressed issues of racism earlier in his campaign, and stood by Rev. Wright and the substance of his comments (the vast of majority of which I, as a white person, totally agree with). However, when I consider the context of this speech, I’m frankly amazed he even went as far as he did.

    This was not a local activist talking to a group of community organizers. This was not a professor lecturing a classroom of students. This was the leading presidential candidate speaking to a national audience in the midst of an historic campaign and just as the right wing smear machine was kicking into high gear – and he was talking especially to white people whose votes, like it or not, are absolutely critical for anyone to win the election. Senator Obama could have played it safe and totally distanced himself from Rev. Wright, which would have been the smarter political strategy and probably would have satisfied enough white voters to lock up the nomination and eventual election, but instead he took a chance by bring up issues that don’t get brought up in presidential campaigns. Yes, tens of millions of people live these issues daily, and this blog and countless others are dedicated to tackling these issues every day. And yes, this country would be a much, much better place if its people were half as informed as these bloggers and readers. Unfortunately, that’s not even close to the case, especially within white society. And Sen. Obama would have about a 0% chance at becoming president if he actually spoke the absolute truth on the campaign trail. That’s not right, but that’s the reality today.

    I do not know Sen. Obama personally so I have no idea whether he truly believed everything he said or whether he didn’t go nearly as far as he would have liked and instead made a political compromise that he felt was absolutely necessary. Regardless, I’m thankful that he said what he said. And pleasantly surprised as well, since I am constantly reminded of the limitations placed on any serious contender for the presidency, and especially on Sen. Obama. To me, part of the answer lies in making sure that we get him elected, and once elected, work tirelessly to push him and his policies further to the progressive left. And even more important, it’s working from the grassroots up to fix a broken system that punishes people from speaking the truth about racism, sexism, unchecked capitalism and the other numerous ills facing our society today (or start a new system altogether). A system that usually only allows the ultra wealthy and connected to make a serious run at national office, and forces those candidates to pander to certain constituencies just to be nominated and/or win. It means focusing on the local and regional and not just the national level. And recognizing that electoral politics will not (and cannot) bring about all the changes we need to ensure justice and true equality. But positive change comes at a snail’s pace in national elections and in DC, and yesterday’s speech was an important, and courageous, step in the right direction.

  34. Befree

    TripLBee….I am black and free. What does that mean? No what does it really mean? It means I stand on my own even when others try to cut me off at the legs. I can only stomach so much of “this is what he HAS to do to become President”. I would rather see a black man free and un-bought than to see a black President, I would rather see a black man free to think, than to see a black President. I would rather see a black man lose on his OWN terms, than to watch him appease white supremacy. The issue isn’t trying to divide the black vote; it’s trying to capture the white vote in away that is problematic for me. Wright is the one who is the REAL victim in this. His life has been reduced to cut and paste. It’s is Obama decision that has impacted Wright’s life, not the other way around.

    One can not be a willing participate in double “standardness” and than say its unfair. To destroy double standards, you can’t participate in them.
    If one is comparing Wright and his white grandmother racist views it is uneven. Wright is one of the premiere intellectual minds. You can’t have liberation Gospel, without liberation language. I am not sure I want millions of black children watching a black man sign up to be abused by white supremacy and participate in the double standards. We need to remember liberation is not for the individual, it’s for the collective. We also need to not liberation is the one thing that is NOT “By any means necessary”. Liberation has to travel on the train of FREEDOM, not caboose of accommodation.

    Some of his speech is just plain wrong. Validating white working class racist feelings does not sit well with me, you know the Archie Bunkers of the world. Black people have NOT taken anything from anybody, anytime, anywhere, so no their feelings about affirmative action are NOT valid when the white woman (Edith Bunker) they’re sleeping next to have benefited from more than anyone.

    There is only so much “he has to do” that I can take. I have moved the line sooooo far back in his favor my back is against the wall. Now if it comes down to me choosing my unapologetically African beliefs or Obama. I’ll choose mine every time.

  35. TripLBee

    Befree, you of course are free to adhere to your own standards. I will simply say that adhering to your standard would mean that we cold not have a black president during our lifetime. I’m sticking with Obama. You’re free to support whomever you wish.

  36. Lance

    I thought Obama’s speech was fantastic. I think it expressed well the duality and complexity of the world that has informed his views.

    He knows Jeremiah Wright as a friend and parishioner. He knows the experiences that have left Pastor Wright conflicted with his homeland. He understands that when Pastor Wright erupts angrily with words of rage that it is like an angry lover lashing out at a philandering spouse.

    Behind the angry words lie bruises from abuse but also the knowledge that he still loves his country. Also the words were spoken “behind closed doors” to other people that shared the same conflicted complex relationship with America.

    They were not meant for the ears of people not intimately acquainted with their relationship. Sean Hannity was like an eavesdropping angry neighbor looking to “get the dirt” on the neighbor he hates.

    Now people (mostly white) that have never seen that “side” of the country they also love are reacting with disgust when they really don’t know “both sides” of the story.

    I must admit that as one of those “other” people I was outraged when I was first exposed to the cleverly packaged sound bites. To see a “man of God” screaming “God Damn America!” and comparing the country I would die to protect to Al Quieda was disquieting to say the least.

    After a few days of putting things in perspective and equipped with a fuller picture of Pastor Wright I have come to a few conclusions.

    1. Pastor Wright’s remarks were purposely taken out of context and sensationalized with the expressed intention of damaging Barack Obama’s chances for nomination.

    2. The life experiences of Pastor Wright, and many other American’s, give them a different view of the actions of our government and our society.

    3. While I agree with Barack Obama that this view is a “distortion” it is not one reached for no reason. Events, both historical and personal, have shaped this distorted view and callously dismissing these perceptions does not invalidate them. Mistrust and anger because of past, and lesser but persistent current, injustices are not delusional and will not be redressed by neglect and ignorance.

    4. I also think Barack Obama is uniquely qualified to begin to bring America together so that people on all sides of our society can understand each other and work with each other to come to an understanding of what America should provide for her citizens.

  37. Jessica

    Befree,

    I understand your point. I want to share with you that I was offended by previous comments in the campaign and am not at all offended by Reverend Wright.

    Please remember that the previous nastiness was by the Clinton camp and that she did not have the character to stand up and speak. She gave exactly what one would expect and she has paid dearly. She has not done anything meaningful to recapture any part of the black vote and has remained silent even after Obama’s speech.

    I know that many white people cover their ears when they hear black folks use the word white. It causes a pain that makes white people want to run. It takes courage to really stand in the sins of your ancestors, to take a long truthful look at your role in that and to own it. Most people don’t want to sit with the pain and the sadness and the shame. This is why it is so hard to get to the other side. People try to avoid discomfort. Maybe one day there will be a way to help whites to walk through this repentance. Most do not know how to do it on their own.

    I think that in addition to the shame there is real anger. The same way that blacks can find it difficult to escape the stereotype (to choose one) of lazy, unemployed criminals- many whites find it difficult to escape the stereotype (to choose one) of greedy, self-serving liars.

    It is clear that the Clinton’s and Geraldine and others think that it is enough to have a philosophical stance and to fight injustice but can’t take it to the next level- to consider how deeply racism runs -to look at the fact that the inherent nature of our socialization in this country is unavoidably racist.

    We are getting to the marrow here. I am on the edge of my seat- wondering who gets it; who will get it. A year ago, I would have claimed far fewer. I am repeatedly amazed by the grace with which Obama can open a small, safe-looking path through a large wall. Hopefully many will pass to the other side.

  38. whitepixie

    I happen to be white and I really hate the way you all talk on here.Why is it alright that you can hate on whites? What gives you the right. Ya Ya many things happened back in the day. But like Obama says move on,how can you preach what you ain’t teachin?
    And why do whites always have to be careful when talking,blacks are always calling us names and god knows what else and it’s ok because your black and you have the right. Well you have no more of a right than we do.
    Tell me in this day in age what Injustices do you suffer from? And how are your lifes anyless important than any color? I would also like to say if it was anyone else up there talking things would be much different. But it’s alright he gets up there and does it any many peoples eyes.
    And you can’t be bringing a county together when you are pretty much saying in front of the whole world that it is alright his preacher hates America and he still is ok with him. It’s not okay in anyway and I want someone to tell me how it is? Would it be okay in any other chruch of a different color?

  39. Where’s the white guy asking questions, and then getting offended when being told the truth?

    I want to holla at you. You’re the reason why Barack Obama had to give that speech yesterday.

    You say you want racial harmony – well, that requires listening to what makes Black people want to holler. You say we don’t have a right to our anger; you want to nullify it.

    Obama’s refusal to deal with race was making me angry. But unlike a Harold Ford, the man stepped up to the plate and hit a Home Run. For that, NOW, I can get behind him, because it means he will get his hands dirty. It means he’s willing to do the hard work to lay the foundation towards that racial equality you whites SAY you want.

    If you really want it, then you need to ask why did you get offended when SB told you the truth? What about his statement offended you? Is it because he tore the sheets off and you’re not as “special” as you’ve been deluding yourself?

    The problem is denying the truth about the history of Black people. That’s what we bring to the table, whether you like it or not, and until you’re willing to acknowledge that’s what we’re bringing to the table in the work towards racial harmony, you’re going to continue being offended, and I could care less, because your offense means you’d rather discount my history, and I won’t allow that.

    For everyone else – while we wish Obama could have “gone gangsta” on the masses, the reality is that he COULDN’T – not without shooting his whole campaign in the foot and reload. I’ve read the speech – he nailed it from every angle and picked off his detractors one by one. I can’t ask for him to do more than that.

    Tracy Morgan’s SNL skit had the ring of truth with this statement: “AMERICA IS A RACIST COUNTRY. THE END!”

    No truer words were ever spoken. I’m taking it a step further; America is a whore, but you know what? I was born in this whore; my father, grandfather and brothers fought in wars for this whore, and they did it because, despite her whorishness, we still believe America is a great country, full of promises and needing those truths the Founding Fathers say we hold to be self-evident.

    I’m reminded of the bible story of the prophet Hosea. God commanded Hosea to go and marry a whore, Gomer. Hosea did so and God instructed him that Gomer was going to revert to her true nature and start hoeing again.

    So what was the purpose of the marriage? It was the virtual image of how much God loves us and is not wiling to give up on us, no matter how much we whore around on Him.

    The allegory here is that America is Gomer, and we, her American citizens of African descent, are modern-day “Hosea”. We will continue to love America in the hope that someday, she will quit hoeing, and live up to her promise to be the land of the Free; Home of The Brave, with Liberty and Justice for all.

    So, Andrea, I fully understand how you feel. You’re a purist in heart, and as a younger woman, I feel the same way. Still do, as a matter of fact.

    But with age, comes wisdom. While I wish Obama didn’t have to say he denounced the words of Dr. Wright (because those of us with the spirit of discerning ears knew he was speaking the truth), I understand the route he needed to take, and yet to say he couldn’t sling Wright under the bus no more than flinging himself under that bus; to state that his grandmother was bigoted (in “Dreams of My Father”, Obama kept relating incidents between his grandparents; specifically his grandmother’s reactions to Black Men in the street, and his grandfather’s anger in response to his wife’s bigotry), and he couldn’t deny her, either – what can Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly do with those statements except acknowledge them as truth?

    With wisdom comes maturity. I will be the last one to tell you to dial it back, because that would be to negate and deny your opinions. I respect you far too much to do that; sometimes, I wish other young people under 35 would get as enlightened by the realities of life as you are. I’m just glad Obama took the fight and laid it right on their front doors. Obama is challenging America to really live up to her promise of being a great nation – which is something else for Tavis Smiley to drink the haterade on, because Tavis always spouts that rhetoric, talking loud and saying NOTHING.

    Wait to see whether or not Obama’s walk matches his talk. Once you get the picture, then you walk in it, regardless of whether or not anyone agrees with you. The truly brave person really walks alone; I know because I’ve been there, seen everything and done it all.

  40. Befree

    If my goal is to have a black President in my lifetime without critically examining who he or she is, I have wasted my life. I can’t sacrifice quality for quantity. I don’t beleive in making history to make it. I have long abandoned the “first black to” mantra. I realized that with the Buffalo Soldiers’ story who were first to serve during peacetime. I used to write all my reports about them in elementary school; until I got older and realize they were an extension of white supremacy and US imperialism, that “first blacks to” became less important, at this point not important at all To ME. To me it’s WHO they ARE and HOW they did it becomes the overriding factor for me

    I do not begrudge your support one bit.

  41. I notice some trolls coming on this board. Speak English because we don’t speak “Troll”; we’re too busy whipping them off this blog.

    White Pixie, get a clue – if you have to ask about the injustices African-Americans have suffered; how much time do you have to sit and listen to 400 years of our history? Quit insulting us and showing your bigoted ignorance here – better yet, may I recommend NewsMax and InstaPundit for your viewing pleasure? They might be more to your liking, since you don’t like what we have to say here.

    You come back and write another check that I will be more than ready to cash, and will whip out the can of whip ass if you can’t back it up.

    Could you and the Questioning White guy be one and the same troll?

  42. Jessica

    whitepixie,

    Let me speak to you as another white woman. Calm down, please. This tone is not who you are- who you need to be. You are directing your frustration about a situation at a whole group of people that you now find guilty of having an opinion other than yours.

    You make be cry.

    Please stand in another’s shoes. Please sit in how it makes you feel to know that your ancestors kidnapped people, let them die, treated them like animals, raped them, separated children from their mothers, beat and killed them, broke their spirit as one would a horse. When you are done- imagine that you are the person being torn from their home, that you are being raped as your husband stands by powerless, that you ten must carry that child, that your own baby is taken from you at the age of six- torn from your arms and that you never see them again. Please just sit in it and cry for those people and for yourself and for the whole planet. Then move up through history- and then ask then try to ask the same questions.

    I am curious exactly what it is of Rev. Wright’s teachings that you find so objectionable? You have heard 9/11 conspiracy theories before. If you have a hard time with the AIDS comment- look up Tuskagee and you may see how this may not look so preposterous.

    You cannot seriously think that there is an imbalance in the tiptoeing that one race must do around another.

    How can you ask this? Tell me in this day in age what Injustices do you suffer from? I think what you mean to say is that you too are having a hard time. You are saying, hey look at me- I’m white and my life is damn hard. Say that instead.

    I have made a nasty comment in the past to people like you -that you need a passport and a library card. I do not want to slam the door on you. I want to reach out my hand.

  43. TripLBee

    I think it would behoove us to try to engage WHITEPIXIE in an actual dialogue. At the very least, it would make this blog more interesting. As black people we legitimately gripe that white people don’t want to engage in sincere discussions about race. Might we be silencing an important white point of view that whitepixie is offering us? It would be too easy to tell him/her all of the reasons black Americans are angry and to detail how historical racism continues to disadvantage black and brown people. But I actually want to learn something from whitepixie and discover why he/she thinks that black people overstate the power of racism. So WHITEPIXIE, I invite you to tell us–or at least some of us—your view of this whole racial imbroglio.

  44. chaospheory

    First of all, this is great discussion. I’ve been reading it, and there’s lots of passion and anger, hope and disappointment. This alone reflects the complexity of what’s happening. Mr. Obama has become many things to many people and has also become the “anti-ideal” to many people. The political process in this country necessitates that politicians appeal to as broad a spectrum as possible, in order to win, and very often that has meant personal or political compromises in message, or image, or action. I feel that Mr. Obama is trying his best to attact as many people to his banner as he can, while compromising as few of his principles, and compromising as little of his own identity, as possible. He’s going to misstep some of the time, but so far I am impressed.
    I don’t see why he should apologize for his minister’s comments. Of course, no agrees all the time with one’s minister, however long the association, however intimate the relationship. If that were the case, there would only be ONE church on this earth, and of course, that’s NOT the case. How can people not understand that it is possible to learn, and love, from a mentor, and not wholly agree with EVERYTHING that they believe in? Or, at least, not everything that they say?
    Mr. Obama has reaffirmed his loyalty to people he loves and are important to him, and, more importantly, reaffirmed his position to the cause of Unity (that’s right, big “U”), to the idea that, yeah, we can have different opinions about things, but don’t we all want better for our children? Don’t we all want to be able to go to the doctor? Don’t we all want to live in peace?
    I don’t think this is simplistic. I am a person of color, and race is foremost in my mind, but for the first time, I can almost see that it MIGHT be a unifying force, rather than a divisive one.
    Some say that his speech broke no new ground. Certainly, much of what he said was not news to those of us who have studied and watched race relations and racial politics. But the context, the audience he addressed, and the manner in which he spoke, all make me feel that he has elevated the level of public discussion. His position has always been: we ALL have problems, let’s work them out. To do that, we have to figure out how to get with each other in a comfortable way, and to do THAT, we have to start talking in an open and honest fashion.

  45. Lance

    Hey NuPolitico,

    I appreciate your thoughtful comments and I hope we can open a discussion that will be a microcosm of the necessary dialogue of our larger society on these issues.

    “Oh, and Lance: You’re probably a delightful guy.”

    It depends on who you ask.

    “Unfortunately, point and counter-point with you is like two ships passing in the night. Disgust with America and being a proud American is not mutually exclusive. To imply inconsistency is setting up a false dichotomy.”

    I never implied that it was. I think if you read my above post you will see that my understanding of the issue is maturing. Let’s see if we can’t pull those ships along side each other.

    “I love my country for its potential.”

    I don’t put qualifiers on my love of the people in my life or my country. That doesn’t mean I can’t see their flaws. Imagine how the “N” word spoken by an angry white man sounds to your ears and I think you will have some idea of the emotional impact of hearing a pastor screaming “God Damn America!” had to mine.

    “But I am disgusted with its lack of fortitude.”

    I can understand your impatience at America’s inability to live up to it’s “potential” but I think you may be overlooking a great deal of progress. Do you realize that an African American stands at the cusp of being elected President of the United States of America? He has swept almost entirely “white” states and is supported by the mainstream media and a plurality of Americans of all ethnicities.

    While this is not a sign that all of our racial divisions are healed it is certainly stunning progress when put in historical perspective.

    “I’m a sports fan, so I’ll use a sports analogy.”

    I am as well so I will use one also. I understand your mixed feelings about “our” team, America.

    I am a longtime Indianapolis Colts fan. I attended the first game they ever played in the “Hoosier Dome” as it was called at the time. While I was excited that we finally had an NFL team the reality was that they were not very good.

    In a word they “sucked”.

    For over twenty years they dashed my hopes. They had inept players and, initially, a dictatorial obnoxious owner that put no money into the team and acted liked an ass to his players and the fans.

    Year after year we Colts fans endured horrifically disappointing losses by a team that had offensively bad leadership and seemed to not care about winning or the people and the city that sacrificed so much to bring them here.

    After each gut punching loss I would routinely leave voice messages to my fellow disgusted Colts fan friends that consisted of two angrily stated words. COLTS SUCK!

    Eventually death took the autocratic owner Robert Irsay. His son realized the mistakes that his father had made and removed himself from the day to day operations of the team.
    He brought in Bill Polian and eventually hired Tony Dungy, as I’m sure you know the first African American coach to win the Super bowl.

    Things didn’t change overnight and there were still plenty of disappointing times but things were moving in the right direction. Finally in 2006 the teams “potential” was realized.

    I try not to yell COLTS SUCK anymore, even when they loose to the “God damn” Patriots. So I understand how you can love something and still be angry at the same time.

    “Do not presume to reject my experience in America.”

    I would never do that. I hope you don’t think I have.

    “There are some whites who get it. And there are some who don’t. There are some whites who won’t even consider validating my right to feel like an abusive spouse. Which one are you?”

    Well first of all I’m very uncomfortable with the term “some whites” and being asked “which“ kind of white I am. Imagine if I asked you “which” kind of “black” you were. I think this is the kind of generalization that has lead to so much of the divisiveness that prevents real communication.

    That said, I hope you see that I am beginning to understand your feelings about an America that promises more than she delivers when it comes to equality and justice.

    “Are you really enlightened? Your central thesis seems to be that you are open minded otherwise you wouldn’t have visited Africa, married an Ethiopian, etc. etc. My friend, that is a circular argument, also known as a tautology.”

    I didn’t claim that being married to an African woman and having lived in Africa meant that I was “enlightened”. I just presented that information to give you an idea of what experience I brought to the discussion.

    “As to what do I want from America? Reparations (i.e. material benefit) would not be the salve to heal America’s racial wounds. In a word, I seek acknowledgment.”

    OK now we’re getting somewhere.

    “1. Acknowledgment that *some* of our past domestic and foreign policies have been atrocious.”

    Done. No argument there.

    “2. Acknowledgment that the current American construct facilitates systemic injustices.”

    Well I guess I would need more specifics about what you mean by “construct” to offer an opinion on this point.

    “3. Acknowledgment that if as an American society we don’t change, racial injustices will be perpetuated in our future.”

    I totally agree with this point and that is why I think a Barack Obama presidency could be a pivotal moment in US history.

    I hope this gives you a clearer idea of who I am and how I see things. I look forward to working to gain a further understanding of your perspective. I hope progress can be made so that we are both pull together for our “team”, America.

  46. RhondaCoca

    Pretty good conversation going on here from everyone except the guy who came here to ask “questions”.

    Beefree, everything you are saying is 100% correct however since we all have been living in this country long enough, we understand why things are happening the way that they are and why Senator Obama has to take the steps that he is taking. When I was young, I never wanted a black president. I could always care less because as you said, he could not be a free man or woman. However I feel like to a certain extent Obama has eradicated much of those beliefs for me. I am truly still fuming however about Rev.Wright. He is truly the real victim in this entire situation and I do not validate his demise on the basis of Obama winning the presidency. What he was talking about was not outdated but it showed me how uninformed many in our country are. Our society has been built, built on white supremacy and that has not been dismantled but instead advanced with technology. It has only evolved. Rev. Wright in one of those sermons that tey showed was talking about how easily we as a society forget things. He spoke about historical amnesia. Man.Man…when I watch white pundits and black pundits who feel that they must validate themselves by dogging their own brothers and sisters, I get upset because I know that they just dont get it. Therefore I am happy that Obama was upfront (regardless the reason) about race in America. He could have very easily thrown the man under the bus, reverse and back up over him again for the sake of white America however he didn’t.

    He said,

    “He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

    I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.”

    We all here understand how complex race is in America and we discuss it, experience it and analyze it on a regular basis. We cannot get away from it. However Obama spoke in terms for the everyday American who doesn’t possess our complex understanding and I believe that it was wonderful and reflective of how much he cares about seeing our advancement as a nation.

  47. Jessica

    I was just reading a review of the speech and a thought stood out. The writer stated that in addition to speaking about black anger and grievances, Obama acknowledged that there are legitimate reasons for whites to be angry at blacks – that are not racist. I have to sit with this notion for a bit.

    I do know that I would like to study the words like anger and resentment, etc. . . to see which racial groups they are assigned to. I also wanted to look at Obama’s use of we, they, etc. . . since he is bi-racial.

    Clearly, it’s a slow day at my house- raining- since I am subjecting you all to my thought process.

    Pray for sun.

  48. Jessica, thank you for your comments. They show respect for your own opinion as well as the opinions of everyone else on this board. When you related the atrocities of slavery to White Pixie, my heart rose in confidence that there are others like you who know our pain and feel it themselves, because you know you can’t hurt one human being without hurting yourself.

    Thank you for those comments, my sista in the fight. Yes, WE CAN!

  49. TripLBee

    Jessica, I don’t think that Obama was saying that whites have legitimate reasons to be angry at blacks. Rather, I think he was saying that many whites are in fact angry with blacks and he tried to paint the narrative for the origin of that anger. He is, in fact, correct. Many white Americans are angry at blacks. And it would be a benefit to us if the dialogue about the roots of racial antagonism ran in more than one direction. That doesn’t mean that we will agree with that point of view, but in a dialogue it’s critical to listen to opposing points of view and attempt to understand their basis.

  50. Andrea

    Oh, Damn! I go to lunch and come back…all hell has broke loose here.

    Last night I retreated because of a head-ache.

    I swear I can’t keep up to know who is throwing punches, whose waving White Flags, and whom is offering olive branches.

    No matter the offenses and the hurt feelings, this is PROGRESS.

    Let me catch up on all I have missed and I will holla back at y’all later. Maybe I will throw a chair to break in.

  51. Carl

    I’ve been lurking for a few weeks and decided to chip in. There’s not many other blogs where I keep checking on an old post to see what people are saying in the comments. First off, anyone may feel free to let me know if I’m outta line or full of shit. I just wanted to address this question of whether Obama gave too much credit or weight (as someone earlier suggested, I can’t find the comment again) to white racial resentment.

    I never watched the Wright videos but I have agreed with most of what he’s been quoted as saying in summary (9/11, god damn america, racist country, etc) and I have been pretty disgusted at white netpunditry’s slobbering haste to decry so-called “black racist” (no such thing of course) hate speech and then play the guilt-by-association race card on Obama.

    The good news is he seems to have shut them up for the time being, but did he go too far? So yeah, I gotta mention I’m white here (hope our numbers are not getting too high here, and I’m sincere when I say that), and I tend to just get pissed at whites (including of course myself to some extent, recognizing none of us is untainted) for being racist. I am however also very bourgeois and so listening to Obama, it was kind of like a reminder of what should be obvious, which is, “don’t forget class.”

    Of course, even this is a bit disgenous as it does not provide an “excuse,” so to speak, for all the open and subtle racism that also exists in the bourgeois, in the left (read the OpenLeft comments sometime, including the fucked up responses to rikryah’s great article, or check Nader comparing his goddamn campaign to civil rights!!) , in academia, and so on.

    Putting that aside, though, the response that you get even from other middleclass white folks when you talk about racism is “what about poor white people” or some shit like that. It took me a while (naive young person that I was and still am) to start pointing out, “hey, the joke’s on them too… someone’s convinced them that the black man is responsible for all their shit, or that at least they’re not black, or whatever, when really they are getting screwed by The Man as well.” Are they getting screwed as much? No. Is that what Obama is claiming? I’m not sure he is overtly, but rhetorically he does give equal weight to black and white working class resentment, and that is something I think I initially overlooked in my enthusiasm for his speech.

    It does suck but that’s how you gotta talk to whitey, as I think you all know; looking at it that way, I can’t at all blame anyone for not wanting to talk to whitey (not that you need my approval, of course).

  52. Jessica

    Of course I can’t find the reviewer that chose those words- I’ve only read about 50 this morning. Darn.

    Anyway . . .I did read the speech. There aren’t words for my feelings. I have heard and read Obama’s words about wide-eyed liberals who want racial reconciliation on the cheap and pray that this is not me and that this is not what we get. It hurts me to think that I could be so blind in my idealism, but I know that this disease runs deep. I have to sit with that idea for a bit as well.

    I think a piece for white people that Obama touched upon, as he begins to pull strings from this horrific knot, is that there is the white immigrant experience. I hadn’t even thought about this. I don’t know why I hadn’t. Growing up as a Catholic; having cried as a small child that I had crucified Jesus- it was not been a difficult fit for me to own the sins of my race and of the world.

    My story is one of immigrants. My grandfather lied about his age and joined the army to gain citizenship. He worked his entire life in a brewery, capping bottles- even gave a finger to the machine. But where this story differs in the context of race- is that my uneducated grandfather and his uneducated wife, who were basically poor- sent two of their six children to Yale. They could. Both attended on basketball scholarships. . . an all too familiar entree into elite institutions- even in this day and age. I guess the point is that we all have a story.

    I pulled newspapers from my 100+ year old apartment wall. They said Irish need not apply.

    Obama has put words to my feelings and has shown that the most creative solutions are sometimes the simplest. Talking . . . hmmm. The common ground. The struggle of how we get from a to b. The story of a single person’s search for enlightenment.

    I am along for the ride, the march. I may even jump in the air a couple of times out of excitement. Knowing me, I’ll wipe out in the gravel. Been there before.

  53. Lance

    Carl,

    You say,

    “…I have been pretty disgusted at white netpunditry’s slobbering haste to decry so-called “black racist” (no such thing of course) ”

    Ironically you disprove your own words just a few paragraphs later by sneering,

    “It does suck but that’s how you gotta talk to whitey, as I think you all know; looking at it that way, I can’t at all blame anyone for not wanting to talk to whitey.”

    Yeah, no such thing as a black racist. Ignorance and bigotry comes in all skin tones.

  54. Marla K.

    Hi SB, this is a great post with a lot of thought, and I think even sensitivity. Given that bad taste in your mouth, I appreciate your restraint. (smile) Thanks for fighting the FOXvirus.

    Also, after having been on your board for a while as much as I liked your previous heading with one of my favorite photos of Dr. King, I think it’s very befitting that you changed it to include Malcolm…..just so people are forewarned of the turf on which they tread. although I am not afraid, sometimes it’s scary in here. :)

  55. Carl

    Uh, Lance, did you just call me a black racist? If, so that would just about make my day in a perverse sort of way. Did you read the part where I mentioned that I am white, or did you overlook that in your furor to play “reverse racism gotcha”? For me to say “whitey” is a bit tongue-in-cheek but it is also an attempt to characterize the white racial groupthink that has been going on lately, not agreed with by all of us but prevalent nonetheless.

    Also, racism, as I understand it, requires institutional and social backing to exist in any meaningful form. Even when a black person arguably goes too far in demonizing whites (which I still don’t think happened here) that person will never be able to oppress me by virtue of my race because the system is on my (and your) side, even if you or I don’t consciously face up to that fact.

    I may have misunderstood your comment, but regardless I will not reply to you from here on out as I don’t think that us arguing will serve the purposes of this blog (and frankly I don’t see what your willful misreadings and insistent blindness to racial inequities contribute in general, but that’s a matter for SB to decide of course).

  56. Marla K.

    Senator Obama was brilliant as ever. The double standard requires he be twice as good as the other candidates, and he is.

    My only regret is during his comparison of the black perspective and the white perspective of America had he gone further on the perspective of whites in America, particularly working class whites it’s possible he could have strengthened his support among this segment sufficiently to win Pennsylvania, and of course this will be important in the general election.

    I am happy to see some further understanding seems to have come out of these discussions.

    NuPolitico I am looking forward to your explaining to Lance “the current American contruct that facilitates systemic injustices.”

    Angie, I really like your analogy……but Nat Turner is a little scary, dont you think. :)

    Congradulations Jessica!! TPJ now says YES WE CAN!! Unbelievable.

    Also, thanks TPJ for the lesson in foreign policy. That was hot!

    Hi Lance, nice to see you sticking around.

    TripLbee, looks like everything is under control for now……however, we’re expecting Andrea.

  57. Lance

    Carl,

    I did see that you said you were white. I assume you know you didn’t invent the racial epithet “whitey”.

    It is frequently used to disparage people of european descent, most ofen by people of African descent.

    Your’e appeal to there needing to be an “institutional” framework behind it is erroneous.

  58. john in california

    Obama’s speech engendered more comments on liberal blogs than anything else I can remember (around 600 over at C&L and, with this and the preceding thread, over 200 here). I wasn’t going to comment beyond my little sermonette on the last thread but some of the comments (and sb’s lead) compel me to add another two bits.
    I agree with those who thought the speech was impressive but less for it’s (long overdue) take on race relations than for Obama’s ability to ‘disengage’ from a prominent supporter and member of his campaign with dignity. Wright is not the first nor will he be the last ‘advisor’ Obama will have to throw over the side. Distancing himself from Riezko last month, Samantha Powers being was fed to the fishes last week (thank God, as she is a liberal version of Douglas Fief), and now Wright, and I hope before it gets to the general, he throws out that crook, Penny Pritzker. One of my first comments about Obama was that he was the smartest guy in the race but, unfortunately, not the best (the best being DK!) Well, that is the idealist talking, if we lived in a country where DK could be elected we wouldn’t need him. But we live in a country where, if he isn’t brought down by his own side, Obama can be elected and we do need him. Advisor’s are the window dressing of a campaign. They may think they are VIP’s, and puff themselves up (again Ms. Powers) but they are totally expendable. That Obama was able to squeeze, if not champagne, at least a good chardonnay out of the Wright controversy lemons make me more and more hopeful that he can be his own man regardless of all the corporate whores who think they have bought him. Obama has plenty of enemies in front of him, let’s not put more of them behind.

  59. Great post and comments. I don’t understand how we allow the media to try and destroy the good works of Pastor Jeremiah Wright and his church.

    Those sermons were given on Sunday morning in front of his church family not in front of strangers. The people in that church were at home. What we say at home is not what we would say in public.

    I believe when Obama made the comment that, what we say at home around our own table is not the same thing we say around others. I agree 100% with that statement.

    I have faith in God and do believe in Divine Intervention. Just like Saul when his time was up and it was time for David to take the throne you did not hear about Saul any more. OBAMA 08

    Please forgive me if I took the post off course.

  60. I am older than most of you here, and thus I think
    differently. I am TRULY Proud of Obama. He put
    his ENTIRE candidacy on the line for US & America. This is a “make or break ” moment. I am not sure you understand the obstacles which he faces. This entire race is all about MONEY. The status quo does not want Obama changing the distribution of wealth in any way, shape or form! He has the courage, integrity, and character to stand up for his convictions. He is exactly who he says he is……..PERIOD! He is NOT a radical or a militant. He is a UNIFIER and he is doing just that to the best of his ability. He is actually attempting racial reconciliation—something no one else in recent
    history has attempted to do. The speech in and of itself was actually EXCELLENT. Give him a chance; trust in him. We most definately NEED
    to stand behind him as he is standing by US!
    No matter what happens, he is my HERO!

  61. sambo smiles

    To all the white people out there….give it up! Quit trying to get them to understand that everyone is tired of hearing it! They will never understand that as long as you justify idiotic statements made time and time again by black “leaders”, they will not be taken seriously. As soon as mainstream, everyday people hear this militant, tired-ass, black panther jibberish…they’re done. Period. Talk about not learning from decades of the same old mistakes. You’d think that after trying so long to get even or who the fuck even knows what they are trying to accomplish? One thing for sure, none of the blacks on this, or most, websites, want anything resembling peace b/w blacks and whites. So fuck it. Blacks on this site don’t care for whites of any kind, so why the hell should white people listen to any of your shit? Their is not one thing that would ever shut these idiots up…nothing…you have to understand this. Just watch how many cities burn b/c of idiots just like these when Obama loses. I feel for cities like L.A., New Orleans, Miami, etc…the idiots will come lack a pack of wild dogs, burning, looting and destroying the city in which they live. Amazing.

  62. Rick

    “Also, after having been on your board for a while as much as I liked your previous heading with one of my favorite photos of Dr. King, I think it’s very befitting that you changed it to include Malcolm…..just so people are forewarned of the turf on which they tread. although I am not afraid, sometimes it’s scary in here.” — Marla K

    (my OT comment is inspired by an exchange I saw the other day, but this is also serves as a reminder to myself)

    Some have in the past expressed a very deep discomfort towards the “old guard” for their intolerance; and for their refusal to embrace, and intent to suppress, a new generation of black leadership (namely “us”) and new ideas. I would agree any such behavior is undemocratic and demonstrates very poor leadership.

    But, to those of us who would call ourselves “leaders;” to those of us who would carry their mantle, let us also RESIST the temptation (as we ourselves get older) to become like those old figures we most criticize.

    That means not embracing tactics of intimidation, becoming bullies ourselves, and suppressing the expression of ideas — especially, when those ideas originate from one of our own brothers and sisters.

    I don’t think that is in the spirit of Dr. King or Malcom X. They spoke the truth firmly, sometimes strongly. But they also spoke the stern truth…with love.

    (hi, Marla K :)

  63. john in california

    Well, tonite I don’t seem able to shut up. Do you all remember this?

    Sondheim’s music was about the Politics of Art but could well have been about the Art of Politics for Obama. For twenty years he has been “.. bit by bit, piece by piece, putting it together “ to come out of ‘nowhere’ to be the leading contender for the Democratic nomination for President. He is not an accident though he has taken advantage of every ’accident’ that has come his way. That means he has had to walk over some good people and make nice with some bad and if it I thought it was only to advance his own egotistical and selfish ends, then I even wouldn’t bother being skeptical, I would just ignore him like I do the Clintons, or disparage him as I do the Pelosicrats but instead I am more and more amazed. This guy actually knows who he is and so is not taken in by the hype nor cowered by the mud. Since the last dem I voted for who actually won was Carter (a man too good and strong for a country that wanted to ignore its problems), sometimes I have a solipsistic dread that my support means the pol won’t win. But not this time. It is by no means in the bag but after this latest speech I believe Obama can see where he must take the big steps and where he must be satisfied with the small to “…put it all together.”
    After the most dishonest, dilatory and disastrous presidency in our nation’s history, it is going to take one hell of a leader to turn hearts from vengeance to some kind of justice and reconciliation. He is going to have to make clear to people where their own selfishness and willful ignorance contributed to our situation while showing the nation a path out of the wilderness tinpot and his cronies have made of our institutions, economy and respect in the world.
    McCain has the press, the military-industrial-prison complex and most of Big Money on his side, lets’ give Obama some trust and patience from ours.
    (now I really will shut up!)

  64. From ptcruiser over at Prometheus6:

    A Talking Point For Obama Supporters
    Posted March 19th, 2008 by ptcruiser


    Many of the alleged pundits and so-called analysts who appeared on television and radio yesterday to offer their interpretation of Obama’s speech were quick, in fact, too quick, to decry the analogy that Obama drew between his relationship with his maternal grandmother and his relationship with Rev. Wright. Many of the talking heads and far, far too many of the black males and females who appeared on these programs dismissed this connection because, as they stated, one can easily choose to find another minister as opposed to finding a replacement grandmother.

    This line of argument has a certain logical appeal because the church one chooses to join is a matter of choice. That is, one can choose to belong to this church or that church or no church at all. Whereas one has no choice over selecting one’s grandmother. People are continually born into a world that is always older than they are and they have no choice as to who is their grandmother. Natality and chance rule over this process.

    The problem here is that this way of looking at Obama’s decision tree ignores the very specific circumstances of his life and biography. When Obama likens Rev. Wright to an uncle and describes him as being a member of his family he is quite sincere and, more importantly, he is, psychologically speaking, correct. Obama’s biological father was virtually absent during his formative years and he was dead by the time Obama became an adult. In addition, Obama had no substantial contact with his father’s male siblings and adult male cousins. In other words, he had no older adult black males in his life with whom he could form close and enduring bonds until he met Rev. Wright.

    Consequently, when Obama says that Rev. Wright is like an uncle to him and that he could no more disown him than he could disown his maternal grandmother he is expressing a deeply felt and psychological true statement. Rev. Wright may or may not be crazy (I don’t believe that he is crazy or intemperate although I disagree with him about the origins of the AIDS epidemic.) but he is someone who Obama has chosen to be his uncle.

    What Obama did is no different from what tens of thousands of gays and lesbians have had to do when they were rejected by their families because of their sexual preferences. They went out and over time created their own families. I met a young sister, for example, in graduate school who later came out to me. She and I became very close friends and when she unexpectedly died several years ago I felt as if I had lost one of my own biological sisters. I miss her a great deal. She considered me to be a member of her family because her own family looked askance at her sexual preferences. The human need for familial association and acceptance is an evolutionary fact.

    Obama’s relationship with Rev. Wright should and must be seen in this context instead of through the superficial and grossly over simplified choice of simply switching ministers. His bond was with Rev. Wright and the community he found at Trinity United Church. Expecting or demanding him to sever those bonds would be tantamount to asking him to exile himself. Cutting off all of his ties to Rev. Wright would be exactly like asking him to cut off contact with his maternal grandmother. Blood may be thicker than mud but the ties that are created when you choose to call someone family are no less thick and lasting.

  65. LOL @ the kluxer talking about New Orleans. How’s anything gonna burn when it’s under water, fool?

    It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the rest of the primaries. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Obama has the teflon qualities of Bill Clinton, who was supposed to be finished after the Gennifer Flowers story broke. The race issue is of course highly toxic, but maybe, just maybe he’s got the skills to conquer it.

    Now having read what I just wrote, I have to state the obvious, because in this day and age the obvious is prevented from being even remotely obvious. And that is that the whole story is pure bullshit to begin with. Forget high tech lynching, this is an electronic crucifixion. Or cruci-fiction in this case.

    What is it with wingnuts not allowing the plain truth to be spoken in their parallel universe? When anyone does it they react like vampires getting doused with holy water. Come on, y’all no one hates America here, they just hate the lousy MFers currently running it. Is that a distinction thats too hard for you to make?

  66. NJC

    I watched a news item tonight on some GOP strategist savoring the opportunity to savage Obama on his refusal to separate from Wright if he is the Democratic nominee (which seems more and more likely, in my opinion)

    Which brings me to my next point. Has anyone noticed how Obama deals with his critics? And can anyone find any instance where it doesn’t fit this excerpt I took from the King site online:

    “We don’t want to destroy our opponent. We want to win their friendship and understanding. We try to find a “win-win” solution, which benefits everyone. This is how we create lasting peace. We resolve the conflict, not with the attitude of a conqueror, but with the motivation of a peace-maker.”

    Or am I imagining things?

  67. NJC

    I think my meaning will probably be clear, though it’s too bad I can’t edit that first paragragh so it doesn’t sound like Wirght is the nominee.

  68. Rob C

    A whirlwind of lively discussion. SB, your words garner a solid base of support, depth and breath.

    To Befree, from March 19, 2008 at 7:19 am, who states that “…We need to remember liberation is not for the individual, it’s for the collective.”

    I thought American people were free and therefore not in need of liberation. The purpose of the Amendments to the US Constitution is to protect ‘procured’ rights and liberties of the individual.

    The point and issues of Rev Wright’s advocacy as well as ministry, stems from a failure of the US government (this expansive organism) to adequately address its formerly ‘emancipated’ and reluctant citizens; whereas, today government, morphed by corporate control, belittles the ‘make the victim whole’ redress of this people having first been relegated to the Black Church ideology by way of government sanctioned ‘Jim Crow’ doctrines; and, a people with guns supporting the disregard for, and lackey status of, their casted-off servants. From this vantage point Wright’s ministry echoes the ‘woes’ of a God and Christ similar to the Gospel of Luke or pages of Isaiah.

    BeFree further states that “…Some of his speech is just plain wrong…” In a country in which its first principle of liberty is freedom of expression, is it un-American to wistfully seek to censor speech YOU consider offensive or wrong. Does BeFree mean WRONG, like advocating and voting for the Iraq War, or keeping quiet while silently pre judging a criminal defendant, before you know or heard all the facts…that type of wrong? Sitting with a friend or foe, the bitter comes with the sweet. On the one hand we want everyone to play nice…yet, we bomb and surge the hell out of an unknown neighbor and remain PC…to say anything controversial is un-American, a similar move to Anti-Semitic.

  69. Wow, there are a lot of good points here.

    Sure, Wright speaks some truths. But perhaps problem wasn’t just speaking the truth, it may have been how he was saying it.

    Fact is, I’ve heard everything Wright has said spoken and some public forum at one tie or another, and the dust up is never as bad.

    That is the point made, far more humorously, by by Ice Cold from the group N.W.H. that can be found here:

    http://newamericannegro.blogspot.com/2008/03/nwhs-ice-cold-addresses-jeremiah-wright.html

    Skeptical Brother, I love the level of discussion you incite here.

  70. Anon 1

    I agree Obama speech was well delivered. But Obama chose to speak on Race Relations when the issue was about His Faith and the Anti American sentiments of his pastor. By speaking on Race Relations he has now fallen into the trap of the Black candidate. This will be Obama downfall since he tried to avoid controversial issues on race throughout the camapign. He refused to go on Tavis Smiley and discuss race issues. Now because his political career is on the ropes, he tried to deliver a speech on race but I don’t know if it will be enough.

    I’ve always had a problem with Obama’s lack of authenticity. He seemed to want to please everybody but lack courage to fully express his views. Martin Luther King was never afraid to discuss race issues however controversial. Obama is no MLK.

    Here is a man who went to private shcools and ivy league colleges and univeristies and now want to portray himself as a victim. I was hoping Obama would speak about patriotism, his beliefs, faith and opportunities for all in America. Some of us are reacting on emotion rather than write an honest assesment of Obama’s tragic mistake. His advisors are partly to blame for allowing him to speak on Race Relations.

    Are we too accept that the American Constitution is imperfect because of its bloody past hence his speech tiltle, “A More Perfect Union.” Barack Obama is clawing his way through this political mess and the tentacles are slowing tightening around him. I wish him air!!!

  71. Jessica

    Thrilled to see the picture of Bill Clinton with Reverend Wright at a White House breakfast.

    Hope I have it all straight- since I rarely gossip.

  72. Befree

    Sorry Folks, but the
    I don’t think his picture with Clinton will do anything. This photo will not prove he’s not a bigoted racist…. Why? This with be shaped as a racist who has been trying to gain access to the White House through two administrations and finally has “raise the perfect politician” (Obama) to gain access.
    They have been on TV almost two weeks calling this man nutty, a loser, ignorant, bigot, anti-white, anti Semite and anti -American. Now all of a sudden this this photo is going to make them say “Hey He’s a Good Guy”. Nope.

    Don’t assume that they don’t know this photo exist? They know! This is not some secret information. Every reporter in America has looked into Wright.They know, but don’t give a damn. They can take John Kerry a decorated Vietnam Vet and make him a lying coward. They killed McCain’s 2000 by telling people he had a black illegitimate daughter, this photo ain’t fixing nothing!

    Now take the picture of Rezko with Billery, did it stick to them? Nope. They will argue like they did with Rezko thousands of people take pictures with Presidents…they did not have a relationship for 20 years…not to mention the clip of Wright was on heavy rotation…..this picture would have to triple that to get seen…

    This photo is suppose to clear Obama and Wright….Not gonna happen.

  73. another typical white guy

    SB, you should not demand a honest, open racial debate, then dump on the first (supposed) white person that asks you questions. You probably helped strengthen any preconceived notions he might have had. He may have came here to read some things he might not normally read. Brushing him and his poinions off to some right wing blog, will not encourage him to explore other possibilities. Your knee-jerk reaction to him did not shine any light on the matter at hand. It appears that you shut the door on him pretty hard.

    TPJ, why do you feel the need to resort to violence (can of whop ass?) with people that do not agree with you. Do you do this with all disagreeable people or just (supposed) white ones?

    3xBee, do you have your own blog? You sound more enlightened. Would you like to meet in the middle? BTW, you did not finish your story about your students. What happened when you pressed the issues?

  74. Marla K.

    NJC, I dont think you’re imagining anything….He is an effective peace maker….. where possible.

    Ernesto, although his poll numbers have been affected by the attacks I believe he has the teflon, the skills to get his message through, all the way through to November with the help of his surrogates ……and beyond…..

    Hannity says he has another distraction set to go but I think we’ ll ( he and supporters) be ready.

  75. Tim

    With permission:

    …….Indignation doesn’t work for most whites, because having remained
    sanguine about, silent during, indeed often supportive of so much
    injustice over the years in this country–the theft of native land
    and genocide of indigenous persons, and the enslavement of Africans
    being only two of the best examples–we are just a bit late to get
    into the game of moral rectitude. And once we enter it, our efforts
    at righteousness tend to fail the test of sincerity.

    But here we are, in 2008, fuming at the words of Pastor Jeremiah
    Wright, of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago–occasionally
    Barack Obama’s pastor, and the man whom Obama credits with having
    brought him to Christianity–for merely reminding us of those evils
    about which we have remained so quiet, so dismissive, so unconcerned.
    It is not the crime that bothers us, but the remembrance of it, the
    unwillingness to let it go–these last words being the first ones
    uttered by most whites it seems whenever anyone, least of all an
    “angry black man” like Jeremiah Wright, foists upon us the bill of
    particulars for several centuries of white supremacy.

    But our collective indignation, no matter how loudly we announce it,
    cannot drown out the truth. And as much as white America may not be
    able to hear it (and as much as politics may require Obama to condemn
    it) let us be clear, Jeremiah Wright fundamentally told the truth.

    Oh I know that for some such a comment will seem shocking. After all,
    didn’t he say that America “got what it deserved” on 9/11? And didn’t
    he say that black people should be singing “God Damn America” because
    of its treatment of the African American community throughout the
    years?

    Well actually, no he didn’t.

    Wright said not that the attacks of September 11th were justified,
    but that they were, in effect, predictable. Deploying the imagery of
    chickens coming home to roost is not to give thanks for the return of
    the poultry or to endorse such feathered homecoming as a positive
    good; rather, it is merely to note two things: first, that what goes
    around, indeed, comes around–a notion with longstanding theological
    grounding–and secondly, that the U.S. has indeed engaged in more
    than enough violence against innocent people to make it just a tad
    bit hypocritical for us to then evince shock and outrage about an
    attack on ourselves, as if the latter were unprecedented.

    He noted that we killed far more people, far more innocent civilians
    in Hiroshima and Nagasaki than were killed on 9/11 and “never batted
    an eye.” That this statement is true is inarguable, at least amongst
    sane people. He is correct on the math, he is correct on the
    innocence of the dead (neither city was a military target), and he is
    most definitely correct on the lack of remorse or even self-doubt
    about the act: sixty-plus years later most Americans still believe
    those attacks were justified, that they were needed to end the war
    and “save American lives.”

    But not only does such a calculus suggest that American lives are
    inherently worth more than the lives of Japanese civilians (or, one
    supposes, Vietnamese, Iraqi or Afghan civilians too), but it also
    ignores the long-declassified documents, and President Truman’s own
    war diaries, all of which indicate clearly that Japan had already
    signaled its desire to end the war, and that we knew they were going
    to surrender, even without the dropping of atomic weapons. The
    conclusion to which these truths then attest is simple, both in its
    basic veracity and it monstrousness: namely, that in those places we
    committed premeditated and deliberate mass murder, with no
    justification whatsoever; and yet for saying that people will receive more
    hate mail, more hostility, more dismissive and contemptuous responses
    than will those who suggest that no body count is too high when we’re
    the ones doing the killing. Jeremiah Wright becomes a pariah,
    because, you see, we much prefer the logic of George Bush the First,
    who once said that as President he would “never apologize for the
    United States of America. I don’t care what the facts are.”

    And Wright didn’t say blacks should be singing “God Damn America.” He
    was suggesting that blacks owe little moral allegiance to a nation
    that has treated so many of them for so long as animals, as persons
    undeserving of dignity and respect, and which even now locks up
    hundreds of thousands of non-violent offenders (especially for drug
    possession), even while whites who do the same crimes (and according
    to the data, when it comes to drugs, more often in fact), are walking
    around free. His reference to God in that sermon was more about what
    God will do to such a nation, than it was about what should or
    shouldn’t happen. It was a comment derived from, and fully in keeping
    with, the black prophetic tradition, and although one can surely
    disagree with the theology (I do, actually, and don’t believe that
    any God either blesses or condemns nation states for their actions),
    the statement itself was no call for blacks to turn on America. If
    anything, it was a demand that America earn the respect of black
    people, something the evidence and history suggests it has yet to do.

    Finally, although one can certainly disagree with Wright about his
    suggestion that the government created AIDS to get rid of black
    folks–and I do, for instance–it is worth pointing out that Wright
    isn’t the only one who has said this. In fact, none other than Bill
    Cosby (oh yes, that Bill Cosby, the one white folks love because of
    his recent moral crusade against the black poor) proffered his belief
    in the very same thing back in the early ’90s in an interview on CNN,
    when he said that AIDS may well have been created to get rid of
    people whom the government deemed “undesirable” including gays and
    racial minorities.

    So that’s the truth of the matter: Wright made one comment that is
    highly arguable, but which has also been voiced by white America’s
    favorite black man, another that was horribly misinterpreted and
    stripped of all context, and then another that was demonstrably
    accurate. And for this, he is pilloried and made into a virtual enemy
    of the state; for this, Barack Obama may lose the support of just
    enough white folks to cost him the Democratic nomination, and/or the
    Presidency; all of it, because Jeremiah Wright, unlike most preachers
    opted for truth. If he had been one of those “prosperity ministers”
    who says Jesus wants nothing so much as for you to be rich, like Joel
    Osteen, that would have been fine. Had he been a retread bigot like
    Falwell was, or Pat Robertson is, he might have been criticized, but
    he would have remained in good standing and surely not have damaged a
    Presidential candidate in this way. But unlike Osteen, and Falwell,
    and Robertson, Jeremiah Wright refused to feed his parishioners lies.

    What Jeremiah Wright knows, and told his flock–though make no
    mistake, they already knew it–is that 9/11 was neither the first,
    nor worst act of terrorism on American soil. The history of this
    nation for folks of color, was for generations, nothing less than an
    intergenerational hate crime, one in which 9/11s were woven into the
    fabric of everyday life: hundreds of thousands of the enslaved who
    died from the conditions of their bondage; thousands more who were
    lynched (as many as 10,000 in the first few years after the Civil
    War, according to testimony in the Congressional Record at the time);
    millions of indigenous persons wiped off the face of the Earth. No,
    to some, the horror of 9/11 was not new. To some it was not on that
    day that “everything changed.” To some, everything changed four
    hundred years ago, when that first ship landed at what would become
    Jamestown. To some, everything changed when their ancestors were
    forced into the hulls of slave ships at Goree Island and brought to a
    strange land as chattel. To some, everything changed when they were
    run out of Northern Mexico, only to watch it become the Southwest
    United States, thanks to a war of annihilation initiated by the U.S.
    government. To some, being on the receiving end of terrorism has been
    a way of life. Until recently it was absolutely normal in fact.

    But white folks have a hard time hearing these simple truths. We find
    it almost impossible to listen to an alternative version of reality.
    Indeed, what seems to bother white people more than anything, whether
    in the recent episode, or at any other time, is being confronted with
    the recognition that black people do not, by and large, see the world
    like we do; that black people, by and large, do not view America as
    white people view it. We are, in fact, shocked that this should be
    so, having come to believe, apparently, that the falsehoods to which
    we cling like a kidney patient clings to a dialysis machine, are
    equally shared by our darker-skinned compatriots.

    This is what James Baldwin was talking about in his classic 1972
    work, No Name in the Street, wherein he noted:
    White children, in the main, and whether they are rich or poor,
    grow up with a grasp of reality so feeble that they can very
    accurately be described as deluded–about themselves and the
    world they live in. White people have managed to get through
    their entire lifetimes in this euphoric state, but black people
    have not been so lucky: a black man who sees the world the way
    John Wayne, for example, sees it would not be an eccentric
    patriot, but a raving maniac.

    And so we were shocked in 1987, when Supreme Court Justice Thurgood
    Marshall declined to celebrate the bicentennial of the Constitution,
    because, as he noted, most of that history had been one of overt
    racism and injustice, and to his way of thinking, the only history
    worth celebrating had been that of the past three or four decades.

    We were shocked to learn that black people actually believed that a
    white cop who was a documented racist might frame a black man; and
    we’re shocked to learn that lots of black folks still perceive the
    U.S. as a racist nation–we’re literally stunned that people who say
    they experience discrimination regularly (and who have the social
    science research to back them up) actually think that those
    experiences and that data might actually say something about the
    nation in which they reside. Imagine.

    Whites are easily shocked by what we see and hear from Pastor Wright
    and Trinity Church, because what we see and hear so thoroughly
    challenges our understanding of who we are as a nation. But black
    people have never, for the most part, believed in the imagery of the
    “shining city on a hill,” for they have never had the option of
    looking at their nation and ignoring the mountain-sized warts still
    dotting its face when it comes to race. Black people do not, in the
    main, get misty eyed at the sight of the flag the way white people
    do–and this is true even for millions of black veterans–for they
    understand that the nation for whom that flag waves is still not
    fully committed to their own equality. They have a harder time
    singing those tunes that white people seem so eager to belt out, like
    “God Bless America,” for they know that whites sang those words
    loudly and proudly even as they were enforcing Jim Crow segregation,
    rioting against blacks who dared move into previously white
    neighborhoods, throwing rocks at Dr. King and then cheering, as so
    many did, when they heard the news that he had been assassinated.

    Whites refuse to remember (or perhaps have never learned) that which
    black folks cannot afford to forget. I’ve seen white people stunned
    to the point of paralysis when they learn the truth about lynchings
    in this country–when they discover that such events were not just a
    couple of good old boys with a truck and a rope hauling some black
    guy out to the tree, hanging him, and letting him swing there. They
    were never told the truth: that lynchings were often community
    events, advertised in papers as “Negro Barbecues,” involving hundreds
    or even thousands of whites, who would join in the fun, eat chicken
    salad and drink sweet tea, all while the black victims of their
    depravity were being hung, then shot, then burned, and then having
    their body parts cut off, to be handed out to onlookers. They are
    stunned to learn that postcards of the events were traded as
    souvenirs, and that very few whites, including members of their own
    families did or said anything to stop it.

    Rather than knowing about and confronting the ugliness of our past,
    whites take steps to excise the less flattering aspects of our
    history so that we need not be bothered with them. So, in Tulsa,
    Oklahoma, for example, site of an orgy of violence against the black
    community in 1921, city officials literally went into the town
    library and removed all reference to the mass killings in the
    Greenwood district from the papers with a razor blade–an excising of
    truth and an assault on memory that would remain unchanged for over
    seventy years.

    Most white people desire, or perhaps even require the propagation of
    lies when it comes to our history. Surely we prefer the lies to
    anything resembling, even remotely, the truth. Our version of
    history, of our national past, simply cannot allow for the intrusion
    of fact into a worldview so thoroughly identified with fiction. But
    that white version of America is not only extraordinarily incomplete,
    in that it so favors the white experience to the exclusion of others;
    it is more than that; it is actually a slap in the face to people of
    color, a re-injury, a reminder that they are essentially irrelevant,
    their concerns trivial, their lives unworthy of being taken
    seriously. In that sense, and what few if any white Americans appear
    capable of grasping at present, is that “Leave it to Beaver” and
    “Father Knows Best,” portray an America so divorced from the reality
    of the times in which they were produced, as to raise serious
    questions about the sanity of those who found them so moving, so
    accurate, so real. These iconographic representations of life in the
    U.S. are worse than selective, worse than false, they are assaults to
    the humanity and memory of black people, who were being savagely
    oppressed even as June Cleaver did housework in heels and laughed
    about the hilarious hijinks of Beaver and Larry Mondello.

    These portraits of America are certifiable evidence of how
    disconnected white folks were–and to the extent we still love them
    and view them as representations of the “good old days” to which we
    wish we could return, still are–from those men and women of color
    with whom we have long shared a nation. Just two months before “Leave
    it to Beaver” debuted, proposed civil rights legislation was killed
    thanks to Strom Thurmond’s 24-hour filibuster speech on the floor of
    the U.S. Senate. One month prior, Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus
    called out the National Guard to block black students from entering
    Little Rock Central High; and nine days before America was introduced
    to the Cleavers, and the comforting image of national life they
    represented, those black students were finally allowed to enter, amid
    the screams of enraged, unhinged, viciously bigoted white people, who
    saw nothing wrong with calling children niggers in front of cameras.
    That was America of the 1950s: not the sanitized version into which
    so many escape thanks to the miracle of syndication, which merely
    allows white people to relive a lie, year after year after year.

    No, it is not the pastor who distorts history; Nick at Nite and your
    teenager’s textbooks do that. It is not he who casts aspersions upon
    “this great country” as Barack Obama put it in his public
    denunciations of him; it is the historic leadership of the nation
    that has cast aspersions upon it; it is they who have cheapened it,
    who have made gaudy and vile the promise of American democracy by
    defiling it with lies. They engage in a patriotism that is
    pathological in its implications, that asks of those who adhere to it not merely a love of country but the turning of one’s nation into an
    idol to be worshipped, if not literally, then at least in terms of
    consequence.

    It is they–the flag-lapel-pin wearing leaders of this land–who
    bring shame to the country with their nonsensical suggestions that we
    are always noble in warfare, always well-intended, and although we
    occasionally make mistakes, we are never the ones to blame for
    anything. Nothing that happens to us has anything to do with us at
    all. It is always about them. They are evil, crazy, fanatical, hate
    our freedoms, and are jealous of our prosperity. When individuals
    prattle on in this manner we diagnose them as narcissistic, as
    deluded. When nations do it–when our nation does–we celebrate it as
    though it were the very model of rational and informed citizenship.

    So what can we say about a nation that values lies more than it loves
    truth? A place where adherence to sincerely believed and internalized
    fictions allows one to rise to the highest offices in the land, and
    to earn the respect of millions, while a willingness to challenge
    those fictions and offer a more accurate counter-narrative earns one
    nothing but contempt, derision, indeed outright hatred? What we can
    say is that such a place is signing its own death warrant. What we
    can say is that such a place is missing the only and last opportunity
    it may ever have to make things right, to live up to its professed
    ideals. What we can say is that such a place can never move forward,
    because we have yet to fully address and come to terms with that
    which lay behind.

    What can we say about a nation where white preachers can lie every
    week from their pulpits without so much as having to worry that their
    lies might be noticed by the shiny white faces in their pews, while
    black preachers who tell one after another essential truth are
    demonized, not only for the stridency of their tone–which needless
    to say scares white folks, who have long preferred a style of praise
    and worship resembling nothing so much as a coma–but for merely
    calling bullshit on those whose lies are swallowed whole?

    And oh yes, I said it: white preachers lie. In fact, they lie with a
    skill, fluidity, and precision unparalleled in the history of either
    preaching or lying, both of which histories stretch back a ways and
    have often overlapped. They lie every Sunday, as they talk about a
    Savior they have chosen to represent dishonestly as a white man, in
    every picture to be found of him in their tabernacles, every
    children’s story book in their Sunday Schools, every Christmas card
    they’ll send to relatives and friends this December. But to lie about
    Jesus, about the one they consider God–to bear false witness as to
    who this man was and what he looked like–is no cause for concern.

    Nor is it a problem for these preachers to teach and preach that
    those who don’t believe as they believe are going to hell. Despite
    the fact that such a belief casts aspersions upon God that are so
    profound as to defy belief–after all, they imply that God is so
    fundamentally evil that he would burn non-believers in a lake of
    eternal fire–many of the white folks who now condemn Jeremiah Wright
    welcome that theology of hate. Indeed, back when President Bush was
    the Governor of Texas, he endorsed this kind of thinking, responding
    to a question about whether Jews were going to go to hell, by saying
    that unless one accepted Jesus as one’s personal savior, the Bible
    made it pretty clear that indeed, hell was where you’d be heading.

    So you can curse God in this way–and to imply such hate on God’s
    part is surely to curse him–and in effect, curse those who aren’t
    Christians, and no one says anything. That isn’t considered bigoted.
    That isn’t considered beyond the pale of polite society. One is not
    disqualified from becoming President in the minds of millions because
    they go to a church that says that shit every single week, or because
    they believe it themselves. And millions do believe it, and see
    nothing wrong with it whatsoever.

    So white folks are mad at Jeremiah Wright because he challenges their
    views about their country. Meanwhile, those same white folks, and
    their ministers and priests, every week put forth a false image of
    the God Jeremiah Wright serves, and yet it is whites who feel we have
    the right to be offended.

    Pardon me, but something is wrong here, and whatever it is, is not to
    be found at Trinity United Church of Christ.

  76. TripLBee

    A fitting analogy for this blog:

    When I was in college I took several classes from the renowned black, feminist author bell hooks. Even though she taught at Yale, which had a tiny black student population, her students were predominantly black. She often asked us to read our assigned essays in front of the class,which usually sparked lively discussion. I will never forget the day that a white woman in our class mustered the courage to read what she must have known would be her controversial essay. In her essay she said that she felt victimized by the black students who stereotyped white people as racists. She said she was so upset by it all that she was considering dropping the class. As soon as she finished reading, many of the black students started protesting vociferously. bell silenced her class saying sternly, “in my class everyone gets to say their piece.” She then addressed the white woman directly imploring her to stay. bell told her that she had the rarest of opportunities for a white person, the opportunity to see and hear in an unrefined context the experiences that black people had with race. She suggested to the white student that being able to share the sense of unfairness and injustice and frustration for a few hours a week, that many of the black students felt much of the time was a gift. She said that the black students did not have the opportunity to drop out of situations and circumstances where they experienced racism and that she should remain in the class if only to develop some semblance of empathy. bell suggested that if the class was easy for this woman, the ability to really learn would be more limited. She stated what is obvious; that black anger is real, even if it is rarely expressed in front of white people and even if it is unfair.

    bell was able to get everyone in the class to unify around the twin themes of honest dialogue and shared experience. It was a moving moment which I still remember after 20 years. It seems that many participants in this discussion—black, white and brown—could benefit from some of bell’s wisdom.

  77. Anon 1

    Your comment about Dr. King is off base. He struggled with the same fears all people struggle with, and at times he bit his tongue and avoided controversy. Man, folks need to actually take the time to get a full picture of their heroes before comparing everybody to them.

    Some of King’s best speeches and comments came when his back was against the wall and he was forced to address something he would have preferred to avoid. Dr. King was a great man in many ways but he wasn’t perfect.

  78. Typical White Guy:

    You got that right. You ask for discussion, but you don’t like what we have to say. That makes you either a lunatic or a liar.

    Get in where you fit in – I don’t have the time to be asked to engage in “discussions” on race and the first thing you want to do because I’m not singing “Kumbaaya” is to cherry pick one of my comments, not bother to repeat it in full, and then call me out for being violent. The fact that African-Americans have a hell of a lot to get violent about in over 400 years of historical subjugation, and that we haven’t blown up this SOB, says a great deal about our race.

    It means you can’t place us in a box and categorize us to make YOU feel comfortable. You’d rather believe lies so you feel better, “patriotic”, even.

    If you don’t want my opinion or my discussion, then, dammit, stop asking for it, because you will get what you ask for, including a can of whip-ass for even attempting to engage in political discourse without being intellectually equipped to do so.

    BTW, this is NOT YOUR BLOG, and as a “typical” white guy, you want to come in and run stuff that you didn’t initiate. What’s up with the tendency to do stuff like that?

    ::crickets chirping::

  79. another typical white guy

    TPJ, thanks for being yourself. You prove many people’s points. MLK must be proud of you.

    Your stated lack of desire to disscuss, therefore negotiate, severely limits your options.
    If you are not here to get along and discuss issues, inorder to hash them out, why are you here?

    If your existance is sooooo horrible in this country maybe you should consider packing up and leaving. If I was the last white dude in South Africa, I sure as hell would not be sitting behind a computer crying about how bad I have it. I would either assimilate, or get the heck out.

    Since you do not want to discuss I will not be able to understand you, and your can of whop ass won’t help that problem help either….

  80. urwrong

    Big Man you are wrong King was never waited until he was backed into a corner, remeber his Beyond Vietam Speech. The United States is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.

    Why won’t you read that speech because he is closer to pastor Wright than he is to that sell out shill Obama.

  81. Cliff

    “So white folks are mad at Jeremiah Wright because he challenges their
    views about their country. Meanwhile, those same white folks, and their ministers and priests, every week put forth a false image of the God Jeremiah Wright serves, and yet it is whites who feel we havethe right to be offended. ”

    Tim, I love what the Pastor Wright said, and don’t give a damn what white folks think about it.

    He was speaking to black people, in a black church who know about a black struggle.

    Who gives a damn about what white folks think about it?

    We are trying to get us (black people) to stop thinking like slaves, to not always be concerned about what “white folks” think about what our leaders say in their efforts of healing our wounds of our suffering with empowering words.
    Like Barack Obama, the overall black masses can back him, we can support him.

    To support him, to elevate him, edify him, to back him and escalate his words with thourough explanation and evaluation. We can back him even more than OBAMA, because we are not in front of any cameras.

    In my opinion, they have a job. Their number one aim, is to keep us thinking like slaves. When we continue to think like a slave, they can continue to rule us with a system that they have perfected (White Supremacy).

    But Hold on that nasty Slave Master may have another point of view.

    “BOOOOOOOOOY, you done did it NoW.

    HOT DAMN, YOU DONE DID IT. :(

    I still got very Negra on Earth killing each other.
    Then I gotta come in as your Jesus to mediate your wars.

    The day you Negras UNITE and disavow White Supremacy, will be a cold day in hell.

    You Negras wanna get paid for slavery huh, I got your REPARATIONS in the barrel of my gun, and the day my country gives you reparations will be a cold day in hell .

    The day you Negras thank you could grow up and be anythang other than our slaves will be cold day in hell.

    The day you Negras realize you can think above the level of an animal will be a cold day in hell.
    The day you Negras decide to stop the war among yourselves will be a cold day in hell.

    So your Negra ass wanna go to college, educate yourself, an get yourself elected and thank you can run my country huh?

    Well that day will be a cold day in hell?”

    Damn that is a nasty Slave Master, but…

    It is time to make Hell a cold day.

    “YES WE CAN”
    :)

  82. Rhondacoca

    “If your existance is sooooo horrible in this country maybe you should consider packing up and leaving. If I was the last white dude in South Africa, I sure as hell would not be sitting behind a computer crying about how bad I have it. I would either assimilate, or get the heck out.”

    What was that about?

    “King was never waited until he was backed into a corner, remeber his Beyond Vietam Speech. The United States is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.

    Why won’t you read that speech because he is closer to pastor Wright than he is to that sell out shill Obama.”

    I dont think that Obama is a sell out shill however I do agree with your statement. King was much more militant than people have portrayed him to be.

  83. Rhondacoca

    Brotha Cliff, interesting stuff. But exactly I’m not running for president so I dont really care what white people who dont want to hear the truth think. The ones who want to hear the truth and know the truth are always welcome though.

  84. Quanli

    Big Man you are wrong King was never waited until he was backed into a corner, remeber his Beyond Vietam Speech. The United States is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.

    Why won’t you read that speech because he is closer to pastor Wright than he is to that sell out shill Obama.
    _____
    I know this comment wasn’t addressed to me, and I do feel that you are entitled to your position. However, the key difference between Dr. King and Obama’s call to leadership is this: King was first and foremost concerned with the plight of the people (us) whereas Obama is pandering to all people (the country). How could this man be expected to come out swinging from the outset with capital B’s, W’s, and R’s flying and have gotten past Iowa? Or do you simply not believe the price is worth the prize? That truth cannot go hand in hand with planning? I hear some say it would not have been enough had he addressed race once he was voted into office. To that I wonder why not? Because in reality, if he had taken a more desirable path, he would have acquired the undying adoration of our more militant minded people with his picture posted as a permanent staple of ghetto t-shirts and hung on living room walls BUT nothing more. He would be swept under the rug of the country’s consciousness and written off as one of those crazy n*ggers. It is my opinion that we need to 1) infilitrate the power structure as true authority figures. This is the only way to force in any real acknowledgement on the part of this country.

  85. Hat tip – Prometheus6:

    Did you know that there was a Jeremiah Wright/LBJ connection?

    Jeremiah Wright was part of a medical team that took care of LBJ when he had some medical problems.

    Just trying to help spread the word.

    Picture of Wright on Medical team (he’s on the right):

    Picture

    Scan of Letter from LBJ to Wright:

    Letter

    ‘Unpatriotic’?

    I.don’t.think.so.

  86. Cliff

    Rhondacoca, I am just a Safe Negro who loves to interject my opinion. Thanks for the compliment :) ;

    “I dont think that Obama is a sell out shill however I do agree with your statement. King was much more militant than people have portrayed him to be.”

    Thanks for helping to close the chapter Rhondacoca, .

    “With permission:
    …….Indignation doesn’t work for most whites, because having remained
    sanguine about, silent during, indeed often supportive of so much injustice over the years in this country–the theft of native land
    and genocide of indigenous persons, and the enslavement of Africans being only two of the best examples–we are just a bit late to get
    into the game of moral rectitude. And once we enter it, our efforts at righteousness tend to fail the test of sincerity.

    But here we are, in 2008, fuming at the words of Pastor Jeremiah Wright, of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago–occasionally Barack Obama’s pastor, and the man whom Obama credits with having brought him to Christianity–for merely reminding us of those evils about which we have remained so quiet, so dismissive, so unconcerned.
    It is not the crime that bothers us, but the remembrance of it, the unwillingness to let it go–these last words being the first ones uttered by most whites it seems whenever anyone, least of all an “angry black man” like Jeremiah Wright, foists upon us the bill of particulars for several centuries of white supremacy.

    But our collective indignation, no matter how loudly we announce it, cannot drown out the truth.

    And as much as white America may not be
    able to hear it (and as much as politics may require Obama to condemn
    it) let us be clear, Jeremiah Wright fundamentally told the truth. Oh I know that for some such a comment will seem shocking. After all,
    didn’t he say that America “got what it deserved” on 9/11? And didn’t he say that black people should be singing “God Damn America” because
    of its treatment of the African American community throughout the
    years?

    Well actually, no he didn’t.
    Wright said not that the attacks of September 11th were justified, but that they were, in effect, predictable. Deploying the imagery of chickens coming home to roost is not to give thanks for the return of the poultry or to endorse such feathered homecoming as a positive good; rather, it is merely to note two things: first, that what goes
    around, indeed, comes around–a notion with longstanding theological grounding–and secondly, that the U.S. has indeed engaged in more
    than enough violence against innocent people to make it just a tad bit hypocritical for us to then evince shock and outrage about an
    attack on ourselves, as if the latter were unprecedented. “He noted that we killed far more people, far more innocent civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki than were killed on 9/11 and “never batted an eye.” That this statement is true is inarguable, at least amongst sane people. He is correct on the math, he is correct on the innocence of the dead (neither city was a military target), and he is most definitely correct on the lack of remorse or even self-doubt about the act: sixty-plus years later most Americans still believe those attacks were justified, that they were needed to end the war and “save American lives.” But not only does such a calculus suggest that American lives are inherently worth more than the lives of Japanese civilians (or, one supposes, Vietnamese, Iraqi or Afghan civilians too), but it also ignores the long-declassified documents, and President Truman’s own war diaries, all of which indicate clearly that Japan had already signaled its desire to end the war, and that we knew they were going to surrender, even without the dropping of atomic weapons.”

    Tim you’re deep :)

    You have a book/journalist mentality like Andrea.

    Wait till she releases her mind on you. :)

    “These Negras are some readin’ ass slaves aren’t they?” :)

  87. sambo smiles

    congratulations to TPJ and pretty much everyone else! You idiots are your own worst enemy. You wonder why mainstream, everyday people of ANY color don’t take you seriously. When “cans of whoop ass” are your solutions to problems….you prove everyone’s point. It’s like you were raised by wolves or something. I don’t get it. But, no matter what happens, good or bad, you idiots will do everything you can to make sure you don’t make any progress or do anything whatsoever to give yourself the opportunity to be taken seriously by anyone other than hate-filled people on websites like this. Look, I know that you know your militant, “can of whoop ass” solutions to America’s issues sound good to you, but just plan on being considered fringe, renegade, loose cannons to all level headed people. As long as you know that your future holds nothing more than pissed off rants on blogs, go for it.
    It amazes me that the people who preach tolerance the most are the most intolerant. Just ask any black person that has a different point of you, and God forbid if that black person is…gasp!…a Conservative.

  88. Rhondacoca

    Gasp!!…you are ignorant and disrespectful!!

    You dont know anyone here, so why do you continue to judge? Do you go on all the black blogs and abuse the people.

    I’m sorry that we dont share your views however I will reassure that many of us are probably more accomplished than you are or will ever be.

    Goodbye!!

    P.S. Raised by wolves? are you serious? I shouldnt even be bothered with you, your name says it all…you have issues.

  89. Rhondacoca

    UrWrong,

    I am very familiar with the Black Agenda Report.
    I found myself agreeing with what they wrote this week regarding this situation. Nonetheless I still dont agree that Obama is “a sellout shill”.

  90. TripLBee

    I think this blog is typical of what happens when people decide to “discuss” race related issues. The dialogue degenerates into adolescent name calling. It is clear that the vast majority of participants in this chat have absolutely no interest in learning how other people have come to hold contrary points of view. What’s the point of having a discussion if no one wants to listen? This blog had promise but at this point it is simply pathetic.

  91. Marla K.

    I only have a moment but Black Agenda Report is incorrect in it’s assertion that we can anticipate a Clinton/Obama ticket. We, the Obama movement is well ahead in the delegate count and you will not see Sen Obama as a vice presidential candidate. To believe this is only “a slave mentality” getting the best of you.

    In my view, Dr. King was usually proactive, but reactive when necessary. He was like both Rev. Wright and Sen Obama…..but it is Sen Obama who carries the banner and leads this movement.
    If you are paying attentiion you realize he is not a shill …althought it is hard for me to imagine, it is yet to be seen…Sen Obama maybe as effective a
    leader as Dr. King.

    We should remember that Dr. King’s dream was for all men….as is Sen Obama’s presidency.

  92. Cliff

    “congratulations to TPJ and pretty much everyone else! You idiots are your own worst enemy. You wonder why mainstream, everyday people of ANY color don’t take you seriously.”

    “BoooooY Sambo Smiles you nailed it.

    That’s exactly what I’ve been saying, F–k , you hit it right on the nose. These Negras aint like those of yesterday, they aint listening to us no more. They aint bowin down to whatever we say no more. This is a new type of Negra that thank they have a mind of their own. College Educated Negras aint like those of yesterday. We gotta come up with a new way, a new tactic, a new strategy to master the Negra mind.

    Boooy I’ll tell tell ya though, It is not gonna be easy.

    I got one way, let’s continya’ ta’ tell them that they have to listen to what we say, and use every aspect of every minute of the time period left of White Supremacy to our advantage.

    Keep emphasizing the lies and falsehood that they are inferior to us, then let them thank that none of them could ever become equal or mo’ powerful than us.

    Two ways, continya’ to incarcerate and kill every one of them we can find, then stop every one of them who wants to get education, knowledge, and stop them from findin’ out bout’ how we stop every aspect of their economic uplift in society.

    Three ways, keep them thankin that mainstream, everyday people have to take their enslavement to us seriously, they should be happy, buck dance, shake their ass, sing, should and clap them hands, roll all over the floor bout’ how much they loved slavery, and still love it. Not for the first time, SECOND TIME, THIRD TIME, FOURTH TIME, ENDLESS TIMES. EVERY MINUTE OF IT.

    I got THREE gotdamn ways off tha’ top of my head on how we can keep our feet on the Negras heads for 2008 and beyond.

    “YES WE CAN”
    :)

  93. Akech

    Sambo Smiles, the conservarive, sounds like a person who has been sent to this website by the —peddlers at FOX NEWS.

  94. Allright, time out.

    Take a step back. Look at the big picture. See the obvious.

    This is a diversion, a lot of noise, a distraction. Anything to take your mind off the actual issues, like the continued ripping to shreds of the social contract, dismantling of the middle class, sending the lower class to Iraq while politically connected contractors loot the treasury, offshoring of the manufacturing sector, resegregating society, packing the prisons, underfunding the schools. In other words, keep ‘em dumb and voting against their own economic self interests. Making sure every candidate is in Wall Street’s pocket. And above all else, keep ‘em talking about anything that doesn’t actually threaten to upset the apple cart. Yes, we are suckers for even taking the bait. Now let’s get back to work!

  95. Keep on smiling Sambo, see where that gets ya.

    As for Typical White Guy, all you managed in six paragraphs is a “typical” white person response.

    I’m not going to lose sleep over your comments, and you can get on back to InstaPundit and StormFront and tell them just how much attention people paid to you here.

    And if you read this blog, you would already know I don’t drink Obama’s kool-aid, but Hillary’s scorched earth campaign tactics drove me to his camp. But, if you had an opinion worthy of respecting, I’d engage you in further discussion, but since your opinion doesn’t mean squat to me, please cease from posting responses to me; I plan to ignore them unless you decide to show more of your ignorance and bigotry.

  96. URWrong

    You are wrong. But, since the only proof you provided was one speech, I can guess you’re not really interested in a substantive discussion.

    Why don’t you check out King’s autobiography or the collected words of Taylor Branch and then get back to me?

  97. Angie

    Mad nerve…
    It’s strange. I don’t particularly care for Richardson. But I take strong offense to that charge from the Clinton camp. Ridiculous!

  98. malcolm carter

    guess what? The black messiah Christ is coming back to kill all no good rednecks with the sword. hell with some reparations. Heavenly payback is coming from and Angry black God and HIS magnificient SON, YAHAWASHI. The devils of the world will tremble at their might. hannity and oleilly will be caught buggering each other and be summaily consumed. Limbaugh will be caught buggering children and be consumed. Ann coulter will be revealed as a man and be consumed. neal boortz will be caught getting buggered and be consumed. armstrong the fag williams will be caught buggering and be cut into pieces. Death to america

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