Majority of voters don’t buy Obama’s denounciation

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Hat Tip: Rasmusen Reports

 

A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 30% of the nation’s Likely Voters believe Barack Obama denounced his former Pastor, Jeremiah Wright, because he was outraged. Most—58%–say he denounced the Pastor for political convenience. The survey was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday night. Obama made his statements about Wright on Tuesday.

 

Wright held a mini-media tour last weekend capped by a press conference at the National Press Club on Monday. Only 33% of voters believe that Obama was surprised by the views Wright expressed at Monday’s press conference. Fifty-two percent (52%) say he was not surprised.

 

Fifty-six percent (56%) say it’s at least somewhat likely that Obama “shares some of Pastor Wright’s controversial views about the United States.” That figure includes 26% who say it’s Very Likely Obama holds such views. At the other end of the spectrum 24% say it’s Not Very Likely that Obama shares such views. Just 11% say it’s Not at All Likely.

 

Just 7% of the nation’s voters agree with Wright’s views of the United States. African-American voters, by a 64% to 12% margin, disagree with Wright. Eighty-one percent (81%) of all voters are following the story somewhat or very closely.

 

Nine percent (9%) of voters have a favorable opinion of Wright. Eight-one percent (81%) have an unfavorable view. That includes 62% with a Very Unfavorable opinion. As you would expect, there are strong partisan differences on these questions. Generally, Democrats are divided while Republicans take a less charitable view of Obama.

 

Seventy-four percent (74%) of Republicans believe it’s somewhat or very likely that Obama shares some of Wright’s views. That assessment is shared by 48% of Democrats and 49% of those not affiliated with either major party.

 

Democrats are evenly divided as to whether or not Obama was surprised by Wright’s comments on Monday. Republicans overwhelmingly reject that notion. Just 36% of Democrats believe outrage was the motivation for Obama to denounce his former Pastor. That view is shared by 38% of unaffiliated voters and 16% of Republicans.

 

Barack and Jeremiah

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Jeremiah Wright doesn’t believe that God’s purpose for him on this earth is to make white people feel comfortable with him or Barack Obama. His silence is not required by our constitution nor commanded by God or the Obama campaign. He rejects the false litmus test that he’s become and that only Obama must pass so that he is acceptable to a white electorate skittish about electing an African American president.

During the Presidency of Jimmy Carter, the fact remains that Plains Baptist Church refused to be integrated and forced the resignation of the pastor who insisted that it should. Neither Carter’s commitment to the church or his faith were questioned in the same manner that Barack Obama’s church and faith has been.

This litmus test is a racist double standard that should be unacceptable in the twenty-first century and an example of a religious test that our constitution forbids. At the end of the day, Barack Obama can only be held responsible for his own words and record as a politician and not that of an evil old preacher who feeds the homeless, sends hundreds of young people to college and seminary, and voluntarily serves his country when the last two presidents were literally missing in action.

Why Obama strategist David Axelrod continues to act as if Barack has something to apologize for, I’ll never understand. I know in my heart of hearts that if Barack Obama is not acceptable to the White America he claims doesn’t exist because we are supposedly one people, no black person ever will be. Moreover, if Obama throws Wright under the bus as the media has commanded him to do, he’ll accomplish the feat of gaining the whole world while losing his soul. He will also lose my vote again and those of other African Americans like me deeply offended by his passivity in the face of racist attacks against the Black Church.

 

No Preference

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I voted today and did as I said I would do and voted no preference for the Democratic nomination for President because I am profoundly dismayed and angered by the lack of backbone shown by Barack Obama during the recent attacks upon his faith and the Black Church.

I struggled mightily. The twenty minutes I stared at my ballot seemed like an eternity. I went back and forth several times. Surrounded by other blackfolks, I became self-conscious. I wrestled with the lie I told the cheerful White Obama canvasser who ambushed me as I left my home. I then struggled with the commitment that I felt strongly enough to tell all of you about and my twenty-five year desire for a black President.

I teared up a bit and stared at the paper some more. My thoughts drifted to a dear friend’s 25 year-old brother lying comatose in intensive care, the victim of double aneurisms, dangling somewhere between life and death, and I wondered what is so damn wrong with refusing to compromise your core values and living the life God gives you informed by Trinity United Church of Christ’s motto “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian.”

If the Father gives that boy a second chance at life, as I pray he does, I have no doubt that he will live his life to the fullest and without regrets. He comes from a proud Nigerian household and their love and commitment to each other is uniquely powerful. It makes me proud to know his sister and count her as one of my dearest friends. Their pride in their heritage makes them stronger as black people and as a family. It is unfathomable to me why Obama, a son East Africa, is afraid to embrace the power of his black religious heritage and stand on what I know he believes but refuses to confess to White America.

And yes, contrary to his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech, there is a White America and a Black America. And they are separate and unequal because we are not one people and never have been.

I watched Bill Moyers interview with Dr. Wright last night and heard nothing a reasonable person who understands the depth of African American suffering and the shame of our country’s history of slavery, genocide, and Jim Crow could be offended by.

Still grappling with my decision, I remembered Obama’s Friday presser. Senator Obama continued to distance himself from his Pastor of two decades yesterday by continuing the use of his weasel word mantra of “profound disagreement” over Dr. Wright’s, “objectionable” comments and why he and White America, “took offense.” I marked my ballot, smiled at the sistah who took my name and gave me ballot, and strode confidently back to my car.

Some people would rather live shackled by a cacophony of patriotic white supremacist lies than live in freedom and truth. Any campaign which genuflects to the head in the sand mentality so prevalent in White America is a campaign based on lies of political expedience and I cannot support that without protest.

If you disagree, watch Dr. Wright and Obama for yourself.

Church

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Y’all should be pleased to know that I have started going to church again. I am sampling a straight laced Episcopalian Church now. The bourgeois Negro congregation I started to attend has a Jazz Mass. Being the aficionado that I am; I just wanted to see what the fuss was about. The brothas were tight and the selections were appropriate. The people were friendly, almost alarmingly so. The older folk were pleased to see a younger brotha with twists come and worship the Lord.

I hadn’t been to an Episcopal Mass in nearly thirty years. The last time was my great grandmother’s church in Florida. All I can remember is the priest’s white vestments and his swinging that ball thing with the smoke that comes out as he said a homily.

The priest of this patrician Negro congregation is a woman and sistahfriend made it her business to say, before launching into the text of her sermon, that she intended to be controversial in preaching the word. If there was any congregant concerned about their budding political career, now was a good time to raise up and tip out.

All in all, it was an interesting cultural experience for a working class brotha raised Baptist. Going to church every other week is about all I can handle at the moment and this coming weekend is my Sunday. I’ll report back anything interesting.

I Decline

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photo by pacific john, flickr

I have been angry for a week now and I have heard from you.  Y’all gave me much to consider and digest.   Wrestling with this has been very, very difficult and gut wrenching.  At times I’ve felt that I just needed to let my anger go, embrace the moment, and savor this history making candidacy for all that its worth.  Conversely, I’ve thought that this brotha is little more than a Democratic and neoliberal version of Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, the doublemint twins of right-wing imperialist deception.    

Appeasing skittish and racially ambivalent whites that deliberately insult the integrity and prophetic vision of the black church doesn’t work for me. Disassociating from Jeremiah Wright by telling a nationally televised audience that you would not have felt comfortable enough in your church of twenty years to stay if your pastor hadn’t retired just doesn’t work for me.   

I want to support this brotha so badly, but I have gone as far as I can.   I can’t do it anymore and feel good about it. I’ve decided to vote uncommitted in the North Carolina Democratic primary in protest. Moreover, as of today, I formally withdraw my support of Barack Obama for the Democratic Nomination for President, my bitter opposition to Senator Clinton notwithstanding, and will leave the Democratic Party to become an Independent.   

In case you were wondering, I have been this way for a number of years and refused to support Bill Clinton because of his lack of candor and respect for the black community on the Death Penalty in 1992.  I actively supported Jerry Brown.   

The vast majority of you will never agree with me, I concede that, but I am a race man through and through and this is about respect.  If a politician doesn’t respect us, they can never really represent us.  It’s just that simple.  I’ve made no decision about the fall.  I’ll let y’all know.  But for today, I decline to support Barack Obama.   

Deflated and Dejected

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I haven’t been in the mood for writing and am still recovering from Obama’s comments last Friday.  The depth and seriousness of the comments y’all left were impressive.  We even heard from a thoughtful member of Obama’s church.  I haven’t reached a final decision but I will probably just sit this one out.  I cannot feign enthusiasm.  I just don’t have the energy.  Rikyrah, I heard you loud and clear and remain unconvinced.  Andrea, you smelled bullsh*t over two weeks ago and told us so, thanks.    

Friday Open Thread: Obama crosses the line on Wright

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“Had the reverend not retired, and had he not acknowledged that what he had said had deeply offended people and were inappropriate and mischaracterized what I believe is the greatness of this country, for all its flaws, then I wouldn’t have felt comfortable staying at the church,” –Barack Obama on The View, Friday morning.

What is he saying? I know he didn’t just do this after people like me, Hell, the whole of the African Diaspora, has come to the defense of his pastor. I need somebody to help me-Now. OMIGAWD. Please, Jesus. Tell me that I didn’t just read this on Huffington Post and TPM. Lord, tell me that this is just a surreal nightmare. What has this all been for if he cannot go the extra mile and continue to defend Dr. Wright while giving whitefolks the “disagreement” that they need to hear? Why did he cross the line, Lord? Why.

I don’t know if I can forgive this tacit acknowledgement that the round the clock, racist smear campaign against Dr. Wright and the Black Church had merit. I am so angry with Barack right now that I don’t know if I can continue my support. Talk to me.