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Archive for the ‘Jeremiah Wright’ Category

John Kerry was a man of his long-gone times:  the 1960s.  He admired the Western European social democracies, particularly that of the French, with their cinema, socialism, complexity, six week vacations, and mostly harmless student riots. 

Obama, by contrast, is a man of the multiculturalist branch of leftism, which emerged in the 1980s.  This group sees its heroes in the Sandanistas, Nelson Mandela, Black Panthers, and the Third World generally.  Its heroic events include the L.A. Riots and the expulsion of European “colonists” from places like Rhodesia.  So it’s not terribly surprising that Obama’s abilities as a diplomat have  consisted mostly of egregious displays of subservience to Third Worlders and non-white leaders in general, such as the Emperor of Japan.  Most important, his lopsided Third World focus has begun to create a minor rift with our civilizational forebears in Europe.

For the record, I thought that some of the conservative venom directed against Western Europe and France during the run-up to the Iraq War was ignorant and short-sighted.  I said so at the time.  John Kerry may have been anti-American in many important ways, but at least he remained rooted in Western Civilization for his models of good government. 

Obama is something different and more dangerous.  Obama doesn’t just want good social services and economic equality, which are the things a John Kerry might admire in Sweden.  Rather, it appears that Obama wants to see the white upper classes collectively brought low in dramatic and humiliating fashion.  Why else the repeated refusal to defend his putative people–his fellow Americans–from calumnies and insults and disrespect by foreigners?

Obama will hobble America and reduce its power and prestige not for spite, though that’s part of it, but also as an act of justice, rebalancing the scales relative to the Third World, in which he sees nations of nonwhite people who are chiefly defined by collectively having been oppressed one time or another by the mean white people of both the First and Second Worlds. 

Why else the snubbing of Nicholas Sarkozy and also Dmitri Medvedev?  Why else the obsequious bowing to the Saudi King and Japanese Emperor, while remaining cool to the British and Germans and Poles?  Why else the extreme unease with waging war in Afghanistan after having promised to do so? 

While Obama is a proud and even somewhat narcissistic man, he finds it very difficult and unnatural to stand up for the United States in the face of criticism that channels the rhetoric of multiculturalism and racist oppression.  When this happens, he is completely morally and psychologically disarmed from critics and will accomodate them to an extreme degree rather than assume the role of America’s first citizen.  Whey else his refusals to condemn Al Sharpton, Farrakhan, Professor Gates, or anyone else on the black left of the United States in his entire life, even when they act ridiculously? 

Obama is someone of an uncertain and also a self-chosen identity.  He made this choosing of his blackness completely in spite of his mixed heritage and white relatives.  This deliberate identification of the idealized people of his  idealized absentee father has always made the sting of “selling out” the worst, most painful cross for the “black” Obama to bear.  He’s insecure about his blackness, even after spending so many years at his crazy church, as a community organizer, and in the household of his more authentically African-American wife.  There’s no slaves in his family tree, unless they were owned by other blacks in Kenya.  This insecurity about selling out is equally vital wether the criticism is levided by a Bobby Rush or the Emperor or Japan or Daniel Ortega.  Having become the American President, far from aleviating this insecurity, makes him doubly determined to show everyone that he knows who his people are:   the multihued oppressed everywhere, not the America which is still 75% white, whose wealthiest and most long-established cohort for many years held “his people” in chattel slavery.

The justice that Barack Obama seeks, it is increasingly clear, focuses on the resolution of “north south conflicts,” or, in other words, whites versus everyone else.  This view of world history was spoken of until now mostly in late night dorm-room bull sessions.  Now it informs the President of the United States.   His foreign policy, in particular its symbolism, is the practical implementation of Jeremiah Wright’s condemnation of  “a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people.” 

Look at his words. Look at his deeds.  Little else but Obama’s racial psychodrama writ large and its associated and distorted concepts of “justice” explain his strange behavior.

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I wrote way back when that Obama’s insecurities about his identity and deference to his party’s left, in particular on “black issues,” may be his undoing. It will radicalize conservatives. And it will be out of touch with the moderates whom he must court to remain effective and get reelected.

So why might Obama say something like what’s below?  It seems politically suicidal, positioning him with all the grievance mongers and scab-pickers like Al Sharpton, Sheila Jackson Lee, John Conyers, and the whole rest of that useless group of flatterers.

Could it be because he heard this kind of nonsense for 20 years and really believes it?

As when the reality of his church was revealed, Obama must again be asked and again explain:  who is the real Barack Obama?  Is he the postracial healer?  Or is he the “race man” who is simply a more effective Jesse Jackson that aims to help his group because of group and tribal loyalty and has little interest in the country’s welfare as a whole?

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I’ve often thought the reflexive invitation to “talk it out” is a bit over-rated.  After all, in close relationships, as in the broader discussions of our communities, knowing when not to communicate is often just as important as communication itself. 

Consider Obama’s call for a “national dialogue on race.”  He doesn’t want this.  He certainly doens’t want to hear whites bitching about the petty grievances they have against minor incivilities of urban blacks, and he especially does not want to hear about the very real and very raw feelings of whites who have suffered under violent black criminals.  Most important of all, he sure doesn’t want to hear the rantings and ravings of his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, even though the pastor’s statements in recent weeks are identical to what Obama’s heard for the last 20 years, as Steve Sailer reminds us today of by quoting a lengthy passage from Obama’s first book.

Gregory Rodriguez makes a very good point that Obama is quickly running away from the very dialogue he claimed America needed.  Rodriguez writes:

Right about now, his much-heralded tutorial on race relations is looking more like Richard Nixon’s “Checkers” speech than the Gettysburg Address. Because, after last Tuesday’s formal renunciation of his ties to Wright — and presumably also his white grandmother and all blacks — Obama looks not only tardy but thoroughly hypocritical. Didn’t Obama’s vaunted speech call for an open national dialogue on race, a subject he said was too important to ignore? Didn’t he urge us to address those “old wounds” that still fester today? Whether you agree with him or not, isn’t that exactly what Wright was doing last week when he reappeared in public to make more provocative statements on race and politics?

That’s no way to start a dialogue, Mr. Obama. You don’t call on people to talk and then renounce someone for speaking his mind. Because Wright didn’t really say anything new last week, it seems that his only new sin is that he called Obama’s bluff and, well, sparked another national dialogue on race. Which, of course, points to the absurdity of Obama’s call for more racial dialogue in the first place.

Obama is, if nothing else, audacious!

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Even Obama’s white supporters were starting to get put off by what Reverend Wright implied about Barack Obama. But they’re all back on board now . . . most especially, Andy Sullivan.  The candidate of few accomplishments–legislative or otherwise–calmed them down once again with the right words. 

He’s the candidate of hopeful words, after all.  His speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention propelled him into the limelight.  Since then he’s carefully–oh, so carefully–positioned himself for the national run.  He’s avoided controversial votes and controversial people.  Wright was the exception; he needed Wright back in the day to get an entree into South Side Chicago politics, and, Obama was loyal to him for this reason.  Obama also had an emotional connection with Wright: the reverend and the scene at Trinity gave Obama the authentic blackness he has obsessed about since high school. 

But Obama’s essentially a pundit running for president.  Where leadership, tough choices, and tangible work were required–with Wright, in the Senate, as a law professor–Obama’s nowhere to be found.  He makes mistakes of judgment because he’s unwilling to take risks.  But his true believers are always willing to be sweet talked back into his arms.  All is forgiven; in this case, 20 years of membership in a black racist church coupled with the unbelievable alibi that he never heard any of this crazy nonsense from Wright until recently, even though his talk is a core expression of black liberation theology. 

In the meantime, conservatives are castigated for suspicious that these words were opportunistic, too late, slightly dishonest, and the product of political necessity.  In the minds of Obama’s true believers, something is wrong with us for being skeptical about a smooth-talking, liberal, Chicago politician seeking national office.

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Obama asks us always to understand the context of things. He says of his racist church, “Like other black churches, Trinity’s services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.”

Well, I guess he’s right. I have an untrained ear. I hear all that hate whitey stuff, and I think these leaders mean what they say. But, I guess it could be worse. Jeremiah Wright might actually follow his Afrocentric reasoning to its logical conclusions and say what all too many people in the black community are thinking, like Khallid Muhammad, former right hand man to “Trinity Church Lifetime Achiever” Louis Farrakhan.  He is speaking below in his infamous 1993 Kean College speech:

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Good Friday seems a good day to discuss this.

It is tempting for white Americans weary of being called racists to embrace this proposal by former NAACP diretor Michael Meyers. Meyers calls for “color blindness” and criticizes Obama for giving what amounts to a detailed description of racial differences that does not lead us out of the present cycle of escalating black anger and defensive white fear:

I would say that Barack Obama’s “momentous” speech on race settled on merely “explaining” so-called racial differences between blacks and whites — and in so doing amplified deep-seated racial tensions and divisions. Instead of giving us a polarizing treatise on the “black experience,” Obama should have reiterated the theme that has brought so many to his campaign: That race ain’t what it used to be in America.

Meyers concludes, “The man or woman who talks plainly about our commonality as a race of human beings, about our future as one nation indivisible, rather than about our discredited and disunited past, is, I predict, likely to finish ahead of the pack and do us a great public service.”

This “race blindness” approach certainly has some appeal, but it’s not a realistic approach. Race, like ethnicity, is a real category of human identity.  Obama is correct to note that the two races see things differently, have different histories, different sensitivities, and that blacks in particular are sensitive to their former treatment as inferiors complete with legally imposed subordination. (more…)

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Prominent libertarian columnist Radley Balko gives Barack Obama’s nutty minister a pass.  Balko says, “I don’t begrudge black folks the occasional indulgence in righteous anger–even obviously crazy, raving righteous anger. Particularly within the sanctuary of a church. The indignation from the right over Rev. Wright is ridiculous, and frankly seems manufactured.”  Actually what’s manufactured and remanufactured ad nauseum is black anger over events in the distant past and imaginary white racism in the present.  I doubt Wright saw much segregation in Chicago.  He was born in 1941.  Restrictive covenants ended in 1948.  No one alive today experienced slavery.  He went to integrated schools, served in an integrated military, and witnessed the passage of the 1965 Civil Rights act as a young man. If whites aren’t always nice to him, maybe it has something to do with his saying things like “God Damn America!” from the pulpit.

I have to agree with Ann Coulter, who speaks plainly to all of those who ask for one-sided “national conversations about race”:

We treat blacks like children, constantly talking about their temper tantrums right in front of them with airy phrases about black anger. I will not pat blacks on the head and say, “Isn’t that cute?” As a post-racial American, I do not believe “the legacy of slavery” gives black people the right to be permanently ill-mannered.

Unlike Coulter, Radley’s problem is that he’s a liberal.  Recall that he excorciated Ron Paul for a newsletter written 15 years ago by someone else.  He was offended by the author’s mocking descriptions of black hoodlums in the LA Riots, but feels nothing when Reverend Wright shows glee at 9/11 or fans the flames of black race hatred by waxing eloquent about evil whites.  The new generation of libertarians, it should now be clear, are basically stingy liberals that share their liberal cousins’ guilty views on race and culture, but don’t feel anything should be done by the government to alleviate the plight of poor people . . . unless they’re drug dealers. 

I realize in thinking about Obama, Wright, Jena Six, and my own unease with so-called “white nationalism,” that my views on racism are as follows: the racism of the past was wrong, extreme, and unjust, but it is basically dead, and white America deserves some credit for killing it. The remaining charges of racism are the product of propagandists and race hustlers, people like Al Sharpton and Jeremiah Wright.  (more…)

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Andrew Sullivan complains that Obama is being “swift boated.”

Swift Boating

=

Truthful recitation of facts and reasonable inferences from the same that a candidate’s supporters would prefer no one knew about, e.g., racist church memberships, defamatory rhetoric about one’s fellow Vietnam veterans.

(more…)

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Obama promises to heal our racial divisions in his latest speech.  But, as evidenced by his long association with Jeremiah Wright, he is willing to tolerate gross expressions of race hatred from black associates.  This strange tolerance for race hatred from blacks suggests that his promise of healing may be a chimera.  But in his own mind, I think he can reconcile these contradictions: Americans must become more like Obama himself.  Obama is mixed race, a mulatto.  His description of the racial issues America faces are prefigured in his own identity and behavior.  In the way of a solution, Obama has thoroughly subordinated his white identity in favor of the black.   (more…)

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I just read the full text on Drudge. Here’s the takeaway:

America’s basically good, but still has to work out its racial issues. Black people used to have it worse, and we need to acknowledge progress.

As for Reverend Wright, no one’s perfect. I liked some things my minister did and didn’t like others. Sure he hated white people, but he had soup kitchens too. Plus, he’s like family. As for where Wright’s wrong: black people have problems primarily because of racism, I agree, but we need to get beyond blaming whitey.  Whitey’s playing ball, more or less.  Further, someone like Wright doesn’t realize that white people have problems too because a lot of them are hard-working, poor, and buffeted by the forces of globalization, just like black people are.

I’ve known bigoted black and white people–including my own grandmother–and didn’t throw them under the bus for a single wayward remark (or in Wright’s case 20 years of highly refined incitement to racial arson). Also, I love my white mom, just in case anyone forgot about her.

Let’s talk plainly:  for someone as nuanced as me, single-issue explanations based on conspiracies about other races are not entirely accurate, but this kind of “folk wisdom” is common among older blacks. Maybe if you all weren’t segregating lunch counters and calling us nigger every five minutes, these older people would chill out.  I’m the middle man here.  After all, I’m half white.  These hateful feelings that I’m giving you some insight into are a bit of a generational thing, and I’m also a Gen Xer.

Ultimately, we all need to understand each other and reach some Hegelian synthesis of social solidarity. The root of that solidarity is a frank acknowledgement by whites that most black problems are caused directly or indirectly by the past actions of white people, as well as white capitulation to “fear” today; at worst, blacks merely have “complicity in our condition.”

But there is some hope: black and white people can unite around fleecing rich people, attacking corporations, and expanding government programs.  This will help all kinds of poor and middle class people, and therefore both groups can achieve racial harmony by uniting around the Obama candidacy. The speech ends with a nice vignette about a tender moment between a little white girl and a nice old black man illustrating that very possibility: black and white people sometimes get along, especially when they’re working together on the Obama campaign.

In fairness, this speech does address some of the criticisms I have made, showing that he’s more sophisticated than Hillary and her tone deaf, avoidant responses to controversies. He articulates where he agrees and where he disagrees with Wright. He basically said he thought the good outweighed the bad. He portrayed a more positive vision of America than Wright, pointing to the possibility of racial peace (by emphasizing class struggles and nuanced historical understanding (i.e., mentioning the slaveowner ancestors of his wife and his racist grandmother)), and, as he often does, Obama showed some understanding of the roots of white resentment in a way that was not a caricature.

Of course, this speech will not make Wright’s words go away. Seeing him holler “God Damn America!” is pretty powerful. It seems even with this explanation that there’s a point where someone decent and intelligent, someone who had a loving white mother and loving white grandparents, would distance himself from a white-hating crazy person like Wright, even if he would tolerate a wide range of other disagreeable statements by a pastor or family member.

I do predict the media will be enthralled–Sullivan already is. This speech will appeal to a tableau of common media attitudes: belief in America’s deep corruption, coupled with a belief in the possibility of progress; it will testify to Obama’s fundamental reasonableness and moderate tone; it will position him again as a “racial healer”; it will appeal to the healing power of words and rhetoric by a man with such a mediocre record; and, it will show the “horse race” folks that he can take a controversial campaign fast-ball and swing hard, nearly hitting one out of the park. This speech will definitely keep Obama in the Democratic Party game, at least, and stop the bleeding that the Wright controversy portended.  It does little however to assuage the concerns of thinking people that his close association with Wright shows that Obama’s a moral idiot and a calculating coward, who cannot stand up to other black leaders, in spite of his claim to be a healing figure.

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Sully says it’s our patriotic duty to accept Obama’s unbelievable claim that he did not know Jeremiah Wright was a nutty, black nationalist who hates America and is filled with resentment and venom, viz.:

Those who ask questions and seek answers about the influence of Wright are doing their democratic duty. It is equally Obama’s duty to answer them as candidly and respectfully and precisely as possible. But those who do not want to hear an answer that gives hope and reconciles our divisions are betraying themselves and this country’s potential. Reveling in cynicism and partisanship is the act of those who truly do not love America.

Sullivan, always driven by emotion, does not want us to look behind the curtain to see what the maddeningly vague Obama really believes. It simply defies reason that Jeremiah Wright’s sermon saying “God damn America” was out of character. Likewise, Wright’s blaming of America after 9/11 is not the kind of foray anyone in his position would undertake after a major national tragedy unless this were a perfectly familiar theme for the preacher and the congregation in question.

Obama’s preferred response is to say he condemns the offensive statements without saying what in particular he condemns, why he condemns these statements, and what he believes that is different. In particular, Obama never reconciles his racial healing generalities with the resentment-driven dogmas of black nationalism. He chose this nationalism by choosing this church, even though there are plenty of other left-leaning, mixed raced congregations in the well integrated Hyde Park neighborhood. Even if Obama can escape a major political cost by comparing his reverend to a “lovable old coot of an uncle who sometimes says offensive things,” we have to ask which parts of Wright’s message does Obama like? (After all, Protestant people switch churches all the time, and preachers, unlike uncles, are not blood relations.)

Did Obama join this church for cynical self-interested reasons because it was the way to get ahead in South Chicago black politics? Did his angry harpy of a wife drag him there? Did he feel obliged as a mulatto, whose loyalties are frequently questioned, to plant himself firmly in the black community through a black nationalist church membership, even though this meant hearing hateful characterizations of his white mother and white family members? Or did he endorse Wright’s radical view in his youth when his identity was less certain, only to reject large portions of this extremism later in life? And, if so, what aspects of the black nationalist program does he reject and what does he still accept? For someone running as a racial healer emphasizing a positive agenda of hope and national solidarity, there is simply no way easily to reconcile his choice of church and preacher with his broader political message.

As in affirmative action, the promise of racial healing Obama advances seems to require willful blindness to reality by whites. In the case of affirmative action, the huge differences between white and black qualifications for universities are suppressed and not well known outside of university admission departments. It is, of course, something people notice through experience, but one is not allowed to write about it or discuss it seriously. So the gap in ability and culture ends up being something of an “official lie.”  Likewise, in the case of black religious feelings and experiences, whites are not supposed to mention the extent of hatred, resentment, and alienation that is fomented by hysterical black preachers every Sunday from the pulpit. We’re supposed to accept at face value claims that they believe in the same Christian values the rest of the society aspires to–values that emphasize humility before God, the example of Jesus Christ, individual moral responsibility, solidarity of the human race, and forgiveness–even though every Sunday folks at Jeremiah Wright’s churches hear a Marxist gospel where whites are essentially the devils and blacks are the elect.

Jeremiah Wright is one of many black preachers who adopted this style in the Seventies. It is a far cry from the traditional Christian language of hope and deliverance of early 20th Century black American churches, and it is also a gross deviation from the American rhetoric of equality and fair play that characterized the highly effective early civil rights movement.

If whites knew how much hate and resentment is common among significant sectors of black America–a hatred that whites saw a glimpse of in the real joy of otherwise successful American blacks after the O.J. Simpson verdict–Obama’s post-racial appeal would fizzle because whites would realize how rooted Obama is to that hateful reality. Folks who thought they were endorsing Sidney Poitier would recoil in fear when they discovered the “bait and switch”:  the real product would turn out to be a clever, dishonest Al Sharpton figure with a better haircut. Whites would realize how much the Marxist undercurrents of the Sixties have poisoned race relations by inculcating hateful attitudes among blacks, even as white people have effectively abandoned the racist attitudes of yesteryear. The news about Wright is a big deal, because, unless Obama rejects him root and branch, whites would realize that Obama has promised nothing to whites and done nothing to distance himself from nut-jobs like Wright, and this could mean that he promises a great deal of harm to whites as a group.  Of course, it will be “for our own good,” the necessary supplication for “healing.”

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Obama, though he portrays himself as a post-racial healer, is willing to play the race card to win this election.  He’s just thrown Democratic party elder statesman, Geraldine Ferraro, under the bus for pointing out the obvious:  if Obama were a white man or a white woman, he wouldn’t be so close to winning the nomination. 

Andrew Sullivan calls the Clinton’s despicable for their “hard ball” tactics, but, what game did he think everyone was playing?  This is politics.  Obama’s intimations about post-racial healing and connectedness are just as focus-grouped and artificial as every word out of Hillary’s mouth.  He’s just smoother in the delivery.  Plus, all of her attacks are moderate and reasonable considering what the Clintons are capable of and amount to the following:  he’s inexperienced, he’s got skeletons, he’s got some bad associates, and the media’s given him a pass. 

But it is an abnormal and fairly recent development that racism charges can simultaneously be perceived as the greatest social evil and also be the most common charge advanced by blacks seeking an advantage against whites. 

The anti-racism of today is not rooted in justice.  There is almost no racism in America today, and, even to the extent it exists, it does not explain persistent and growing black failure.  Instead, the anti-racism of today is an ideology of power designed to identify, denounce, and avenge the imaginary white sources of black failure.  Because this campaign is rooted not in justice but in furtherance of the Marxist goal of rearranging society by subordinating whites to minorities and newcomers, it knows no limits. 

It would be nice to think Obama could assuage these disaffected groups, recreate conditions of a common national identity, and promote race relations based on mutual understanding and justice.  His flowerly campaign rhetoric, however, does not match his gritty and dishonorable campaign tactics. 

As I’ve said before, Obama will be a tragic figure if elected, because modern day leftism, as espoused in the Democratic Party, does not permit a vocabulary with which to provide limits to the dominant anti-white, anti-rich, anti-male, anti-Christian, anti-establishment, and anti-American agenda.

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