Democrats & Liberals Archives

What Exactly IS "The Audacity of Hope?"

My political blogging tends to be divided up between three sites. This is one of them, of course. The other two include The Telepresent Tribune, where I post short stuff at my whim, and an ongoing diary at the Democrat-run netroots site, Daily Kos. It is an entry at that site I’m crossposting here. Keep this in mind as you read this entry (not to mention the comments!).

The entry kicks off from the title:

What Exactly IS "The Audacity of Hope?"
----------------------------------------------------

If we're speaking factually, it's an 1990 sermon by Reverend Wright, full text at this link, in which this now controversial figure shows what may be more typical of his preaching style, his more typical message, as opposed to the fire and brimstone anger of the excerpts of his more controversial sermons.

In Reverend Wright's sermon the subject is a painting, where an injured woman with torn clothes plays a harp with all the strings broken but one, while around her all matter of calamity is ongoing. Wright uses this imagery to talk about availing ourselves of God's help, of praying for his intervention, of worshiping Him, even when the chips are down. Especially when the chips are down.

If we're speaking in terms of Barack Obama, it's a sermon he found particularly inspiring, near the beginning of his long association with Reverend Wright, one which eventually became the title of his second book, whose themes inform his Campaign. For Obama, this becomes a worldly, political notion of motivating ourselves to fight back against an unjust order in Washington, and politics in general.

If we're speaking in terms of our current efforts to deal with Republican Talking Points concerning Barack's continued association with Reverend Wright, it is a gift. Read the text, quote from it, familiarize yourself with it, because it presents Obama mentor at his best, illustrates his appeal, and provides a beautiful starting point for any discussion of the troubles this nation faces right now.

This is a nation that needs hope, that needs something to give it back the transcedant unity it once knew. In our ordeal over the last several years, our divisions have gone from troublesome to painful, from inconvenient to traumatizing. Meanwhile, the political order that once dominated, in both parties, has failed in its promise to improve things for the average person.

Americans are angry, and this time, their anger is not misplaced. The question will be this: which is stronger? Their discontent with the current order? Or with each other?

As Barack Obama said in his speech, race has become a distraction from common problems. If we address race in this campaign, I think we on the Democratic side should address it so that we can get past it, even if we have to do this a thousand times in a million places. But first, we have to get past it, a thousand times in a million places. This, and other brushstrokes of meaningful information concerning the Reverend Wright, and what Barack Obama took away from their relationship should be front and center in that approach. Yes, it will help to put his angrier, more bitter sermons in their full context, to make people better aware of how and why he said what he said, what it related to, but it is also necessary for us to paint a picture of Reverend Wright beyond this controversy, show others, rather than merely tell them, the reasons he sustained a long term relationship with the man.

With these facts and others, we should show, not merely tell people, why we continue to stand by Barack Obama, and why they should support him as well for President. Healing divisions is not merely good rhetoric for Barack Obama, it's good politics for the rest of us; we need as many people as possible open to voting for this man, despite all that has been done to divide us.

Part of Obama's appeal has been to circumvent the status-quo mired party machinery, to more freely engage the voters. The attacks based on this controversy have been key components of an effort to paint him as a closet racist and disciple of an angry black man that whites should be hesitant to put in a place of authority. This emotional appeal survives as long as ignorance of the pastor's full career persists, as long as we don't answer the critical question of why he did not disown his pastor.

To change the political realities in Washington, we need a candidate who is not beholden to the machinery and it's so-called political realities. Part of the help he needs to fight back against the political establishment of both sides is our informing, by the quick and broad distribution medium of the internet and our word of mouth, of the public concerning this and other matters. These talking points are strongly dependent for their traction on arguments made from ignorance and selective attention to the facts. The better informed the public is, the less hold these unfounded charges retain.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at March 24, 2008 11:12 AM
Comments
Comment #248996
As Barack Obama said in his speech, race has become a distraction from common problems.

If by “race” you mean racist lunatic ravings, and if by “common problems” you mean Obama’s electability, then yes, this is a distraction. Especially from Obama’ point of view.

Problem is that when Obama and his supporters talk about moving beyond race, they’re not talking about ending rhetorical and financial support for every politically correct race-based set-aside (like affirmative action) which has become a staple of Democratic politics. It’s not race they want to move beyond. It’s accountability.

“Moving beyond race” just means “move beyond my racist associations” and stop thinking about them so you can sooner get back to uncritical worshipping in my cult of personality.

Get beyond race? If only that’s what we really being asked to do. But such a lofty sentiment carries as much weight from Obama as it would from a guy in a white pillowcase at a Klan rally. And frankly, Obama’s church is no different from a Klan rally. The only difference is that the racist loonies have a different skin color.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 24, 2008 12:10 PM
Comment #249002

Those that think of Rev. Wright’s remark’s as lunatic fringe have never watched black TV, except maybe Cosby or Sandford and Son.

I don’t agree with many of his comments, but to say these ideas are uncommon in black dialogue, is a sign of isolation from that dialogue.

I think Obama is a powerful and measured speaker. Will he be great president? I have doubts, but don’t think he would be significantly worse than the other two options. I suspect the odds are that we will find out.

Posted by: googlumpus at March 24, 2008 1:04 PM
Comment #249004

Loyal Opposition,

Please don’t twist meanings. You know very well that Obama has been focusing his campaign on issues and problems other than race - unifying issues and problems that we all face - but in fact it is time that he address race as well, because that is a problem for all of us as well.

Following is a quote of me from another thread which applies here as well:

And conservatives, (joined at the hip with Pat Robertson and Falwell and the rest of their ilk), have the unmitigated nerve to complain about the stupid things some liberal preacher said. If this campaign is going to be about stupid things that preachers say… Well there goes whatever was left of quality political discourse in this country. Now if you can tie Obama to those controversial views you might have something.

I have criticized Pat Robertson and George Bush. I have criticized Pat Robertson because he is an idiot. I have criticized George Bush because he espouses the same idiotic views. I don’t criticize George Bush because he knows Pat Robertson. One idiot knows another. So what. The problem is that they are both idiots. It is OK with me that they know each other. John McCain knows some flat stone idiot preachers too. It is OK that he knows them. It would be OK that he brown noses em - except that… He is selling his soul out to them for cynical political gain. That is just wrong.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 24, 2008 1:10 PM
Comment #249008

LO-
If you want to talk about racist lunatic ravings, I’m game. Yes, what he said was prejudiced, and prejudicial in some ways. But both his career and the offending sermons have been distorted, to serve a partisan agenda.

You talk of electability, but that’s a circular argument. Why is he unelectable? Why because people won’t vote for him. Why won’t they vote for him? Because the Wright Scandal continues to dog him. Why does it do that? Because people like you continue to make sure it does.

Why? Because you think or want us to think he’s a racist. But didn’t he give a speech of unusual understanding and nuance on the subject? Yes he did. Would these be the words of a person who was a racist? Only if they were lying. So you consider him a liar.

But for what reason? You might point to the “typical white person” comment, but he was defending his grandmother, saying that she didn’t have any real racial animosity, just some conditioning from the society she lived in. This in turn is part of his argument against judging whites who harbor certain resentments concerning racially charged issues too harshly. He spoke in the speech about the feeling that many whites had that their race had given them no special advantage, and said that the resentment there was real, that it had reasonable causes.

I present that entry of mine, with its link to the sermon that inspired Obama’s book and his more worldly notion of hope in our politics, as a means to broaden folk’s perspective on a church and a pastor that you here so brazenly and unabashedly stereotype.

You say that Obama even being associated with people who say such things should disqualify him. Okay, but then if you really want to be fair, you should give up on McCain, then. He’s associated with people who have said things that could be interpret as being just as bad, if not harsher.

You Republicans have people on your side that say things just as harsh, if not more so, including the fellow up there that Glenn Greenwald’s talking about, stuff that couldn’t merely be interpreted as racially offensive, or anti-American (as Republicans have defined it for us), but which just is that at face value. But when we call you on it, we’re just being politically correct.

Where Obama and the people who support him have taken great lengths to define the race debate in terms that allow forgiveness between those who might have been offended by Rev. Wright and those who agree with him, owing to their mutual experiences of life, It seems the Republicans, at least of the case of those taking your approach, are trying to drag the argument back down into the muck and mire of recrimination and hostility.

Obama has put himself on the line, defined his candidacy by a perspective on race relations that will forever haunt him, should he choose to be less than equitable, less than Solomonic in his response to race relations. He will be accountable for the views he expresses and the policies he enacts along these terms, and whichever voters he reconciles himself to from among those who Wright offended or scared away will expect him to be good as his words on the subject. If he is a racist, then he has committed himself to keeping up appearances to the opposite, an odd move to be sure.

What should be self-evident here is that Barack Obama has not sought out the same sort of identity politics that his minister represents. He has not made race the issue, race has been made the issue for him by those like you who want it to become the main issue.

But it’s not. We’re in the sixth year of a war that was only supposed to last six months. We’re in an economic decline that will perhaps be comparable to those of the worst in modern times. We face a world where our standing is lower than ever, and a country bitterly disappointed by its leaders and the corruption in Washington. Those are the real issues. People like me only have to deal with them because you folks can’t seem to stop pointing out that his pastor is a scary black man, or insinuate that he’s somehow one too.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 24, 2008 1:47 PM
Comment #249009
I don’t agree with many of his comments, but to say these ideas are uncommon in black dialogue, is a sign of isolation from that dialogue.

THAT should really be the focus, shouldn’t it? Why does the ‘black community’ feel it ok to be racist when they should be the ones who know most how damaging that thought process is?

Or, is it more likely, as I have stated before, that racism is just a means of directing internal anger and feelings of inadequacy outwards. These same people usually hate all kinds of people for any possible reason they can think of. Too short, too tall, too fat, too thin, too white, too black, too asian, man, woman, etc.

Focusing it down to the fact that some people have emotional issues that cause them to be racist, wouldn’t it be better to quietly feel sorry for those people and then move on? Eventually they will get help or be inconsequential, they are not worth the time and effort.

But when we accept such thinking into a community, as we did with Jim Crowe laws and the race relations of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, we are harming ourselves as much as we are allowing these twisted individuals to have any say at all. And so it is now with the ‘black community’, allowing them to harm themselves by defending the actions and mindsets of people they should clearly speak out against, all because our political leaders use these powerful emotions against us for their own gain.

We shouldn’t allow it when the individuals are white, nor should we allow it when the individuals are black.

I don’t think that Obama is carrying a torch for these feelings that Rev. Wright has expressed, but that doesn’t mean that he should be defending those beliefs, nor should he be attempting to turn the situation to his advantage and his followers shouldn’t be jumping through hoops to defend the rhetoric is ‘simply a black mindset’ and not work to expunge that view from our society.

Welcome to the knowledge that you are being manipulated by your political leadership and partisan leanings.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 24, 2008 2:12 PM
Comment #249010

Stephen

The Daily Kos? Now that’s a step backwards for you, don’t you think?

Do you really think anyone except the lunitic fringe left has that particular site on it’s favorites list?

Is that really a forum for principled debate?

I see a similarity here with what Obama did in terms of his getting brainwashed with Wright and what you are doing with the Kos.

You are what you read/hear.

At least David tries to keep an appearance of neutrality here at Watchblog,for heaven’s sake.

Like Wright did with Barry, Kos has done with you,unfortunately.

In both cases, a waste of talent, I think.

Posted by: sicilian eagle at March 24, 2008 2:19 PM
Comment #249011

Rhinehold-
Obama is not defending those beliefs, but explaining why he’s not disowning a man who expressed them. He’s telling people that there are very real memories of humiliation and degradation that motivate this kind of hostility, as much as we might want to consider these problems over, we can’t wish away the psychological consequences of Jim Crow or more recent racism on the Black community.

One of which is the insularity of the Black Community, as far as it goes. People will turn inwards when attacked from without. These people developed a culture of their own, and every time we react with hostility towards these people, it only serves to reinforce that.

Only by being patient, not seeking to pick fights, do we really have a chance of resolving these issues.

As for attempting to turn it to his advantage? I think he had his hands full keeping it from sinking his campaign. That he came up with such a brilliant speech to deal with it is what’s turning this to his advantage. He addressed it, and left the majority of Americans who watched it or heard of it impressed by the maturity, the depth, and the breadth of his perspective on it. I don’t think we should mind advantages that are earned.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 24, 2008 2:25 PM
Comment #249012

Come on Eagle. Wright is a racist and watching the left in their attempts to justify or excuse his racism is laughable indeed. But saying Obama has been brainwashed by wright is not supported by the facts. What leads you to believe Obama shares these racist views, instead of just using wright and this so-called church to further his standing in the black community for political gain?

Posted by: kctim at March 24, 2008 2:31 PM
Comment #249013
Problem is that when Obama and his supporters talk about moving beyond race, they’re not talking about ending rhetorical and financial support for every politically correct race-based set-aside (like affirmative action) which has become a staple of Democratic politics. It’s not race they want to move beyond. It’s accountability.

Whose accountability are you questioning? Is it our accountability for allowing slavery, or the racism that existed since slavery was abolished? Is it statement that the Right likes to provide: “that was not us, that was before our time so we shouldn’t be held responsible for it.” Which ignores that racism still exists and groups of people are still suffering the consequences of it.

Yes, as a society we recognize that racism is wrong, but can we as a nation declare that it no longer exists? We have made strides in the past fifty years, but can we as a nation declare that people are still not affected due to the historical ramifications and present day condition of racism?

It is often pointed out the overwhelming support Barack receives from the black community, and conversely, the lack of support he gets from white middle-aged males. Are not both these instances the result of racism? I’m not saying that the vast majority of white middle-aged males are racist; I’m saying that some of their reticence in voting for Barack stems from the result of racism. If all things were equal, there would not be a differentiation in the percentage of support that Obama received from the Black and White voter block.

In a political season in which only recently has race become a spoken factor, these two differentiated voting blocks had already existed. Right here on WatchBlog, people have questioned Barack’s religion, upbringing and electability because of race. Have we questioned any other candidate’s heritage in this manner?

We can ignore the reality of the past and present state of race relations, and call Pastor Wright’s words as divisive. Or we can recognize how deeply ingrained and how deeply affected some are by racism and continue to strive to overcome it. Yes I would like to be able to move beyond race, I’m just not willing to ignore racism to achieve this.


Posted by: Cube at March 24, 2008 2:34 PM
Comment #249014

I’m sorry, Stephen, but the psychological damage of recent racism? Which racism are you speaking of? What has so damaged the majority of black individuals in the past 30 years that they are given a free pass for their own internal hatred being pointed outwards to white people who may or may not have had anything to do with it?

And Jim Crow laws? How long has it been exactly and how long do I have to allow someone who wasn’t affected by them personally to be able to hold it over me when neither one of us were involved in the situation in any way?

When will it be time we stop allowing people to blame their own personal feelings of inadequacies and internal hatred on others based on the color of their skin?

The Democrats tell me it’s not been long enough. But they also, like you, point to ‘recent racism’ which I don’t see, so it’s hard for me to quantify, since I’m not tuned into the mindset I suppose. It would help if you could point out specifics and explain how the psychological impact is affecting the ‘black commnity’ as a whole?

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 24, 2008 2:45 PM
Comment #249015
but can we as a nation declare that people are still not affected due to the historical ramifications and present day condition of racism?

You cannot completely stamp out ‘racism’ because we do not control the free thoughts of individuals.

The *ONLY* way to move past racism in any way is to stop dabbling in it! Stop pointing it out, stop talking about it in anything other than an historical context and tell people who claim to be victims of it that everyone has to deal with haters in their own way, that they have an obvious attack point doesn’t mean that they are the only ones who have to deal with it.

Sadly, as I have pointed out, neither major party will do that, it would cost them votes..

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 24, 2008 2:48 PM
Comment #249016
Only by being patient, not seeking to pick fights, do we really have a chance of resolving these issues.

Now that is truly touching, especially coming from the side of the aisle that has for decades now made a cottage industry of attacking people and destroying careers based on politically correct speech. The party that embraced Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton suddenly councels patience and not picking fights when one of their own comes under fire for associating and excusing some of the most hateful, inflammatory racist speech possible.

The same party that supports speech codes on campus, that holds companies responsible (and shakes them down) for tolerating a racist joke told by an employee suddenly asks for patience and tolerance… for themselves.

You say that Obama even being associated with people who say such things should disqualify him. Okay, but then if you really want to be fair, you should give up on McCain, then. He’s associated with people who have said things that could be interpret as being just as bad, if not harsher.

First off, that article you link to says nothing about McCain even knowing this Schaeffer character, much less “associating with him.” And anyway, “associating” with somebody is not the same thing at all as having them as their close friend and spiritual advisor for 20 years.

Farrakhan has endorsed Obama and he and Obama have “associated” with many of the same people, but Obama is not being held to account for Farrakhan because Obama hasn’t been bosom buddies with him for 20 years and isn’t out there excusing his remarks. The comparisons made with McCain are nothing but a desperate diversion.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 24, 2008 2:49 PM
Comment #249017

Cube, it’s been over 150 years since slavery was abolished and 50 years since the southern Democratic party’s feverish support of Jim Crow has ended.

Is racism still prevalent? Yes.

If all things were equal, there would not be a differentiation in the percentage of support that Obama received from the Black and White voter block.

Perhaps so. But why the assumption that Whites are voting based on racism (as opposed to qualifications for the office—which Obama, with his incredibly thin resume has little of) and that large numbers of African-Americans are not the ones voting for racist reasons? I’m not aware of instances when members of any race broke so heavily—upwards of 80%—for one single candidate.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 24, 2008 2:57 PM
Comment #249018

It’s more than desperate, LO, it’s predictible. I mentioned it last week that it would be the tactic taken. BUT, it also prevents the left from using McCain’s support by religious leaders as an attack point as they attempt to do every election cycle, warranted or no.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 24, 2008 3:00 PM
Comment #249025

SE-
DKos has members who are fringe, but mainly, it’s just Democratic Party-oriented. It’s got a much better level of readership than many of the Right-Wing blogs, like Instapundit and Red State.

It’s a forum for just about everything. Now I didn’t go Jekyll and Hyde on you. I’m the sort of person who writes the kind of posts they call “thoughtful”. I do indulge, sometimes, in more heated discussions, which DKos censors less than is done here, but for the most part, I’m still the same lovable blogger you know.

As for “You are what you read/hear.”?

Bull. Cogito Ergo Sum. I think therefore I am. I like the emphasis on political civility in the Obama campaign, just as I like it here. The emphasis that they placed upon upsetting the applecart on traditional Republican territories and political realities constitute part of what drew me to Obama’s campaign, and to Daily Kos.

What drew me to becoming a Kossack, was an interest in discussing Democratic Party politics with others of a similar bent. My timing, it turns out, was pretty good!

What drew me to post this here is, like I said, I felt that it was necessary to provide some sort of balance to the lurid, cariactured picture provided in the media.

As for the Appearance of neutrality, that’s something to hear from an Eagle with two Right Wings! We’re not neutral here at Watchblog. Civil, yes, but not neutral. I’ve never pretended to be neutral, either. I’ve taken my share of sides. Even David has. If you’ve never read David when he gets going on the Border Fence, you’d know he’s hardly neutral on the subject. Neutrality is not the aim here. Civility is.

You compare Jeremiah Wright and DKos, saying both have made zombies out of their subjects, those Being Barry and Steve.

This isn’t very helpful, if you’re looking for a forum for principled debate. There’s nothing principled about calling the other side mindless robots. You can try to debate me, or debate with my choice of associates, but I will debate with you, and any distraction from that will put you at a disadvantage with me.

kctim-
First, So-called? It’s the biggest congregation in the United Church of Christ, and it’s been there since 1961. You would do well not to go questioning the faith and morals of people in that manner. I don’t think he joined for politically motivated reasons. He could just as easily have left for the same reasons, if he were that shallow.

LO-
So, you’re keeping this controversy going for your part to teach us a lesson? And what is that lesson? Don’t call Republicans on racism? Don’t fight it, or we’ll come down on one of yours?

It would be foolhardy to deny that Trinity UCC is afrocentric. Racist, though? The language may seem racist, and can become racist, but one cannot consider the church except in the context of the situation.

For a white church to talk about itself in terms of white power is the height of arrogance, given the years of domination of the politic and economic system. We haven’t been victims of racial segregation, nor were our ancestors brought over here as slaves and kept in poverty throughout much of the country’s history.

Black Identity politics must be seen in terms of having to have undergone just that. It’s easy for folks like us to say get over it. It’s also arrogant, because we don’t know what that was like. These people formed a more cohesive community as a way of supporting each other against decades, centuries of unjust social order. The consequences of that, the relative lack of personal integration among the older members of that community can not be made to disappear with wishful thinking.

One way of looking at this is to consider the Blacks an immigrant community forcefully prevented from undergoing the same full integration that other communities underwent. Only recently has black America been allowed to integrate fully.

Seen from this perspective, Black identity is no more racist than similar movements among the Irish, the Italians, the Jews, and other nationalities and ethnic groups. The length of this long-frustrated integration makes them a somewhat unique case, but unless you want to start bashing the Irish for their love of their homeland, the Italians for trumpeting the values of the old country, or Jews for creating their own ethnically centered enclaves, then you have to accept that this is part of the healing process.

Meanwhile, we have plenty of White Churches, of White Pastors who say equally scary things. It gets reported in the media, but Republican candidates are not pictured as being doomed to unelectability because of that. Why? Perhaps because Republicans seem to only care about such things when the shoe is on the other foot.

Perhaps some Democrats go overboard on this. Barack Obama has said as much. But does that justify such blatant double dealing? No. If you can keep McCain, who has no Earthly reason to stand by these people beyond politics, I can stand by Obama, and he can stand by Reverend Wright as a pastor. The evidence I’ve presented is that he wasn’t simply some radical racial rabble-rouser, that he was a preacher with fairly mainstream religious views, in addition to those that you have chosen to make seem outrageously racist. The desperate diversion here is from the issues. Obama’s racial dilemmas are what you want people to pay attention to instead of a failing war and a failing economy.

Rhinehold-
Racism, like the past, isn’t dead. It isn’t even past. It is, however greatly diminished.

Diminished, though, it still stings somebody to be pulled over simply because of racial profiling, which the right seems to defend as common sense most of the time it’s brought up. It still stings for these people to see the vast majority of people on Death row be of their color, even though Whites commit far more of the same kind of crimes. The Republicans have not helped thing. They made issues out of this, on purpose, pursuing Nixon’s Southern Strategy. Blatant appeals were made to those discontented by desegregation.

You act as if we can just destroy it by an act of collective denial, but would that really do the trick? While nobody can simply legislate the problem away, or speech code it out of existence, we also can’t expect prejudice to become unlearned overnight, or for it not to creep back in.

My Philosophy is to treat it as a matter of equal rights, to make the issue fair treatment, regardless of cultural factors, to make sure employers, lending institutions and governments know that it simply isn’t acceptable. We don’t need to control thoughts, just curb bad behavior.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 24, 2008 5:14 PM
Comment #249028

Rhineold,

I’m sorry, Stephen, but the psychological damage of recent racism? Which racism are you speaking of? What has so damaged the majority of black individuals in the past 30 years that they are given a free pass for their own internal hatred being pointed outwards to white people who may or may not have had anything to do with it?

My God, Man! Do your really not know that racism still exists against blacks and hispanics in this country? You blame racism on black internal anger? Are you serious? Are you really that disconnected from anyone black?

The *ONLY* way to move past racism in any way is to stop dabbling in it! Stop pointing it out, stop talking about it in anything other than an historical context and tell people who claim to be victims of it that everyone has to deal with haters in their own way, that they have an obvious attack point doesn’t mean that they are the only ones who have to deal with it.

Ignoring a problem makes it go away? Which school of thought is that? The Ostrich school of Enligtenment?

What century, exactly, are you coming from?


Posted by: googlumpus at March 24, 2008 5:19 PM
Comment #249031
Perhaps so. But why the assumption that Whites are voting based on racism (as opposed to qualifications for the office—which Obama, with his incredibly thin resume has little of) and that large numbers of African-Americans are not the ones voting for racist reasons? I’m not aware of instances when members of any race broke so heavily—upwards of 80%—for one single candidate.

I agree that both these examples are of how racism has manifested itself in these elections. So while some on the Right will declare that they cannot understand Pastor Wright’s sentiment, I suggest that evidently the vast majority of his target listeners do. So do we condemn him for his words, or do we try to understand them? Evidently a significant portion of the Black community also feels disenfranchised. Or their vote would be more evenly distributed amongst the candidates, just as the middle-aged white male vote would be too.

Au Contraire Rhinehold, it is the Right who focuses on the Religious test. It is the Left that keeps on saying to leave it out of politics. As an example, look at McCain and see how the Christian Right feels and treated him during the Republican Primaries.

Posted by: Cube at March 24, 2008 5:40 PM
Comment #249033

Stephen
I have no problem with questioning the “faith and morals” of people who willfully sit in the pews and shout amen as their religious leader speaks ill of people of another race. That goes for those who would sit and listen to david duke preach about God with a little how bad blacks are thrown in AND for those who would sit and listen to wright preach about God with a little how evil whites thrown in.

Only he knows if he joined for politically motivated reasons or not. But, it is just as valid to question him on it, as it is to question a Republicans.

Posted by: kctim at March 24, 2008 5:46 PM
Comment #249035
What century, exactly, are you coming from?

I thought it was the 21st. Apparently we aren’t as enlightened as I thought. Considering that race is a proven invalid concept scientifically…

My God, Man! Do your really not know that racism still exists against blacks and hispanics in this country?

Apparently you either read only what you want to see or skip big bits of it. Either way let me explain something.

I stated already that racism exist and will always exist on some scale. Why? Because racism is a form of hatred that individuals express from internal inadequacies and self-loathing turning it outside onto others who are different then themselves in any way that they can identify. The same people who hate because of race also hate because of sex, hair color, eye color, etc. They are usually haters of more than one thing.

And until we can give everyone a pill and make all psychological issues disappear overnight, we are going to have to live with idiots and morons being, well, idiots and morons.

But to say that INSTITUTIONALIZED racism is still inexistence is going to require someone to show me some proof. It does not. And if it does show up again, we should end it.

But please, tell me, as a son-in-law to a black man and having a bit of black ancestory (along with some jewish, I have a bit of all of the former slave races in me somewhere) I would *LOVE* for you to explain to me how disconnected I am from anyone black…

Give me some details, show me specifics. Otherwise, you fall into the ‘using race as a political tool’ category with your ignorant tirade.

Ignoring a problem makes it go away?

I didn’t say ignore it. I said stop dabbling in it and stop talking about it, ad naseum, instead of talking our similarities we focus on our diffrences, putting people into predefined ‘boxes’ of categories and then telling us how we are supposed to think and act because we are in them.

Just as your comment attempts to do.

But its all bullshit because race doesn’t freaking EXIST. It’s all biological alterations to epigenomes as we lived in much more sedintary societies, to deal with our environments. As we are a mobile society now, expect to see them all melt away…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 24, 2008 5:51 PM
Comment #249037

The things that I like about Watchblog are all about how easy it is on the eyes to read. Bright colors, pictures, and erratic textual presentations all annoy me. I understand that Kos has been undergoing some kind of purge, or that people are leaving in droves because it is just too pro Obama.

For me, the necessity to oppose Obama became urgent as it became clear that McCain was going to become the Rplcn nominee. If Obama is our nominee, then we have to hope that the economy does not have any significant recovery before the election, or that it is discovered that McCain is wearing Depends.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 24, 2008 6:05 PM
Comment #249045

kctim-
First, you are getting angry with some of the people in the audience, out of thousands. Second, you’re making these decisions having seen how many sermons, in how much completeness? Third, have you considered that there are greivances in the black community that they can claim on the substance that Whites cannot?

You can reasonably blame the white community for the effects of its racism, from the prevention of black movement to the suburbs and Nixon’s Southern Strategy, to the Tuskegee Experiment, Jim Crow and Slavery. There is reason for many of these people to distrust and even hate Whites in America.

That is not to say that it is good for them to remain in that state. But they nonetheless have a bitter legacy to start from, and it’s testament to the power of change in this country that things are not altogether worse. Barack Obama himself talks of this, and cites this as his mentors greater error in his statements: not believing that America has changed for the better, like he does.

Even having committed this error, Pastor Wright’s racial biases are not so grave that he excuses mediocrity and perpetual victimhood. His gospel is not a prosperity gospel, but he explicitly calls on his denomination to help themselves to fight back against the iniquity, becoming educated, fighting anti-intellectualism, and sticking together as a people, even across socio-economic boundaries.

The editing of the sermons exagerate those biases seriously, turning the quotation of an American ambassador into his own personal statement, and stripping it of its context as a call to non-violence and a reconsideration of our foreign policy in terms of the suffering it causes, and the suffering those it is imposed upon can visit back on us. The editing of other sermons leaves out the thesis’s appropriate point that any nation that tries to play God is going to find itself having problems with the real one.

The coverage also neglects that similar statements have been made by White Pastors in fundamentalist churches. If we really wanted to have a fair discussion of this, we would be seeing the words of McCain Associated pastors, white men, played on a loop. We would see them focusing the cold lens of the camera on the words that they put out, alleging that God was damning America for Homosexuality and other sins.

And then perhaps we could forgive, and acknowledge the common error.

Instead, what we have are people throwing volleys with the same artillery, back and forth.

Rhinehold-
Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away. While some would have the grace to remain free of prejudices, the problem would still re-emerge, as it always does, as we have to deal with each new minority. Rather than make the same mistake again and again, we should make fairness in these decisions a matter of law, such that people aren’t excluded from housing, loans, jobs and other things merely for being the newest or most convenient punching bag for somebody’s prejudice. You can’t prevent people from being biased, but you sure as hell keep them from using that to deny people what fairness on principle would make available to them.

Race is cultural, and culture exists in humanity. Just because there is no biological basis for the distinctions between these people doesn’t mean that these distinctions don’t matter.

Race is beginning to matter less because laws prevent a majority that once practiced institutional racism from employing divisive practices to separate cultures from one another. Where such divisions are encouraged and maintained, racial, ethnic, and religious identity become more problematic. Only when the law prevents such institutionalized racism does the natural mingling of society, and the (dare I say it) biological tendency to bond with those next door overcome the cultural problems of race.

Societies have always been mobile, and those investigating the genetic foundations of race found that geography determined genetic proximity more than skin collar. North Africans have more in common with Italians, than with South Africans. Serbs have more in common with Turks than they do with Spaniards.

It is race itself, the cultural phenomena, that blinds us to our greater relationships with our neighbors than those of similar appearance. However, people will not simply think in other terms overnight, any more than we will suddenly all become Liberals or Republicans overnight. Cultural changes take time and do not always work smoothly.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 24, 2008 7:10 PM
Comment #249048

Stephen,

I’m not sure that I disagree with you at all on your general premise, but I’m not sure that I understand how the below helps your argument at all:

“The coverage also neglects that similar statements have been made by White Pastors in fundamentalist churches. If we really wanted to have a fair discussion of this, we would be seeing the words of McCain Associated pastors, white men, played on a loop. We would see them focusing the cold lens of the camera on the words that they put out, alleging that God was damning America for Homosexuality and other sins.

And then perhaps we could forgive, and acknowledge the common error.

Instead, what we have are people throwing volleys with the same artillery, back and forth.”

Can you please elaborate? Are you saying that there is a double standard for Obama versus McCain?

Posted by: Rob at March 24, 2008 7:50 PM
Comment #249051

McCain is still Episcopalian, right? Does he attend some other church than that? The last I heard, communion at Easter was required to be a faithful member of that church.

Rev.Jeremiah Wright is retired, right? Rev. Otis Moss III is now the pastor at Trinity, but Obama didn’t go anyway, because he’s vacationing. A GoGo’s song is playing in my head now.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 24, 2008 8:14 PM
Comment #249053

Rob-
Definitely. The late Rev. Falwell, whom McCain cozied up to, blamed 9/11 on America and Americans, saying that feminists, abortionist, and homosexuals had brought this upon us. He also, as minister of Thomas Road Baptist Church had lead the charge against the end of segregation. Bob Jones University, where McCain went to earlier, and sought their endorsement, is infamous for its only recently lifted ban on interracial dating. Pastor Parsley, leader of a midwest megachurch, alleges in one of his more recent books that America’s foundational purpose was to destroy Islam. Pastor Hagee, whose endorsement McCain recently sought, called the Catholic Church the Great Whore, alleged that Jews were killed during the holocaust on account of the sins of the people, and blamed Katrina’s striking New Orleans on the fact that they were going to hold a Gay Pride Parade.

They had to field some negative press for these things, but most such pastors are let off the hook after a little spanking. So are the right-wing figures associated with them. Why? What is more dangerous or contemptible about a black preacher making those kinds of comment on occasion, than white preachers making these kinds of comments on a regular basis?

If the right is not going to let such associations or such controversial words get in the way of seeking endorsements from these people, then it becomes an exercise in cynical manipulation to not only pounce on the words of a pastor like Wright, but to take years of positive pastorship which is focused on raising up his community economically and spiritually through hard work and education, and a church that’s been a fixture of Chicago life for almost half a century and excoriate it for a few racially charged and racially biased lines in a few sermons.

The fact that they are doing this to perpetuate this controversy, despite what has to be one of the most beautifully crafted, forgiving yet tough, frank and brave speeches made on the subject of race really angers me. Politics ain’t beanbag, but it doesn’t have to be so damn disgusting.

One of the reasons I support Obama is because he is a candidate who can and has run a campaign where the main appeal of the candidate is that he’s positive and inspiring, that he demonstrates bravery in the way he confronts issues, when others would take approaches more right in their politics than in their true moral character.

It’s an injustice to hold a few sermons against the career of a pastor, that same pastor against a church that preaches to thousands, and the both of them against a candidate who has demonstrated uncommon grace in his behavior and politics.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 24, 2008 8:50 PM
Comment #249057

Stephen D
And the Catholic Church say all those that are not Catholic are going to Hell. I was a Catholic for 40yrs. Each denomination thinks they are the only ones who are right. Thank God I go to a non denominational Church now.

Posted by: KAP at March 24, 2008 9:02 PM
Comment #249062

Stephen:

You are right. Racism should not be a prominant in the country. It especially should not be this “out there” in a presidential election.

But that is exactly what you have brought us. What else do you expect when you nominate an extremely liberal black candidate? Of course he associates with the Rev Wright’s of the world. Who else would he associate with?

All that is happening is that you are reaping what you are sowing. Pick from the fringe and you get the fringe.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 24, 2008 9:35 PM
Comment #249063

Stephen:

Your posting above is defensive and a bit paranoid. You guys loose if you keep that stature.

Your best “hope” is to stay on hope and change. When you defend, your side makes Obama look simply the latest black presidential candidate with racial friends. You make him look like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

Your only change is to get back to casting hope and change. Get off the defensive!! Look at Obama’s negatives going up.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 24, 2008 9:39 PM
Comment #249066

Stephen Daugherty, and other Democratic Friends,

Why are we playing into the hands of the GOP in the way we keep on talking about Reverend Wright? Obama did an excellent job explaining his positions, indeed, he did an amazingly eloquent and precise job of it with his recent historic speech. It is Time to Move On (with and without the .org of organizational internet fame) Blogs and bloggers need to quit mimicing the MSM and their ridiculously obsessive/compulsive focus on a few sentences that came out of Wright’s mouth in a couple of moments of passionate oratory on his church pulpit, NOT from our candidate — who wasn’t even in attendance.

And let us make no mistake, Obama IS now our candidate. (Like Bill Richardson, I absolutely refuse to believe that our party will stupidly destroy itself wasting any more time on the delusions of Mrs. Clinton who mathematically cannot and will not win the Democratic nomination.)

The people who are still raising a pathetic stink about this are the same old group who always raise a stink about us Liberals — whoever, whatever, whenever. They simply don’t like us. Alternately, they hate us — and they sure as hell aren’t ever going to vote for a Democrat, ever. We need to stop wasting time and learn to ignore, rather than feed, their continual rantings. Please?

We’ve got one hell of a fantastic, intelligent, articulate, and politically capable candidate — and we’re going to win with him in November!!!

Time for articles and posts about angry, warmongering, McCain and his obvious inability to differentiate between the Sunni’s and the Shiite’s without the whispered assistance of the loathsome and repellent Benedict Lieberman.

Speaking of which, have you heard that a Connecticut newspaper has now apologized for endorsing him? We Don’t Know This Sen. Joe —
Sen. Lieberman has been too busy burning bridges to build any.
Better late than never, I guess. Still, they should have had the good sense to support Ned Lamont.

Spontaneous Blog Poll!
How many of you out there suspect (as I do) that Lieberman’s sycophantic omnipresence at McSame’s side has to do with wanting in the worst way to become the GOP Vice Presidential pick?
:^)

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 24, 2008 10:03 PM
Comment #249068

KAP-
As I recall being told by my pastor in RCIA classes, the Catholic Church does not teach that Christians from other denominations are hellbound.

Craig Holmes-
He’s not fringe in the least. He’s about as middle of the road as anybody else out there. It’s the right that’s gone fringe, and I’m not alone in thinking that. Although the fact he’s black has a lot to do with the attacks, though I think political convenience rather than outright racism is responsible there. Painting him as some black radical out to get white folks is simply the easiest way they have to scare people.

As for defensiveness?

I think you may be right. It can be difficult to maintain a high standard like that, but it’s worth it. I was going to post something on the strategy of beating talking points when I ran across that full text of the sermon from which the Audacity of Hope line comes. It’s such a positive sermon that I think it perfectly illustrates the depths to which this debate about Pastor Wright has fallen. Could a man write this kind of sermon and be an entirely bad influence?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 24, 2008 10:17 PM
Comment #249069

Veritas Vincit:

I’m a republican, but I agree with you. If race is a major issue in the fall, you loose. You guys should be stuck like glue on the economy.

I have to tell you though, that I think you are in for a rough go for a while. Just as Clinton had his “bimbo eruptions”, I think you are going to have issues like with pastor wright for some time.

It’s simply because Obama is so far to the left, and thus has associations with people who are extreme.

The same thing would happen if we nominated someone from the far right. Pat Robertson??

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 24, 2008 10:18 PM
Comment #249071

Stephen:

He’s not fringe in the least. He’s about as middle of the road as anybody else out there. It’s the right that’s gone fringe, and I’m not alone in thinking that. Although the fact he’s black has a lot to do with the attacks, though I think political convenience rather than outright racism is responsible there. Painting him as some black radical out to get white folks is simply the easiest way they have to scare people.

It isn’t trying to scare anyone. Last year his voting record was the most liberal in the US Senate.

McCain is middle of the road tilting right. Obama is most liberal, then Clinton with McCain as a moderate Republican.


Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 24, 2008 10:22 PM
Comment #249073

Stephen:

Pator Wright is your George Bush. Every time you mention Pastor Wright you harm your candidate. Every time the debate is about George Bush you are winning.

If I were on here as a writer on the right, and started defending George Bush, I would not be helping John McCain.

Defending Wright on your part = helping McCain.

(should I be telling you this?).

Push the debate back to economic inequality, ineffective politics of the past etc. Actually look back to when Obama was on a roll look at the subjects, and stick to that knitting.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 24, 2008 10:27 PM
Comment #249078

Rhinehold,

As much as you think racism is just the circumstance of psycologically damaged individuals, it isn’t.

I do not wish to discuss your personal family connections. We all have relatives we do not have contact with. It is irrelevant to our discussion here.

You are disconnected from racism as it exists for most black men in this country. Yes there are some, perhaps even many, who have never, heard the N word in anger, never been ignored, delayed or offered inferior service. Simply because we have ended official apartheid, doesn’t mean there is no longer institutional racism. Most businesses are small businesses. Most CEO’s are white and in their late middle age. Most well remember the riots of the sixties. Most still think in that frame of mind.

Your clueless attempts to define race as some biological feature is a retreat into ignorance from reality. Hiding behind a scientific and biological definition to pretend a social penomenon doesn’t exist is bizarre. It has absolutely nothing to do with the reality of “driving while black”.

Whites have never been discriminated against in any way comparable to the way black men were enslaved in this country. Saying there is moral equivalence between fear based rantngs about HIV, and 300 years of slavery is absurd.

Your best friend may be black. You still are completely and absurdly tone deaf to the reality of most black men. Are many of them angry? Yes. Is rage sometimes about internal issues? Yes. Do paranoids have real enemies? Sometimes.

Just because for you it’s over, doesn’t mean it is for the rest of the world. As to your personal genealogy, you suggest black heritage, but your lack of sensitivity to reality suggests otherwise. Ultimately, we all have similar geneology. We are not all dark skinned in America.
While things are much better than 50 years ago, it’s hardly gone. Perhaps when our generation is gone, and other black Presidents besides Obama have come and gone, we’ll be able to say slavery is only history.

I live in the South (Texas). I can assure you there a numerous employers who will not hire blacks. There are numerous whites my age who think blacks are nothing but welfare sucking, criminals, lazy and shiftless. I know they still exist even in Ohio, a state with a history of
abolition. I assure you in Lousiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Florida racism is still alive and well. I haven’t traveled everywhere, but I’m sure of these areas and would be unsurprised to find many more.

I don’t know where you live, but it doesn’t at all match the reality I personaly know.

Why do missing black children or women get little attention, yet a missing white child or woman becomes a national story?

C’mon Rhinehold, you can’t really be that esconced from reality.

Posted by: googlumpus at March 24, 2008 11:14 PM
Comment #249080

I happen to agree that a lot of nutty things are said by pastors in general, including those with Republican ties.

There are very important differences, however, between run-of-the-mill nuttiness and the stuff that Wright says.

There is a VERY important point to be made here and one that can’t easily be glossed over.

Blaming human sins and God’s wrath and judgement for things like 9-11, AIDS, or Katrina is one thing. You don’t have to agree with it at all, and it’s even right to be offended by it at times (I sure have been), but that’s pretty much what religious leaders have done since the beginning of time.

Do what God doesn’t like, and he’ll pour out his wrath on you. All religions say this. ALL of them.

You can hardly even have religion without this being part of it. Can it be taken too far—yes. And it’s obvious that many religious leaders use such rhetoric to advance secular political ends. Unseemly but true. But that’s not what Wright does. He blames WHITE PEOPLE. Not the judgment of God. Does Wright say that White people and all the evil they bring into the world are God’s judgment on Blacks for the sins of Blacks.

No, he does not. He is not just your run-of-the-mill nutty preacher talking about how this or that misfortune is God’s doing. God’s judgment is not his message when he speaks. His message is hatred for devilish White people, the source in his view of everything that’s evil.

There’s nothing comparable in any of these right-wing preachers, and even if there was, we haven’t seen John McCain saying that any of them are his “spiritual father,” and we don’t have a 20 year history of McCain sitting in the pews and listening to this garbage, thereby giving it his tacit approval.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 24, 2008 11:32 PM
Comment #249081

Craig:

If race is a major issue in the fall, you loose.

You’re a Republican, so I’m skeptical of your judgment on this. People on the Left are aware that Republicans don’t tend to vote for anyone who isn’t white. We know this because of how very few people of color you’ve elected to Congress. People who don’t approve of such a narrow view of who is and isn’t capable of being a leader for America aren’t going to listen to people who sound like you.
Obama is wonderful candidate — and most of us know this and are extremely enthusiastic about him. His racial make-up is truly beside the point — except among those who are stupidly and ignorantly hung up on race.

You guys should be stuck like glue on the economy.

Indeed. We’ve got a terrible mess on our hands, thanks to absolutely horrible leadership. And McCain doesn’t know anything at all about the economy, as he has made painfully clear. In a time like this, such a person is the last one who people should want to elect.

I have to tell you though, that I think you are in for a rough go for a while. Just as Clinton had his “bimbo eruptions”, I think you are going to have issues like with pastor wright for some time.

We’re in for a rough go only among the ignorant and dimwitted. Maybe some folks just need to be educated on how ridiculously Obama has been tarred with his pastor’s words, rather than his own. As for the “bimbo eruptions” this situation bears no resemblance. After all, Obama didn’t say anything he himself needed to apologize for. Bill Clinton’s actions were things he WAS guilty for doing. Obama isn’t guilty of anything but attending a church where his pastor might get a little pissed off from time to time about how black people have been treated shabbily in this country.
I’ve personally seen and heard racist comments, and have witnessed racist actions in my lifetime, and so I can forgive Reverend Wright for the anger he has felt, even if I still think that Goddamning America was going too far. So can many, many other people. Whoever can’t forgive a man who has done so many good works is probably the kind of person who is totally incapable of forgiveness. Even if and when the call themselves Christians.

It’s simply because Obama is so far to the left, and thus has associations with people who are extreme.

Bullsh*t. You obviously don’t know from far left.

The same thing would happen if we nominated someone from the far right. Pat Robertson??

You’ve nominated someone who formerly stood in front of crowds discrediting “agents of intolerance” but who is now “very happy” to seek out and solicit the endorsements of far right evangelical bigots such as Hagee and Parsely.
Does this meet with your approval?

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 24, 2008 11:40 PM
Comment #249082

Clearly this is a battle of two sides and for the republicans in this battle anything goes. These videos came when it was clear that Ohio and Florida are no longer in the picture and Obama is clearly likely to be the nominee. So the republicans have started drilling into the head of Joe Dumbass a non political reason to go against Obama. The best way to do so is to use the one thing that always works. Fear…There is now a fear being placed in the head of Joe Regular Guy, that someone against whites could be in the white house. This is much different that someone against blacks for Joe Regular Guy, He can deal with someone against blacks. But Joe Regular Guy won’t stop to think, how can a black man with white grand parents be against whites? This is all the republicans have and they are sticking with it, from now until November. I’m tired of reading post after post that see some sort of agenda from Barrack in this. From his speech in 2004 to now, he has been the most consistent and open candidate I have ever seen. Like he trust the American people to seek the truths for them selves, I so trust he will not let us down.

Posted by: Andrew Stone at March 24, 2008 11:53 PM
Comment #249085

Veritas Vincit

You’re a Republican, so I’m skeptical of your judgment on this. People on the Left are aware that Republicans don’t tend to vote for anyone who isn’t white. We know this because of how very few people of color you’ve elected to Congress. People who don’t approve of such a narrow view of who is and isn’t capable of being a leader for America aren’t going to listen to people who sound like you. Obama is wonderful candidate — and most of us know this and are extremely enthusiastic about him. His racial make-up is truly beside the point — except among those who are stupidly and ignorantly hung up on race.

See how you injected race into the argument? The reason dems loose if race is a major issue in the fall is because race resolution is not what is most important to voters. The economy and health care and the war are what is important to voters. So if the democratic party this fall becomes the party of race relations, you loose not because the right is racist but because they are talking about what voters care about.

Besides, the right isn’t any more racist than the left as this last week has shown. Black churches appear to have plenty of racism in them. At least enough so that they need to be concerned about the board in their eye before they look at the speck in others eyes.

So you don’t like the rights bigots but forgive your bigots? How about just being against bigotry period? Why are left bigots better than right bigots?


Obama was the most liberal member of the US Senate last year.

http://nj.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/

You will have to deal with that.


Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 25, 2008 12:19 AM
Comment #249086
As much as you think racism is just the circumstance of psycologically damaged individuals, it isn’t.

Actually it is. So, your contention is that racism is something other than a damaged psychie? These are normal people who just, for some logical reason that doesn’t involve deeply rooted personal issues, hate other people because their melonin numbers are a little higher?

Sorry, but that makes no actual sense… Maybe in a time when people were too stupid to realize that people of a different ‘race’ weren’t really a different species or were physically inferior or something, but that’s been proven wrong for decades. To continue believing it requires a suspension of logical thought, much like believing in a god does…

I do not wish to discuss your personal family connections. We all have relatives we do not have contact with. It is irrelevant to our discussion here.

No, it is only ‘irrelevant’ because you find it convenient. The simple fact is that I have a different point of view of the ‘black community’ and actually spend time there, but it doesn’t match your, for a nice way of putting it, preconceived Democratically approved view of it. If you think I wasn’t involved in my wife’s family, that’s your problem, not mine. That I was with my father in law during his death and my mother in law during her death, both of which still affect my wife and I deeply to this day (we had a video I made of her step-father and mother playing yesterday at Easter and my wife couldn’t stay in the room…) well, let’s just say that it is pretty sad when people feel that they have to say things that are not very nice to someone just to try to make partisan snips at them…

You are disconnected from racism as it exists for most black men in this country.

Unfactual. Proof please.

Yes there are some, perhaps even many, who have never, heard the N word in anger, never been ignored, delayed or offered inferior service.

I would suggest most. At least, not uttered by a white person. I imagine that the majority have heard it uttered in anger at them from another black person…

Simply because we have ended official apartheid, doesn’t mean there is no longer institutional racism.

Yes, it means exactly that.

Most businesses are small businesses.

Which means nothing at all…

Most CEO’s are white and in their late middle age. Most well remember the riots of the sixties. Most still think in that frame of mind.

What a complete load of crap. So they’re white, they must be racist? That can’t evolve with the times, they still see a world as it was in 1965? Please, you are going to have to do better than using racism to prove your point about racism. I am not buying it.

Your clueless attempts to define race as some biological feature is a retreat into ignorance from reality.

I’m sorry, I didn’t know that science was a ‘retreat into ignorance’. I thought the ignoring of science was.

Hiding behind a scientific and biological definition to pretend a social penomenon doesn’t exist is bizarre. It has absolutely nothing to do with the reality of “driving while black”.

Yes, because that happens every day all day long all of the time. It is the NORM, isn’t it?

Or, is it more likely that it is NOT the norm, it is not approved and those found doing it are fired?

INDIVIDUALS are racist. There are people who are so wracked with internal feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing that they will hate others for a myriad of reasons, not just race. Look at those people and you will see that they also hate other people who are of the same race but have other things that make them different. It is not about the color but about finding something to focus the internal hatred of themselves upon in order to feel better about themselves.

It’s like rape not being about sex at all, but about power. IT is about making that person feel better about themselves because they can control someone else.

But it is not INSTITUTIONALIZED anymore. The fact that Obama won the Iowa caucus I thought showed that. The fact that the number of black millionaires is rising every passing year shows that. The fact that black people who put away the past, ignore small minded people who attempt to tear them down, and work hard in a country with the varied number of opportunities that this one presents WILL make something of themselves just as a white person who does the same, shows that.

If you want to continue to live in the 60s because it makes you feel better about yourself, that you think you are the more enlightened one because you still see race and you still add it into the equation when judging someone, that’s your business, not mine. Personally, I prefer to get beyond it, not stay mired in it. I even think that Obama would agree more with me than with you on these issues. Just as I think that MLK would as well. But unfortunately, MLK isn’t here today, most probably because another group of racists, the Nation of Islam, didn’t like the idea of actually moving beyond it. And I don’t suspect most Democrats will approve of it either, because to them there will always be a fight to fight that requires laws and shaping of society, all of which do more harm than good.

If you don’t think the ‘racist white community’ uses the very rhetoric that you and the Rev. White expouse as fuel for their hatred, to keep it going and keep recruiting more, then you are being very nieve indeed.

Whites have never been discriminated against in any way comparable to the way black men were enslaved in this country. Saying there is moral equivalence between fear based rantngs about HIV, and 300 years of slavery is absurd.

Depends upon the white person, doesn’t it? And I don’t seem to remember any living black men who were slaves being around still… How far does it last before we can move beyond it? It’s been a few thousand years for Jews, is that long enough or do they still get to hate Egyptians? Is indentured slavery not as bad as forced slavery then?

How long do I have to pay for the mistakes for my long long dead ancestors anyway? Never? It it going to be hundreds of years from now? Am I never going to live in a society where people are just people and not what skin color they are, and I should just accept it? According to you that appears to be the case… :/

Your best friend may be black. You still are completely and absurdly tone deaf to the reality of most black men.

That doesn’t make them RIGHT. They can be angry, but they are angry at the wrong people. They are angry for the wrong reasons. They are angry because it is beneficial for their new masters to keep them that way.

As to your personal genealogy, you suggest black heritage, but your lack of sensitivity to reality suggests otherwise.

AH! The ‘sensitivity’ word. I was wondering how long before you got in all of the liberal key phrases… I lack sensitivity because I understand that for people to stop hating each other they need to get to know each other as human beings, not as members of a race. Silly me, how ‘unsensitive’ of me. I should just let people continue fermenting hatred and whipping people up into frenzies because of imagined differences between us because their great great grandparents were once slaves.

Ultimately, we all have similar geneology.

Actually, we all have identical geneology at some point far enough.

While things are much better than 50 years ago, it’s hardly gone.

It never will be gone as long as we continue focusing on it.

Will you agree with me that the government should stop keeping track of people’s ethnicity on governmental forms and the census? (Well, they don’t track mine because I don’t answer that question…)

Perhaps when our generation is gone, and other black Presidents besides Obama have come and gone, we’ll be able to say slavery is only history.

Yup, just as I suspected. It will only be over way way down the road sometime. Not now. We have to accept that there is racism and living in a world with it, so let’s let people continue to be racist because we don’t want to hurt their feelings by pointing out that it is STUPID BEYOND BELIEF.

We don’t want to make a big deal out of how biologically there is no difference between us. We don’t want to make a big deal that many of the people who are being focused on with anger about racism didn’t even have family here in the US when racism was legal! The majority of white people in the US came in after 1900! Yet it is ok for us to let a black leader tell other black people that it ok to hate us even when we had absolutely nothing to do with it!

Again, this will never be resolved as long as we allow the people in control to continue to use us as political pawns in their power game. You are a rook…

I live in the South (Texas).

Good for you!

I can assure you there a numerous employers who will not hire blacks.

Prove it and have them arrested. That is illegal to do. Or are you just blowing smoke again…

There are numerous whites my age who think blacks are nothing but welfare sucking, criminals, lazy and shiftless.

And take a good look at those people and tell me they don’t suffer from internal personal issues…

I know they still exist even in Ohio, a state with a history of abolition. I assure you in Lousiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Florida racism is still alive and well. I haven’t traveled everywhere, but I’m sure of these areas and would be unsurprised to find many more.

You don’t listen well, of course racism is still around. Why do you think your ‘friends’ think they way they do? Because those in power want them to. Just like those in power want black people to hate white people and think that they are holding them down and keeping them from being successful and free.

And your tirede helps them do that.

I don’t know where you live, but it doesn’t at all match the reality I personaly know.

Because you don’t want it to. You want to think that the world is as you see it. So you see what you want to see. You don’t see the other side and how you (and others) are being manipulated.

Why do missing black children or women get little attention, yet a missing white child or woman becomes a national story?

It doesn’t to me, those stories mean very little. But I imagine it has to do with who is watching national news and who isn’t.

C’mon Rhinehold, you can’t really be that esconced from reality.

And you can’t be that blind to how things are perpetuated for political gain. You can’t possibly ignore how Sharpton, Farrakahn, et al can whip up hatred of white people in an instant if it will buy them some power. Or how David Duke and his followers do the same.

You can’t not see that by teaching our CHILDREN that there are racists we instill into their heads that there are diffences between us that these racists focus on. That since we all agree that our generation is lost, the only hope is our children and we are failing them by not nipping it in the bud now. We allow people to be racist because they are black, hispanic, etc. But we point it out when they are white. How much sense does that make to a 7 year old child? Why does a 7 year old child need to hear that he is going to be blamed and made to pay for things that people he wasn’t related to in a country that his family was never in did a horrible thing to a bunch of other people who aren’t alive anymore… You don’t think that affects a kid that age in a way that is negative?

We should be teaching everyone the science that I’ve pointed out (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetic) and (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_Eve) and making it clear that there are no actual differences between us physically, that are visual differences are being used against us to put us at each other and until we break from the control they have over us we will always be segmented in uncessary and invalid ‘groupings’ that are used only to divide us and keep us from being humans united.

In fact, your very comments about how I can not have possibly understand the problem because I do not agree to follow the idiotic practice of stereotyping people as you have done and think it is ok to do, is a good example of what I’m talking about. It’s wrong to understand that a majority of crime in an inner city is committed by black boys in their 20s, so pulling over a car with black boys in their 20s is wrong (and I agree it is!) but then go on to say that White CEO’s in their 60s are obviously racists… well, that’s just a special kind of hypocrisy that I just can’t swollow without special kool-aid that I frankly refuse to drink.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 25, 2008 12:22 AM
Comment #249091
You don’t listen well, of course racism is still around. Why do you think your ‘friends’ think they way they do? Because those in power want them to. Just like those in power want black people to hate white people and think that they are holding them down and keeping them from being successful and free.

Rhinehold

The above paragraph is the most ironic paragraph I have ever had the pleasure of reading of yours. Why, because you have managed to paraphrase all of Wright’s tirades in three sentences.

Despite LO’s insistence that Wright’s comments are racist, on the contrary they are simply unpatriotic. It is easy to understand how LO has jumped to this conclusion however; it is just a simple juxtaposition of the white race instead of the U.S. government.

Wright condemned the U.S. government for a variety of ailments that afflict the Black race. But in the comments that I have seen he does not say, “His message is hatred for devilish White people”, as LO contends. But Wright did spend a significant amount of time in his phrases that have been published, blaming the U.S. government or as you say “those in Power”. While you have not managed to convince me in your argument, it seems you and Wright are just two peas in a pod.


Posted by: Cube at March 25, 2008 1:10 AM
Comment #249092

No, Cube, the difference is that Wright made racist statements in an effort to control people and extend hatred, I am pointing out that these people are doing this and need to be stopped.

I am not sure how you think that they are in any way similar, he is expousing racism while I am speaking out against it…

It’s like saying blue and green.

I’m not sure how it is unpatriotic to say

“Who cares about what a poor black man has to put up with every day in a country and a society controlled by rich white people”.

Nope, that’s pretty racist to me. And it points out how people are using that race to control and direct people to feel hatred and racism.

There is no ‘juxtaposition’ there, it’s pretty clear what he was saying.

And I do not mean ‘The Government’ when I say ‘those in power’. I meant ‘those in power’. Some of those people are elected politicans, others are other leaders, much like Rev Wright.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 25, 2008 1:32 AM
Comment #249093

BTW, when did we start accepting that Jesus was black? I am pretty sure that as a Jew, he was most likely Jewish… I guess it doesn’t fit in with the tirade if he doesn’t say that Jesus is black…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 25, 2008 1:38 AM
Comment #249094

Googlumpus

Unfortunately you are correct that these ravings are endemic in a small but significant section of the black community. But anybody who believes things like the government injected AIDS into the black community is just stupid. We should not cut slack for these kinds of things just because the person saying them was or thought he was oppressed in the past. It is a form of bigotry to believe that some people are so hateful or so dumb that these kinds of ideas are good enough for them.

You may know that this AIDS conspiracy crap was a creation of the Soviet disinformation office in the 1980s. It was designed to attack U.S. interests in South Asia and Africa, but they thought they could sell it to the cognitively challenged worldwide and they were right. I am sure they would be pleased to see what a long life their story, created for a particular tactical situation, has enjoyed. It is also ironic that somebody like Wright is still manipulated.

Obama gave a good speech with an excellent message, although I wonder if people paid attention or believe what he said. Essentially, he said that people like Wright are anachronisms shaped by an earlier reality and that we have moved beyond them. You don’t reject the crazy old man; you just ignore him. This is truly an audacious hope.

Posted by: Jack at March 25, 2008 1:39 AM
Comment #249095

Ignore?

But Jack, I’ve been told by those who support Obama and thought he made a great speech that we can’t fight racism by ignoring it…

I guess I just don’t get it. :/

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 25, 2008 1:42 AM
Comment #249097

Craig:

See how you injected race into the argument?
No sir, YOU injected race:
If race is a major issue in the fall, you loose.

I merely replied to this comment.

The reason dems loose if race is a major issue in the fall is because race resolution is not what is most important to voters.

Hate to be pedantic, but you keep writing “loose” when you mean lose, so I hope you’ll pardon me for wanting to correct you. But yes, I think you’re right. The Iraq war and the economy and the healthcare crisis are going to be far more important, and it appears that McCain is pretty ignorant on those topics.

The economy and health care and the war are what is important to voters.

And the Iraq debacle — which McCain wants to senselessly continue indefinitely — when our people overwhelmingly don’t wish for it to continue.

So if the democratic party this fall becomes the party of race relations, you loose not because the right is racist but because they are talking about what voters care about.

Democrats have always been smart and versatile, and we’ve long been the party not afraid to address issues of civil rights. So, we can and do tend to talk about all of those things — and we aren’t likely to lose.

Besides, the right isn’t any more racist than the left as this last week has shown.

Judging by your history, you are overwhelmingly the party that chooses to elect white men. There are very few people of different ethnicities and few women holding the reins of power among the ranks of the GOP. If this is something you wish to change, you can.

Black churches appear to have plenty of racism in them. At least enough so that they need to be concerned about the board in their eye before they look at the speck in others eyes.

I think this is equally true of white churches as well. This country needs to start acting and behaving like adults, so we can move past these petty problems and focus on the goals we all hold in common. Indeed, if you took the time to listen, that was the basic gist of Obama’s speech.

So you don’t like the rights bigots but forgive your bigots? How about just being against bigotry period? Why are left bigots better than right bigots?

I am against bigotry. Period. Hate and fear is what drives bigotry, but I can forgive and get past it when I see that people are showing a sincere desire to grow and change and get past it themselves.

Obama was the most liberal member of the US Senate last year.

Sorry, I don’t believe the National Journal when they make that claim. Obama received that ranking by them because he called for more oversight on several issues, and that’s now considered being “liberal.” But the truth is, governmental oversight isn’t “Liberal” or “Conservative”, it’s simply Common Sense.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 25, 2008 1:45 AM
Comment #249099

Rhinehold

I finally understand, in your world it is racist to be called rich and powerful. And when you speak out against “those in power” you do so for all our betterments. But when Wright does it, it is to “control and direct people to feel hatred and racism”. Pretty convoluted, but I understand now.

Posted by: Cube at March 25, 2008 2:53 AM
Comment #249103

LO-
I’m sorry, but if you read his actual speech, he’s saying that mistreatment of others in other countries is bringing it on us, sin inviting God’s displeasure on us. He may have a different notion of what chickens are coming home to roost, but he’s no different on that count than any white preacher claiming a disaster is our fault for some sexual immorality.

Your difference with him is political.

At the end of the day, though, I will say this: what truly separates the real Christians from the false is how they deal with those under their power. To those who have wronged them, who have sinned, they offer forgiveness and mercy. To those who are poor, who are sick, they offer help. To the world, to their enemies, to those who curse them, they offer peace and blessing.

I know the last part gets a little complicated, but not all enemies, not all opponents, not all people who curse us now are existential enemies, committed to our destruction. So keep that in mind.

In this election, the preachers, for true Christians are a bit of a distraction. So are push button issues like Abortion and Gay rights.

Prosecutors and DA’s make names for themselves by seeking the harshest penalties, Legislators make their name for tough legislation that sends people to prison for longer terms. Mercy, especially among the Republicans, is certainly not the order of the day, nor is forgiveness.

We have created a top flight medical system with well-trained doctors that doesn’t let the doctors make the decisions, and only gives full treatment to those who can afford to pay for everything themselves. Which isn’t many people. We have created an economic system which funnels the resources to the top, but then piles debt up on those below, even sometimes with the purpose of making indebtedness permanent. Blood out of a turnip, really. But this is what people who call themselves Christian inflict on the general public.

And for the last two terms, we’ve have a President who calls himself Christian, but who makes little in the way of peace, either with his own countrymen, or with the rest of the world.

This is what people have come to believe that Christians are: unforgiving, unmerciful, interested in material wealth and their own health at other’s expense, and warmongerers. I have lived among real Christians, been taught by them, and this is hardly the picture I came away with.

I think Christians would be well-served by a fading of issues like this into the background. We’re a secular country for a reason. It’s just too difficult to deal with all the conflicts that come from making religion a state affair. Even if the Religious Right got their way and took control, I think they would then turn on each other as the question became whose vision would reign supreme.

And then where would we be?

Let it go, LO. Let Obama stand on his own two feet, as he has ably done, and meet him on the real issues.

Craig Holmes-
I think we can work something out. The real trick is, without forgiveness for minor prejudices and minor offenses, our ability to get past major ones, to let ourselves admit that they were wrong and harmful drops.

At the end of the day, people on the defensive are less likely to admit things, to reconcile. Until we start considering other people’s experiences, until we start valuing others more than ourselves and our own opinions, we will not see peace. Obama is liberal, to be sure, but if you look at his voting record, you’ll find he’s not a doctrinaire leftist.

Rhinehold-
Actually, there are profound differences, physicially speaking, at least on the outside. That’s what it seems actually creates race: selection for standards of what looks good. There are natural inclinations in society towards those who look like us, and natural prejudices directed towards those who looked like outsiders.

Races is cultural, it’s software, but then again, our conscious personalities are software, too, and we’d hardly think of ourselves as a fiction.

When I was a kid, I picked up and made some racist jokes in my time. If I had grown up in an environment richer in that misunderstanding, it might have become something that left me a racist in my thinking and beliefs. These things don’t just go away, and you can’t force people all at once to suddenly stop thinking about it. It’s like a page saying “don’t look at the polar bear,” with a polar bear right there to invite the look.

You can’t wish the race problem away. The best you can do is prevent individuals and groups from closing off the circulation of social contact between children and adults, and the upward mobility and economic functionality of minorities.

If it were as easy as leaving things to work themselves out, we would have long ago solved things.

Jack-
People believe foolish things, and being obnoxious towards them for it is foolish. The best you can do is learn the truth and speak it.

As for this speech? First, he’s saying the old man’s been made out to be crazier than he really is. Second, he’s saying, the man was still wrong, but instead of rejecting him for being imperfect, he’s keeping him around because he’s like family. Third, he’s more or less said, though, that he’s moving on from the old man’s perspective on things, and his rhetoric seems to indicate that’s true.

So stop beating up on the old man, and start debating the younger one.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 25, 2008 8:23 AM
Comment #249106

Stephen,

Thanks for clarifying. What I still can’t reconcile in your responses here is whether you are making the my preacher is better than your preacher argument or whether you are saying that we should not be looking at the preachers at all.

Put another way, Are you suggesting that McCain’s affiliation with the evangelical Christians is more important than Obama’s affiliation with Wright or that neither should matter?

Btw, I’m not sure that I see a major difference between your overall evaluation of the Obama speech and Jack’s. Yet in the last paragraph you seem to be creating debate where no difference exists. Is this just old habits or am I missing something?

Posted by: Rob at March 25, 2008 9:45 AM
Comment #249111

Stephen
I get “angry,” with any audience which willingly sits there and listens to someone speak ill of another race. Racism is not something that is bad for one group, but ok for another, not if our goal is to end it.

“Second, you’re making these decisions having seen how many sermons, in how much completeness?”

So, I can blame blacks for all the problems of our country and for taking advantage of white people, just as long as I only say it a couple times a year? I can attend skinhead rally’s and not be a racist, if they only blame everything on the Jews a couple times? Give me a break Stephen.

“Third, have you considered that there are greivances in the black community that they can claim on the substance that Whites cannot?”

Not in the year 2008, but I don’t have anything to gain from making whites or blacks feel like victims.

“You can reasonably blame the white community for the effects of its racism, from the prevention of black movement to the suburbs and Nixon’s Southern Strategy, to the Tuskegee Experiment, Jim Crow and Slavery. There is reason for many of these people to distrust and even hate Whites in America.”

Can you not also credit the white community and its fight against racism? Obama is not where he is today solely because of Dr. King, he is there because millions of people from all races worked together and, continue to work together, to ensure equality.

People of all races have reason to distrust, and maybe even hate, people of other races who use race as a weapon. But to distrust or hate an entire group, such as “whites in America,” because of the actions of a few, is racism of its own.

“…and sticking together as a people, even across socio-economic boundaries.”

And that is the root of the problem. People like Duke and Wright divide us into “their race of people,” and make us feel like victims who are getting screwed because of our race and to that I say BS!
There is only one people in this country and that is the American people.

“The coverage also neglects that similar statements have been made by White Pastors in fundamentalist churches.”

It is not neglected Stephen, the left speaks of it non-stop and labels everybody on the right as racists who agree with it.
But guess what, they too are wrong when they speak such things. That is what makes this wright situation so ridiculous. The left jumps on any Republican who is in the same city of such a fundamentalist, but bends over backwards to justify their own fundamentalists.

“If we really wanted to have a fair discussion of this, we would be seeing the words of McCain Associated pastors, white men, played on a loop.”

Believe me, IF McCain had been the one attending a church for 20 years whose leader said such things as wright, you guys would be calling everybody who voted for him a racist.

Wrights words are divisive, hurtful and racist.
Wright is wrong.

Posted by: kctim at March 25, 2008 10:16 AM
Comment #249112

Racism exists in America, I live in one of the most liberal areas in the country, San Francisco bay area, and I still hear non-black people refer to black Americans as the N word on a regular basis. Anyone that denies that it is a problem simply has not walked the streets of their cities, listening to the conversations. I am not black but I am Hispanic/Jewish. I hear racial epithets on a daily basis, but since I look white I get treated differently. I really wish racism was a thing of the past and forgotten forever, but it isn’t. The average citizens in America today do still harbor hatred toward others based on their racial heritage. By no means am I saying that this is a majority of the population, but it is there and it does exist. Ignoring the problem wont make it go away. The two party system that controls this country promotes these problems by advocating the us against them philosophies. Obama is so attractive because he is more interested in uniting us despite the differences. His message of hope rings true to those that see a future without hatred based on color.
His election to the White House will do more to fight racism than anything done to this point in the history of America. He will show that color does not determine your choices, intellect does. He is the beginning of the end for racisms hold on the people.

Those that deny that racism and hatred are a problem in our society simply are out of touch and ignorant of the truth that is right in front of them. I personally am tired of all the right wing hate mongers and all the far left hate mongers. The right touts their superiority and moral high ground, the left points fingers at the right for being too full of hubris to see the damage they are doing to the people. Neither have the right of it, Obama at least is attempting to unite this country and bring us together as a people not as racial classes.
Just my opinion I could be wrong.


Posted by: napajohn at March 25, 2008 10:17 AM
Comment #249118

Veritas,
“You’re a Republican, so I’m skeptical of your judgment on this. People on the Left are aware that Republicans don’t tend to vote for anyone who isn’t white.”

OK, I haven’t looked in on this thread very much but, damn, that’s just beyond the pale! Texas Republicans have repeatedly reelected Michael Williams evey chance they got to do so! And, predictably, it took REPUBLICAN votes to get this good black man elected to statewide office.

If blacks (or the people of any other identifiable minority) do not feel the intellectual freedom to stand apart from their community and be Republicans or Democrats or Independents in large numbers why is that not a problem with the subculture in which they live?

The only valid “diversity” in a free society is intellectual diversity. Once diversity is tied to the color of the wrapper in which we entered the world we are all racists. Period.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 25, 2008 11:00 AM
Comment #249120
I finally understand

Apparently not. Is english a second language btw? I don’t want mean to insult you if you are just having trouble comprehending what is being written, but taking something someone wrote and applying something almost the exact opposite to it isn’t really the best way to try and have a real debate, if that is your intention…

in your world it is racist to be called rich and powerful

No, in my world, it is racist to be racist. Please quote my words to me that you interpret to mean this as it would be helpful to figure out from which nether region you are pulling this from.

And when you speak out against “those in power” you do so for all our betterments

Yes, especially if I am not assigning it to any specific race, but to individuals, no matter what race or gender they appear to belong to, who are attempting to perpetuate racism as a means of a powerplay.

But when Wright does it, it is to “control and direct people to feel hatred and racism”.

When he makes racist remarks, that are not backed up by any factual evidence, in order to whip his followers into a frenzy of hatred against a specific race of people? Yea, pretty much.

Did you even read what I quoted from him? He is telling his followers that the rich white people are keeping the poor black people down. Those are his words, not mine.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 25, 2008 11:17 AM
Comment #249122

rob-
They are of equal concern. If McCain can be judged apart from religious associations, so should Obama. That’s the only way that is fair. Republicans have made this an issue along lines where mere racial discontent would disqualify otherwise qualified candidates, make them unelectable. With that kind of approach, if a candidate had even been in the pew for such a controversial sermon, even if they did not agree with them, it would be alleged that they agreed with the pastor on them, unless they left the church right then and there.

If you really think it out, it’s not a rational standard, nor would many Republican candidates be left if it were applied fairly. It’s also a paranoid standard, assuming that even hearing something like that would hypnotize the parishioner into becoming a racist bigot.

Now if somebody is actively seeking out the endorsement of somebody whose public statements have contained questionable statements, it’s reasonable to ask why, to get some sort of response, and take that into consideration.

The best idea, I think, is to favor an approach that recognizes that in the marketplace of ideas, we are free to take and leave whatever we want, where one’s personal statements and actions constitute the core of what brings praise and condemnation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 25, 2008 11:34 AM
Comment #249123

Rhinehold,

I do not promote racism, however, you are. You diminish real racism as something to be ignored.

You say racism is not institutional, yet acknowledge it’s existance. When and from where did that arise, Rhinehold? You ask me to prove employers are racist, so they’ll be arrested. Arrested for what? Sued perhaps. I’m not black. Since I am not a target of their tort, I have no basis for a lawsuit. Given your legal backround, I find that argument as twisted as the rest of your logic.

You finally acknowledged racism exists, ignoring it will not make it go away. While those espousing it may be nuerotics, the nuerosis is widespread. I suppose Jefferson was a nuerotic as well. Should we dismiss him, and thus his rantings on freedom?

The argument that it is absurd that the government injected HIV, is always met with the Tuskeegee injection of Syphillis into black men. Gee, I wonder why anyone might think that. Paranoids have real enemies.

As a proponent of free speech, you wish to somehow, I guess by boycott, turn off the real feelings of blacks. Is it political manipulation? In some cases, yes. In some, it is voicing real feelings. Lacking the intellectual curiosity to wonder where these feelings come from is returning to the 40’s or 50’s not looking or thinking forward. Blacks still are far more likely to be arrested, labeled a criminal, and much less likely to be hired. I guess that might piss some people off.

I realize it is uncomfortable for you. Deal with it.

Posted by: googlumpus at March 25, 2008 11:55 AM
Comment #249126

Lee,

What percentage of legislators/governors in Texas are black?

While I don’t know Michael Williams or his positions, one doesn’t make a trend.

When the Latinos have the majority, then we can blame them.

Posted by: googlumpus at March 25, 2008 12:06 PM
Comment #249130

Veritas Vincit:

Here is how you injected race in this thread. I was discussing race as an issue that democrats need to get out of as they will lose in the fall if it remains the topic of discussion. You then went on to imply that some how the right is more racist than the left.

Of course you are claiming that you elect more minorities than republicans, which somehow I think implies that minorities are less racist than whites. I would need some proof on that as this last week we have seen counter examples.

My point is that you interjected a losing argument. Losing as defined by helping you get elected in the fall. You implied that the left is superior or more moral than the right. That is divisive and baloney.

The road to victory for the left is getting race off the discussion topics and onto other things. Rev. Wright hurt you badly.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 25, 2008 12:40 PM
Comment #249131
And that is the root of the problem. People like Duke and Wright divide us into “their race of people,” and make us feel like victims who are getting screwed because of our race and to that I say BS!

There is only one people in this country and that is the American people.

Amen brother.

Perhaps that is a more suscinct way of putting what I have been trying to get across.

We defend people who want to say ‘we’, referring to an artificial collection, like ‘black people’ or ‘the black community’ have to band together. in other words, we have to treat each other special and treat everyone outside of our group less than special…

If that isn’t racism, I don’t know what it apparently.

I would rather hear someone say ‘We need to learn to move beyond the small minds of the minority of people in the US who are still racist and work with all human beings as our brothers in order to put this nasty business of racism behind us…’

In fact, that is what I *thought* MLK and Obama have both been saying, but apparently it is just missed. :/

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 25, 2008 12:53 PM
Comment #249133
As a proponent of free speech, you wish to somehow, I guess by boycott, turn off the real feelings of blacks

What a ridculous statement as is most of what you attribute to me that I have not said and already corrected you on.

We should stop being racist ourselves, stop focusing on race and educating people that race itself is an invalid construct. We should shout down anyone who uses racism, black or white, when it appears. BUT more importantly we should stop trying to institute programs that seek to ‘remedy’ past sins and focus on making sure that today we are treated equally under the law.

The majority of people in the US are not racist, that is my firm belief. The racism that is passed out these days is pretty much equal on both sides, IMO. Leaders looking to increase their power seek to use race as a dividing line, preying on the weak and intellectually challenged in order to build power for themselves (think Shaprton and Duke).

When someone like yourself comes along and DEFENDS someone who does this, you are part of the problem, not the solution. To say we have to understand their psychosis is irrelevant, we should be pointing out they are wrong and fear/hatemongering and leave it at that. We as individuals need to get beyond the fact that some simple minded individuals with psychological problems that allow them to hate someone just because of the color of their skin in a society where we know for a fact that there is no biological differences between us other than environmental changes of the past exist today. Ignore *them* and move on.

Your defense of Wright is part of the problem.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 25, 2008 1:01 PM
Comment #249134

Rhinehold-
Race is cultural. But so is government, so is the economy, so is any power structure. None of those things can just be wished into a particular state. People must agree, must be convinced.

The process must be deeper than mere political window-dressing. It must become in people’s interests to bond together with the larger community, and we must be patient with those who chose to remain separate of their own accord, if they do not feel like joining in.

At the same time, those in positions of power and economic power must be, by statute, restricted from unfair usage of it, and this must be enforced on an even-handed basis.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 25, 2008 1:07 PM
Comment #249135

Stephen,

And we must speak out against people who continue to try and build their powerbase by pitting one group against another, like Rev Wright has done.

The majority of poeple are not racist. BUT, to say that we are not perpetuating racist feelings in people neive. I hear people complain that there is a ‘black expo’. This irks them, as if they are not welcome (even though they are) and see it as a double standard.

The same goes for programs that favor one individual over another simply because of race. We need to end these programs now, or it will make matters worse down the road, they have run their course. The fact that we have a legitimate black candidate for president should be an indication of that fact.

We have to stop asking people to put their ethnicity on their government (or other) forms and not answer the question on the census. Not because we are ashamed by it but because it just doesn’t matter and we need to start thinking like that, not putting people in groups to be divided but remove the barriers to us truly becoming united.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 25, 2008 1:18 PM
Comment #249137

Veritas Vincit:

Let me make try to make my argument clearer. As of today Obama’s negatives according to Rasmussen are as high as Hillary’s. As of today both of your candidates have negative approval ratings from registared voters.

The more people get to know Obama the less he is liked by the general public.

I think you guys have an extemely serious problem on your hands. The Republicans has messed things up so badly, but I know how competitive you are on the left. You are now getting ready to top them!! You have been given the best chance of the presidency in a very long time. It’s slipping away.

52% of the American Public now disaprove of your candidates.

If you guys mess this up, it will be the biggest campaign disaster of our life time. It’s actually quite unbelievable to watch. All the democratic party had to do was nominate someone who could fog a mirror, and you would probably win. What is happening right now is just about the only way Republicans might have a chance.

Enjoy your discussion about race, while millions are struggling with health care.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 25, 2008 1:25 PM
Comment #249138

Craig,

Why is this a surprise? It is almost identical to what happened in 2004… Of all the people they could have nominated, they offered up the one guy who couldn’t beat Bush…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 25, 2008 1:34 PM
Comment #249139

From the 1990 sermon:

“She had the audacity to keep on hoping and praying when there was no visible sign on the horizontal level that what she was praying for, hoping for, and waiting for would ever be answered in the affirmative…Hope is what saves us, for we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen is not hope. For what a man sees, why does he have hope for it? But if we hope for that which we see not (no visible sign), then do we with patience wait for it.”

Platitudes and circular reasoning, or the basis for a political campaign? People keep saying something about great speeches, and I keep wondering if they have ever even heard a great speech, or are just putting out spin for the candidate to whom they have commited themselves.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 25, 2008 1:43 PM
Comment #249145

Rhinehold:

What is shocking to me right now is that both democratic contenders have higher negatives the Bush did in 2004.

Here is a question for the left. If Clinton has successfully raised Obama’s negatives past the magic 50% mark, what should Republicans be blamed if they don’t use the same material to do it this fall?

I can just hear this fall Democrats blaming Republicans for “going negative” when all Republcans should need to do is do a cut and paste from the Clinton play book.

Republicans should simply use Democratic voices and say “We didn’t say it, the Democrats said it”. How can Republicans be blames when the attack ads have Democratic voices in them? We can run a campaign that is 100% democrat voices and win.

This is the weirdest election I ever remember. It is wild to see Democrats hand us a candidate that is already marginalized and they did the marginalization.

I am stunned to see that Obama’s negatives are now worse than Bush’s were in 2004. WOW!!!!

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 25, 2008 2:30 PM
Comment #249159

Googlumpugus

We should not excuse the stupidity of believing that the government injected black people with the AIDS virus.


Tuskegee, BTW, was not about infecting anybody with disease. It studied the differences between treatement (which at the time was dangerous and health threatening itself) and non-treatment among people who already had the disease. The imorality resulted from the lack of informed consent. The reserachers knew that some of the subjects had the disease and did not tell them or treat them for it.

Even at its worst, it is no way comparable to a conspiracy to create a virus and spread it in a particular community.

Anybody who believes in the AIDS conspiracy theory is ignorant. There is no other way to explain it. We cannot be so bigoted as to believe some people are too stupid to understand simple facts and too hate filled not to make spurious connections. It would be racist to believe something like that.

In an earlier job, I worked with Soviet disinformation. The AIDS conspiracy was one of their more successful jobs and it is particularly well documented. Ironically, guys like Wright are in the thrall of conspiracy theories created by old white males to deceive the credulous. I agree with Obama that he is just a crazy old man. We should not try to excuse his statements and deplore them as much as Obama does.

Posted by: Jack at March 25, 2008 5:52 PM
Comment #249165

“Apparently not. Is english a second language btw? I don’t want mean to insult you if you are just having trouble comprehending what is being written”

You do mean to be insulting, but that
is okay. I forgive you.

“in your world it is racist to be called rich and powerful”

No, in my world, it is racist to be racist. Please quote my words to me that you interpret to mean this as it would be helpful to figure out from which nether region you are pulling this from.

The following is the nether region, or
your quotes.

“Who cares about what a poor black man has to put up with every day in a country and a society controlled by rich white people”.

Nope, that’s pretty racist to me. And it points out how people are using that race to control and direct people to feel hatred and racism.

I don’t see any mention of control or
incitement of violence. I do read that
Pastor Wright feels that this society is
controlled by “rich white people”, and if
one looks at distribution of wealth in
our country, he would be proven right.

And I do not mean ‘The Government’ when I say ‘those in power’. I meant ‘those in power’.

This is exactly what Pastor Wright means,
those in power. But he expands on this and
mentions rather truthfully that this power
is centered upon “rich white people.”

I’m glad you’ve gotten over the pangs of
racism; it is mighty non-black of you to say
the pain that Blacks may feel,should be shoved
under the carpet, or no longer matters.


Posted by: Cube at March 25, 2008 6:31 PM
Comment #249172

Stephen,

You said, “The best idea, I think, is to favor an approach that recognizes that in the marketplace of ideas, we are free to take and leave whatever we want, where one’s personal statements and actions constitute the core of what brings praise and condemnation.”

However, you also said, “They are of equal concern” in response to this, question of mine (I think), “Are you suggesting that McCain’s affiliation with the evangelical Christians is more important than Obama’s affiliation with Wright or that neither should matter?”

I’m not trying to be thick, but it appears that you are like a lawyer running a dual defense. On the one hand, it doesn’t matter what the minister said or does, but if it does matter to you, then you should know that what Obama’s minister did is not worse than what McCain’s have.

While I wholeheartedly agree with the following statement, “where one’s personal statements and actions constitute the core of what brings praise and condemnation,” it smacks against some major talking points of the left that the Republican party is either a) coopted by the “Christian Right,” or b) coopting the “Christian Right.”

While I appreciate your impassioned defense of Wright (and said defense has shaped by overall opinion of the matter, so I guess mission complete), a cynic might say that the two pronged defense is aimed at both removing the glare and maintaining the ability to continue to tar your opponents with a very similarly shaped brush.

Posted by: Rob at March 25, 2008 8:20 PM
Comment #249185

Loyal Opposition,

You wrote:

The comparisons made with McCain are nothing but a desperate diversion.
Please, Obama has not in any way pandered to the controversial views of his pastor. He has said those views are understandable, but wrong. McCain, on the other hand, has pandered to Bob Jones University (of Racism). See: McCain’s Bob Jones University?

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 25, 2008 11:08 PM
Comment #249187

So we have Obama trying to heal the racial divide by saying that mistaken racist views on both sides are wrong but understandable and we have McCain endorsing an openly racist candidate at an openly racist Christian college.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 25, 2008 11:13 PM
Comment #249188

I wrote:

“You’re a Republican, so I’m skeptical of your judgment on this. People on the Left are aware that Republicans don’t tend to vote for anyone who isn’t white.”

Lee Jamison replied:

OK, I haven’t looked in on this thread very much but, damn, that’s just beyond the pale!

You’re right, it is beyond the pale how few black people are elected to public office for the GOP. Obviously the truth hurts, doesn’t it? That must be why you left out quoting the next sentence I wrote immediately after those first two:

I continued:

“We know this because of how very few people of color you’ve elected to Congress.”

Are you aware of how many black politicians Republicans have elected to Congress since 1900?

Five.

You know how many black Republicans are currently serving in Congress?

None. Nada. Zilch.

Thus, my comment was and is, spot on. The GOP doesn’t tend to vote for black people very often.

Do you know how many black politicians Democrats have voted into office since 1900?

Ninety three.

Do you know how many are currently serving?

Forty two, including Barack Obama.

Texas Republicans have repeatedly reelected Michael Williams evey chance they got to do so! And, predictably, it took REPUBLICAN votes to get this good black man elected to statewide office.

Are you talking about this guy? A Texas railroad commissioner dealing with the oil and natural gas industries? And from the sound of things, a Bush Crime Family Crony?

If blacks (or the people of any other identifiable minority) do not feel the intellectual freedom to stand apart from their community and be Republicans or Democrats or Independents in large numbers why is that not a problem with the subculture in which they live?

Who is saying anyone doesn’t have intellectual freedom to do whatever they want to do? And why must there a be a problem among various subcultures?
Indeed, maybe the real problem here lies with the views of the Republican Party? Has that ever occurred to you? And have you ever entertained the thought that the choice of ones party often has much less to do with a bunch of intellectual posturing, and a whole lot more to do with making sure that ones basic needs are going to be met in exchange for their tax dollars?

The only valid “diversity” in a free society is intellectual diversity. Once diversity is tied to the color of the wrapper in which we entered the world we are all racists. Period.

Bullsh*t. For there is economic “diversity” too. And survival is frequently considered a hell of a lot more important than a bunch of intellectual and ideological posturing — which is often nothing more than a luxury.

The reason there are more people of color in political parties other than the Republican Party is because the GOP has a very long history of being the party by and for wealthy people — as well as those who have been gullible enough to be convinced to (sadly) vote against their own best interests. It has been the obvious choice of the GOP to ignore most of the needs of the people whose economic “diversity” ranks them among the middle class and the poor. And this includes an enormous number of people of every skin color and of various cultural backgrounds.

Moreover, I don’t agree with you (or Rhinehold, or anyone else who wants to make this argument) that merely acknowledging the “wrapper color” or more importantly, the culture someone “enters the world” into and/or becomes a member of, makes anyone automatically into a “racist”.
In my view, those who fit the term racist are people who are irrationally hostile and prejudiced against people who are in some way different than themselves, and who tend to hold an attitude of (wrongheaded) superiority over others.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 25, 2008 11:42 PM
Comment #249191

Craig Holmes,
You’re doing quite a lot of wishful thinking in your replies to me. Personally, I don’t choose to follow polls from one day to the next and then try to delude myself that I’ve gotten all the answers and can then predict the future. Indeed, I think that obsessive poll watching is a ridiculous and usually worthless pastime that too many people who follow politics tend to indulge in.

When I make the attempt to look into the future and try to make predictions, I simply use my brain and reasoning abilities instead. And from what I can glean from my thoughts and observations is that Democrats, and in particular Barack Obama, isn’t going to lose the election in November.

The reason I think this is because I can clearly see that John McCain is a weak candidate who is too old, and who doesn’t seem smart or sharp enough to be our president. People are currently very sick of having a confused, dullwitted, and temperamental president, and I honestly don’t believe they want to elect another one.
There are many other reasons too. Things like how badly the economy is going, and how long people have already been struggling — while Bush and the GOP continues to tell people how strong they think the economy is. And there is the fact that as we head into our sixth year in Bush’s Mistaken War in Iraq, we all know it has been nothing but an unmitigated disaster — and your candidate is eagerly willing to keep us there for as long as a century. I look at the way your party and Bush/Cheney has just spent a good many years royally screwing up things in America, and ruining our reputation around the world.

Really, I could go on and on here, but I won’t bother. I just think it seems pretty clear that the GOP is the party who should be very worried at the moment — and maybe even for many years yet to come.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 26, 2008 12:27 AM
Comment #249193

Veritas Vincit:

You are making some huge generalizations.

Here is your logic.

1. There are few Republican elected officials who are white.

2. Therefore Republicans will only vote for white candidates.

3. Therefore you are implying that Republicans are more racists than Democrats.

Baloney.

It’s because most African Americans are liberal and Republicans do not elect many liberals!!

http://www.blackcommentator.com/17_analysis.html

This race baiting is a bunch of crap. Republicans are conservative. Liberals are just as racist as conservatives, it is just a different form.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 26, 2008 12:34 AM
Comment #249194

Veritas Vincit:

Just stating some facts. Obama was the most liberal senator in the US Senate last year. He currently has disapproval ratings as high as hillary and higher than bush’s in 2004.

Think about that fact for a minute. Obama more unpopular than Bush was in 2004.

It is generally thought that disapproval ratings over 50% makes one unelectable.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 26, 2008 12:43 AM
Comment #249195

Craig Holmes:

It’s because most African Americans are liberal and Republicans do not elect many liberals!!

That’s right, you just keep telling yourself that this is all some sort of a “what came first, the chicken, or the egg” mystery conundrum. That way you’ll never have to question anything that might make you feel in any way uncomfortable about your party, or exactly who they actually represent — at the expense of everyone else.

Just stating some facts.

Guess I must have missed those…

Obama was the most liberal senator in the US Senate last year.

According to the National Review — who of course, never has any agenda at all. Sure, and they’re a true font of wondrously non-partisan opinion.

He currently has disapproval ratings as high as hillary and higher than bush’s in 2004.

This Rasmussen again? Big Deal. Their polls change every few days. In other words: currently, schmurrently, disapproval, schmisapproval.

Now go ahead and say that three times real fast! It’s a magic charm guaranteed to render a Republican as agenda-less as the National Review, and as vitally pertinent as a random sampling from Rasmussen!
:^)

Think about that fact for a minute.

What “fact” would that be? Polls are not facts. They are merely random polls.

Obama more unpopular than Bush was in 2004.

I don’t believe this resembles anything resembling a fact, but is instead the outcome of a small random sampling.

It is generally thought that disapproval ratings over 50% makes one unelectable.

Generally, schmenrally.

(Sorry Craig, no magic in that one; no matter how often you may repeat it! ;^)

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 26, 2008 1:58 AM
Comment #249204

Rob-
No, it’s not a dual defense, because I said that if the Republicans want to push things on how scary and racist Obama’s pastor is(according to some very selective evidence), they should allow that equal trouble, equal charges of unelectability be heaped on McCain’s head, given not only his willing association with pastors saying controversial and racist things, but his seeking out of their endorsement.

But that won’t happen, and I’ll tell you why: because unlike Wright, these Pastors are part of the Republican’s political base, and so long as that is the case, all will be forgiven, whether it’s statements blaming 9/11 on Americans, racist practices and comments, or militant politics. They have been, and they will be catering to these people. That McCain would seek out their endorsement, given how far he is away from their brand of Christianity, speaks volumes to their power in the party.

There is a cynicism in the Republican Party that has them not merely jumping on our Reverend Wright as a pastor spreading hate and racism, but selectively edits him and defames his ministry, distorting his career. There is a cynicism there, that having done this, has them looking the other way at very real hatefulness in their party, even seeking out its blessing to maintain power. It’s the combination of the two things that has me disgusted.

As for the Republican Party and the Religious Right co-opting each other, it’s a matter of historicial fact, and Reagan, Bush 43 and the others depended very much on their support to help them out Bush 41 didn’t kiss up to them, and look what happened.

Frankly, I think it should be none of our business where somebody goes to church, so long as they recognize that past the Capitol steps or the White House front door, an intentionally secular order exists, one built on the rule of law and the exclusion of government from religious matters.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 26, 2008 8:18 AM
Comment #249219

From Huffington Post: Pastor Of Clinton’s Former Church: Don’t Use Wright To Polarize

On Tuesday, Sen. Hillary Clinton re-stoked the flames of the controversy surrounding Sen. Barack Obama’s former pastor, saying she would have long ago distanced herself from Rev. Jeremiah Wright if she had attended his church.

“He would not have been my pastor,” Clinton told a gathering of the campaign press corps, repeating a line she used earlier in the day on a Pittsburgh radio program. “You don’t choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend.”

But the pastor at the church that Clinton did once attend has recently expressed public support for Wright. He’s even proclaimed it a “grave injustice” to make a judgment on Wright based off of “two or three sound bites,” and criticized those who would “use a few of [Wright’s] quotes to polarize.”

Last week, Dean Snyder, the senior minister at the Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington D.C. — which the Clintons famously attended while in the White House — released a little noticed statement offering a sympathetic defense of the totality of Wright’s work.

“The Reverend Jeremiah Wright is an outstanding church leader whom I have heard speak a number of times,” Snyder wrote. “He has served for decades as a profound voice for justice and inclusion in our society. To evaluate his dynamic ministry on the basis of two or three sound bites does a grave injustice to Dr. Wright, the members of his congregation, and the African-American church which has been the spiritual refuge of a people that has suffered from discrimination, disadvantage, and violence. Dr. Wright, a member of an integrated denomination, has been an agent of racial reconciliation while proclaiming perceptions and truths uncomfortable for some white people to hear. Those of us who are white Americans would do well to listen carefully to Dr. Wright rather than to use a few of his quotes to polarize.”


Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 26, 2008 11:18 AM
Comment #249227

Stephen,

Ok, I get it, it’s not a dual defense, it’s an if then defense that was written before the Republican’s began their attacks on Obama, do have that right?

Boiled down you are saying:

1) If the Republican’s tar Obama with the term racist because of his affiliation with a purported one then:
2) I dispute the fact that Wright is racist, and
3) I will alleged that McCain is a racist because of his affiliation with purported (or even admitted) racists.

As background, I make this argument not because I want to, but because I have to. I would much prefer that our candidates be judged on their own actions rather than the actions with whom they have associated. However, because of the fractured discourse in this country, I feel I must disregard my principals and paint McCain as racist because my opponents have done so to my candidate.

Do I have this right?

Posted by: Rob at March 26, 2008 1:18 PM
Comment #249230

Craig

You are right in that republicans tend to vote conservative but I beg to disagree and will say that the republican party currently is more racist.

I live down south. Before integration the democratic party was the party of choice. It was full of segregationists, racists, and bigots. After integration the republican party became the party of choice in the south and still is. Why is that?- because all the racists left the democratic party in droves to become republicans as a statement against the democratic parties support of integration.

Posted by: Carolina at March 26, 2008 1:50 PM
Comment #249237

Carolina:

It is the other guy who is implying conservatives are more racist because the right elects fewer blacks. Conservatives elect fewer blacks because blacks are more liberal.

This race baiting is a bunch of crap.

I think this last week has shown that both the left and the right have enough to work on within their own party, than to point fingers at the other side.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 26, 2008 2:54 PM
Comment #249245

Rob:

The Republicans are not going to call Obama racist. They will question his judgment for putting his children under Wright’s teachings.

What the Repubicans are going to label Obama with is what he is, a liberal.

If you want to return fire by calling McCain a conservative go ahead. Many conservatives will disagree with you.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 26, 2008 3:39 PM
Comment #249246

Jack,

Thanks for correcting me on Tuskeegee. If it were only Rev. Wright who believed in the HIV hoax, I would consider him a nut. However, I have seen these discussions in mainstream black publications and TV shows. I, personally, don’t think it is true. The science I have read on HIV suggests an African origin, possibly from monkey to human transmission with mutation.

Is it possible? Sure. We have Killer bees here from failed experiments in South America. It is documented that the CIA smuggled(s) illegal drugs. Wealthy people do sell drugs and alcohol in the “hood”. Native Americans were systematically starved, and infected, by some, with complicity of Indian Agents.

Is it beyond the pale to believe that a white dominated government that has institutionally demeaned, killed, enslaved and destroyed black culture for more than 300 years continues to engage in that behavior, while telling you how civilized THEY are? No.

As much as comfortable whites like to pat themselves on their backs for their cultural advancement, and want it to just go away. It ain’t likely, bubba.

When whites suffer higher incarceration, unemployment and poorer health for 100 years or so, then we can talk about racism being the “same” on both sides.

Posted by: googlumpus at March 26, 2008 3:47 PM
Comment #249247

Rhinehold,

I find it interesting that you did not reply to my question as to why you ascribe to Jefferson’s ideas, when he was clearly a bigoted racist?

Shouldn’t we be allowed to smear your character as you are smearing Obama’s with your associations?

Posted by: googlumpus at March 26, 2008 3:53 PM
Comment #249250

Rob-
1)Obama’s Pastor has said a few controversial things, but they are not representative of his ministry, nor of the stated beliefs of Obama.

2)His ministry, though, is much more moderate than the soundbites would portray it as, so therefore, the moral question of Obama’s continued patronage of the church is less compelling.

3)It is however true that they share something of a connection, so the question of whether he agrees is reasonable to ask, and Obama reasonably answered that question.

4)By distributing a link to a particularly important sermon that has a significant connection to Obama, I hoped to demonstrate factually, and not just rhetorically that the Pastor typically touched upon subjects that were not only more moderate issues, but compelling in their moral dimension.

5)Having argued all this, I would argue that it is especially galling that people who really do say such radical things on a regular basis, like Hagee, Fallwell, and Parsely, can associate with McCain without doing him an ounce of political damage, especially given the cynical fashion in which he sought out the support of pastors whose religious views are at variance with his on the record.

6) If the Republicans are so comfortable with radicalism in their ranks, but so uncomfortable with a black preacher even occasionally making the same kinds of arguments, then it stands to reason that their main reasons for their outrage is at best that he’s associated with a Democrat, and at the very worst that he’s black, and associated with Democrats. The fact that the old stereotypes used by the Republicans to peel away Reagan Democrats, that of welfare queens, black separatism and reverse discrimination (all illegitimate, if you actually research the church) are being used here as cynical dogwhistles to foment prejudice against the pastor, and against Obama by association.

Do I believe McCain a racist? Not on the evidence. Do I believe him a fundamentalist? No. Not on the evidence. Do I believe those around him and he would employ tactics that would use such prejudices against Obama? Yes. If not directly, then indirectly.

That, though, hardly makes things better. I find Obama’s talk of not being distracted by the bitter grievances of the past, once we recognize them, to be the far better position than somebody willing to exploit race to be elected.

Craig Holmes-
Why are blacks more liberal? Probably because they got thrown under the bus by the GOP in the mid sixties in order to appeal to the South. that has a way of ticking some people off.

Questioning Obama for putting his children under Wright is more or less calling him a racist by proxy. It assumes the association, and Barack must either be a fool or liar to allow that to occur. What’s more, the notion depends entirely on something that understanding of greater context belies; the notion that Wright is always as radical as he is in those sermons.

He hasn’t proven to be. The soundbites are not representative. Therefore, the entire argument is as cynical as it is wrong.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 26, 2008 4:11 PM
Comment #249251

Stephen:

Why are blacks more liberal? Probably because they got thrown under the bus by the GOP in the mid sixties in order to appeal to the South. that has a way of ticking some people off.

Probably for some of the same reasons you are liberal.

Questioning Obama for putting his children under Wright is more or less calling him a racist by proxy.

It is not. It’s is saying he lacks judgment. I don’t think Obama is racist. I sure think he exposed his kids to some wacko theology and ideas.

You on the left sure bring the race thing up a great deal. Why so obcessed with race?


Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 26, 2008 4:21 PM
Comment #249270

Stephen,

Thanks for the reply, but did I get the basic argument right or am I missing another key component.

I feel like I’m getting getting turned around in the words.

Posted by: Rob at March 26, 2008 7:05 PM
Comment #249281

Stephen:

Time to move on. A majority of Americans found the remarks troubling.

Did you see the polling data out today? Hillary has gotten hurt more than Obama. YOu are behind a few days. Right now the news media is focussed on Hillary. Why you are bringing up race and this preacher over and over again is beyond me. If you want Obama, why not highlight Clinton’s Lie or bad memory?

If I were going to go negative over this it would not be race it would be the anti american rhetoric. That is the big difference between Obama’s pastor and the rights wacko preachers. Try to find them saying “God Damn America”. Then have Obama without his hand over his heart, and Michelle saying for the first time in her life she is proud of her ocuntry.

It’s patriotism not race that Republicans are likely to go negative on.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 26, 2008 10:16 PM
Comment #249282

Rob,

You wrote:

1) If the Republican’s tar Obama with the term racist because of his affiliation with a purported one then:
2) I dispute the fact that Wright is racist, and
3) I will alleged that McCain is a racist because of his affiliation with purported (or even admitted) racists.
Stephen will have to respond as to his argument. He has already eloquently restated it… First, perhaps I am mistaken, but number 3 seems to imply that you accept that McCain has affiliated with “even admitted” racist. He has, and it is a good starting point of dialog for you to accept that basic fact. In spirit of bipartisanship, I accept the fact that McCain is not actually a racist. Many Republicans are, but he is not. Clearly he is not, since Republicans told us in 2000 about his “black babies.” Well, he probably is racist against Asians, but not blacks - not his own babies… Republicans, through their mouth piece Faux News, and with their Democratic counterparts (the Clintons) are using the same type of racist tactics against Obama that they used against McCain in 2000… I would think that you would find that offensive and would not be gullible enough to fall for it. Stephen can speak for his own argument. My argument has been: First; there is no “there” there. If I was a black American, I would say GADDAM America everyday, in fact most days I am tempted to say it as a white American. But then I am an atheist anyway. I just don’t see the big deal about it. For someone to express anger and frustration with a country that has, to greater or lessor extents, abused, abandoned, and neglected their race for generations is a reasonable thing. Especially when most of what the pastor said was moderate and reasonable. The remarkable thing about Obama is that he is always moderate and reasonable. So I just don’t see it as anything other than a Faux News / Republican / Clinton cynical political ploy. It is manipulative and that makes me angry. So the argument is not that McCain is racist himself, rather it is that Republicans are two faced cynical manipulators with gonads the size of basket balls given the fat fleshy skeleton Flawell in their closet.

Sometimes we are angriest at that which we love most because we see its beautiful potential and are disappointed.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 26, 2008 10:22 PM
Comment #249289
Why are blacks more liberal? Probably because they got thrown under the bus by the GOP in the mid sixties in order to appeal to the South. that has a way of ticking some people off.

In the sixties, Southern Democrats were fighting desegregation tooth-and-nail and the GOP was on the other side. Stephen is flat wrong.

What the GOP has NOT done, and why they’re tarred as racist now, is lend support for racial set-asides and race-based solutions to economic and social inequality. It’s entirely consistent with conservative ideals of individual opportunity AND responsibility and removing barriers for success for individuals instead of for groups. When you do it for groups, you violate the rights of other groups for EQUAL treatment under the law.

Democrats take a paternalistic and condescending attitude towards Blacks. They say that without special help from white people, and without white people acting out of feelings of guilt, black people can’t do anything on their own. THIS is the true racism.

Are there a lot of racist whites? Yes. But look at the experience of Asians in our society. Do white racists feel any less racist towards them? Asian-Americans aren’t waiting around for whites to do for them instead of doing for themselves, and if you look on Wall Street, the hard sciences, or the technology sector, Asian-Americans are represented far beyond their percentage of the population in these lucrative and influential fields.

Visit an Ivy-League College. Asians everywhere. And Asian-Americans don’t even receive affirmative-action preference to elite universities anymore because there’s no need for it. There are just too many of them with stellar SAT scores and academic credentials to make it necessary.

This isn’t happening because white people have decided to allow it. It’s because Asian-Americans, unlike African-Americans, aren’t waiting around for permission from white people to succeed.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 27, 2008 12:40 AM
Comment #249309

Craig Holmes-
Well, I can actually sympathize when people talk about the Republican party throwing people under the bus. I’ve always been a appreciator of science, and I saw Republicans go for this “sound science” BS, which seemed rather conveniently tuned to the interests of corporations. I’ve also been a proponent of civility in politics, and they just utterly stomped on that.

But that’s minor. It is historical fact that Nixon and the other Republicans deliberately sought to exploit discontent with de-segregation. It’s how you guys got the South.

As for judgment, again, you have to make the case that the whole of Wright’s career is as beyond the pale as his comments, or at least close. That’s not what people who know the church and the pastor are saying. So, judgment doesn’t enter into it.

But for the sake of argument, let’s say it did. Obama would have to be pretty oblivious to be exposing kids to that stuff, and not realize it. Obama doesn’t strike me as an oblivious person.

Even if your thesis is that Obama is a Machiavellian, attending for the sake of political support, why would he stick with a pastor who said comments like this every Sunday?

Obama would have to be a racist to continue to patronize the church, if things were as the Republicans said. Alluding to the kids instead is a way of trying to sidestep one of the least racist speeches any politician has ever given, to nonetheless bash his character. It’s Obama’s successfully avoided becoming a racist, but what about his children. But that presupposes that the endlessly looped, heavily edited excerpts were representative of the ministry and the church.

That’s the sticking point.

As for why this issue is getting such play? Because Democrats agree on just about everything else, and the person behind can only win if they tear the front-runner down. If Hillary would read the writing on the wall, we’d be back on the issues with a vengeance.

As for whether we’re obsessed with race? FOXNews is following Reverend Wright around, even commenting on him cancelling appearances as BREAKING NEWS. That’s obsession.

As for Hillary’s bad memory? You would be surprised how much Democrats are pushing that. Visit the original site, Daily Kos and see how much this and other story are getting play. There’s probably something new there by now.

As for the Right-Wing Pastors? Trust me, they say things just as bad. But of course, that gets ignored, because most people put that in it’s context: in the bible, a nation that strays gets thwacked, even if its God’s own country. The wording of Wright’s sermon indicates that’s his meaning. GD America if she thinks she’s God, and God’s not. That’s not much different than what he’s said. Try exploiting that, and watch a cavalcade of clips from Right-Wing pastors go online, essentially saying the same thing.

As for the pledge? Just try that. It’s a snapshot turned into an urban legend.

And first time she’s really proud of her country in her adult life? It’s not politically correct, but it’s not an indication she flat out hated it before. America has been a country where we say we’re proud of our country, but we’re also constantly telling ourselves how far behind we are, how corrupt we are, how little we turn out for elections, and so on and so forth. How long has it been since we really had cause to be actively proud of our country because something seemed to be going right, getting redeemed for the first time in a long time? An Awakening of active pride in our country, and the recognition of such is hardly unpatriotic.

LO-
The GOP actually favored civil rights more than the Southern Democrats, who held in place institutional racism. Then they became Republicans.


Rob-
The trouble with your argument is your conditional statements allege that I’m alleging that Wright is not a racist because he’s connected to Obama. That’s not the line of my inference. I would say other evidence says that Wright is not the racist he’s portrayed as. He obviously has some issues, some biases, but the indications are that such outbursts are the exception, not the rule.

That being the case, Obama’s continued association is more understandable, and one can even make a case for positive influence. The picture becomes clearer, and the scandal begins to look like the typical political distortion of imperfect, politically incorrect real life.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 27, 2008 8:29 AM
Comment #249317

The Asian-American population at college is the most significant difference in the student body since I went to school. African-Americans get a 15% set aside at Northwestern, the last I heard, but the most limiting factor is probably the cost. For non-scholarship students, it’s about ten times the price forty years ago.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 27, 2008 10:38 AM
Comment #249349

Stephen:

Nice reponse. I agree with much of your comments.

Right now I think it is a fair issue to say how incredibly astonishing it is to see the Democratic party who basically has been “handed the football” with and open field, endangering an easy touchdown because they are fighting for the ball amongst themselves and thus allowing the Republican party an opportunity to get up off the ground and run you down.

Clinton has the opportunity to ruin as easy a touchdown has has been handed a party probably since Hoover or Nixon. If this continues, it will be fair for votes to say “If they cannot even nominate a candidate is it wise to entrust both the legislature and the presidency to them?

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 27, 2008 2:42 PM
Comment #249476

Stephen,

You wrote:

And first time she’s really proud of her country in her adult life? It’s not politically correct, but it’s not an indication she flat out hated it before. America has been a country where we say we’re proud of our country, but we’re also constantly telling ourselves how far behind we are, how corrupt we are, how little we turn out for elections, and so on and so forth. How long has it been since we really had cause to be actively proud of our country because something seemed to be going right, getting redeemed for the first time in a long time? An Awakening of active pride in our country, and the recognition of such is hardly unpatriotic.
I think that the Obama campaign blew response to that. They went defensive when they should have went on the offense. She expressed herself awkwardly, but as you point out, what she said could properly be understood as complimentary. Before she made that comment, all the press was saying how this was a proud day in America because a black and a women were serious contenders for the Presidency. The Obama should have explained that what she really meant was that this was indeed a proud day for America - not a proud day for black people - they have worked hard to achieve this - but this is not their accomplishment alone. This a proud day for all America - it is an especially proud day for whites who have transcended the racial divide and for men who have transcended the gender gap. Barrack Obama did become a mainstream leader because black people supported him, in fact initially they did not. He became a mainstream leader because white people supported him. His success represents our successful transcendence of racism.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 29, 2008 1:22 AM
Comment #249498

Stephen,

I don’t think that I was suggesting that Wright was a racist at all, or at least I didn’t mean to. I’ve copied down what I said above for more direct reference.

1) If the Republican’s tar Obama with the term racist because of his affiliation with a purported one then:
2) I dispute the fact that Wright is racist

Am I still missing something to the front half of your argument (the one where McCain and his affiliations play no role).

To restate the first two points, are you saying:

1) The Republican’s have insinuated that Obama is a racist
2) because he is affiliated with Pastor Wright, someone Repubicans and possibly others believe is a racist.

I disagree with their assertions because:

1) Regardless of Obama’s affiliation with Pastor Wright, he is not a racist as evident by his most excellent speech on that topic, and
2) Wright is not a racist as is evident by the many points I have made throughout the article,
3) so even if the Republicans will not accept that Obama is not a racist based on the merits of his own words, it is still invalid to call him a racist based on his association with Pastor Wright.

Is this right?

Posted by: Rob at March 29, 2008 4:36 PM
Comment #249516

Very well said, Ray Guest. I couldn’t agree more.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 30, 2008 1:27 AM
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