by SevenStrings, Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:22:20 PM EDT
I did not hear that speech. And to be honest, I did not even read it whole ~ I am not looking to be inspired, or to be uplifted. I do not expect any speech to solve our problems, even those problems pertaining to race relations.
I was merely looking for answers to two questions:
(a) Did Sen. Obama know about, or had personally heard, Rev. Wright utter those hateful words now immortalized in YouTube ?
(b) Did he register any opposition to those words (in any way) when he first heard it ?
The first question is important because Sen. Obama's campaign has been insisting that he first heard some of the controversial remarks at the beginning of his campaign, and not any earlier. This I found very hard to believe. There would have been something VERY wrong with that church if that language was not talked about for days and weeks, even if Sen. Obama was personally not present when that language was used.
It now appears that he may have heard some incendiary language (but not the ones on YouTube).
So, that brings me to the next question. What was his reaction when he heard that incendiary language ? Did he disagree, but remain silent; or did he express any disagreement (I cannot believe that he did not disagree).
My suspicion is that he chose to stay silent. This is based on two arguments:
(a) If he had expressed any form of disagreement (even mild ones), then publicly stating that would have been the most politically advantageous position for him 72 hours back. He could have said
"While I did not hear him use that specific language, I have heard him use similar incendiary language. And when I did, I let him know that his words were unacceptable to me"
... or something to that effect. He could then have continued...
"At the same time, I cannot reject or denounce that man. He is a part of me, and I can no more reject him than I can reject myself "
That would have done it!
(b) Harking back to his Presidential announcement, I recall reading that Rev. Wright had been invited, and then Sen. Obama called him to disinvite him. As I recall, the words were "You can get rough in your sermons, so what we have decided is..." Reportedly, Rev. Wright was furious at this slight (even though, it seems that Rev. Wright was himself aware of the political baggage he carried). Sen. Obama's words, and Rev. Wright's reaction to them appear to be inconsistent with Sen. Obama having expressed any disagreement before.