Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

I just read through Sen. Obama's speech two times although I will confess, I did not listen to it.  To preface the remainder of my remarks, I tried to read it without any political agenda, and although I am a supporter of Hillary Clinton, I believe I was able to give it a fair reading.  I found that as I read it, I agreed with the sentiments he expressed, and indeed found them quite eloquent and powerful, until he got to the end of the following paragraph.

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely - just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

Although I do not know the content of private discussions my rabbis may have ever had with their friends and family, I can say unequivocally that I have never heard any of my rabbis ever say anything that could be considered politically controversial regarding American Politics, and with which I strongly disagreed, because American Politics is not discussed in synagogue!  I suppose that is because there are people of differing political beliefs that have belonged to the synagogues I have belonged to (even though for the most part, the members are fairly liberal, at least on social issues) and political beliefs are individually formed and decided upon.  

The sermons that I have heard tend to speak to the larger issues of our value systems and morality and the necessity to take responsibility for ones actions and words.    Although the values I have learned from my religion do not constitute my political identity, they have, together with my study of law, history, economics, political science etc... , and the fact that I live in this world with other people who do not all share my thoughts and beliefs or act the way I would, have played a part in developing my political identity.

I also can state that if I ever heard, or heard  of, any public statements that came out of my Rabbi's mouth in synagogue, that were any way in the nature of words that Rev. Wright said, and if that statement was not quickly denounced by the leadership and members of my synagogue, I would leave and find a new synagogue, regardless of whatever other wonderful things my Rabbi may have said or done in the past.

It is not reasonable for individuals, not to mention political leaders, to sit by silently when hatred is freely and publicly expressed. The words used by Rev. Wright are at their essence, evidence of the hatred which is at the root of racism and are at odds with all concepts of equality.  To remain in a community that allows the use of these words by its religious leaders to go unchecked, is in fact, tacit approval of those words, and thereby allows those those to slowly and insidiously poison people's minds and beliefs.  It is not insignificant to note that Rev. Wright's statements were loudly and visibly supported by many in his congregation.  This message of hatred which was taught by Rev. Wright, and learned by many of his congregants, cannot be simply redeemed by the claim, which I will presume to be valid, that Rev. Wright has over the years, also taught positive messages and has done good and positive work for his community.

In light of this, it is fair to note that bad things can happen when good people do nothing.  In the case of Sen. Obama, "doing nothing" includes being a member of that church knowing of all this going on, and continuing in his close relationship with Rev. Wright throughout these years.

It is also problematic to me that the above statement by Sen. Obama seems to presume that all religious leaders make or can be expected to make statements similar or at least parallel to those made by Rev. Wright.  This seems to be a major weakness in his understanding of the world outside of his own community.

Sen. Obama, in his attempt to explain why he has continued in his relationship with his church and Rev. Wright describes the emotionally and spiritually compelling experiences he has had at Trinity and then states that;

"as imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions - the good and the bad - of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

Obama concludes that this is sufficient justification to maintain his continued relationship with Rev. Wright and implicitly, with his church, notwithstanding Obama's past awareness of Rev. public statements of hate and divisiveness,  reducing their importance to mere "snippets" of Wright's career, and asserting that they are being taken out of context.  

I understand the need to find a religious community that speaks to your spiritual, emotional and familial needs.  I agree that Wright has both good and bad in him as does everyone, but (and this is a big but) I do not believe that what we have seen on video are only occasional rants, nor do I believe that they can be overlooked by anyone, least of all, a candidate for President of the United States.  Although I can understand Sen. Obama's desire to maintain his friendship, I cannot understand his continued support and membership in his church, because as I have learned through my own travels, you can find welcoming and loving communities in many places.

The fact that Sen. Obama believes that these statements can and should be overlooked says a lot about Obama.  What it says to me is that these are the lessons that live in his heart and have played a part in the forming of his political beliefs.  The fact that he makes Wright comparable to his white grandmother who has "confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe" shows that he neither understands nor sees the difference between the two and explains why his campaign keeps accusing Hillary Clinton of playing the race card, nor does he in any way address the fact that the gender animus prevalent in this race and in American culture is a concern equally deserving of fairness and equality.

Although this speech has beautiful words and thoughts in it, once you get past the surface, what this speech says to me that Sen. Obama does not really have an understanding of the issues and concerns of the larger American community, and demonstrates why he is not ready to be President.

Tags: obama, racism (all tags)

Comments

57 Comments

Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

On the former pastor. While I don't condone what he said. But he was a Vietnam veteran, you have to know, a lot who came out of it, affected them.

He has served his time in duty, put his life on the line. How many of us here can say the same thing?  He has a right to say what he did. Don't mean it's right but I understand why he was ranting.

by ListenNOW 2008-03-18 12:08PM | 0 recs
Ummm, I'm not so sure...

He has served his time in duty, put his life on the line. How many of us here can say the same thing?  He has a right to say what he did.

Don't you remember that John McCain also served in Vietnam. Does that give him the right to say the weird stuff he said today about al-Qaeda? Now certainly, I respect the service of ALL our veterans. But still, that doesn't make Jeremiah Wright & John McCain right.

by atdleft 2008-03-18 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

It's doesn't make it right, doesn't mean I agree, but it's their perogative and they are entitled to that opinion....unfortunately.

by venavena 2008-03-18 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

Not in the pulpit. Which is precisely why the IRS is investigating Obama's church:

According to a copy of an IRS letter that the church received Monday, the IRS is launching the inquiry "because reasonable belief exists that the United Church of Christ has engaged in political activities that could jeopardize its tax-exempt status."

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail /2008/02/26/irs_investigating_obamas_chu rc_2.html

by KnowVox 2008-03-18 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

Which is probably the main reason I never hear commentary about American politics when I go to synagogue, and which makes it all the more astounding that Obama seems to imply that this is not an uncommon type of speech in America's churches, synagogues and mosques.

by cjbardy 2008-03-18 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

Have you been anywhere other than that particular synagogue?  Obama's right, this is hardly uncommon.

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-18 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

I have moved a lot, and visit family all over, so I have been in many, in different parts of the Country and I have to say that politics is only addressed peripherally and generally couched in universal values sorts of language.  I have NEVER heard anything there anything like this, and I have certainly never heard anything anti-American.

by cjbardy 2008-03-18 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

On another note, if this is not uncommon, that concerns me a great deal!  I assume that you have seen this before.  What is the general response of the congregants to this sort of political commentary?

by cjbardy 2008-03-18 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

Uh, cheering?  Uncomfortable silence?  People shouting amen and praise the lord?  Clapping?  Pretty much the whole gamut of responses.  

Seriously...  Obama repeated that quote today, "Sunday Is the most segregated hour in America."  A lot of people don't get it, but this is what Black churches sound like.  It's not just gospel singers and clapping.  Yeah, Wright clearly went off the wall a few times there, and said some stuff that was really ridiculous, but the overall presentation and the willingness to talk politics is not at all unique.  

Youtube's not just for crazy stuff and right wing attacks, go there and look around.  Tons of sermons up there.  Search for em.  

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-18 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

You know what?  You offend me!  You are getting out of this only what you want to.  You don't like my opinion, and although you haven't said it, you presume I am racist.

I will say it one more time.  The sermons I heard are offensive.  One time is enough.   I would not patronize a synagogue that allowed its leaders to talk that way or to be so divisive, and I think it is a problem that Obama does not see it that way.

I think it is a problem that you don't see it that way, but unless you are running for President, its not my concern.

I don't care if you are black, white, yellow or brown, this hatefulness and anti-American language is wrong!

by cjbardy 2008-03-18 01:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

I never called you a racist.   And I'm not encouraging you to go listen to any of Wright's "hateful" sermons.  You might want to re-read what I wrote there.

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-18 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

I know you didn't say that. I said that in my response.  I am presuming you think that.  If that is not the case, I apologize from mis-judging you.  Quite frankly, I am not sure what the point you are trying to make here is, but it sounds like you are angry.

So if you want to make clear what you mean, I would be happy to read it.

by cjbardy 2008-03-18 01:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

Ok, trying to clarify here...  

First, most of us don't really know what goes on in other people's places of worship.  I've been in a synagogue twice, I have no idea what it's usually like, much less what others are usually like.  It sounds like you're in the same boat when it comes to the sort of predominately Black churches like this one.  

The preachers are loud, humorous, political, and occasionally pretty rude.  So are many congregations.  The specific content of Wright's  comments may have gone well outside the norm, but the way they were presented (loud, rude, vulgar, and explicitly political) are not at all unique to him.  

Second, if you'd like to see exactly what I mean about this, go to Youtube and look for sermons from other preachers in other churches.  Most Black preachers from most largely Black denominations and churches have a very similar presentation.  That's all I was trying to say there.  

I would add though, that I think you'd find Wright's other sermons to be very agreeable, especially the one which gave Obama the inspiration for his book title The Audacity of Hope.  It's hardly the picture of a radical, racist, and anti-American preacher people are painting him to be.

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-18 02:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

Thank you very much for  your clarification.  I am sorry I jumped to conclusions!

I am glad to hear you say that Wright's comments are "well" outside the norm.  As for the rest of your comments, differences in preacher style doesn't really bother me because different cultures do different things.  I am sure that I would feel equally disoriented, if not more so, if I attended a sunday service in one of the white, conservative mega-churches!

I have no doubt that many of Wright's other sermons would be very agreeable to me, and I don't want to take away from the good things he has done, but even considering that, I have a hard time saying that those things make the sermons that we are seeing now, acceptable.

Perhaps you can answer another question for me.   How is it taken by the congregants when their preacher goes "over the top" as one might say?  Are those times taken with a grain of salt or do most people buy into the message that is being sent?

by cjbardy 2008-03-18 03:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

Depends on the specific comment and the person you're asking.  But it's the same with anybody going to church or whatever.  Some agree, some don't.  Some react positively, some negatively.  Some don't react at all.

I'm sure most of us have been in that position... someone you're talking to or listening to says something you disagree with, but you don't really say anything.  Maybe scared, may be exasperated.  Maybe just don't want to get into it with them.  

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-18 03:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

Thanks very much for your response.  I guess this whole thing ends up being, that for better or worse, everyone is going to take what they want out of this speech because we all look at it from our own perspective.

I think this is very similar to the very strong positions people take against Hillary Clinton, which I think are just wrong-headed.

What I don't know is how each side gets past all this, because when all is said and done, maybe neither candidate is as hateful as the other side is making them out to be,

by cjbardy 2008-03-18 03:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

They're investigating the entire UCC, a 1.5 million person large denomination, not Obama's specific church.  

And they're investigating it not because of anything Wright said, but because Obama gave a speech at their annual assembly in which he made mention of a few political issues (universal health care, Darfur, immigration, etc.) as being things which he felt compelled to act on because of his Christian faith.  

Your efforts to smear this man, his church, and it's other 1.5 million members through a few statements of Wright are pretty dishonest.  

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-18 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

Your allegation that I am trying to "smear" Sen. Obama or his church, or the UCC is pretty offensive to me!  

I have merely stated my belief that Rev. Wright's comments are offensive and I don't believe they belong in a house of worship, and I think that Sen. Obama continuing to belong to a church such as this is a problem.  

The fact that you don't think people can have an honest basis for different opinions about this is pretty offensive too!

by cjbardy 2008-03-18 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

I was responding to another poster with that comment, not you...

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-18 01:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

OK... That is my misunderstanding.  I try to follow the nested comments and sometimes I get them wrong.  

Sorry then for taking offense at something that was not directed at me.

by cjbardy 2008-03-18 01:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

My response to this was posted after  your previous comment.

by cjbardy 2008-03-18 01:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

Yes, the IRS is investigating Obama's church for violating the law -- primarily because of Obama's activities which he knowingly and intentionally engaged in. As a lawyer, he should be well versed in the type of conduct he can engage in, and it is reprehensible that his careless words could jeopardize the tax exempt status of his entire denomination.

Next thing you know, you'll be arguing the IRS is "racist" for "attacking" Obama and his church.

by KnowVox 2008-03-18 03:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...
WTF, why was this comment hidden?
by sricki 2008-03-18 08:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...

Which comment was hidden?

by cjbardy 2008-03-18 10:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Ummm, I'm not so sure...
This one (above) by Brillobreaks:
They're investigating the entire UCC, a 1.5 million person large denomination, not Obama's specific church.

And they're investigating it not because of anything Wright said, but because Obama gave a speech at their annual assembly in which he made mention of a few political issues (universal health care, Darfur, immigration, etc.) as being things which he felt compelled to act on because of his Christian faith.

Your efforts to smear this man, his church, and it's other 1.5 million members through a few statements of Wright are pretty dishonest.

There's just no reason to give that a HR.

by sricki 2008-03-18 10:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

I can,I was in Nam for one and a half years 70 to 71 and I will never make an excuse of Vietnam for how I behave.It does make me hate war though.People think its like a movie,maybe it is if your a pilot dropping bombs but on the ground its horrific.Body parts and dead animals and children become stuck in your mind for years after.Saying that I still support Clinton over Obama his speech now or in 2002 doesn't impress me.He is always talking and saying nothing empty rhetoric mostly.He is brave when their is no consequence when push comes to shove he always hedges,or just votes present.That won't do you need to lead not follow and thats what I don't see in Obama.I think its because he was raised without a father he seems to be a wimp.      

by grab1 2008-03-18 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

Many of us served in Viet Nam but that is no excuse for a leader to promote hatred.  That he was a leader of a church with those views says a lot about those who have remained members over time.  That hatred fed something in them that felt good.  

by macmcd 2008-03-18 03:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

The most amazing thing to me is that he presents himself as the solution to healing racial divides while continuing to play the race card. He is so comfortable with hypocrisy that it is astounding and confounding.

by MediaFreeze 2008-03-18 12:12PM | 0 recs
There is no such

thing as a "race card." That concept is a white racist concept at its core.

by TomP 2008-03-18 12:18PM | 0 recs
Race Card

Fine. I agree. It is a bad term. I won't use it anymore. You are right, it is too candy coated.

What I really mean is that Obama and his supporters invoke criticisms of racism against their opponents all the time. It is a big part of their campaign strategy. At the same time he presents himself as the great uniter--the one that can heal our racial divide. I find the hypocrisy audacious and very troubling.

In this speech he said he had a unique ability to bring the nation together and almost in the same breath equated Wright and Ferraro. That's not uniting, that's leveling a racism charge cloaked in disingenuous rhetoric. That's his MO.

But, you are exactly right the term "race card" is a cop out. Thank you for calling me out on that.

by MediaFreeze 2008-03-18 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Race Card

Obama himself used that term today:

"We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she's playing the race card..."

by KnowVox 2008-03-18 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Race Card

Finish the quote.  Better yet, give us the surrounding text so we can understand the context.  

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-18 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Race Card

Read the speech yourself.

by KnowVox 2008-03-18 01:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Race Card

I have, which is why I know you edited that quote to change it's meaning.  But you've been doing that all day, so I don't know why I keep expecting a sudden interest in honesty from you.

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-18 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Race Card

Absolutely nothing was "edited." Obama used the term "race card." You can quote his entire speech to justify "what Obama really meant" but that doesn't change the FACT. He, himself, employed the term.

by KnowVox 2008-03-18 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Race Card

I'll do it for you, since you're clearly not interested in having an honest discussion, or correcting your edited quotes.

For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle - as we did in the OJ trial - or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina - or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright's sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she's playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we'll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.


This wasn't an attack on Ferraro or on Clinton.  It was an attack the right wing's efforts to continually divide and distract the American people from the real issues in their lives, and the MSM's complicity in it.  Obama then went on to lay those issues out:
That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, "Not this time." This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can't learn; that those kids who don't look like us are somebody else's problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

This time we want to talk about how the lines in the Emergency Room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care; who don't have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together.

This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life. This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn't look like you might take your job; it's that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit.

This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should've been authorized and never should've been waged, and we want to talk about how we'll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.

The right wing has played people against each other since at least as far back as Nixon's southern strategy, and probably earlier if you want to go into the history of labor in this country.  They've continued all the way through Reagan's often race based appeals to what became known as the 'Reagan Democrats'.  They did it further the last two elections with their immigrant bashing.  And they're trying to do it again with Wright.  

Today Obama for the first time ever as far as I've seen called for an end to that.  Called on the American people to reject the right wing's efforts to divide the people of this country along racial lines and keep them fighting each other instead of those profiting off of our division.  Democrats have let them play that game for far too long, and it's good to see one finally attack them head on on it.

This is a hugely important speech, and instead of actually reading it and understanding it for what it is- an attack on the racial division the right wing has used for most of this century to win elections, you're pulling quotes out of context from it in an totally dishonest and cynical attempt to smear him and maybe help Hillary on her way to the nomination.

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-18 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Race Card

Everyone is a racist in your book. I was responding to TomP, who said:

"There is no such thing as a race card.' That concept is a white racist concept at its core."

Obviously, the term "race card" isn't a white racist concept to its core when Obama himself uses that term.

Next thing you know, you'll be accusing Obama himself of being a racist.

by KnowVox 2008-03-18 02:59PM | 0 recs
Re: There is no such

He has used race-victimhood to its full extent to get as many votes as he can finagle out of his followers.

by macmcd 2008-03-18 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

That's what bothered me most, too. I really wished that Obama would say something to address his "overzealous" supporters who often call racism to his opponent. Zero acknowledgement whatsoever to address that racism comes from every direction. "Ferraro and his grandmother vs. Rev. Wright" was a really bad idea. Now, he argues that we need to elect him to heal racial divide. I don't think so.

However, most important issue would be why he lied and what made him to tell the truth now about his knowledge of Rev. Wright's inflammatory remarks. He changed his position so many times on the issue. I do not think he is credible any more.

For me, he failed to address the racial issue that he needed to address to win the GE and failed again to be trustworthy to the public. I honestly do not know how he could be elected in Nov.

by praxis1 2008-03-18 12:20PM | 0 recs
Bingo, mediafreeze!

by Shazone 2008-03-18 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

Where exactly did he present himself as the solution?  Nowhere I saw.  In fact, he was really quite clear this morning saying that there was no one solution, just a continual evolution of this country from it's flawed past, to it's original promise.  We're in the midst of this evolution, not nearing the end. We won't magically be done after he's elected, or after he leaves office in 8  years.  

The only one I've heard saying he was presenting himself as some sort of 'race healer' is Rush Limbaugh... and now you I guess.

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-18 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

I don't see how you conclude that I conclude that he is presenting himself as a "race healer"?  He does however, try to imply that he understands the larger issue and does not have divisive beliefs.  I disagree with that, and I also believe that he does not really see issues of the larger community.

When all is said and done, I don't believe this speech does it for me.

by cjbardy 2008-03-18 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

Oh please you are just being disingenuous.He is always presenting himself as a bridge to the divisions in the country.You are just painting the blank slate that is Obama with your own wishes.

by grab1 2008-03-18 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

obama's grandmother said she was afraid of black men. that's a little different from saying AIDS was a white plot against black people.

by campskunk 2008-03-18 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

Thank you campskunk!

by cjbardy 2008-03-18 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

...and Ferarro said that Obama would not be in the position he is now if he were not African American. Think what you will of that, it's hardly the equivalent of what Wright has said, and yet "the uniter" saw fit to lump them together several times today.

by MediaFreeze 2008-03-18 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

nah, jerome got that part wrong. Ferraro was only mentioned once.

by campskunk 2008-03-18 12:44PM | 0 recs
Actually, Obama said the same thing...

about himself in his "former" life but then turned right around and claimed that was a racist comment.

by Shazone 2008-03-18 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Actually, Obama said the same thing...

I guess racism is one sided, according to him.

by cjbardy 2008-03-18 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

Why?  Both are ignorant paranoid fantasies based on stereotypes.  

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-18 12:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

The similarity is she is afraid not of who is in front of her but of what she has heard about black men. For many black americans it is not a huge leap from the Tuskeegee experiment to AIDS being a government(not the same as white)plot  

by Ida B 2008-03-18 01:02PM | 0 recs
Anti-American issue not addressed

CJ, I appreciate your thoughtful response to Obama's speech. I, like you, gave it careful consideration and have arrived at a similar conclusion. I will add that his speech did nothing to address the anti-American sentiment that Wright espouses. If anything, because Obama continues to embrace Wright, it only furthers the perception that Obama harbors these feelings himself.

Obama framed his speech around race, not anti-American sentiment, which is what most people are reacting negatively to. Once the voter learns of Obama's association with William Ayers, a white domestic terrorist who once declared war on the US government, Obama is going to be bookend by both Wright and Ayers, the anti-American radicals that have had Obama's ear. Even if Obama is able to limp toward the nomination, there is no way he will win in the general election against the very patriotic, war hero McCain.

by grlpatriot 2008-03-18 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Anti-American issue not addressed

Good catch!  I thought about that and decided not to expand this too much because I thought that might attract more negative comments.  The comment about not addressing gender issues just barely made the cut.

by cjbardy 2008-03-18 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

How am I being disingenuous?  I for one don't believe or present Obama as a "race healer".  I think he is sort of confused in fact, as I thought I made clear in this diary.

by cjbardy 2008-03-18 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

Agree...I think he is very confused. Perhaps it's because he has apparently led a fairly insular life growing up on the island(s) of Hawaii  He is not well traveled--has never spent time in Europe--and appears to have little idea of what the rest of the world experiences in terms of racism. That he thinks his church is not so different from other Christian churches comes as a shock.  But it also explains why he believes it should be fine with American voters that he attends this church and listens to a preacher he (Obama) defines as his "spiritual advisor" and "moral compass."  

He is far too naive to be a leader in national politics.  

by miriam 2008-03-18 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Speech - Fool's Gold?

I concur with the essential thrust of the comments--a speech cannot explain away a twenty-year association with a pastor on a crusade to damn White people.

On another post, I noted three neighbors who had voted for Obama in my native Ohio primary, and I was immediately assumed to be a shill because these persons remained unimpressed by his speech.

I was told that I had simply created these neighbors; that they wouldn't be conversing with me after that speech.

I readily informed those neighbors that fellow bloggers assumed that I had created them.  They have since gone on the Internet to answer for themselves.

This is what I mean by delusional.  The Obama supporters--and the true shills, the American press--are so enamoured of Obama, it is inconceivable to them that a clear majority of Americans have another view of the man.

Why do I write "clear majority"?  Simply because Obama has never won a major state outside of his native Illinois and the near-draw of Missouri.  

His near thirty-state caucus and primary wins collectively account for no more than a third of the electorals needed to become President.  

Whereas the major states and others he has lost, more than give Senator Clinton enough electorals to be triumphant.

That was always the problem: the current Democratic primary and caucus process does not in any way represent the Electoral College.  

This is why Obama's presumed formidable delegate lead has always been fantasy.  It exists only through less populated states, unrepresentative caucuses, and by not counting Michigan and Florida at all.

He would be the nominee of a party in which he lost primaries in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, Texas, Michigan, and the key bell-weathers of Ohio and Florida.

He would be a nominee of "blue state America," having lost all of blue state America except his native Illinois.

The so-called "black JFK," lost both Massachusetts and Rhode Island--states with Kennedys in Congress and in which many a Kennedy, John Kerry and Deval Patrick endorsed him--by very wide, near 60% margins.  Shouldn't these states be clammoring for him most of all, if he is truly a resurrected JFK?

There is an obvious disconnect between the base of the Democratic electorate and the man the MSM has been trying to shove down American throats for sixteen months now.

And yet Obama has never "sealed the deal."  And he is destined to lose Pennsylvania by a wide margin as well.

Then the Reverend Wright's horrid commentaries came to light.  This being his "spiritual advisor," and the very source of Obama's book and campaign credo "The Audacity of Hope."

And once again the MSM pundits, always fawning over Obama, believe that a speech makes it all go away.

No, for most Americans, it will never go away.

I knew that Obama was toast the moment those hated videos emerged.

That is reality.  Not Obama World, wherein speeches wash away the past.

But the Real World, wherein a twenty-year association does much more to define a candidate than any rhetoric.

I too was once delusional.  As a Greek-American, I never wanted to believe the sobering reality of those who early on told me "How can you believe America will elect a man whose name they cannot even pronounce?"

I was delusional after the Democratic Convention, when Dukakis was up by twenty points in opinion polls.

And I refused to believe just how lethal Dukakis' "army tank" video was.

Right up to Election Day, I believed fellow Americans would see the "light" as I saw that light.

But delusional I was.  And on Election Day, there were pitifully few states in the Dukakis column.

I guess there is no arguing with the Obama folk.  

The rest of us can only pray for the best, even though we know that if he is the nominee, its a bloodbath for the Democratic Party come the fall.

by lambros 2008-03-18 01:09PM | 0 recs
wrong speech

I wish he'd said that he first attended that church because of his wife and that he knew little about the Chicago black community and didn't think he was in a position to judge. That he liked the man and saw him as a kind of old uncle, with over-the-top goofy opinions forged when the country was far more racist, and that he saw some essential kindness in the man.  I wish he'd admit that the church was politically important as he made valuable political contacts that helped him get ahead.  I wish he'd say he started with no money or political advantage and he needed to accept all patrons and wasn't in a position to be too choosy. i wish he said he's now sorry he cast Hillary as a divisive racist because he set the bar for racism so low it makes his pastor look even worse, if possible.  I wish he'd have not mentioned Gerry at all, or said what she said was insensitive but that she probably didn't know why or how as on the surface her statement was true and something he's said himself about the  historic nation of his race. I wish he'd have said that the pastor was creepy when he called Hillary a bitch, that no woman should be called ugly names from a pulpit or from anywhere else. hate speech leads to hate crimes and most crimes of passion are against women.  But, he didn't, so I can't say I was impressed by his speech.  

by anna shane 2008-03-18 01:14PM | 0 recs

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