March 17, 2008

"But that's what makes Obama's association with Wright so significant. He's not from Alabama."

Mark Steyn on Barack Obama:
He's a biracial middle-class Kenyan-Kansan Hawaiian-born Indonesian-raised Columbia and Harvard graduate who chose to immerse himself in the most corrosive and paranoid end of a racial-grievance ghetto mentality that is nothing to do with him, his family or his upbringing. He doesn't have the same excuse as a Jackson, Sharpton or Farrakhan.

Why would he do such a thing? I wouldn't expose my kids to the four-letter ravings of Jeremiah Wright because I wouldn't want them to grow up loathing their country. I find it hard not to think less of a man who does.
Is the most obvious conclusion really that Barack Obama hates America? I should think it is much more likely that he wanted to feel connected to the historical experience of black people in America — exactly what he had missed growing up.

Steyn compares Obama to Condoleezza Rice — who "has childhood memories of a segregated south and racial violence" — as if the comparison makes Obama's choice more of a puzzle. But it's not if you think of him as a young man who had grown up so far away from an experience that other people saw in his face. It would make sense to plunge into exactly the experience he thought he had missed and to do so in a very openly accepting way, seeking to learn and feel. Looking at everything else we've seen of Barack Obama, I would assume he was listening and absorbing new information and, at the same time, maintaining his composure, morality, and judgment.

ADDED: Juan Williams says a lot.

173 comments:

Bob said...

Ann Althouse: Looking at everything else we've seen of Barack Obama, I would assume he was listening and absorbing new information and, at the same time, maintaining his composure, morality, and judgment.

*cough*(cruel neutrality)*cough*

I'll agree that Barack Obama has done remarkably well at not letting Wright poison his thought; I don't think the same can be said of Michelle Obama, however.

TMink said...

Wow. Can I vote for Juan?

Trey

Maguro said...

I'd agree that Obama does not seem like a particularly hateful person. It's fair to point out, though, that from the statements and attitudes of his wife and mentor that he probably takes a pretty dim view of America. You can tell a lot about a person from the company they keep.

How else to judge Obama? He doesn't have much of a record and his uplifting speeches are vague and general. Should we assume he has superior judgment and wisdom because he *looks* intelligent and thoughtful ?

Middle Class Guy said...

I have said this before. Early on Obama should have taken the whole book out of Tiger Woods life. Instead of being Black, or White, he should have just embraced his bi-racial idnenity.

As to Rev. Wright. Some have said that he is an anomaly, others have claimed that he is just preaching what others in the "Black Church" and Black community preach and want to here- they preach to the people and what they feel. Years ago, Jesse Jackson was not much different. Al Sharpton is not different. Why do we embrace them? Both are racists, both have condemned America. Yet, they are given some kind of reverence and credibility. The way things work, there sill soon be three powerful Black political preachers. Jackson, Sharpton, and Wright.

If we condemn Wright, then the attacks should start on Jackson and Sharpton too.

Gahrie said...

Let me see if I have this right....it's Ok to assume that people who support federalism are racists, and it is incumbent upon those people to provide evidence that they are not racist, because an entirely different group of people once used federalism to support racism.

But if a candidate has a close, 20 year relationship with a man who preaches hate and racism, and in a religious service literally calls upon God to damn America, we cannot assume that that person is racist, and it is not necessary for him to prove he isn't racist.

Did I get that right?

George said...

Hypothetical:

My mother's from East Tennessee. My father's from China. I grew up in Peru.

Returning to my native Sneedville as an adult, I promptly begin going to a snake-handling church because I want to "absorb new information while also maintaining my composure."

Of course, I don't believe in handling serpents or in drinking poison or in speaking in tongues, even though I'm a Harvard law grad and a US Senator,, but I just want to "listen" and give my children the chance to listen, too, and listen to the preacher's tapes and...and...and

Come on!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Rev. Wright - We nuked Hiroshima, we nuked Nagasaki

No Pearl Harbor, no Hiroshima and no Nagasaki.

The guy is nothing more than a racist demagouge, period. While we can't chose who our 'crazy old uncles' are, we can certainly chose which preachers we deem to listen to. The fact that Obama has been a member of this racist church for most of his adult life and saw this 'crazy uncle' as someone who had a big influence on his life tells me plenty about Obama.

Uniter indeed.

Simon said...

Ann said...
"I should think it is much more likely that he wanted to feel connected to the historical experience of black people in America — exactly what he had missed growing up."

Isn't the most likely explanation of all simply that he was an outsider - culturally and geographically - who wanted to get ahead in politics, and saw association with that church as a way to appear connected to the historical experience of the people whose votes he needed? That's not intended as a slam against Obama particularly; it seems an elementary lesson of public choice theory that politicians are people too, and their actions make most sense when understood as being motivated by self-interest. You offer one plausible explanation: he did it to fill a hole in his soul. But I think at least as plausible is the explanation that he did it to fill a hole in his resumé.

SMGalbraith said...

It seems to me that instead of asking what Obama thinks of Rev. Wright's worldview perhaps we should ask Rev. Wright what he thinks of Obama's views?

What did Wright see in Obama that led him to develop such a close relationship with him? After all, Wright is positively scathing in his denunciation of what he calls "ignorant Negroes" who reject his racialist views. Folks like, I assume, Juan Williams.

Does he (Wright) view Obama who promotes a transcedent view of race and ethnicity and class as another "Negro"?

Instead of looking for Obama to repudiate Wright we should be looking to see if Wright repudiates Obama.

The Drill SGT said...

Obama effectively has been going to Black KKK rallies complete with rhetorical cross burnings for 20+ years. Would America give a white candidate a pass for attending 2 Clan meetings, much less 1,000 like Obama?

ann said...Looking at everything else we've seen of Barack Obama, I would assume he was listening and absorbing new information and, at the same time, maintaining his composure, morality, and judgment.

I think Juan had it exactly wright :). Obama was using race to get ahead then, and he is using race to get ahead now, he has just reversed the message now. Until it suits him to change again.

Simon said...

Just to add to my previous comment, in my view, that thought is reinforced not refuted by "[l]ooking at everything else we've seen of Barack Obama" - a very ambitious young politician with an apparent gift of allowing people to project onto him what they want to see. As you say, he "gr[ew] up so far away from an experience that other people saw in his face" - but by attending a certain church, he could reinforce the likelihood those voters would see themselves in his face, notwithstanding that he shared little of that experience.

SteveR said...

Looking at everything else we've seen of Barack Obama, I would assume he was listening and absorbing new information and, at the same time, maintaining his composure, morality, and judgment.

Looking at what I've seen, I assume he was looking for a political advantage.

rhhardin said...

Juan Williams just has normal misgivings. It's not lowering the boom, unless normality is taken as unusual in blacks.

Plenty of blacks you'd expect to actually lower the boom in ways that deserve the phrase, say any publicly conservative black, and no racism about it.

John Kerry clears up the issue, for fans of rhetoric. Brings up Lincoln as like Obama. Fans of ``losing the thread'' will like the clip.

Sloanasaurus said...

People can't be sure who the real Barack is. Does he hold anti-american beliefs? If so he could be a disaster as president. The president has to be 100% pro-american.

Red Wolverine said...

Why is Althouse so totally in the bad for Obama?

Tim said...

"Looking at everything else we've seen of Barack Obama, I would assume he was listening and absorbing new information and, at the same time, maintaining his composure, morality, and judgment."

Really? Boy, the pretzels we twist ourselves into trying to rationalize the irrational. You would assume he did this for 20 years? And while he donated thousands of dollars? And exposing his two daughters to the hate sermons from Wright? How does one not become what one is associated with, by choice, for 20 years?

Would you say the same of a white male who joined Rev. Fred Phelps's church? Or dragged his two daughters to a Ku Klux Klan rally? Or is there some reason why we are to think differently of the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.'s church from Phelps'? That it is somehow more mainstream? Or acceptable? And if so, why? Is it because Black Americans are allowed, because of their history, to subscribe to thoughts beyond the pale and hateful in their own right? And if so, doesn't that infantilize them? And why is Obama given a pass for exposing his daughters to this hate? As a father, I cannot imagine ever doing the same to my two daughters.

It's one thing to hope Obama rejects the lunatic ravings of Wright, as he rightfully should have 19 years and eleven months ago. It's another thing to suspend disbelief in the face of willful attendance over 20 years, exposing his daughters to the hate and making significant cash contributions to Wright's church that, "he didn't really mean it..."

I, for one, would think any man with any sense of self-esteem, morality and judgment would either tell Wright he's wrong (you know, that whole "tell truth to power" thing...) or, out of an abundance of comity for his wife, simply stop going to the church and stop exposing his young daughters to the hate.

It is entirely unacceptable to entertain the notion that somehow Wright's church, and his congregation, are somehow immune to rightful criticism that would be rightfully directed at an equally hateful church attended by non-Blacks. It may serve a certain view of the world, or a need to help overcome the nation's racial history, but glossing over the hateful record of what Obama's church means doesn't help heal the wounds, they only allow them to continue to fester, out of sight.

tomb1 said...

I think it's very lucky for Obama that this Rev. Wright business has gotten out to the public. Lucky that it came out in March, that is, instead of October.

It will be olds news come the fall. Heck, it will be old news in a week or so!

If Obama gets the nomination (or the Veep spot), this won't move many votes away from him.

Pogo said...

If a presidential candidate is not for America, then why should I be for him?

What governmental policies might I expect to flow from Wright-inspired animus against white Americans in the US of KKKA?

Why should I believe that Obama was not inhaling those sermons, even as he listened to the tapes and emulated the speaking style while in law school?

Why does a politician hoping for national office side with a pastor who expresses hatred for white Americans, listen to his tapes, use his tapes on his website, and take his money (and donate to him) and then later say he doesn't believe any of it?

ballyfager said...

Just keep knocking Obama and see who winds up in the White House. Hint, it won't be McCain.

The shortsightedness of this is mindboggling.

MadisonMan said...

this won't move many votes away from him.

What? The commenters here aren't potential Obama voters? I'm shocked!

I'm curious about several things. What is Bob's definition of a neutral blogger? How much money has tim given to the church he attends in the past 20 years?

Simon, don't you think it's natural that, if you marry someone who belongs to a certain hometown church, and you move to that hometown, that you subsequently join the church? I think you're too cynical re: Obama's reasons for being a member of Trinity.

Simon said...

Tim said...
"It's one thing to hope Obama rejects the lunatic ravings of Wright, as he rightfully should have 19 years and eleven months ago. It's another thing to suspend disbelief in the face of willful attendance over 20 years, exposing his daughters to the hate and making significant cash contributions to Wright's church that, 'he didn't really mean it...'"

I suppose the key question is centrality: just how central to the church and its theology are the remarks that have garnered headlines. If these are a few outlier comments that have been blown out of proportion, then sure, it's credible for Obama -- this business of people referring to him by his first name is increasingly creepy -- to say that he rejects the more lunatic remarks. My pastor makes remarks I don't agree with, from time to time, and I bet yours does to. The question that needs to be clarified, then, is whether the America-hating stuff is peripheral or central; are the remarks more of the character suggested above, or are we talking about a consistent pattern that is a large part of the church's overall ethos, in which case it is not credible for Obama to distance himself? I don't know the answer to that question, but it seems to me that that's the key issue, and Obama's position is not automatically beyond credibility. It rings false, but that doesn't mean it is false.

Mitch said...

While I don't support Wright's tone, the righteous indignation surrounding this issue is mind-boggling. People are focusing on the delivery and missing the message.

The message that there is hypocrisy in what the US finger wags to other nations and peoples and they way they treat their people at home, laid bare in the Katrina disaster.

That blacks in this country are still considered 3/5 of a person and are not true Americans in this country. Read: AA votes 'don't really count' by the Hillary campaign.

That the 9/11 attacks were an expression of anger for US policies abroad.

These are the debates that we should be having. Wright is an old man who I am sure has seen how biased this country has been and wants to change it from within the black community. There has been a great deal of improvement in the lives of ordinary blacks but there is still a lot of progress that remains to be made. The community is responsible for making these changes.

To align him with the KKK is astonishing. What was his message in these sermons? I'm sure it was not 'attack white-y' but rather individual empowerment and healing the open wounds present in the community as a result of decades of marginalization. If you are someone from these communities, the bias you experience every day has to be excruciating as well as the hopelessness with which you live your daily lives.

People who are using this to tar Obama with an 'Anti-American' brush had no plans on voting for him anyway and have been looking for excuses. He has very clearly stated what he believes and what he doesn't. Instead of jumping to conclusions, people need to educate themselves with his positions and his platform - which is laid bare for everyone to see.

Hoosier Daddy said...

just how central to the church and its theology are the remarks that have garnered headlines.

Well considering the near orgasmic response from those listening to Wrights ranting, it doesn't seem much of a question to me. I'm pretty confident that if my parish priest went off on some anti-American, racist rant, you'd see people leaving in droves rather than doing a happy dance in the pews.

Words1inger said...

If you check out John Batchelor
at HumanEvents.com (http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=25166) you'll see that Obama's situation with Wright is symptomatic of his poor choice of associates overall. All three candidates today are sleazy, but Obama appears to be the sleaziest of the three. (http://f1reth0rns.blogspot.com/2008/03/is-anybody-better-out-there.html)

But then, it appears even at althouse.blogspot.com there are Obamatons who think the guy can do no wrong. Sigh.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That blacks in this country are still considered 3/5 of a person and are not true Americans in this country.

That statement alone pretty much qualifies you as an idiot.

David said...

Ann writes:

"I should think it is much more likely that he wanted to feel connected to the historical experience of black people in America — exactly what he had missed growing up.

Steyn compares Obama to Condoleezza Rice — who "has childhood memories of a segregated south and racial violence" — as if the comparison makes Obama's choice more of a puzzle. But it's not if you think of him as a young man who had grown up so far away from an experience that other people saw in his face. It would make sense to plunge into exactly the experience he thought he had missed and to do so in a very openly accepting way, seeking to learn and feel. Looking at everything else we've seen of Barack Obama, I would assume he was listening and absorbing new information and, at the same time, maintaining his composure, morality, and judgment."

Well, yes--a very perceptive point, and one not being made elsewhere.

But is there any way Obama can use this notion to defend the association? That would be a hard thing to do.

I may be the only living white person who has heard the following people live and in person: A. Phillip Randolph, Martin Luther King, Jesse Jackson, Jackie Robinson, Jesse Jackson Junior, Malcolm X, Al Sharpton, Barak Obama. Their (very different) ideas did not poison my brain--I'm still the same old conservative Republican I seem to have been born to be.

The bottom line is that it's clear that Obama does not endorse Wright's ideas. There is nothing in his record that hints that he does or would.

The underlying assumption is that he might secretly believe these things. People make this assumption because Obama is black.

That's a sad thing.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Steyn totally ruins his piece about black identity by paraphrasing Cecil Rhodes, the man who nearly single-handedly raped Africa.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Rhodes

Mortimer Brezny said...

this business of people referring to him by his first name is increasingly creepy

Why is that, Simon?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Looking at what I've seen, I assume he was looking for a political advantage.

Really? Because community organizing is the path to the Presidency? Gimme a break.

AllenS said...

What's creepy is the fact that you can't mention his middle name.

Richard Dolan said...

Tomb1 says: "If Obama gets the nomination (or the Veep spot), this won't move many votes away from him."

Well, it may not cause a committed Dem voter to vote for McCain. But committed Dem (or Rep) voters aren't up for graps in this election; it's the voters (and superdelegates) who aren't already committed that are the only audience that matters. I don't see how one can claim that his story doesn't have the potential to turn that audience away from Obama.

The Rev. Wright story threatens Obama because he is such an unknown -- his campaign has defined him in gauzy generalities (Hope and Change! A Man of Judgment!), but that sort of thing dissolves quickly in the face of unflattering but irrefutable facts. However one thinks of the Rev. Wright story, it has the capacity to shred the image that Obama has been using to present himself to voters, particularly because religious beliefs go to the core of one's being. The average voter will not dismiss this as trivial stuff. To take a different example, do you think a committed pro-abortion voter would dismiss as irrelevant a candidate's strong Catholic beliefs, even if the candidate made the usual argument that he would not be bound by Catholic teaching on the issue? That voter might still end up supporting the Catholic candidate, but it would likely take some convincing.

In the same way, Obama needs to do some serious convincing to get past this issue. For many, the Rev. Wright story means that Obama is just a standard-issue pol looking to position himself with his voters (the Juan Williams view, summarized by Simon and others above). That view accepts that Obama doesn't agree with Rev. Wright's noxious views, but recasts Obama as a candidate who has sat through such stuff for 20 years because it was good for his political career. It becomes a story about routine political opportunism, calculation and fakery -- everything Obama wants to say he has transcended and stands against. Ann suggests instead that the story means that Obama "wanted to feel connected to the historical experience of black people in America." If so, the story means that Obama conceives of that "experience" in terms that are very likely to repel the voters who will be up for grabs in the remaining primaries and even more so in November. The Obama campaign has to find a convincing way to neutralize the story while still preserving the Hope and Change! image that has propelled his campaign. Obama has a long way to go; he clearly hasn't done that yet.

Even more problematic for the Dems is the fact that Hillary will have to press the point if she is to have any chance of winning the primary. That pretty much guarantees that she will press the point. Doing so will damage her as much as him; whoever wins the nomination may not be able to recover.

Pogo said...

The bottom line is that it's clear that Obama does not endorse Wright's ideas.

Clear? Not at all. That still needs to be shown.

He speaks in pablum.
He has no significant legislative record.
His wife says things that mirror his pastor's anti-American gibberish.
He is from Chicago, a notoriously sleazy town for politics.
He associates with and has taken money from a Syrian who cannot account for the source of his donations to Obama.
In 1997 Obama wrote to city and state officials in support of a low-income development project headed by Rezko. The project received more than $14 million in taxpayer funds, including $885,000 in development fees for Rezko.

He presents himself as a blank slate, but associates with a racist and a terrorist sympathizer. And your advice is that I cannot draw any conclusions from this at all?

Bullshit.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I'll freely stipulate that Obama is no more anti-American than Mitch.

garage mahal said...

That the 9/11 attacks were an expression of anger for US policies abroad.

Hell of a way to express yourself, don't you think? Sorry no sale. And the silent majority that decide presidential elections who are already skeptical and wary to an unknown commodity, these racist truther tirades won't help.

Simon said...

Mortimer Brezny said...
"Why is that, Simon?"

I'm not sure I can really articulate it, it's just a feeling. It's not just the calling him by his first name (after all - "Newt"!), it's the overall cult of personality that surrounds him, the mindset of the people who are actively supporting him. Certainly not including, I hasten to add, those who have taken vows of neutrality, cruel or otherwise. I've recused myself from discussing Obama's candidacy here, however, so I don't want to get into this. But I will say this: I think there's something really, really creepy about about the way that his followers talk about him and act in regard to him. I would distinguish between followers and supporters, of course.

SGT Ted said...

Is the most obvious conclusion really that Barack Obama hates America? I should think it is much more likely that he wanted to feel connected to the historical experience of black people in America — exactly what he had missed growing up.

That's like a white southerner getting connected to his heritage by attending Klan rallies, or SBC sermons where the preacher talks about how the "niggers" can't be trusted.

I was raised to consider the type of rhetoric used by the Bigot Reverend Wright to be racist and hateful. Period.

This Democrat primary election has become the perfect storm of the hate-mongering that has been used by black racists and leftwing bigot feminists for decades because their representatives are front and center in the campaign, instead of on the sidelines where their extremism remained off the radar screen.

Now the rest of the country is getting a taste of it and a huge "smell the coffee" moment of what the civil rights movement has become: a haven for trendy bigots and America-haters.

The excuse making is bullshit and sickening, quite frankly.

David Walser said...

Suppose that Ann is right about Obama's association with Wright. He was just there to immerse himself in the culture he missed growing up. He doesn't really believe that God should damn America or that we are living in the United States of White America or in the US of KKK-A. Obama soaked himself in Wright's racist hate, but none of it seeped under his skin. Nothing altered Obama's heart.

Making all these assumptions, we are still left with two really big problems for Obama: First, Obama has been claiming that he was totally unaware of Wright's racist and anti-American sermons. It's clear -- from the facts and from our assumptions that he was there to learn -- that Obama has been lying about this question. For someone promising a different type of politics, he sure seems just as willing as the practitioners of old-style politics to shade the truth whenever he can.

Second, Obama sat through hate filled sermon after hate filled sermon without agreeing with Wright's hate, yet he saw nothing wrong with Wright spewing such hatred? He never once felt it his right and duty to speak up -- or at least remove himself and his family -- in the face of such hate? He not only continued to soak himself and his family in the hate filled flood spewing from the pulpit, Obama sought to strengthen his ties to Wright. We wouldn't accept such indifference to racism and hate from a white politician and we shouldn't be expected to accept it from Obama. It's good that he, himself, is not a racist. It's unacceptable for him to tolerate and to encourage racism in others.

Together, these two problems speak volumes about Obama's lack of judgment, integrity, and character. Would it have been difficult for Obama to have stood up to Wright's hate? Of course it would have been. We might understand and even excuse a business person's refusal to make waves, but we've reason to expect more from someone who wants to be President.

dick said...

Madison Man,

I can see that marrying and joining the church is one thing. That accounts for 20 years ago.

However, when you then sit in the pews there every Sunday and get bombarded by "hate America" and other racist crap, why would you stay as a member of that church. Even more to the point when you have kids why would you subject them to this same "hate America" stuff, especially when you are a politician in that same America. You must be confusing the kids with all that. You "hate America" but you are a part of the governing class of that same America that you hate.

I think that the first time he heard all the "hate America" and the rest of the liberation theology stuff from the good reverend, he should have questioned him on it and if he didn't get a good answer left the church. I wonder how the good reverend equates his theology and politics with that of MLK and his rainbow concept. Seems diametrically opposed but I would bet he praises MLK to the skies when he gets a chance.

SteveR said...

Really? Because community organizing is the path to the Presidency? Gimme a break.

Mortimer: In yout efforts to be a wise ass, don't assume everyone thinks like you.

PatCA said...

It's a very kind interpretation of Obama to say that he maintained his composure, morality, and judgment in the face of Rev. Wright's diatribes, and that it's a good thing. You see something in him I don't. IMO it was immoral and an example of very poor judgment to sit there in the face of evil and do and say NOTHING. It's evil because it's a lie and because it is damaging the spirit of black Americans.

He's using Wright and the poor souls who follow him for his own political gain. That is immoral too.

Compare his experience at church with your experience at the libertarian meeting. Why are they different?

Daryl said...

I agree with Althouse. Barack Obama only went to Wright's church because he was afraid he would lose his first election if his opponents painted him as being too white. As it turns out, that wasn't a problem at all! He bumped off all of his opponents by challenging their signatures, and won by default, denying voters in his district the chance to decide between candidates.

So Obama found the loudest, dumbest, blackest, most blacked-up preacher in 100 miles, and made that his church. No one can say you're not black enough if you're commit to ignorant, stupid ideas from the blame whitey movement. In going to that church, Obama was practically wearing blackface.

I'm not even convinced that Sen. Obama believes in God. I think he's an atheist, and he knew he had to go to church if he wanted to be elected president. (You think it's hard for a black man to be elected president? How about a well-educated atheist who's too smart for all that the God twaddle?)

If Barack would just come out as an atheist, that would put all of the Muslim rumors to rest.

The man apparently doesn't believe in the most important things his church preaches (the things that set it apart from other churches) and he's quick to condemn his own pastor when he lands in hot water. That doesn't sound very pious. He's a man of devotion--to his own ambition.

Original Mike said...

I think a very good question has been raised; how many, if any, of these hate-filled sermons did Obama's children hear while sitting at their parent's side? Apparently, Obama would say "none", since he says he never heard them himself. I hope that's true, because to sit there yourself would be one thing, to take your kids would be quite another.

AJ Lynch said...

I would like to know what Rev. Wright's church salary was and what type of car he drives and the value of the home he owns?

Those facts could help us to determine if Wright was just another Elmer Gantry or if he was truly living a life/ vow of poverty.

Fritz said...

I'm confident Mitch has only 3/5th's of a brain.

Mortimer Brezny said...

It's a very kind interpretation of Obama to say that he maintained his composure, morality, and judgment in the face of Rev. Wright's diatribes, and that it's a good thing.

Why? There are plenty of right-wing pro-life federal judges who sat through similar sermons. It seems you haven't been to a church, black or white, in awhile.

IMO it was immoral and an example of very poor judgment to sit there in the face of evil and do and say NOTHING. It's evil because it's a lie and because it is damaging the spirit of black Americans.

Are you black?

AJ Lynch said...

Mort said:

"It seems there were a lot of right wing, pro-life judges who sat through similar sermons".

What the heck are you talking about Mortimer?

MadisonMan said...

However, when you then sit in the pews there every Sunday and get bombarded by "hate America" and other racist crap, why would you stay as a member of that church.

Tradition? Memories imbued within the church itself? Inertia? Maybe he likes the controversy and debate topics.

Michelle Obama is a native of south-side Chicago. Is this the church of her childhood? Maybe she remembers sitting in some pew with her grandmother and listening to Christmas Eve carols and the church gives her comfort. They remember getting married there. And their children being baptized there. As I've said elsewhere, I participate in a church and I hold almost none of church heirarchical doctrine to be true -- the Catholic Bishop in town is a big old gas-bag in my opinion -- but I still go there. There is comfort in the words of the service, the familiar hymns, the familiar faces in the congregation. And I was married there, and my son was baptized there. Finding a new church is a daunting task that I don't have time for.

I really do wonder at the commenters here who apparently never question provocative words that emerge from their pastor's mouths. Or the ones who apparently jump church at the first sign of disagreement. Because that's what I see being advocated. Leave the church and all that comfort and those memories behind.

AJ Lynch said...

And Ann your guesstimate of how Obama ended up at this church is pysho-babble with all due respect.

I would bet Obama's first legislative district was very "safe" and sufficiently gerrymandered to get a black democrat elected.

former law student said...

Juan Williams says a lot.

He sure does. From his Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America -- and What We Can Do About It.


Black leaders have always risen to the occasion in the past, and in far more desperate situations--why does the talent bench seem so thin today? One key here is that nearly forty years after Reverend King's death, the best black talent don't have civil rights leadership as their chief ambition. Strong black intellects and personalities are leaders in media (Richard Parsons, the head of Time Warner, and Mark Whitaker, editor of Newsweek), securities firms (such as Stanley O'Neal of Merrill Lynch), global corporations (Kenneth Chenault of American Express, Ann Fudge of the public relations firm Young and Rubicam), academic institutions (Ruth Simmons, Kurt Schmoke, Henry Louis Gates, Ben Carson), religious organizations (Floyd Flake, T. D. Jakes), and national politics (Eleanor Holmes Norton, Artur Davis, Barack Obama, and Colin Powell).

AJ Lynch said...

Madison man said:

"Leave the church and all that comfort and those memories behind."

FYI- there was a poll out just last week that said Americans are very willing and comfortable changing their religion! If that poll was true, I expect leaving one's church is not too big a deal these days.

former law student said...

You can tell a lot about a person from the company they keep.

A wise leader can listen to many different viewpoints without being swayed to any one of them. Would you assume Mrs. Clinton was a PLO sympathizer just because she embraced Mrs. Arafat?

former law student said...

The president has to be 100% pro-american.

That didn't help W. Our grandchildren will still be paying off his war. Or is W. a tool of our enemies?

former law student said...

a white male who joined Rev. Fred Phelps's church?

You're either born into the Phelps' church or you marry into it.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Mortimer: In yout efforts to be a wise ass, don't assume everyone thinks like you.

I'm sorry. I didn't realize that you venerated Cecil Rhodes and were a fan of colonialism. In any event, I think it is highly dubious that Obama joined this church, thinking that membership to it would catapault him to political stardom, given that he joined as a community organizer (no path to the Oval Office, that) and has been a member for over 20 years. Likewise, I don't think every member of the Federalist Society joins for political advantage, but I do think it is rather easy to look at a Federalist Society member who has become successful, look at the networking opportunities that are plausibly available there if one simply compiles a list of conservative and libertarian notables who are members, and then claim that he must have joined 20 years ago as a career move. It's cynical and unwarranted to the point of paranoia or stupidity.

As for Wright's statements, I don't really find anything offensive in them. I just find that what upsets people is that black people have their own opinions. Like Ann, I find it perfectly reasonable for a black guy to be in that environment -- and, yes, take his kids -- and be perfectly normal and sane. Just like people take their kids to NASCAR rallies without fating them to live in trailers. Wright comments about America are no loonier than Ron Paul's. And his comments about race are, well, what exactly is sensational about them? Are we really in denial about the fact that most elites are rich, privileged and white? Is it so crazy to note that Hillary Clinton is just pretending to understand "the black experience" for the sake of votes? Or that the Democratic Party in general takes the black vote for granted? Are these really incendiary statements? No, not really. Millions of people, white, black, conservatives, liberal, whatever, agree with them. I just don't see the big deal.

I think there's something really, really creepy about about the way that his followers talk about him and act in regard to him. I would distinguish between followers and supporters, of course.

I imagine most people would say there's something really, really creepy about your veneration of Scalia and Bork, though that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you or your hobby or that their intuitions are morally correct.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I would bet Obama's first legislative district was very "safe" and sufficiently gerrymandered to get a black democrat elected.

Except Obama lost in his first race to a more incendiary old-guard raceman. And that was after Obama had joined the church. So the argument is really dead on arrival.

Original Mike said...

As for Wright's statements, I don't really find anything offensive in them.

Well, let's examine one. You think AIDS is a government plot to keep the black man down?

MadisonMan said...

there was a poll out just last week that said Americans are very willing and comfortable changing their religion!


I still chuckle to see that the survey on Church membership was done by the Pew foundation.

To be clear, that survey reported that some fraction of adults had left the church of their upbringing. (And that women are more likely to be churchgoers). It's not clear to me from the survey that adults are changing from the church they've chosen to attend as adults.

Survey is here

Elliott A said...

In 2004, Obama became a US Senator. Illinois will easily return incumbent Dem senators. Now, how could anyone sit through Sunday after Sunday of these sermons if they disliked them once they didn't have to?

It is good to attend a different church, a concert for a different type of music that you usually don't listen to, a speaker with strongly opposing views, etc., once or twice. You get the experience. Maybe the black experience requires more time. How could someone voluntarily sit there while their "Weltanschaung" (great German word meaning the totality of how an individual perceives the world) is assaulted and debased?

If you love America, if you believe in uniting rather than division, love rather than hate, I don't believe any mortal could stand it. Obviously, Mr. Obama has a lot of folks snowed.

Elliott A said...

Changing churches does not change your religion. If a Catholic becomes Jewish or Muslim, that is changing religion. If they become Episcopal or non-denominational, they are changing churches.

MadisonMan said...

You think AIDS is a government plot to keep the black man down?

How is that an offensive statement? False, laughably false, yes. It's like a statement that the US Govt engineered the 9/11 attacks. Ridiculous.

Can one be offended by obviously false assertions?

Elliott A said...

Insults to one's intelligence are offensive

SteveR said...

Mortimer: I never said "catapult", I said "advantage". Please explain how anything I said has anything to do with Cecil Rhodes and colonialism. Are you just trying too hard to be smart?

Hoosier Daddy said...

As for Wright's statements, I don't really find anything offensive in them.

So I can take it then you're one of those who we think we had it coming to us on 9/11?

Or you just don't think its offensive to hold such a belief?

Or do you don't think its offensive for a supposed man of God to tell his congregation in Church that President Clinton essentially screwed his communnity, gyrating his hips to emphasize the point?

I find it perfectly reasonable for a black guy to be in that environment -- and, yes, take his kids -- and be perfectly normal and sane.

Of course. There are a lot of sane racists out there.

Original Mike said...

MM: So we should vote for a man (Obama) who goes to the United Chuch of Truthers?

Sorry, I find the purpose to which Wright uses these absurd charges, to whip up hate, as offensive.

Mortimer Brezny said...

You think AIDS is a government plot to keep the black man down?

No, but I think there was a Congressional report that confirmed the CIA really did circulate crack in black neighborhoods and many blacks remember the Tuskegee experiments with syphillis and/or have experienced Jim Crow discrimination firsthand, so black people have plenty of reason to buy into easy conspiracy theories.

And the whole neglectful Hurricane Katrina response didn't help. I was abroad when the whole Katrina thing happened, and on the BBC, all the discussion was racial. If old British dudes can have such an opinion, I don't see why black Americans can't hold them, too.

(Not to mention "the black man" historically has been "kept down"; that isn't even a conspiracy theory, it's just American history.)

Let me put it this way: I know some Jewish kids who irrationally distrust Germans. This does not shock or offend me.

Please explain how anything I said has anything to do with Cecil Rhodes and colonialism. Are you just trying too hard to be smart?

You referred to my efforts to be a wise ass. I assumed you were referring to my comment above concerning Cecil Rhodes, which was my only such effort in this thread. Given that you said, "Mortimer: In yout [sic] efforts to be a wise ass, don't assume everyone thinks like you," I took you to mean that you disagreed with me that Cecil Rhodes' raping of Africa was unfortunate. Just to reinterate, my first comment was: Steyn totally ruins his piece about black identity by paraphrasing Cecil Rhodes, the man who nearly single-handedly raped Africa.

Simon said...

Mortimer Brezny said...
"I imagine most people would say there's something really, really creepy about your veneration of Scalia and Bork, though that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you or your hobby or that their intuitions are morally correct."

I don't think anyone would think of my veneration of Justice Scalia as being "creepy" - wrong, perhaps, or misguided, but I don't see where "creepy" would come into it. And as I think we've discussed before, I don't venerate Bork - certainly not to the same level as Scalia, Black and Althouse, and, at least on a conscious level, he's not been as influential on me as, say, Easterbrook or Rehnquist. Maybe that's an age thing, I don't know. Of course I acknowledge and respect his contributions, he has brought so much to the table, and of course has influenced many of those who've influenced me, but he's not in that bright constellation of three or four guiding lights to whom I look for inspiration.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And the whole neglectful Hurricane Katrina response didn't help.

I agree that Mayor Nagin's abandonment of his constituency was deplorable.

Richard Fagin said...

I haven't been to regular synagogue services in over 35 years because the impression I get is that most of my fellow Jews are damn-near communists. I don't like what gets preached from the pulpit by my faith's ministers.

So what's your excuse, Sen. Obama? I'm not going back to synagogue so I can run for mayor of New York.

Mitch said...

If I'm not mistaken, Osama bin Laden communicated very clearly what US policies brought about the attack. I don't agree with him in the slightest - because he does not know the America that I know – but to think that 9/11 took place 'out of the blue' with no rationale behind it is living in a delusional state.

My 3/5 comment was over the top but trying to make a point. Watch Fox coverage; the undertone is 'See! Black people are not true Americans.' Huh?

Furthermore, to accuse me of being un-American is ludicrous. This country is the land of opportunity where people can be who they want to be and think what they want to think. I love this country and defend it whenever I have the chance.

That does not mean I agree with the policies of this administration. I do not agree with torture. I do not agree with building a business by exploiting others. I do not agree with holding some lives more dear than other lives.

No country, like no human being, is perfect and sweeping its problems under a rug is pointless. You can't fix issues if you don't know what they are and understand why people think the way they do.

That's one of the main points of Obama's campaign. We have become so used to screeching at each other that we have stopped listening to one another. This country needs more rational and respectful dialogue.

Last point: If there's anger in the black community, one has to ask oneself 'why' and be willing to listen to the response. And for the record, I am a conservative who believes in personal responsibility as the only way to solve individual problems. I just don't believe in the Republican's current interpretation. And that has not always been the case.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Or do you don't think its offensive for a supposed man of God to tell his congregation in Church that President Clinton essentially screwed his communnity, gyrating his hips to emphasize the point?

Putting aside your offensive grammar ("do you don't think"), is it not obvious that Clinton did the entire country a disservice by not resigning? He certainly screwed over the Democratic Party. He certainly screwed over Democratic voters. He certainly screwed over Al Gore. He certainly dropped the ball on Al-Qaeda and radical Islam. And it was all due to his tomfoolery and the impeachment proceedings that it triggered. Sure, Clinton's personal foibles had an opportunity cost for people who typically vote for Democrats! That's undeniable. What your problem is with a black man gyrating his hips is really your own affair. But that can't possibly be worse than the disgrace Bill Clinton brought upon the Oval Office.

Of course. There are a lot of sane racists out there.

What is racist about believing that the vast majority of the elites who run this country are rich, privileged, and white? That's obviously true! Are black people not allowed to point out the obvious? By this logic, if a black person says the sky is blue, lynch the nigger!

I agree that Mayor Nagin's abandonment of his constituency was deplorable.

That might make sense if Gov. Blanco didn't admit in a presser that the only reason the federal assistance wasn't forthcoming readily is that she was too busy in her office crying to bother calling the federal government to authorize them under the Posse Comitatus act, which failure was widely perceived as the reason Bobby Jindal took her place.

I don't think anyone would think of my veneration of Justice Scalia as being "creepy"

Well, I don't think any woman would dare think I am not the most handsome man in the world.

Richard Dolan said...

It appears that Sen. Obama has announced a major speech in PA for tomorrow, where he will address the controversy swirling around Rev. Wright and Obama's membership in his church, as well as other issues touching on the topic of race. If it does, it will be an important speech -- and much trickier to pull off than Romney's (or JFK's) efforts to deal with their chruch-related problems. Stay tuned.

Richard Fagin said...

"black people have plenty of reason to buy into easy conspiracy theories."

If by that you meant black people over a certain age had plenty of reason, I agree. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton may be repulsive, but I can grant them some factual justification for their hatreds.

Sec. of State Rice, is in fact one of those black people, which Mark Steyn correctly pointed out. To her credit, Sec. Rice seems to have avoided the black racism of her contemporaries and elders. Sen. Obama has no such claim. What's his excuse, other than political expediency.

Tim said...

"A wise leader can listen to many different viewpoints without being swayed to any one of them. Would you assume Mrs. Clinton was a PLO sympathizer just because she embraced Mrs. Arafat?"

Had Hillary! spent an hour or so once a week with Mrs. Arafat for twenty years, had Mrs. Arafat perform her marriage, baptize her child, and donated tens of thousands of dollars to the PLO, yes, I would not only assume she was a PLO sympathizer, I would know that she was; and so too would you and any other reasonable-minded adult.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I haven't been to regular synagogue services in over 35 years because the impression I get is that most of my fellow Jews are damn-near communists. I don't like what gets preached from the pulpit by my faith's ministers.

Fair enough. But plenty of non-Communists go to those very same services just to be entertained, out of a sense of duty, or to socialize. Not everyone who listens to firebreathing sermons is a firebreather themselves. As a kid, my parents let me watch rated R movies on condition that I not adopt the curse words used in the films. It worked.

Original Mike said...

Mortimer: I understand the reasons for the distrust, but I don't think that excuses the likes of Wright. But the real issue is Obama. Personally, I can't vote for him for national security and economic reasons, but I did consider the potential for racial healing to be a silver lining to his election. It is for this reason I find this latest news dismaying.

Crimso said...

"That the 9/11 attacks were an expression of anger for US policies abroad."

Bullshit. They were mass murder. Pure and simple. How would you feel if I murdered someone you loved because I was mad at my ex-wife? You'd probably think I was a lunatic, rather than someone who was wronged by the divorce industry. You'd be right. But I guess those little Eichmanns deserved it, eh? Just like those little Eichmanns in Hiroshima.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Sec. of State Rice, is in fact one of those black people, which Mark Steyn correctly pointed out.

Mark Steyn also paraphrased Cecil Rhodes in his piece on black identity, so Steyn's opinion on the proper standards for formulating black identity are rather suspect. You also might want to watch your use of "one of those".

If by that you meant black people over a certain age had plenty of reason, I agree.

I don't think you get to set an age limit on what is an authentic or legitimate black identity unless you are black, especially when you quote as your source a man on trial in Canada for publishing hate speech who cites Cecil Rhodes, champion of colonialism, as an authority on black identity formation.

Mortimer Brezny said...

But the real issue is Obama. Personally, I can't vote for him for national security and economic reasons, but I did consider the potential for racial healing to be a silver lining to his election. It is for this reason I find this latest news dismaying.

Except the only people jumping up and down about it are conservatives who would never vote for Obama and love using racial division as a wedge issue. Sean Hannity? The guy is filth. Absolute filth. Has he said anything about John McCain's embrace of Catholic-hating Hagee -- wait for it -- given that Sean Hannity is a chest-thumping Catholic? Please. I voted for Bush in 2004. I might vote for McCain. But this ginned up faux-outrage is a crock of crap.

SteveR said...

Mortimer: You missed by a mile, you're thinking way too hard. Bottom line: don't "gimme a break", me.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Putting aside your offensive grammar ("do you don't think"),

Oh piss off Mortimer. If nitpicking a typo is the best you can do then you've clearly shown your ass here.

is it not obvious that Clinton did the entire country a disservice by not resigning?

No the disservice was hauling the idiot before a tribunal cause he had some fat chick blow him.

What your problem is with a black man gyrating his hips is really your own affair.

Actually I'm rather color blind in terms of decorum to be held by a so called reverened in a so called house of God. I'm hardly a prude but that was beyond tasteless.

What is racist about believing that the vast majority of the elites who run this country are rich, privileged, and white? That's obviously true! Are black people not allowed to point out the obvious? By this logic, if a black person says the sky is blue, lynch the nigger!

Evidently you didn't listen to the sermon or are simply being obtuse.

That might make sense if Gov. Blanco didn't admit in a presser that the only reason the federal assistance wasn't forthcoming readily is that she was too busy in her office crying to bother calling the federal government to authorize them under the Posse Comitatus act, which failure was widely perceived as the reason Bobby Jindal took her place.

Of course that meant Nagin was completely helpless and wasn't able to do anything but evacuate himself.

My company uses a contractor based out of New Orleans to process some of our insurance claims. Believe it or not, they contacted us a day before Kat hit stating they were relocating to thier disaster recovery site. So while this 25 person company had the foresight and wherewithal to get out of Dodge, Nagin, the mayor of a major US city didn't even crack his own DR plan.

In other words, he failed as much as Blanco.

Original Mike said...

Mitch said: My 3/5 comment was over the top but trying to make a point. Watch Fox coverage; the undertone is 'See! Black people are not true Americans.' Huh?

You did it again, Mitch.

Mortimer said: What is racist about believing that the vast majority of the elites who run this country are rich, privileged, and white?

Nice try, but that's not the content of Wright's statements that have people upset.

MadisonMan said...

Insults to one's intelligence are offensive

If that's true, there's not much to offend. (Something I heard Dad's sister say once).

Original Mike said...

Mortimer said: Except the only people jumping up and down about it are conservatives who would never vote for Obama and love using racial division as a wedge issue.

I'm not going to defend Hannity; can't stand the guy. But I'm dismayed about it precisely because I thought Obama might get us past the people who use racial division as a wedge issue. But now I find out his own pastor belongs at the head of the 'using racial division as a wedge issue' line.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Nice try, but that's not the content of Wright's statements that have people upset.

Then what is? I don't see how the 9/11 blowback statements are racist (or beyond the pale, if Ron Paul has been making them on the Republican side), and it should be obvious Obama doesn't agree with them, in any event.

But now I find out his own pastor belongs at the head of the 'using racial division as a wedge issue' line.

Eh. Lame. He's a pastor, not a politician. It was just a firebreathing sermon. As I stated before, a number of pro-life right-wing federal judges Bush appointed have been in churches were fire-breathing sermons have been delivered. Two words: Harriet Miers.

In other words, he failed as much as Blanco.

No. The Governor has more power than the mayor, and the key fault in the evacuation was the lack of federal help, which wasn't authorized by Blanco. I'm not defending Nagin, or claiming that private enterprise didn't do a better job (obviously there are union-related reasons for that), but my point is that if Blanco had authorized the feds, Nagin's bumbling would have been irrelevant and thus was simply coincidental.

Actually I'm rather color blind in terms of decorum to be held by a so called reverened in a so called house of God.

Well, given that it's a radical black church, obviously colorblindness was the wrong conceptual framework, which explains your cognitive dissonance.

I thought Obama might get us past the people who use racial division as a wedge issue.

Assuming the superdelegates go with the pledged delegate lead, that may just happen.

SteveR,

When you've got nothing but ad hominems, it's time to give up.

Crimso said...

"And the whole neglectful Hurricane Katrina response didn't help. I was abroad when the whole Katrina thing happened, and on the BBC, all the discussion was racial."

Well, I was in the US when it happened, and the MSM did seem to get at least one thing right about it. There was, in fact, a hurricane. Past that, the ability of the MSM to report accurately was lacking (remember all of the bodies in the Superdome?). And let's not even get into the coverage by blogs (resorting to cannibalism, etc.). So yeah, it's no wonder so many people think it was Bush's fault and see it as yet another attempted genocide against blacks.

Original Mike said...

Assuming the superdelegates go with the pledged delegate lead, that [Obama providing racial healing] may just happen.

Mortimer: I'd say you don't get it, but the way you've been throwing up straw men, it's clear you do.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Mortimer: I'd say you don't get it, but the way you've been throwing up straw men, it's clear you do.

Well, there are three people in this race: Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Barack Obama. The only way Obama can get us past a racial wedge candidate is to get us past Clinton or McCain. Since McCain hasn't done any racial campaigning and Hillary Clinton, well, has, I imagine you're talking about Obama getting us past Hillary Clinton. Right?

Revenant said...

I should think it is much more likely that he wanted to feel connected to the historical experience of black people in America — exactly what he had missed growing up.

I think it is much more likely that he wanted to convince the voters in his district that he had something in common with them other than high levels of melanin.

Original Mike said...

Mortimer: It's not only about who wins, it's also about what they do once they're there. And if Rev. Wright is Obama's idea of what race relations in this country needs, nothing will improve.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I think it is much more likely that he wanted to convince the voters in his district that he had something in common with them other than high levels of melanin.

Wouldn't the community organizing on its own do that?

Mortimer Brezny said...

And if Rev. Wright is Obama's idea of what race relations in this country needs, nothing will improve.

Isn't it obvious that he doesn't share these views?

Original Mike said...

Isn't it obvious that he doesn't share these views?

What I think doesn't matter. You know who does? The people in that congregation. Obama needs to stand up and say, "while African-Americans have grievances with this country, the kind of hate exemplified by Jeremiah Wright is over the top and an impediment to improving relations."

Pogo said...

Isn't it obvious that he doesn't share these views?

No, it isn't obvious at all.
Simply repeating that statement over and over does nothing to wipe away the 20 year close relationship between Obama and Wright.

Nothing to see here. Move along.
Nothing to see here. Move along.
Nothing to see here. Move along.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Obama needs to stand up and say, "while African-Americans have grievances with this country, the kind of hate exemplified by Jeremiah Wright is over the top and an impediment to improving relations."

Why would he say that? And what in Wright's statements are hateful?

Simply repeating that statement over and over does nothing to wipe away the 20 year close relationship between Obama and Wright.

Okay...so what is your theory? That Obama shares all of these views, but is pretending he doesn't so he can get in office and enslave the white man? I just don't get your viewpoint, or how it could possibly be coherent or sane. I mean, isn't it just that you're frightened of black people, in particular a black President?

PatCA said...

All the posters here defending Obama and Wright are making the same basic argument: black people are not the same as other Americans and cannot be held to the same moral or intellectual standards as white people.

That's the evil of it all, and it's why Obama felt comfortable sticking with this church. He knows a lot of you are okay with that view.

TMink said...

Former Law Student, hey, this is Trey. We have a history of disagreeing in a constructive way and challenging each other with questions. I appreciate those interactions, and enjoy reading your posts and what you might catch me on.

Imagine my surprise when I read your posts that I totally agree with! I have the same thoughts and questions about modern black leadership and your post about Juan Williams was cognitively coherent to me.

Were you being sarcastic and I just missed it? Or do we agree more than we realize? Or what??

Your friend Trey.

Mortimer Brezny said...

black people are not the same as other Americans and cannot be held to the same moral or intellectual standards as white people.

Not really. I just think when you claim that XYZ is destroying the spirits of black Americans you might have some empirical evidence of that, you know, like being black and having experienced firsthand spirit-destruction.

Funnily enough, Wright's sermons are about moral standards, e.g., don't bomb people, don't kill people, oppression is bad, don't vote for politicians who are unrepresentative. He seems to be saying everyone should be held to the standards in the Bible and that white people aren't the gold standard of moral probity. Unless you're an atheist or a white supremacist, Patca, what's so evil about that?

Original Mike said...

Why would he say that? And what in Wright's statements are hateful?

We're screwed.

Paul Zrimsek said...

And if Rev. Wright is Obama's idea of what race relations in this country needs, nothing will improve.

Or, somewhat more plausibly: if Obama's ideas about racial healing include doing what it takes to satisfy Rev. Wright, nothing will improve.

Freder Frederson said...

No. The Governor has more power than the mayor, and the key fault in the evacuation was the lack of federal help, which wasn't authorized by Blanco.

Almost three years after the storm and this falsehood is still floating around? What absolute nonsense.

A federal disaster was actually declared before the storm hit--by Sunday morning (the storm hit Monday morning)--, so I (and you) don't know what the hell you are talking about. That is when FEMA should have started preparing their response. They didn't.

It is true that Blanco did not request federalizing the LA National Guard (because of boneheaded turf disputes with the Feds) until later in the week, which caused coordination problems--but that didn't, and doesn't, stop the Federal government from responding to the disaster in any way.

SteveR said...

Mortimer: Where's the "ad hominems" in telling you not to criticize me when you don't know what the hell I said? You didn't get it then and started going off a tangent. You still don't get it. Maybe you're making more sense with the other arguements you're having on this thread, but I doubt it.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Mortimer: Where's the "ad hominems" in telling you not to criticize me when you don't know what the hell I said? You

You consistently attacked my intelligence simply for pointing out that your support of Cecil Rhodes is unseemly.

Mortimer Brezny said...

It is true that Blanco did not request federalizing the LA National Guard (because of boneheaded turf disputes with the Feds) until later in the week, which caused coordination problems--but that didn't, and doesn't, stop the Federal government from responding to the disaster in any way.

Yes. This is what I meant by referring to the Posse Comitatus Act. They simply couldn't move in the supplies and so forth without her authorization.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Or, somewhat more plausibly: if Obama's ideas about racial healing include doing what it takes to satisfy Rev. Wright, nothing will improve.

What does "doing what it takes to satisfy" mean? This is about on the level of accusing of JFK of being beholden to the Pope. I hope you come to a point where you realize that such bigoted implications are beneath your own dignity.

Mortimer Brezny said...

We're screwed.

And yet you still can't identify what's hateful in the statements.

Terry said...

There is more to it than simply Wright's sermons. There is also a big issue around what the Trinity UCC church itself stands for. Dr. James H. Cone, Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary (NYC), and his 1969 book Black Theology & Black Power, are the basis for TUCC's theology. Before they changed their website earlier this year (you'll see why), Dr. Cone's book was required reading for parishoners who wished to better understand TUCC's theological base. Cone has stated that TUCC institutionally embodies his theology. Here are some quotes from Cone's book that may help to understand his theology: "The time has come for white America to be silent and listen to black people. . . . All white men are responsible for white oppression. . . . Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man 'the devil."

Cone also teaches that oppression of blacks is worse than ever and that white supremacy is "so clever and evasive that we can hardly name it. It claims not to exist, even though black people are dying daily from its poison."

So, in addition to tolerating Wright, one should wonder why Obama is not being questioned in the media about TUCC itself with it's theological foundation that is heavily biased against, and demeaning to, white people.

Paul Zrimsek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mortimer Brezny said...

with it's theological foundation that is heavily biased against, and demeaning to, white people.

Hmm. Where'd the biased against and demeaning to white people part come in? The book is from 1969 and that Malcolm X statement is very old, too. Plenty of feminists read the SCUM Manifesto, written by a crazed, murderous man-loathing lesbian, but I don't think you can attribute it personally to each and every self-described feminist. There just isn't very much logic to your position.

Original Mike said...

For the last time, Mortimer: On the issue of race: The government gaves AIDS to black people, the government imports drugs to oppress blacks, the government's poor response to Katrina was because it hates black people,...

Good luck with that platform.

AllenS said...

The government injected black people with melanin so they'd be easier to spot and arrest. This was before racial profiling had been invented.

Mortimer Brezny said...

For the last time, Mortimer: On the issue of race: The government gaves AIDS to black people

Loopy, sure. But I see no reason to believe Obama agrees with this; I have friends who believe there was an ancient Egyptian colony on Mars, that doesn't mean if I ran for office my fiscal priorities will be unfairly skewed toward NASA. I just don't see where you're going with this, as Obama has never suggested he subscribes to this conspiracy theory.

the government imports drugs to oppress blacks

The CIA did import drugs and distribute them in black neighborhoods, according to a Congressional report. I suppose calling it "oppression" is a matter of opinion. But it isn't a hateful statement. Not to mention Obama has never made any such statement.

the government's poor response to Katrina was because it hates black people,...

Plenty of respectable people the world over think race played a role in the neglectful response. It really doesn't take being a racist, or being black, to have that viewpoint. But there isn't any proof Obama thinks the government, or President Bush, is racist.

Is this all you have?

Terry said...

"And what in Wright's statements are hateful?"

How about his giving his "Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright,Jr. Lifetime Achievement Trumpeteer" award to Louis Farrakhan? Or that he traveled to Libya with him in 1984?

If you presented August Kreis III (the leader of the Aryan Nation) such an award, black people would be perfectly reasonable to assume that you, to one degree or another, hated them.

Original Mike said...

For Obama's sake, I hope he's not in the same state of denial that you are, Mortimer. I really do.

Chip Ahoy said...

It's all about the street cred these days.

I know caucasians that share the same views as Wright. They're ever so delightful in their predictability. Plus shopping for gifts for them is a breeze, all it takes is something like a book from Amazon, say, Howard Zinn for example.

Mortimer Brezny said...

How about his giving his "Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright,Jr. Lifetime Achievement Trumpeteer" award to Louis Farrakhan?

Oh, stop. The newsletter that gave Farrakhan that "award" is separate from the church and run by Wright's daughter. There was no "award" or award ceremony, and Wright didn't control the content of the newsletter. So that isn't evidence of a hateful statement by Wright.

It also doesn't have anything to do with Obama, who denounced that "award" vociferously.

And I don't see how Wright's trip to Libya with Farrakhan, years ago, has anything to do with Obama.

If you presented August Kreis III (the leader of the Aryan Nation) such an award, black people would be perfectly reasonable to assume that you, to one degree or another, hated them.

I don't buy the comparison, and I also don't think blacks are so unsavvy. Everyone knows that Republicans in certain districts in certain states have to cultivate certain voters. It pays to take a tough line on border enforcement, but that doesn't mean Republicans hate Hispanics or want to exterminate Mexicans. The logic is just piss poor.

Mortimer Brezny said...

For Obama's sake, I hope he's not in the same state of denial that you are, Mortimer.

If I were in a state of denial, I wouldn't have rational responses to your "arguments." But if you think this flare-up is about people suspecting that Barack Obama believes that the government infected blacks with AIDS, then you just aren't very smart. I doubt even you believe that.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I know caucasians that share the same views as Wright. They're ever so delightful in their predictability. Plus shopping for gifts for them is a breeze, all it takes is something like a book from Amazon, say, Howard Zinn for example.

EXACTLY.

Terry said...

Mortimer B: "The book is from 1969 and that Malcolm X statement is very old, too."

The book and its theology is a, if not the, major basis for Obmama's church. Its age is irrelevant as is the age of the Bible.

Your dissembling. Support the book and what it says or disagree with it, but don't regurgitate irrelevant nomenclature of when ink was put to paper.

Pogo said...

I doubt even you believe that.

Unfortunately for Obama, the burden of proof regarding what he does and does not believe is his, not mine, as he is the one spending 20 years around a white hating America hating demagogue.

Mortimer Brezny said...

MS. IFILL: Anybody watching this campaign for the last week to 10 days would think it was all about gender and race between what Geraldine Ferraro said and what your former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, said. Do you look at this and think that maybe with a woman and a black man running against each other that this was going to be an inevitable conversation?

SEN. OBAMA: You know, I’m not sure if it was inevitable. I think that there’s no doubt that race and gender are powerful forces in our society. They always have been. And I think it would have been naïve for me to think that I could run and end up with quasi-frontrunner status in a presidential election as potentially the first African-American president that issues, race wouldn’t come up any more than Senator Clinton could expect that gender issues might not come up.

But, ultimately, I don’t think it’s useful. I think we’ve got to talk about it. I think we’ve got to process it. But we’ve got to remind ourselves that what we have in common is far more important than what’s different and that if we’re going to solve any of these problems, we’ve got to come together and bridge our differences in ways that we just have not bridged them before.

MS. IFILL: Is that the speech you’ll be giving tomorrow in Philadelphia?

SEN. OBAMA: That will be a major focus of it.

MS. IFILL: You have also cast this as a generational distinction of the sort of things that Reverend Wright said being the baggage of a fiercely intelligent African-American man of his generation and Geraldine Ferraro’s as well. When does one person’s baggage become another person’s memory/history?

SEN. OBAMA: Well, you know, look, there’s a continuum. But I think that, you know, when you look at somebody like a Reverend Wright who grew up in the ’50s or ’60s, his experience of race in this country is very different than mine in the same way that Geraldine’s experience being an intelligent, ambitious woman, you know, is very different than a young woman who’s coming up today and potentially has a different set of opportunities.

Now, we benefit from that past. We benefit from the difficult battles that were taken place. But I’m not sure that we benefit from continuing to perpetuate the anger and the bitterness that I think, at this point, serves to divide rather than bring us together. And that’s part of what this campaign has been about, is to say, let’s acknowledge a difficult history, but let’s move forward in a practical way to get things done.

MS. IFILL: Has this been damaging to your campaign?

SEN. OBAMA: You know, the – I would say that it has been a distraction from the core message of our campaign. I think part of what has always been the essence of my politics, not just this campaign, but my life is the idea that we’ve got to bring people together. Now, part of that is biographical as somebody who comes from a diverse background with a white mother and an African-American father growing up in Hawaii and Asia. You know, it’s in my DNA to believe that all of us have something fundamental in common.

And that’s part of what makes America so special. And so, to the extent that, you know, the conversation over the last couple of days has been dominated by some stupid statements that were made by Reverend Wright, but also caricatures of Reverend Wright and Trinity United Church of Christ – which, by the way, is part of a denomination that is overwhelmingly white – you know, I think that that has distracted us from the possibilities of moving beyond some of these arguments.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Support the book and what it says or disagree with it, but don't regurgitate irrelevant nomenclature of when ink was put to paper.

The point was simply that the book and its language cannot change with the times, but the people reading it today may not be viewing it how someone reading it when it was first published would have. You are assuming that if you read it, you take it on faith. That isn't necessarily true. Almost no feminists take the SCUM Manifesto literally or as an article of faith, but it is a venerated part of the feminist canon that every feminist reads if she takes a Women's Studies course.

Jeremy said...

"Plenty of respectable people the world over think race played a role in the neglectful response. It really doesn't take being a racist, or being black, to have that viewpoint."

Name five.

Plenty of "respectable" people believe Obama is Muslim, but that doesn't make it true or respectable and repeating the mistruth is unhelpful and hateful.

George said...

Of course, the kicker is that the more outraged white people get over this, the more it proves the truth of Rev. Wright's statements.

Just check out what an African-American Princeton professor is saying at TheRoot.com:

"Let's be clear. American democracy has always coexisted with vicious, state-sponsored racism. The nation's first presidents worked to establish an innovative, flexible, radical democratic republic while simultaneously codifying enslaved blacks as a fraction human and relegating them to intergenerational chattel bondage.

After emancipation, as blacks helped make America the greatest industrial and military power on earth, the country stripped blacks of the right to vote, segregated public accommodations, provided inferior education to black children, and allowed and promoted the terrorist rule of lynch-mob violence.

This week Barack Obama was pressured to denounce Jeremiah Wright. But in the hundred years following the end of the Civil War more than five thousand African Americans were lynched and not a single president denounced the atrocities. Because of this history, black patriotism is complicated.

Black patriots love our country, even though it has often hated us. We love our country, even while we hold it accountable for its faults."

Pretty heavy stuff for most white folks...."Terrorist rule." Lynching. Sick and ugly.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Unfortunately for Obama, the burden of proof regarding what he does and does not believe is his, not mine, as he is the one spending 20 years around a white hating America hating demagogue

Well, no. You're the one making speculative allegations about what Obama believes and the proper inferences to be drawn from his association with Wright. So the burden is on you. And the notion that Wright is white-hating is just unsubstantiated. America-criticizing is different than American-hating, too, by the way.

Pogo said...

the truth of Rev. Wright's statements

That's merely more of the 'disagree with the left and you are a racist' line of thought.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Name five.

If I really set out to find them, I could find the names of the six or so Brits on the BBC panel that I saw on t.v. when I was recuperating in Ulan Baatar. But that would probably be a waste of time, as you don't actually want their names.

Pogo said...

You're the one making speculative allegations

I made no allegations at all. I simply noted that until 5 minutes ago Obama was hugging Rev. Wright, and now he's distancing. Until 5 minutes ago, Obama listened to Wright's sermons, nodded along, and even listened to his tapes. Until now, Obama had a Wright video on his website.

How that makes it my burden is illogical nonsense.

Pogo said...

the six or so Brits on the BBC panel
The entire BBC is anti-American, so why use them?
Who says they're 'respectable' except themselves and other anti-Americans?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Who says they're 'respectable' except themselves and other anti-Americans?

Is this parody? I'm not an anti-American, but I will concede that if you set your own definition of respectability as "not-anti-American" and deem anyone who holds the view to be "anti-American," then, yes, anyone you deem anti-American is not respectable, by Pogo's Tautology.

Mortimer Brezny said...

How that makes it my burden is illogical nonsense.

You're right. Someone making a claim has no burden of proof. Insisting otherwise is illogical nonsense.

Pogo said...

I would say that if you were citing racists for their views on Obama, well then they would not be respectable.

If you are citing misanthropists about Hillary, their views are not respectable.

Similarly, if you are citing chronic anti-Americans about their views of Katrina, all you'll get is more Marxist class crap, and that is not repectable.

Pogo said...

Someone making a claim has no burden of proof.

Apparently you believe this to be true with Obama.
Good luck with that plan.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Apparently you believe this to be true with Obama.

No, I just think you're an ass.

AJ Lynch said...

Many voters viewed Obama as an appealing candidate because even though he is black, he seemed non-race focused.

That appearance is now lost for good. Obama will make it even worse by giving a speech focusing on race IMHO.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I would say that if you were citing racists for their views on Obama, well then they would not be respectable.

I don't believe the BBC commentators were racists, but by your logic, neither should you, as they were white Brits and according to you the only racists in the world are black men who lived through Jim Crow.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Obama will make it even worse by giving a speech focusing on race IMHO.

Maybe but I just quoted the preview of that speech he gave on NewsHour with Gwen Ifill. Didn't seem evil and racist to me. But what do I know? I think black people have a right to an opinion.

Original Mike said...

Mortimer said: But if you think this flare-up is about people suspecting that Barack Obama believes that the government infected blacks with AIDS, then you just aren't very smart. I doubt even you believe that.

Well, given that I never said anything remotely close to that, your comment on my intelligence is amusing.

Your brain is stuck on the election. I'm concerned there's a whole congregation of people (and who knows how many more like them)who believe the crap Wright is spewing. You don't see that as a problem? A problem that Obama should address, if he's got the stuff to be President?

Mortimer Brezny said...

You don't see that as a problem?

No. I don't think the job of the President is to tell black people what they have a right to think, you racist dirtbag.

Terry said...

Mortimer: "Oh, stop. The newsletter that gave Farrakhan that "award" is separate from the church and run by Wright's daughter."

Wow. Mortimer, the award has Wrights name all over it. The award is named for him and you want us to believe he has nothing to do with it just because Obama said so? I don't think so.

Wright attended and spoke at the gala on November 2, 2007 where the award was presented to Farrakhan. Strangely, or maybe not, the video of that on YouTube has disappeared.

Here are some of Wright's thoughts from the Trumpet magazine (not newsletter) article about the "Wright" award given to Farrakhan:

"When Minister Farrakhan speaks, Black America listens," says the Rev.Dr. Jerimiah A. Wright, likening the Minister's influence to the E.F. Hutton commericals of old. "Everybody may not agree with him, but they listen... His depth on analysis when it comes to the racial ills of this nation is astounding and eye opening. He brings a perspective that is helpful and honest."

'helpful and honest'. Farrakhan. For not having anything to do with the award, Wright sure seems to have had a lot to do with the award.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Would you assume Mrs. Clinton was a PLO sympathizer just because she embraced Mrs. Arafat?.

That is a ridiculous attempt to make a comparison. Mrs. Clinton meeting with Mrs. Arafat in the course of her duties as First Lady in a superficial and momentary meeting is not the same thing as 20 years of close association and friendship.

Obama attended church presided over by Rev Wright for DECADES. Obama said he was his spiritual advisor and a good friend.

If you can't tell the difference between these two things I sure hope you don't have a hair dryer and a hand gun in your home or you will surely blow your brains out.

Synova said...

"Then what is? I don't see how the 9/11 blowback statements are racist (or beyond the pale, if Ron Paul has been making them on the Republican side),"

Aaahh... I'm not certain that using Ron Paul as an example of "not beyond the pale" is a winning argument.

Saying we deserved 9-11 has always been beyond the pale no matter who it came from, Rev. Falwell or Ward Churchill. Makes no difference.

It's a bit like claiming a rape victim deserved it because she was wearing a mini-skirt and no panties, was drunk, and in the wrong part of town. A person *can* suggest that maybe those things were poor choices but implying, even slightly, that those things justified the attack is *always* beyond the pale.

Paul Zrimsek said...

What does "doing what it takes to satisfy" mean?

My best estimate would be reparations at a minimum. Not that you bothered waiting for my answer before climbing on your high horse, you sanctimonious ninny.

Terry said...

Mortimer: "You are assuming that if you read it, you take it on faith. That isn't necessarily true."

I'm assuming no such thing. Dr. Cone said in 2007 that TUCC "embodied" his theology as defined in that book. Dr. Cone's book was singled out as required reading by TUCC for parishoners who want to better understand their church. That is not assumption, that is fact.

When it was published is irrelevant to whether a book forms the basis for a given church's theology. Case in point, the Bible.

SteveR said...

Mortimer: "You consistently attacked my intelligence simply for pointing out that your support of Cecil Rhodes is unseemly."

Other than by reading something into something I said that wasn't there how could you possibly say I supported Cecil Rhodes? I have no idea what you are referring to. I'm not being snarky. All I said was Obama was a member of that church because it was to his political advantage. Its a long stretch to the idea of the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race by a rich homosexual 130 years ago or whatever you are imagining. If my ignorance is seen as questioning your intelligence, pray tell how you handle it when a dog looks at you and drools.

Original Mike said...

Mortimer said: No. I don't think the job of the President is to tell black people what they have a right to think, you racist dirtbag.

Back upthread I stated my hope that an Obama Presidency would foster racial healing, but that I was concerned that his membership in Wright's church would be detrimental to that dream. Thanks for your insights on the issue, Mortimer.

garage mahal said...

That is a ridiculous attempt to make a comparison. Mrs. Clinton meeting with Mrs. Arafat in the course of her duties as First Lady in a superficial and momentary meeting is not the same thing as 20 years of close association and friendship.

Hillary accepted a hug from Arafat's wife after she gave a speech.

IN ARABIC.

Meanwhile Wright received a 8% "approval rating" from a Rasmussen poll over the weekend.

Wonder why the hell that is.

Michael_H said...

A question for those who support Barak Obama: Would you support a white presidential candidate who attended church services for 20 years if David Duke was the pastor?

If you wouldn't support such a candidate, then how can you possibly support Obama?

Rev. White's sermons (if they can be called that) are every bit as racist and anti-semitic as anything David Duke has said.

PatCA said...

Michael H.,
No Obama supporter will ever answer your question because the answer is so unpleasant and so wrong.

Good fodder for someone to keep a thread going, but it's all heat and no light.

MadisonMan said...

michael_h: I don't know if I support Barack Obama over McCain (but I do know I support BHO over Hillary!), but I'll answer your question: No.

I think it unlikely that a candidate who attended the Rev. Duke's Church would hold views that are similar to mine. I think that's the case for most of the commenters here -- those who are "against" an Obama Presidential Run don't hold views that are similar to Obama's, and that's before the Rev. Wright entanglements are considered.

I do think some of them are using Rev. Wright as a wheel to grind an axe on.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Obama's cognitive dissonance:

"I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial."

"Let me repeat what I've said earlier. All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn."

Which is true?

MadisonMan said...

Why must it be an either/or?

Is Trinity Church defined only by its Pastor and not its work? I know it is now, but in general is it?

Gahrie said...

Obama's problem goes beyond the statements by Rev. Wright. Let's grant for the sake of arguement that Wright;s comments were taken out of context, Obama didn't hear them ect.

The church itself that Obama attended and belonged to is based on the idea of Black Liberation theology. It is based on the writings and ideas of Cone and Hopkins. The church's website says so explicitly.

Black Liberation theology is the Christian version of the Nation of Islam: the White man as devil, Jesus was Black and America is evil and racist.

The first wave of Obama's defenders didn't try to repudiate Wright's comments. Their defense was "it's a Black thing, you wouldn't understand it, and if you question it, you're racist."

Obama's biggest problem is that he campaigned as the man who was going to unite America and transcend race. You can't do that, and at the same time implicitly and explicitly endorse a church based on Black Liberation theology.

Terry said...

Gahrie: "Obama's biggest problem is that he campaigned as the man who was going to unite America and transcend race. You can't do that, and at the same time implicitly and explicitly endorse a church based on Black Liberation theology."

Exactly. Further, he not only endorses the church, but supports it financially and up until recently he has spoken very positively about his church in speeches, interviews and of course, his books.

Note how Wright is being 'disappeared' from YouTube (his awarding Farrakhan is now missing) and from TUCC's website who also remove the reference to Cone and his book. These actions only make matters worse.

Pogo said...

Note how Wright is being 'disappeared' from YouTube

The cover-up is often worse than the crime.

The Drill SGT said...

Like I said this AM:

Obama effectively has been going to Black KKK rallies complete with rhetorical cross burnings for 20+ years. Would America give a white candidate a pass for attending 2 Clan meetings, much less 1,000 like Obama?

Joe said...

The CIA did import drugs and distribute them in black neighborhoods, according to a Congressional report.

If I remember right, the CIA itself did not import drugs; what they did was turn a blind eye to those that did. (This may be a distinction without an ultimate difference, but it is a distinction nonetheless.)

Cedarford said...

Crimso - So while this 25 person company had the foresight and wherewithal to get out of Dodge, Nagin, the mayor of a major US city didn't even crack his own DR plan.
In other words, he failed as much as Blanco.


Worse, for 5 days at the peak of the emergency, Nagin was gone to Texas relocating his family and settling in, leaving no one in charge but trying to stay at the top of the loop by cell phone, which didn't work.
When he got back, he barricaded himself in a hotel behind security and gave apocalyptic radio interviews. Then the idiots of the Underclass reelected him as a "black thang to do".

The big unreported story of course was the criminal, parastic, irresponsible NOLA scum. America has had 250 or so major hurricanes, 80% before any Federal help was given, 90% before FEMA and direct emergency services. Prior to Katrina, in big disasters the Red Cross set up tent cities for mostly well-behaved homeless, with police efectiveness down or gone in past hurricanes - sometimes the State National Guard went in to control the inevitable black looters, shooting a few to restore order. SOP up until recent times.

But no past population in disasters before ever behaved as dependently, parasitically, or as barbarian as the NOLA scum - including incidents with far greater populations and lower standard of living that nevertheless had the glue of civilization, responsibility, the disciplined will to work to help themselves - the NOLA scum lacked after generations of welfare and no responsibilities. The 1927 Floods, the Dustbowl, Camille, Hugo, Andrew are examples.

The NOLA refugees raised host city Houston's murder and armed robbery rates by 40 and 55% respectively as "guests". Over 500 major lawsuits were filed for the destruction they did to private homes. 3500 lawsuits against the American taxpayer for damages NOLA scum did to hotel and motel rooms = many that had to be completely gutted and rebuilt after a year of savages residing there. 30,000 FEMA trailers were subjected to such NOLA scum vandalism and destruction they were written off as total losses to the taxpayer.

The media of course preferred the "Noble NOLA Victims" narrative, and though FEMA and direct Federal "rescue and assistance help" was something that only emerged in the late 70s -

Now that Katrina is a few years behind us, we need to seriously examine in inability of certain local populaces to comport themselves in an acceptable way in a natural disaster or man-made problem like a sustained electrical blackout, Western fires and the "helplessness" of both the locals and the State they reside in to look out for themselves.

Blaming Bush and Brownie is a deliberate media misdirection to pin blame on, in this human behavioral disaster. The Feds have only been at this for only 30 years - and even in that 30 years have found themselves having a minor role in other states where the locals and the municipal and state leadership and agencies have their act together.

former law student said...

So I can take it then you're one of those who we think we had it coming to us on 9/11?

Or you just don't think its offensive to hold such a belief?


Of course it's offensive. I hope you all protested similarly about these hatemongers:

Pat Robertson, who blamed the 9/11 attacks on America's tolerance of abortion and homosexuality and declared the Supreme Court a greater threat to the United States than Al Qaeda.

Jerry Falwell, who, two days after the 9/11 attacks, said "The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say: you helped this happen."

Rev. James Dobson was somewhat more temperate in his remarks: After September 11 Dobson was asked whether "God withdrawn His protective hand from the US," Dobson is quoted as saying:

* "Christians have made arguments on both sides of this question. I certainly believe that God is displeased with America for its pride and arrogance, for killing 40 million unborn babies, for the universality of profanity and for other forms of immorality. However, rather than trying to forge a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the terrorist attacks and America’s abandonment of biblical principles, which I think is wrong, we need to accept the truth that this nation will suffer in many ways for departing from the principles of righteousness. "The wages of sin is death," as it says in Romans 6, both for individuals and for entire cultures.

The Drill SGT said...

well the wright thing has had one impact. My democratic wife, who has never voted for a GOP candidate for President and who voted for Obama in our primary announced she is voting for McCain in the general. And I didn't even need to beg :)

she thinks that both Dems lack the morals and ethics needed for the job.

Middle Class Guy said...

Joe said...
If I remember right, the CIA itself did not import drugs; what they did was turn a blind eye to those that did. (This may be a distinction without an ultimate difference, but it is a distinction nonetheless.)


If that is true, so what. The CIA is not in the drug business. The DEA is and their intelligence apparatus is just as good if not better than the CIA. So if anyone turned a blind eye, it would have been the DEA.

I however do not beleive any of it. CIA, DEA, and all of that was just a myth created to make excuses for corrupt politicains like Maxine Waters, who were taking money- contributions- from the drug trade. It enabled them to blame the government and not their contributors or the people taking drugs.

During the time in questiion, the country was wide open for the importation of drugs. No one cared about getting caught. They wrote it off as the cost of doing business. And that's a fact Jack.

Cedarford said...

Terry - Dr. Cone's book was required reading for parishoners who wished to better understand TUCC's theological base....Note how Wright is being 'disappeared' from YouTube (his awarding Farrakhan is now missing) and from TUCC's website who also remove the reference to Cone and his book. These actions only make matters worse.

Which would be a great question or "oppo" research matter for Michelle and Barack. Did they do the obligatory "afrocentric, whitey is bad" required reading? Hard to plead ignorance of the preacher if you make an effort to understand the theology of the Church you attended for 20 years by reading source books of "worship" your Pastor repeatedly says are critical to being a good member and achieving a greater understanding of your faith. (Unless the Obamas "missed" that as well as all the inflammatory sermons they are shocked, just shocked! were made..)

And as a community organizer and state senator, Obama should well know that the Nation of Islam and TUCC worked hand-in-glove over the years on this or that demand for more Federal or State money for more goodies for S Chicago constituents of theirs, and common joint political fronts on matters like whites inventing AIDs, Palestinian support, working together on campaigns that both the NOI and TUCC backed (like Obamas).

I have always had a great skepticism over the resentment privileged blacks have about opportunities - that they repeat the claim that they had to be "twice as smart, work twice as hard as any white" to get into Yale, Princeton, Wharton, Harvard Law, Hawaii's top private prep school on near full scholarship..

While transferred to CT by a company I worked in after the military, I attended a few Yale MBA night classes. I met a few of the stereotypical "angry blacks" that had a life of people schmootching their "golden" high-IQ butts and for every break they got, they had an excuse why it wasn't a break and where they were was only by out-fighting and out-smarting the "white establishment". Same at RPI.

My impression was that without affirmative action, nothing about their intelligence or work showed they belonged. On a team project, two Yale black grads wrote up biz analysis at what was a freshman or sophomore undergrad level. Interestingly, the Prof told me to not submit the fixed, edited project paper because it would discourage the two black students and interfere with our student teamwork, but that he would give me a nice letter of endorsement instead recognizing "high-level" work I could use as a reference....

I think of Michelle Obama and her resentment about student loans, her loneliness and not wanting to do athletics at her "select magnet school", after getting in to Princeton despite non-top grades because of her sports superstar brother who was at Princeton, her "working twice as hard" as other Princeton students, how America screwed her and many others in black America....and it's like she's from a different planet. Then Harvard Law and a 20 year life in the Ruling Elites of Government, Law, and the Administration execs of a Private College where she averaged well over 100K in income those 20 years and ended up with a 300K+ income, a 3-million dollar house...and her spiel is that "she sacrificed a lot not selling out to corporate America????" Please, lady. I wish I had your lifetime grievances..

Cedarford said...

I was reminded of Michelle Obama when Heather Mills McCartney launched a seething rant on the unfairness of the Courts.

Mills was awarded 50 million, which Brit wits note amounts to 23.2 times her weight in gold, whch of course includes the weight of her fake leg, the bottle of booze or massage parlor oil, and the 3 fan letters she has received since she married Sir Paul.

Others note, with gold's skyrocketing price, she could have gained 30 times her weight as a gold digger if she had only acted faster.

Another noted that Paul McCartney was a selfish, uncaring,espicable man. Because for only another 10 million he likely could have induced Mills to agree to a gag order where she never talked in print or on TV again.

And one said: "The Lennon-McCartney songs? Durable, wonderful, a pride of Britain. But getting rid of Heather Mills? Priceless. Britain owes McCartney a deeper debt for that."

And the Daily Mail had a chart comparing the pay per hour of Mrs. McCartney for each hour she was married to Paul to Eliot Spitzers "high-class" call girl's hourly rate. Mills narrowly beats out Spitzer's Hooker at 1540 an hour, but of course the "Love Pop Songstress" could also sing and more importantly, leave and shut up when you wanted her to. And was only paid for the time she spent actively contributing to the Spitzer relationship.

Michelle Obama commented that neither Heather Mills nor Spitzer's Hooker knew what it was like to grow up black.

Gary Rosen said...

Wow, I thought C-fudd was making a short post, only about 15-16 paragraphs long. Then he follows it right up with another one, revealing himself once again to be an aging boomer Beatlemaniac. Still jerking off over that pile of Tiger Beats, Fudd?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Would America give a white candidate a pass for attending 2 Clan meetings, much less 1,000 like Obama?

Yes. Numerous Republican candidates have done just that.

Trent Lott:
http://www.anusha.com/lottties.htm

George Allen:
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060911/george_allen

Mike Huckabee:
http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Huckabee_gave_speech_to_white_supremacists_0118.html

A list of 26 U.S. officials with ties to a self-described white supremacist organization:

http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?sid=315

MISSISSIPPI

Roger Wicker
Congressman, U.S. House District 1 (Tupelo)

Haley Barbour
Governor

Kay Cobb
Presiding justice, Mississippi Supreme Court

Robert "Bunky" Huggins
Senator, State Senate District 14 (Greenwood)

Gary Jackson
Senator, State Senate District 15 (French Camp)

Dean Kirby
Senator, State Senate District 30 (Pearl)

Richard White
Senator, State Senate District 29 (Terry)

Jim Beckett
Representative, State House District 23 (Bruce)

Gary Alan Chism
Representative, State House District 40 (Columbus)

Bill Denny Jr.
State House District 64 (Jackson)

James Ellington
Representative, State House District 73 (Raymond)

Joey Fillingane
Representative, State House District 101 (Sumrall)

Mark Formby
Representative, State House District 108 (Picayune)

Herb Frierson
Representative, State House District 106 (Poplarville)

Jack Gadd
Representative, State House District 13 (Hickory Flat)

Bobby B. Howell
Representative, State House District 46 (Kilmichael)

Wanda Jennings
Representative, State House District 7 (Southaven)

John Moore
Representative, State House District 60 (Brandon)

Dannie Reed
Representative, State House District 35 (Ackerman)

Ray Rogers
Representative, State House District 61 (Pearl)

Eric Robinson
Representative, State House District 84 (Quitman)

Clayton Smith
Representative, State House District 59 (Brandon)

Tommy Woods
Representative, State House District 52 (Byhalia)


LOUISIANA

Mike McDonald
Judge, 1st Circuit State Court of Appeals (Baton Rouge)


SOUTH CAROLINA

Grady Patterson
State treasurer


TENNESSEE

Bob McKee
Representative, State House District 23 (Athens)

(Whether it is the Klan or the White Citizens' Council is rather irrelevant.) Robert Byrd, a Democrat, was a Klan member. He's President pro tempore of the Senate. Hugo Black hasn't been dead for so long, and he was a KKK Supreme Court Justice. It would be rather silly to ignore that the religious right is concerned with protecting the white nuclear family, and that Republicans pander to them consistently.

Would you support a white presidential candidate who attended church services for 20 years if David Duke was the pastor?

The problem with the question is that it makes no sense. Given that all the major party candidates heretofore have been white guys, any Obama supporter who has voted for President before has voted for a white guy. So whether the candidate is white or not is irrelevant. The second part is whether David Duke is analogous to Jeremiah Wright. This is obviously a false analogy. But I would note that any Obama voter who has voted for a Republican in one of those small, caucus states Obama won has probably voted for a Republican who has pandered to the hard right. So, the answer is essentially yes.

I was concerned that his membership in Wright's church would be detrimental to that dream. Thanks for your insights on the issue, Mortimer.

If your definition of "racial healing" is "telling black people what they should think," then I think you fail to see the irony in your advocacy of exactly what Wright's sermons are criticizing. I don't see unity in service of the common good being threatened by a healthy diversity of opinion, nor do I think attacking people for having different beliefs is unifying. If you want to start the societal healing, you might start with respect for others' freedom to exercise religion. After all, that's in our Constitution. I don't think Obama's pastor is the problem -- though I disagree with his views, I think you are, because you disrespect intellectual diversity and democratic deliberation when the iconoclasts are black.

Dr. Cone said in 2007 that TUCC "embodied" his theology as defined in that book. Dr. Cone's book was singled out as required reading by TUCC for parishoners who want to better understand their church. When it was published is irrelevant to whether a book forms the basis for a given church's theology. Case in point, the Bible

Except you're assuming these parishioners treat this book like the Bible and that they are all literalists. There is no proof for that assertion. You're just making it up. By your logic, every feminist who reads the SCUM Manifesto is a murderous lesbian.

My best estimate [of what Obama would need to do to satisfy his Master, Jeremiah Wright] would be reparations at a minimum.

Except Obama has already been asked at a debate whether he supports reparations, and his answer was no. Perhaps you should stick to the facts.

Aaahh... I'm not certain that using Ron Paul as an example of "not beyond the pale" is a winning argument.

That's your opinion. But Ron Paul raised a lot of money, had millions of supporters, and was a part of the debate on the Republican side. Whether you agree or not, Wright's statements really can't be all so shocking if a little libertarian has been saying the same things for months on end in the Republican debates. Which only points to the phoniness of the outrage.

I'm concerned there's a whole congregation of people (and who knows how many more like them)who believe the crap Wright is spewing.

A lot of people supported Ron Paul. So what? That doesn't shock or scare me. But Ron Paul is a lot more reasonable than many of his supporters, even his most fervid ones. Indeed, there is no doubt that many of his supporters -- even ones who worked in his office and produced his newsletter, are white supremacists. That doesn't mean I think Ron Paul is a racist or that he'd do anything in office other than what he says he'd do: get our forces out of Iraq and return us to the gold standard. Now, I don't agree that's the best policy. But trying to run him out of the race by claiming he's a white supremacist is just repugnant. And it is stupid, like many of the illogical arguments on display here.

Other than by reading something into something I said that wasn't there how could you possibly say I supported Cecil Rhodes?

At least some people here (other than the incorrigible Cedaford) are backing off their more ridiculous contentions, like that Cecil Rhodes is a more respectable source of authority for evaluating normative black identity than Jeremiah Wright. It gives me hope that reason can triumph and unification is possible.

Michael said...

I wonder what will happen once the followers of the Chocolate Jesus realize that he won't be delivering them from the Romans who have supplied them with cheap addictive drugs, infected them with deadly sexually transmitted viruses, jailed their otherwise innocent and college-bound youth, and enslaved them to the rich white land owners.

Fen said...

I should think it is much more likely that he wanted to feel connected to the historical experience of black people in America — exactly what he had missed growing up.

No. Obama chose that church because he's only half black. He needed to be authenticated to be a viable local candidate.

Mortimer Brezny said...

He needed to be authenticated to be a viable local candidate.

It didn't work. He lost his first race, after he was already a member. And any of the other churches in the area could have "authenticated" him.

Fen said...

Thats rich Mort. Calling out black racists is disrespecting intellectual diversity and democratic deliberation when the iconoclasts are black.

Fen said...

/and lets get this out of the way

I'm a racist for criticizing Obama.

Happy? Can we move on now?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Of course it's offensive. I hope you all protested similarly about these hatemongers:

Pat Robertson,
Jerry Falwell,
Rev. James Dobson


I certainly did. Anyone regardless of thier race, religion or ethnic backtground who thinks we 'had it coming' on 9/11 is an complete a$$hole.

It isn't a race or religion thing FLS. Ward Churchill said the same kind of things. So have several of the Hollywood set and as I said above, they're nothing more than a$$holes.

rhhardin said...

Maybe ``God damn America'' will reawaken an interest in the subjunctive.

Balfegor said...

But it's not if you think of him as a young man who had grown up so far away from an experience that other people saw in his face. It would make sense to plunge into exactly the experience he thought he had missed and to do so in a very openly accepting way, seeking to learn and feel.

Joining the conversation late on this, but this is not a particularly compelling motivation. I'm a half-caste myself (Korean-White), and I cannot count the times beggars and passers-by in LA have tried to speak with me in Spanish, on the incorrect assumption that I'm an Hispanic. I even had it happen to me in New Jersey once. People "read" an Hispanic experience in my face (and sometimes an Arab, a Persian, a French, or, bizarrely, a Finnish experience -- but Americans usually go for Hispanic). The fact that they do so doesn't motivate me particularly to go figure out what that experience might be. It's not clear to me why it should. I know quite well what the historical experience of my family has been, going back generations, and it has, in fact, nothing at all to do with the Hispanic experience, the Arab experience, or any of the other experiences complete strangers project on to me when they see my face. Because they're mistaken, as it happens, and I know they are.

I might be interested to learn more about those experiences, but that interest pretty much irrelevant to the fact that people sometimes get mixed-up when they try to place me in their racial categories. Ordinary suburban Whites are probably about as likely as I am to take an interest in any one particular ethnic history suggested erroneously by my particular phenotype -- the only difference is that I might be able to "pass" and fool people into thinking I really am an Hispanic-American or an Arab-American or a Persian-American or whatever, and most Whites couldn't. It would still be play-acting.

The supposition that "I look African-American => I should try to become African-American" really only makes sense, I think, if you presuppose that there is a natural affinity between African-Americans and people who are half-African and half-American. This is not entirely ridiculous (the way it would be if Obama were half-Australian Aborigine, and looked more or less African-American), but it's also not something you can just presuppose.