March 15, 2008

Race and religion, Barack Obama and Clarence Thomas.

It's 3 a.m. ... And Ruth Anne Adams — commenter extraordinaire, historian of the Althouse blog, and Maternal Optimist blogger — is sending me email:
I spent a good bit of time reading the thread and the comments ["Barack Obama responds to the criticism over Jeremiah Wright"]. I kept thinking about Clarence Thomas' description of the nuns who, in the face of a segregated South, instilled in the students that they were all God's children, all worthy in dignity to learn and grow up in God's grace. I just think that there's something to chew on/turn over/mull. How did these two very prominent Black men look at the evil that is America's history with race and see it manifested in their personal religious worship? Clarence Thomas, as you may not know, has returned to full Communion with the Catholic Church. He did a fabulous interview with Raymond Arroyo of EWTN [Program #6, nun talk begins at 5:50 minutes into interview] when his book was published last year and he talked of the bitterness and hatred he could not carry. And I see Pastor Wright fomenting that bitterness and hatred.

In the Catholic Church, there are a few 'out there' parishes and the faithful know where they are. They are magnets for unorthodoxy of all kinds. If I were a politician and gaining some credibility because I called myself Catholic but I was going to these wayward parishes, I would justifiably get lots of flak. If I belonged to a 'Christian' white supremacist church, especially for 20 years, I couldn't wipe away that stink fast enough to become a credible candidate. Why is the reverse not obviously true? Is there a difference with John McCain accepting an endorsement from a daffy Catholic-hating powerful pastor with a brief visit and Barack Obama entrenching himself in his home parish? I think the Anchoress makes some reasonable points, but I think she's too generous to Barack. We're starting to see a pattern of America hatred with those people who are close to Obama. Glints of it appear when Michelle speaks [hey! has she been muzzled?] Most voters can't abide hating America to that extreme.

I bounced these off of you because I remember you simul-blogging Thomas' memoirs in the fall and I suspect you have a good basis to answer these questions that I'm merely musing about.

Glad you're back in Madison! The blog is so different there.

Ruth Anne :)
Thanks! And the blog's different without Ruth Anne in the comments, but I think she — and someone else you've probably missed — will be back in a week or so.

70 comments:

save_the_rustbelt said...

If Senator Obama listened to extremist nonsense (e.g., white people invented AIDS to committ genocide) for 20 years and didn't walk out, that speaks volumes to judgment.

The content of religion should be largely off-limits in these matters, perhaps except when something extreme enters the picture.

On another matter, "viral video" may have a major impact on this campaign (we don;t know what yet) totally outside the control of the candidates and the parties. What will show up next? Scary? Helpful?

Omaha1 said...

I just posted on the other thread but I want to repost here. I agree with Ruth Anne's message wholeheartedly.

From Obama’s statement: “a diverse congregation” – certainly, if you consider 100% African American to be “diverse”. Wonder if the church had any non-black members.

“Unashamedly Black and unapologetically Christian” is part of TUCC’s mission statement. Where I find nothing intrinsically wrong with this, I perceive from perusing the church’s website that the “black” part takes precedence over the “Christian” part. Christ himself preached a message of grace, mercy, and forgiveness through an individual’s faith in the sufficiency of His sacrifice (death on the cross, and subsequent resurrection). I am not seeing a lot of forgiveness towards whites in Rev. Wright’s messages.

Finally, I suspect that Obama chose this church for reasons of political expediency, at a time when he needed more credibility within his mostly black district in Illinois. I also suspect that Rev. Wright’s views on whites and the US in general are quite common among a certain not-inconsequential segment of politically active blacks. Even in the cow-town of Omaha we have a black state senator who regularly makes outrageous, racist statements about white people, and insults black conservatives such as Clarence Thomas and Condoleezza Rice, and he has been re-elected several times.

I am sure that as in most urban areas there are other churches in Obama’s district that are more truly “diverse”. My own urban (for Omaha anyway), American Baptist church membership includes representatives of every age, race and socio-economic group, and the congregation would quickly terminate a pastor who preached any kind of racist, conspiratorial or anti-American rhetoric like Wright’s.

MadisonMan said...

I won't repost my reply to omaha1 here too -- but I'll add -- Christ's message has a lot to do with the least of these my brethren as well, and my understanding is that Trinity does a lot of work in that department.

dix said...

From Obama’s statement: “a diverse congregation” – certainly, if you consider 100% African American to be “diverse”.

Reminds me of the joke we used to tell about my college's economics department. 'We are very diverse. We have a black communist, a white communist, female communist, Asian communist . . .'

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

I posted elsewhere about how Obama's tolerance for this filth and his decision to remain in that congregation pretty much demonstrated that his pitch about "his ability to heal the wounds of racism and bring blue and red America together" was BS.

These tapes demonstrate exactly the opposite and also show that Obama lacks the courage and leadership to speak out on racial healing to a group that really needs it, close to home.

The other point I'd like to make is, what kind of father submerges his two young girls in that cesspool of hatred? If you do that, you get girls that grow up hating whites and America. oh, maybe like their mother.

Omaha1 said...

Madison Man, I believe you wrote that Michelle Obama was already a member of TUCC when they were married, and that is why he joined the church. That is a sensible reason for him joining, as you said.

I still think that Barack’s continued membership in the church, and closeness to Rev. Wright, is an indication that he has not “transcended” racial identity politics, as he claims to have done. Someone who truly believed in “post-racial” political philosophies would have recognized earlier that Wright’s hateful views were far from the American mainstream and indeed, the mirror image of white supremecism.

Omaha1 said...

Oh, and Madison Man said "I won't repost my reply to omaha1 here too -- but I'll add -- Christ's message has a lot to do with the least of these my brethren as well, and my understanding is that Trinity does a lot of work in that department."

Yes, and Hamas et al provide day care, schools, etc. for poor children. An organization's admirable works do not negate its "failures" in other areas.

Richard Fagin said...

Justice Thomas has also been reported to say that he's not sure white people will ever accept blacks as full equals. He has never been reported as using that belief as a basis to hate his country, however.

He's probably come to the realization that even if white people were so disposed, they do in fact have consciences and can be moved against their own moral failings. Even at their worst, American white people have no intention to create the equivalent of a Mugabe-run Zimbambwe or a Chavez-run Venezuela. It's about time "Reverend" Wright and Michelle Obama realized that, too.

ricpic said...

"..the evil that is America's history with race..."

Case you missed it, Ruth Ann, America's most ferocious war was fought over the issue of race and the soldiers of the north fought and died to rid America of slavery. I'm well aware that the Left, in its neverending campaign to hollow out America, has cynically and largely successfully spread the nihilistic view of the Civil War as nothing but an economic power play by northern industrialists. But that doesn't make it so. You have only to listen to the Battle Hymn of the Republic to sense the deep idealism, the deep Christian idealism, that inspired the good men who went off to fight and die to end slavery. That too is a part of America's history with race.

Tim said...

I think Ruth Anne is right; I also think the Democrats are damned between choosing a candidate half of America hates, and a candidate who seemingly hates America (on the basis of willfully joining a church that aggressively preaches hatred of America, being married in that church, having his two daughters baptized in that church, and attending that church for 20 or more years).

Madisonman may suggest that community social welfare programs are offsetting factors, but Jim Jones of the People's Temple ran a soup kitchen; the Nation of Islam provides social welfare programs for its members; Yusef Bey opened Your Black Muslim Bakery, generally a food bank, in Oakland, CA - members of which killed a Black journalist, Chauncey Bailey, who was investigating crime associated with Bey's group.

Oh-Bah-Muh eventually be able to explain these away for those willing to suspend disbelief, or who really do believe the U.S. government created AIDS to kill off Black Americans or other items amongst Wright's long list of Leftist tropes. But most Americans won't be satisfied, especially given Oh-Bah-Muh's long-noted disdain for the flag and the pledge.

So, while I relish the ongoing Blue on Blue, count me among the Republicans who think America is better off with a McCain - Clinton showdown in November than McCain - Obama, not that it will much change the outcome...

PatCA said...

"If I belonged to a 'Christian' white supremacist church, especially for 20 years, I couldn't wipe away that stink fast enough to become a credible candidate. Why is the reverse not obviously true?"

Good question, and we all instinctively know the answer. It's high time we had a national conversation about it.

Tim said...

Ricpic,

Yes, you are absolutely right. The reparations for slavery lie in graves in Antietam, Fredricksburg, Vicksburg, Gettysburg and, not least of all, a single grave at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois, not more than 193 miles from Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

George said...

Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination yesterday.

If Sen. Obama were white and his beloved minister of 17 years ranted about, say, 9/11 being an inside job, that those who died deserved to be murdered, raved about the Jewish banking conspiracy, and beseeched God to damn America, he would have quit the race in a New York spitzer, er, minute.

Interestingly, in an April 30, 2007, profile of Wright, the NYT says that "Mr. Obama has often spoken at Trinity’s panels and debates." I wonder if tapes of those events exist.

The NYT describes Wright as "a dynamic pastor who preached Afrocentric theology, dabbled in radical politics and delivered music-and-profanity-spiked sermons."

Dabble....what a word.

"On the Sunday after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Mr. Wright said the attacks were a consequence of violent American policies. Four years later he wrote that the attacks had proved that “people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the Great White West went on its merry way of ignoring Black concerns.”"

bin Laden is a "person of color"? Wha-? What does al-Qaeda have to do with "Black concerns"?

George said...

And the NYT piece concludes this way...

"Mr. Wright, who has long prided himself on criticizing the establishment, said he knew that he may not play well in Mr. Obama’s audition for the ultimate establishment job.

“If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me,” Mr. Wright said with a shrug. “I said it to Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen.”

Obama has known for at least 11 months about the potential for scandal; he's known all about all of his minister's vile statements.

Note also that the distancing to come would only be "public," not total. Behind the scenes, privately they'll still be pals.

rdkraus said...

Without repeating my comments on the previous thread, knowing about this church "situation" does kind of flesh out some of the things that went before, like Michelle's statements, the flag pin (which I would ordinarily not think twice about), etc.

The fleshing out is not in the right direction.

Would not be surprised if we look back at this as the turning point for Hillary winning the nomination or the presidency.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Madison Man, I believe you wrote that Michelle Obama was already a member of TUCC when they were married, and that is why he joined the church. That is a sensible reason for him joining, as you said."

How does that work? "Hey, he joined a kooky church because his wife is deep into it" is an excuse? It makes me question what drew him to Michelle Obama.

I am very troubled by those who Obama has surrounded himself with. Really ugly stuff has flowed from them for quite some time.

somefeller said...

I'm well aware that the Left, in its neverending campaign to hollow out America, has cynically and largely successfully spread the nihilistic view of the Civil War as nothing but an economic power play by northern industrialists.

Funny, I've never heard many leftists/liberals say that. I have heard a lot of Lost Cause Southern Confederate nostalgists (see e.g.) say that sort of thing, though. They tend to consider themselves to be conservatives and vote GOP, I've noticed.

M. Simon said...

Omaha,

That would be Ernie Chambers.

I knew him some when I was growing up. Lived in the 'hood. 33rd and Lake.

My mother detests him. I live in Illinois (Rockford) so I have to depend on mom for Omaha news.

M. Simon said...

According to Spitzer, a New York minute lasts a week.

Omaha1 said...

M. Simon, yes, that would be Ernie Chambers. An admirable character in many ways, he is blind to the progress we have made in the last few decades, with regard to racial discrimination – he is a leftist reactionary.

We must not be timid in discussing the divisive issues of race, religion and gender that are embodied in and exposed by the political process. Many grievances are not unjustified, and age-old resentments live on in the camouflaged rhetoric surrounding affirmative action and identity politics. If we as a nation are too intimidated by political correctness to put into honest words the fears that still afflict and haunt us, true healing will be forever out of reach.

Am I afraid of Obama’s close association with this “spiritual mentor”? Yes. Could my fears be assuaged by him admitting that his mentor’s views are sincerely expressed, and that they represent the beliefs of many African Americans? Perhaps, if Obama acknowledged that they are nonetheless unquestionably false, and must be corrected through open and public discourse.

I think that America is becoming a “mutt nation” as described by John McWhorter, the black linguist. Only individual citizens can bridge the gaps between black and white, Jew and Gentile, homo- and hetero-sexual through their interpersonal and familial relationships. Those who continue to subscribe to identity politics only prolong strife and hinder our progress as a people, “one nation under God”.

SteveR said...

I think that soon we will be asking if HRC will get the overwhelming support in places like Detroit and Philadelphia this fall that turns those otherwise red states, blue.

Christy said...

I'm wondering what Obama's little girls learned in Sunday School during Pastor Wright's tenure.

If we can take anything from that familiar clip of Wright's sermon, there are white people in the congregation. Remember, he referred to the white people there and insisted that he was still in scripture.

Zeb Quinn said...

We're starting to see a pattern of America hatred with those people who are close to Obama.

Two (black) Obama defenders on O'Reilly's show last night, Hermene Hartman and Jasmyne Cannick, said that the footage of Wright was "taken out of context" and that whites just do not understand the black church. They concluded the interview by saying that they see nothing at all wrong with any of what Wright said.

The clear implication is that the sentiments of Rev Wright are quite common among blacks. maybe that's why Obama never walked out or left the church. Maybe it is indeed all around him.

LarsPorsena said...

Just as sickening was the whole congregation cheering Wright on.
Not a flicker of doubt on any of the faces in the pews.

The fact that you see Wright glancing down time to time, means these 'sermons' were written out before-hand.

Gag a maggot.

David H Dennis said...

I can't find the reference right now, but I recall that in Obama's book, he talks about meeting Wright and feeling truly welcomed and involved in a church for the first time in his life.

I might remind you that when Obama first appeared on the radar screen, he looked like the "non-black black" - he was racially half black, but he thought in positive terms, while black leadership is generally associated with Wright and Jesse Jackson style behavior.

I think it's possible that people saw this "non-black blackness" as a handicap in getting the full-throttle black support he needed. And in that context enrolling in Wright's church is a way to associate him with "real" blacks.

So now he has to basically deny his relationship with Wright to power ahead, and yet it's clear that his relationship with Wright will not actually end.

I wonder what this desire, if believed, will do with his relationship with black people. It almost feels like he climbed up on their backs and is now ignoring their values.

The big problem for us in the end is that we really have no clue what he actually believes. His wife is clearly a Wrightist to the core. He has always brought forth more positive and uplifting themes, which are the very opposite of how Wright thinks. Is he just pretending to believe in those, just as he says he pretends to agree with Wright on spiritual questions?

In the end, it would be nice to have some clarity about his beliefs. On the other hand, do we really know Hillary Clinton any better? She was for the war before she was against it, don't you know.

I don't love John McCain, but at least I know where he stands.

D

Kansas City said...

It is unfathomable to me how a seemingly intelligent and reasonable guy like Obama could associate himself with such a pastor and church. The conclusion is almost inescapable that he is not what he purports to be. It already is evidence with respect to his effort, successful thus far, to hide his far left positions, but that is more standard political deception. This goes to his personal core.

My reaction is that he now can never be elected president. However, I also had that reaction when Clinton's affair with Jenifer Flowers was exposed. But I think this is more important and certainly the political/ communication climate is far diffent today.

XWL said...

But, but, but, The Obama will wash away our sins . . .

Especially our sins of racial divisiveness.

So his first miracle will be to white-wash his own sins of embracing a racially divisive church and emerging unscathed with regards to his own supporters.

The Democratic Party has a situation where acolytes of The Obama (as opposed to people who thought Sen. Obama might make a good president, these are distinct consituencies) won't give up on The Obama and will view any "super" delegates who switch their support from The Obama to Sen. Clinton to be a pack of Judases.

The undemocratic nominating structure developed by the Democratic Party may save them from picking a damaged candidate, but it won't stop the party from being seriously damaged when the 'party bosses' have to step in and flip the results of the previous caucuses and primaries.

Denver ought to be very entertaining, and Sen. McCain will make a fine president.

(and this is a lesson to the Democrat loving press, don't let stuff like this fester till a candidate has already picked up dozens of states)

Omaha1 said...

XWL, from a political standpoint it might be "entertaining" but from the viewpoint of individual citizens it is rather frightening. I hope that the media's Obama panderfest resulting in him being the frontrunner will not result in racially motivated violence. Obama is a smart guy, I think that he could defuse this if he tries a little harder to empathize with the average white voter.

dick said...

Do you think at this time Obama can come back from this to soothe the average white voter? The minute he tries, Hillary's campaign, with or without her help, will just rebroadcast the Rev Wright's comments and Obama will have to start again.

I don't see how he is going to bridge this gap. If he throws the Rev over, he stands to lose a bunch of black votes because he is kowtowing to Whitey. If he doesn't he will be tarred with the beliefs of Rev Wright and the church he attends and will lose a ton of white votes. If he can make up this difference without losing one or the other maybe he will make it as president but to me it speaks of someone not ready for prime time now.

I for one would like to see him go back to Illinois, dump Rev Wright, get elected gov (the state needs a better gov than the one they have) and then come back up to run for pres. I think then he would stand an excellent chance because he would have responded to almost all the complaints against him and would also show that he does have executive ability.

Crimso said...

"They tend to consider themselves to be conservatives and vote GOP, I've noticed."

They tend to consider themselves to be conservatives and vote Democrat, I've noticed.

There, fixed that for you. And before you take issue, I know whereof I speak. I live in a county that seceded from the state because the state wasn't seceding from the Union fast enough (didn't take, though). Repubs are few and far between here.

Cedarford said...

ricpic - You have only to listen to the Battle Hymn of the Republic to sense the deep idealism, the deep Christian idealism, that inspired the good men who went off to fight and die to end slavery.

That is true. The economic interests had a huge role, it was only around 1863 that Lincoln even began contemplating freeing the slaves - mainly as a tactic to demoralize those blacks fighting on the Confederate Army side and supporting the Confederate War effort against The Invader - but idealistic young men of the North did not fight to enrich NYC merchants, but thought their cause was noble and Christian. That is what they thought when they went forth from the Bronx, Philadephia, Hartford, New Haven, Springfield, Mass, Newark, Chicago, Gary, Cleveland, Detroit.....

I always wonder what they would have done, however, if they had the benefit of foresight and could see their cities 100 years later transformed as they were, by large numbers of blacks and by black rule. Would the ghosts of those fallen Union soldiers been happy with a walk through the old neighborhood in Newark, or hovering above the South Chicago sermons of Rev Wright? Seeing what sort of modern black society rose from their Civil War blood, toil, and tears?

Would they still feel vindication that the 660,000 lives (roughly the equivalent of a loss of 5.4 million in todays numbers) was worth the sacrifice? Slavery ended elsewhere in the New World, peacefully, by 1876 (Brazil). By 1850, slavery in America was showing it was no longer competitive agriculturally, and efforts of slave owners to move low or no-wage slaves into industry were being fought vigorously by free white, immigrant, and free black wage-earners in the North and South.

And we know from Rev Wright and Jesse and the Iraqi Shiites just how far gratitude and respect go when people are liberated and given all sorts of welfare and dispensations by an external party rather than be self-earned.

Larsporsena - Just as sickening was the whole congregation cheering Wright on.
Not a flicker of doubt on any of the faces in the pews.


Yep, Marxist identity politics and the communists that founded and ran so many black organizations carefully nurtured a sense of endless resentment, grievance, and entitlement. And promoted it in that part of influential media that kin owned and operated in America,
So it is, in a sense, a misdirection to single out & condemn the Pastor for simply giving Michelle Obama and the rest of his flock exactly what they want to hear after generations of propagandizing. Rev Wright is simply the the vessel, the agent of affirming what his black flock already believes. Hundreds more black "Reverends" like him ply their poison to cheers and media acquiescence that no white or hispanic preacher of race hate, and their flock's cheers - is tolerated doing.

The Soviets really did get their money's worth from the NYC communists and their sympathizers in the US media.

somefeller said...

There, fixed that for you. And before you take issue, I know whereof I speak. I live in a county that seceded from the state because the state wasn't seceding from the Union fast enough (didn't take, though). Repubs are few and far between here.

I know whereof I speak also. (Texan, born and raised.) Your county sounds like an anomaly. There aren't many self-described conservative Democrats who are also Confederate nostalgists left. While there were a lot of them 40 or even 30 years ago all over the South, they've all for the most part gravitated to the GOP. Names like George Allen come to mind. I'll take your word for it that there are a few in your neck of the woods, but folks like that don't generally vote Democratic anymore.

And in any case, my main point was that ricpic's claim that the "war of Northern industrialist aggression" concept was a uniquely leftist one was not supported by the facts. Even you state that the Democrats that support that line of thinking in your county don't call themselves liberals or leftists.

Reggie said...

I'd never have voted for Obama. He's much further to the left than I am. But I hate to see him go down this way rather than as the result of a general election.

He could have presented the opportunity to demonstrate to African Americans that their countrymen regard them as peers - despite what the Wrights, and Dukes, and Farrakhans of the world might believe.

But now the affect may be 180 degrees to the contrary - a further aggravation of race relations, pessimism, and a sense of futility and betrayal.

The Left will certainly spin this as yet more evidence of the perfidy of America and inevitability of White racism.

This is another one of those incidents in which a left-leaning media establishment has undermined the very interests that they endorse. This information has been publically available to anyone who'd bothered to investigate Mr. Obama. It should have been addressed as soon as he became a presidential candidate.

Mark said...

I find it odd that I, as a very conservative Republican who never posts a comment, now feel compelled to do so on behalf of a guy I think is mostly dead wrong.

I sure hope I am never judged by 5-10 minutes from sermons from my pastor (and close friend). A church is neither a country club--to make friends or create a social life--nor a spiritual buffet--a place the hear ideas one finds useful. It is the body of Christ, here to do His work upon the Earth. It's a family.
A church should do His work. From everything I have heard, Rev. Wrights church does such work in an outstanding way.
The church should preach His word. Does anyone dispute that Rev. Wright does that?
The church should challenge your thinking. If you are in a church where all you hear are things you agree with, you are in a dead church.

"And I see Pastor Wright fomenting that bitterness and hatred." That's the point isn't it? But is that true? I've heard Rev. Wright be just as harsh (and hyperbolic) when addressing the issues of sexual morality. Was he wrong and over the line in the statements about America? Sure. But so what? My pastor has made wrong over the line statements. I'm not going to leave because of that. We are doing too many other good things. And besides, maybe I needed to hear those over the line statements, if only to check my own thinking.

I think it is great (really!) that a presidential candidate hears this type of thinking. Rev. Wright is the voice of most of the world--like it or not.

I'll never vote for Mr. Obama, but I will defend his choice to make decisions based on actions rather than sound bites.

mca

somefeller said...

Note - I mentioned George Allen as an example of someone who is currently a conservative Republican and Confederate nostalgist, not a person who also used to be a Democrat years ago. I have no reason to believe he ever was a Democrat at any time in his life.

Crimso said...

"but idealistic young men of the North did not fight to enrich NYC merchants, but thought their cause was noble and Christian."

As someone who has read voraciously on the War of the Rebellion for some years now, might I inquire as to what that cause was? Because if you're trying to assert that it was to free the slaves, you are historically inaccurate. The EP caused near-mutiny in some Union units. The cause in question was without a doubt primarily to maintain the Union (there were, of course, exceptions). To take it a step further, even amongst Abolitionists the notion that blacks should be considered equals was not prevalent (again, there were definite exceptions).

Trying to nail down a single cause for that war is a fool's errand. Most any single reason given can be quickly and reasonably challenged. Except for Foote's reason: "We failed to compromise."

madawaskan said...

*Ugh* how many lives have been ruined by those that believe what Wright espouses?

Does it undo the good?

I am really not sure. I read the Anchoress and I get some of her points.

Do we really want religion held against someone?

She might be coming from the perspective of a Catholic that stayed after the recent shames.

To tell you the truth that was the last straw for me-but I always wondered was it my last excuse?

What about those that stayed? I am jealous of them maybe.

But that last incident with the Catholic church -went with something I feared more than anything.

Also-you know when I was a child in a small town certain boys were ridiculed without mercy for making the same claims that are so hard to believe.

But and this is a big but-aren't we all better off for knowing about it?

The Anchoress' argument falls short there. I get that religion is seperate but still the voters have a right to know and they should above all be trusted to make the right decision.

I hate the paternalism that goes with-"they" can't handle it.

Remember when the media decided to not show the victims of 9/11 choosing suicide rather than enduring the unendurable?

Yet the media thought it was OK to serve their purposes to show a GI being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, and a GI getting snippered via a terrorists' supplied film.

Getting back to the issue at hand-yes, the public would never accept the inverse of this and that doesn't make what is going on here right-what is at stake is the public's right to know.

The tapes and videos are on the Trinity Church's own website.

Let me justgive this example about how much damage might have been done by the Wright belief system.

My best friend in college at one of the service academies almost destroyed all of his gains-he stole from a business I happened to know the background story of because-they treated him like he was black.

When he told me that I was well they treat everyone like that.

It was the wife who was working for hardly any pay for her husband's family. She was very unhappy and was equally rude to everyone.

Yet just barely days away from his service Academy graduation he risked it all-for twenty some dollars.

Omaha1 said...

cedarford, may I just state for the record that I don't agree with your views. In spite of the problems of many urban black people, I don't think that your characterization of them is fair, nor do I think that the Civil War was not worth fighting.

I do think that Obama could reassure the average white voter, if he took the proper stance in denouncing Rev. Wright, one issue at a time. I also believe that he has enough stature among American blacks that he might be able to influence some of them to abandon anti-white racism.

Even if Obama does not win the presidency, if he really loves this country as much as he says he does, he could act as a unifying force if he handles the Rev. Wright issue authoritatively.

sydney said...

I was seriously considering voting for Obama in the general election, even though I don't agree with most of his policy positions. I was impressed with him in the debates as a reasonable, thoughtful person. But the sermons of his pastor/mentor have persuaded me otherwise. How can anyone espousing that kind of hate legitimately call themselves a Christian? The entire basis of Christ's teaching is love.
Jeremiah Wright's sermons are the antithesis of Christ's.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I sure hope I am never judged by 5-10 minutes from sermons from my pastor (and close friend).

Mark, it is more than just a 5 or 10 minute sermon (hate filled spewing) that Obama is being judged by. It is 20 years of close association and never disassociating himself, either physically or verbally, from Rev Wright's racist and bigoted statements.

If I had a friend who was a member of the KKK and attended Clan meetings once a week for the last 20 years, don't you think that I was either in approval of his views or so stupid not to notice the pointy white hat that he had hanging on his hall tree coat rack at some point over the last 20 years?

Seriously. This is a matter of judgement. Fair or not...as my Mother and probably yours too said. "You will be judged by the company you keep" If you don't plan to run for President of the entire United States (not just the black United States) it doesn't matter who you hang with. Since Obama wants to be President, I think it shows incredible poor judgement or incredible indifference to "hang" with the Rev. Wright.

Kirk Parker said...

somebody else...

Sippican?

Kansas City said...

cedarford raised an issue I had never given a thought to - how the union soldiers would feel looking down at urban cities today. And how slavery ended without violence elsewhere by 1876.

I had always thought the union soldiers accomplished such a noble thing that they would be very proud. But I can also see the other side of the issue. Hopefully, they are in an honored place somewhere and proud of their accomplishment.

Kansas City said...

One other thought is that the country REALLY needs a highly succesful black politician. McCain should consider getting the best black available as VP in order to help the country on racial issues and to fix some of the damage that will result from Obama's electoral demise.

Kansas City said...

Sorry, I meant to say the country really needs a highly successful black REPUBLICAN politician.

Cedarford said...

Crimso - We can talk about the complexity of causes of the Civil War, but young men do not go off to fight and die for complexity or the extensive puzzles that enthrall PhD historians.

The basic reason appears to be: Young man sees the South going in insurrection and possibly destroying America as a country over the issue of importing more blacks and spreading slavery West. He sees that insurrection as wrong and coming from unChristian motives. He doesn't believe that all blacks are equal. Some are savages, some are human - but the good of America depends on putting down the South.
Most who fought on the Southern side were not slaveowners and many thought slavery was dying a natural death. But the Yankees invaded and violated Southern rights and the Constitutional right to seceed. And that had to be fought, hard.

************

Omaha1 said...
cedarford, may I just state for the record that I don't agree with your views. In spite of the problems of many urban black people, I don't think that your characterization of them is fair, nor do I think that the Civil War was not worth fighting.


Name a black majority city in America that does not have substantial decay, failing schools, a crime rate problem 6-7 times that of other areas. Blacks have essentially wrecked prosperous, well-functioning cities in a manner no other arrivals since the cities were founded did. That is not racism, but the reality of the sorry proof of observation.

The acid test would be to make segregated cities, 3-5, as an experiment. Our laws and Constitution would not of course allow such a test, but I would expect the black only-city to be a disaster, while a white city or a mixed white/Asian/hispanic city would be prosperous.

If civil war and black liberation meant better race relations, then the gratitude or the moral purity formed in war's mighty moral struggle would mean that America and Haiti would have the best race relations in the New World. They don't. It was where slavery was legislated out of existence - countries like Brazil and Columbia where the better race relations can be found, though black majority areas in those lands are also high crime, low educational attainment and prosperity shitholes....

Chip Ahoy said...

Yay Ruth!

*glees*

I was thinking of you yesterday. Missing you.

Kansas City said...

cedarford, I think you argument has a weak point in assigning blacks with total or at least principal responsibility for decaying cities. The actions of the rest of society since the end of the civil war also are responsible.

vnjagvet said...

KC:

McCain/Steele -- for a strong America.

Wachathink?

On the sermon thing, there have been fiery, over the top preachers, black and white, since preachers have been preaching.

Rhetoric is their weapon. And they "spout" a lot of stuff. Some of it is, in the words aof a current cliche "nonsense on stilts".

Hell, even Martin Luther, who is acknowledged by many as a brilliant Christian theologian, displayed strains of anti-semitism in his works that are considered by most (and nearly all Lutherans) to be not only wrong, but hateful.

To assert that Lutherans perforce share that anti-semitism, and are therefore unqualified for elective office, would be unpersuasive to most fair minded people.

Wright's sermons do not seem to me any worse than Luther's anti-semitic rantings.

Full disclosure, my Lutheran heritage on all sides of my family goes back to sixteenth century Germany, according to the ol' family tree. IOW, it's wide and deep

Middle Class Guy said...

This is nothing more than the Vast Clintonista conspiracy leaking this to the media to hide their own sins.

Who is Bill making his money- tens of miilions of dollars with?

Who are some of Hillary's supporters and contributors?

I bet next week, Hillary will finally get some scrutiny from the press. Who knows what crimes will come out. Then the week afdter it will be Obama's turn again.

And so it goes. Dity Democratic politics at its finest.

former law student said...

For all of the shocked and appalled commenters: Would any of you reject a Jewish candidate who belonged to a synagogue that was “Unashamedly Zionist and unapologetically Jewish”? What if their rabbi had honored such acknowledged terrorists as Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin (commander of the terrorist group that blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946, killing 96 people), or Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Shamir (leader of the terrorist Stern Gang that carried out a series of political assassinations, including that of UN envoy Count Bernadotte)? If not, why not?

Omaha1 said...

Cedarford, you wrote “Blacks have essentially wrecked prosperous, well-functioning cities in a manner no other arrivals since the cities were founded did.” I’m sure liberal whites are equally capable of wrecking cities. I don’t place the blame for “wrecked cities” solely on placing blacks in positions of power, although many powerful black individuals still have a lot to learn where wise governance is concerned. You might feel that the race of these people is to blame, I think it is more a problem of whom they have been influenced by - specifically, liberal, union-loving democrats.

I am confident that as blacks become more accustomed to holding leadership positions, they will gain more wisdom and become more conservative over time.

dlb said...

The great majority of failed cities in the US are predominantly white, many are probably 95% white. Drive through upstate New York or the fallen industrial areas of Ohio or western Pennsylvania. These cities may not have the populations of Detroit, but they are in much the same state.

Also it's rude to come onto someone elses site and prattle on, post after post, about some topic which has no relevance to the forum (i.e. the Civil War).

EnigmatiCore said...

"Would any of you reject a Jewish candidate who belonged to a synagogue that was “Unashamedly Zionist and unapologetically Jewish”?"

Depends. Would said synagogue's leaders have preached "God damn America?" Or have said that thousands of American deaths at the hands of terrorists were America's just desserts? Or that America created a disease like AIDS to keep the Jews down?

"What if their rabbi had honored such acknowledged terrorists as Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin"

Who was it who had Begin as a celebrated leader at the Camp David Accords? Liberal Icon Jimmy Carter, wasn't it? And we also, for years, treated the terrorist Arafat as a diplomat and a leader simply out of a misguided desire to attain peace.

Diplomacy sometimes requires treating scum like kings. It is one reason I am skeptical of diplomacy as the end-all and be-all.

But who advocates diplomacy as the be-all and end-all, anyway?

"If not, why not?"

So you have no problem with Obama being a disciple of a virulently anti-American pastor who fosters racial division and hostility?

You're a bigger jackass than I assumed before.

Middle Class Guy said...

Cedarford,
Blacks did not ruin cities. Liberal Democratic racism did. They created a welfare society to take away hope and keep Blacks in poverty with the excuse of the War on Poverty. Then they created a plantation system called housing projects to kep Blacks in once place; of course none were built in the Liberal enclaves where these racists lived.

former law student said...

Obama being a disciple of a virulently anti-American pastor who fosters racial division and hostility?

If you kick a dog in the face for half its life, do you really expect that dog to suddenly start showing gratitude by licking your feet? Believe me, no black man has ever done 1/1000 the amount of fostering racial division that the average white man has done. Reread Black Like Me and reflect that that experience was Pastor Wright's whole life.

dick said...

I'm kind of interested in what Camille Paglia has to say about Barack Obama now. Has the problem with the pastor had any affect on her support for him? or is she ready to support Hillary now? or is she even willing to support McCain now. That would be an interesting essay to read in light of the last one she wrote in support of Obama.

Fen said...

no black man has ever done 1/1000 the amount of fostering racial division that the average white man has done

What an utterly racist comment. I never tire of hearing "enlightened" folk use racism as an argument against itself. Too funny.

Of course, we saw them do the same thing with this country's sexual harassment laws. Unwilling to apply their own standards equally across the board.

As for justifying racism because you were victimized by racism - thats just as silly as excusing child abusers because they were also abused.

There's a host of tribal grievances here. From European refugees to American Indians. But none have any excuse that would justify racism. And if you really insist on giving that pendulum more momentum, don't complain when it comes back at you.

Elliott A said...

Had the Jews of Palestine not had their state reneged on these "terrorist acts" would not have happened. More akin to the American and French revolutions than terrorism. The Palestinians have turned down statehood many times. Their cause is just an excuse for murder.

The cities are not results of black mismanagemnt or incompetence, but rather culture. Where there is no family, where there is no ambition, where there is no respect for human life, there will be chaos. These are the people Rev. Wright should be ranting against, instead of firing up their hate. Anybody read or study South Africa lately? Entire place is in a freefall. Highest murder rate in a modern society. All the white young people are in Australia or the UK because the blacks get priority for jobs. They don't do the jobs very well, etc.

The shame is all the people of color who fought through the segregation and discrimination, got educated, have wonderful families, and see the self destruction all around them. Because of people like Rev Wright, there is little they can do.

EnigmatiCore said...

"If you kick a dog in the face for half its life"

I hold people to different standards than dogs.

If you want to think that Obama is no different in his reaction to stimuli, positive and negative, than a mutt, then you are a racist motherfucker.

former law student said...

If you want to think that Obama is no different

I was talking about Pastor Wright.

It's nice that you think blacks who grew up drinking out of separate fountains, not being allowed to eat in restaurants, being constantly reminded to know their place and not to let the sun set on them in various towns, should suddenly forgive and forget, at penalty of being called a racist. I suppose you think concentration camp survivors should stop bringing up the whole Holocaust thing. After all, that was 60 years ago, and they should just get over it. Well, I don't agree.

Grover said...

"Good question, and we all instinctively know the answer. It's high time we had a national conversation about it."

Guess what? We're having it. And it's not going well.

Duncan said...

I read this blog regularly, and never comment. But now I have to.

Come to the South Side. Just come visit it. I live in Chicago, on the North Side, in a pleasant little neighborhood that hasn't been the target of segregation and state-sanctioned ghettoization for more than a couple of generations. In that context, Pastor Wright's sermons make a lot more sense. Oh, it's not an argument that will ever make sense to anyone who doesn't live in or know Chicago. But ponder the point.

Pogo said...

to anyone who doesn't live in or know Chicago

I have been in the area before. It is one of the great evils of liberal thought that has fostered a belief among the folks who live there that "rich white people" have caused all their misfortunes.

It is as erroneous and destructive a belief as the 9/11 truthers; moreso because the conclusions derived from it may very well lead to the election of a True Believer in this Marxist class thinking.

And that will not lead to racial healing but an increasing division among America's peoples.

If the Obamas, who make more money and have more power than I will ever have, believe that "rich white people" are indeed the devil, then tell me why I, a middle income white person without any power at all, why I should stay in a nation that so believes that its white citizens are merely Satan's brood?

Seriously, it would be enough to make me leave, much as I am considering it already as we lurch headlong into socialism. What would be the point of white people staying here, if everything is our fault?

If it's understandable, and therefore acceptable for Obama to think this way, then the conclusions and policies derived from those beliefs must similarly be acceptable. And I believe the conclusions are wholly evil.

Yachira said...

Via The Autonomist…

"Wright laced into America’s establishment, blaming the “white arrogance” of America’s Caucasian majority for the woes of the world, especially the oppression suffered by blacks. To underscore the point he refers to the country as the “United States of White America.” Many in the congregation, including Obama, nodded in apparent agreement as these statements were made."

http://antiprotester.blogspot.com/2008/03/barack-obama-agrees-with-reverend.html

Paul Zrimsek said...

Note to FLS: the concentration camp survivor equivalent to Wright's rhetoric isn't "The Holocaust happened"; it's "All Gentiles are Nazis". I wouldn't have any problem calling that racist.

Kansas City said...

Duncan, I don't understand your point. Can you elaborate?

To me, it is inconceivable that a man could be president of the united states after listening to and supporting the rants of this pastor.

If you watch the video of Obama claiming he "never personally heard the particular comments while sitting in the pews," you can tell that he is lying or at least very carefully parsing his statement. He obviously knew plenty about the pastor's comments, accepted them because it was a view he had to accept as a young black politician in Chicago, and stupidly thought he could run for president without anyone making an issue of them.

Synova said...

"[Obama on a presidential ticket] could have presented the opportunity to demonstrate to African Americans that their countrymen regard them as peers - "

That has to go both ways. It really does. Either we're peers... or we're not. Either I'm an individual who should be considered as an individual or I'm not. Either someone thinks they are every bit as "good" as I am or they don't.

Being a "peer" like being an "adult" isn't something that someone else bestows on any person.

Elliott A said...

Former law student...

About the Holocaust survivors. My high school German teacher, Frau Reiter taught us language and culture. She encouraged us to have penpals. I still correspond with mine (since 1970) and just got together with her last year in Germany. She knew that every German didn't hate her, and she knew that the generation born after the war deserved a chance. That attitute is what makes our relationship with Germany good, and also that of Japan. If my parents (I'm Jewish) and my German teacher and all analagous people in the country preached hate based on past behavior, we would all still be enemies. As long as people like Rev. Wright preach hate, and as long as people nod along with his points during his sermons, the racial divide in this country will never be crossed.

TMink said...

FLS wrote: "Believe me, no black man has ever done 1/1000 the amount of fostering racial division that the average white man has done. Reread Black Like Me and reflect that that experience was Pastor Wright's whole life."

I am not sure if you are caught up in your own hyperbole or are making some fundamental mistakes in looking at our arguments.

The average white man never owned slaves, not even when that abomination was legal. The average white man has never been a member of a racial seperatist group or hate group. The average white man has average black friends.

Black Like Me is a wonderful book, it is also an old book! The experiences happened in 1959. A lot has happened since then, most of them really good things regarding progress in issues of race and bigotry.

Mr. Wright could not say the racist and inflamatory things that he said in 1959 and live. God BLESS America that he is so safe that he can act in such a bigoted manner.

See, it is not his whole life. You are wrong there. This is not 1964 and he is not Malcolm X. America needed both Dr. King and Malcolm X at the time they were active. Now America needs more leaders like Bill Cosby and less like Mr. Wright.

Trey