Friday, May 02, 2008

Sen. Obama Disowns Wright, Not the Black Community or Church

Sen. Obama said "I could no more disown him (Rev. Wright), than disown the Black community." Well, it looks pretty much like he's disowning Rev. Wright now. Are we to take his lofty rhetoric at it's word? Has he now disowned the Black community? I can't wait to see the response by Wright's defenders, especially Bill Moyers.

Of course, Obama didn't disown the Black community. It was a rhetorical question, but I'm sure some of you of you got my point. Obama's original statement was empty rhetoric, much like Rev. Wright's absurd statement that the attacks on him were really attacks on the Black church. Meaningless, and false, if taken at face value. As Obama has disowned Wright, many Black ministers are disputing Wright's implication about these attacks being directed against all Black churches.

I still haven't heard a peep from Moyers about this, and don't expect to. The real problem for Obama is the far left wing of his party (people like Moyers), who agree with many of Wright's controversial opinions. Those are the ones who he's actually disowned, and it may cost him.

Of course, many of them believe, as Wright seemed to, that Obama had to distance himself publicly from the comments, but privately believes them. These people will still vote for Obama. Conversely, many moderate, independent, and conservative voters will suspect this as well, which is why Wright may still be an issue in the general election, if he gets the nomination. It looks like a lose-lose situation for Sen. Obama.

Here are a few comments I've made to posts about both Wright and Sen. Obama. The links go to the posts I was commenting on. The first comment is from my Gather crossposting of this post. Check the links on the other comments, for context, and other opinions on Wright, and Sen. Obama.

link 1 Here's an excerpt from Bob Novak's latest:"Obama's March comments, after video of Wright's sermons hit the air, were widely praised by the press, but parts of them seem ill-advised now. Why would Obama have defended Wright so strongly ("I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.") without a promise from him of silence until November?"

I think such a promise may have been made, but the media coverage was too much for Wright to take. He's not running for office, and has nothing to lose, personally, by doing this. He also may have thought the lack of criticism after his Moyers interview meant he could take it up a notch without criticism.

link 2 I hate to comment on just one quote, but I had to agree with this:

Something Barack said in Audacity of Hope hit me like a brick "We could very possibly be the first generation in U.S. history to leave our children a country in worse shape than when we inherited it."

I haven't read his books yet, but that statement hit me like a brick, also. I can point out many times in US history when the country has been in worse shape than it was before. I'm sure the generation that had to fight the civil war felt the country was in "worse shape" than it was in their parent's time. I'm sure the generation that lived during the great depression felt that way, as well. Heck, in the '70's, people were whining about where the "post WWII" boom economy went. Obama's statement is absurd, and obvious ideological rhetoric.

link 3 I agree with your take on this, for the most part, Devin. Here's one point I'll dispute. You wrote "It's obvious that the good Reverend suffers from jealousy. And being seen as the jealous father is not a very enviable position to be in."

Jealousy is the wrong word, but you used a variation on the right word in the same sentence: envy. Envy is a sin, of course, and we all experience it. How greatly it controls us is one measure of how we live our lives. Here are the Webster's definitions of jealousy and envy. Note the differences, and the "obsolete" designation of one definition of envy. I added the definition of malice from Webster's link.

jealousy 1 a: intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness b: disposed to suspect rivalry or unfaithfulness

2: hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage

envy 1 : painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage

2 obsolete : malice 1 : desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another

Sounds like envy is a more accurate word for Wright's behavior, though jealousy applies as well, regarding the "unfaithful" part of the definition. Great post, Devin!

(I want to make clear that the Webster's dictionary was calling the definition of envy as "malice" obsolete, not using "obsolete" as a definition of "envy." I added the definition of "malice," as an older usage of the word "envy.")

link 4 Wright also said something, in his NAACP address, that is shocking. He said that Blacks think with the left "creative" half of their brain, and Whites think with the right "logical" half of their brain. He pointed out differences in culture, and other areas, to support this. Does he know that scientsts used these same arguments in the eugenics movement of the last century, to support slavery? He's not a stupid guy. I think he gets a perverse satisfaction out of using "the White man's" tools against White men.

Taking it one step further, I don't know if he is a Christian at all. He may see that as another "White man's" tool, to be used to spread hatred of White men. Perhaps that's why he's so friendly with Farrakan. Wright is a complex man, and this is speculation, on my part. I'm just looking at his behavior, and trying to understand it.

There are cultural differences in many groups of people, as well as genetic differences between, and within, all racial groups. If you look at Wright, he's as light in skin color as many White people. Of course, he probably is a victim of the "one drop" rule, in his mind (there I go speculating, again). Anyway, his link between genetics and culture is off-base. It's origin is looked on as an embarrassing time in the scientific community, though it shaped modern social science. It still has great influence, as evidenced by highly educated men like Wright preaching it.

This post barely scratches the surface of Wright's political impact on Sen. Obama. That is still to be determined, though as I said in the opening, it doesn't bode well, even if he gets the nomination. Will we be able to laugh about Wright as "a crazy episode" from the primary campaign, come September? Anything's possible, this year.

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