March 27, 2008

Are White People Even Welcome in Barack Obama’s Church?

The Obamaniacs have their panties in a twist because Hillary Clinton said she would have left the church where Pastor Jeremiah Wright spewed his racist hatred.

Seriously, it does say something about Obama’s character when, as the son of a white woman and having been raised by a white woman, if your own priest tells you AIDS was invented by the white man to kill black people, that he sat there silent and didn’t call out Jeremiah Wright, continuing to sit there and listen to that garbage.

It says something very telling about Barack Obama’s character. Besides, the Obamaniacs should know that if Hillary Clinton didn’t ask the question in March, John McCain would have asked it in August September and October.

Now I don’t go to church because my priest says people like me are going to hell. I know Catholicism is all about guilt tripping but why should I sit there and have somebody hating on me because of the way I was born?

This is seriously what I imagine the KKK’s version of the twilight zone to be, walking into a black church where the preacher is hating on white people.

Would you sit at any church while someone made discriminatory statements against your people? It is a serious question. Ask yourself that. I believe many Americans will be asking themselves the same thing in the very near future…

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15 Commentaires:

Blogger How Insane Is John McCain? a dit...

Dude. Calm down. White people go to his church. Bill Clinton had Wright at the White House after he had an affair with Lewinksy.

Why are you so angry?

3/27/2008 1:55 AM  
Blogger Justin Socie a dit...

Seriously, it does say something about Obama’s character

What does it say?

3/27/2008 2:38 AM  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

I'm not angry as much as I am surprised.

This guy basically says racist things all the time, and Obama, being there and being half-white, listens to this stuff and keeps going back?

to me it says either he has no respect for himself or he doesnt care when people say hateful divisive things, which makes him insensitive.

3/27/2008 3:40 AM  
Blogger Todd Feinburg a dit...

Antonio - when someone says why are you so angry, that's a compliment - don't worry about it.

I like your blog. Please visit mine - www.barackswhitelies.com.

Todd

3/27/2008 7:34 AM  
Blogger Gauntlet a dit...

If you want to say that this says something about Obama's character, be consistent. The question you should be asking is this:

Would you sit in a church while someone made discriminatory statements about someone else's people?

Good for you, Antonio, if you decided to leave the Catholic church because you disagreed with them. But what you're suggesting is not that gay people should all get out. What you're suggesting is that anyone who doesn't truly believe gay people are going to hell should get out.

I tend to think that there are a lot of people in those pews who disagree, but stay. Which is exactly what you're accusing Obama of doing.

If it's not good enough to denounce the man's comments, if we say that as a politician you may associate yourself only with the shining examples of virtue, aren't we guaranteeing that our politicians will live in a world very different from the world we live in? Aren't we preventing them from associating with anyone at all?

Aren't we asking to be lied to?

3/27/2008 8:16 AM  
Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own a dit...

I've got to say, Gauntlet has a point. If people were forced to leave their Church every time their pastor said something hateful or moronic, the pews of the world would be pretty empty.

Also, it's been made clear time and time again that Obama wasn't in the church when Wright made that AIDS comment, so I wish people would stop saying he just "sat there and continued to listen". He wasn't there when that comment was made. Period.

Did he hear other controversial comments? Sure. Just like McCain heard Falwell and Robertson say that homosexuals and "abortionists" share the blame for 9/11. Or that AIDS is the wrath of God against homosexuals. Or that liberal America is doing to evangelicals what Nazi Germany did to the Jews.

Didn't stop him from giving the commencement address at Liberty University, now did it? Why? Because a university, like a church, is a community that is larger than it's paster. You don't leave your community just because it's titular leader is a bit crazy.

If that were true, how many Americans would still be living in the States after 8 year of W?

3/27/2008 9:36 AM  
Blogger Todd Feinburg a dit...

The comparisons to other politicians don't work, as Pastor Wright was a close family friend, a personal adviser, and had a position with the Obama for president campaign. There is no sign that Barack tolerated Wright because he was so committed to the church, instead, he fully embraced Pastor Wright.

The issue comes down to this - no normal person hears such talk about the USA without being outraged and leaving. This is what Barack has to explain to the normal people of the country. What compelled him to sit there an listen? The greatest speech in history didn't satisfactorally address this, no matter how clever and improtant it was for liberals, because it was a dodge.

By the way, it remains completely unclear what Barack heard or didn't, because he hasn't been honest and open. Remember, his first response to this was to do Clintonian parsing - I wasn't in church for these specific comments taht have been collected. Then is was "of course I knew." The evidence will come out over time, most likely.

3/27/2008 11:13 AM  
Blogger Cicely a dit...

First of all, as someone who quotes the PM that brought us the Charter, you may want to brush up on some key definitions. Racism requires power. Rev. Wright cannot be racist since he is not part of the dominant community. He can be prejudiced. It is important to remember that Obama has acknowledged that Wright's comments were ignorant and divisive, which they were.

That white progressives find the underlying anger and frustration in communities of colour somehow suprising - surprises me.

I am a white lesbian so I have no experience with racism directed at me but I believe that Rev Wright was simply speaking the truth when he said that Hillary Clinton can't know what it means to be called a nigger.

The effect of blatant and subtle expressions of racism in North America have been devastating to communities of colour.

Too many white Obama supporters read into his earlier statements on the issue of race their own idea of how the US could move to a 'post-racial'* reality. I think they assumed that by merely supporting him they showed their 'post-racial' bona fides. He has always said that this reconciliation will be difficult and will require that all peoples examine their beliefs, motivations, assumptions and be ready to take responsibility for their personal role in the ongoing psychodrama that is race relations locally and globally.

Even though Rev Wright was divisive in his rhetoric the underlying critique of race and class is essentially a progressive one - which I believe is obvious if you read the sermons in their entirety as well as read other examples of his sermons.

It should also be noted that Obama stayed in the church not only because of Wright but because of the progressive/activist nature of the church as a whole. Obama has always said that he is someone who is prepared to talk to and when possible work with those who may have opposing views. His staying in the church is completely consistent with his overall approach to making real and lasting change.

*I don't actually like this term very much. I think some define it as a time when we would not see race. I don't believe that such a time will ever come, nor do I think that we need deny difference to attain a more equitable world.

3/27/2008 12:05 PM  
Blogger Cicely a dit...

Further to my fairly long post...

If you check out TPM or Huffington Post there are a number of excellent articles that provide more background on Rev. Wright and the work of the church.

The latest has a clip from the pastor of the church the Clinton's attended while in the White House, who defends Rev Wright.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/27/pastor-of-clintons-forme_n_93681.html

3/27/2008 3:37 PM  
Blogger Joseph a dit...

There are some excellent arguments here. But at the end of the day, it won't matter how everyone rationalizes it or explains it.

This will significantly harm Obama in the general election. He has lost states he might have been competitive in before this came to light. And he'll plummet if it is shown he was indeed in the pews on some of the days the specific sermons were made (having said he wasn't).

3/27/2008 9:03 PM  
Blogger Cicely a dit...

I don't if you have seen the latest presidential polls but Obama has weathered the storm and in fact it is Hillary who's negatives have increased.

Now there is no question that the GOP will try and make hay of this in the general but it is likely a blessing (for Obama) that this came out when it did. After he was the front runner but before the end of primary season.

It is out there and it will likely not lose him too many previous supporters. The Hillary supporters will have to decide whether Obama's relationship with Rev Wright is truly a deal breaker when held up to the possibility of 4 years of John "war without end" McCain. In terms of independents, it would seem that Obama's powerful speech (check YouTube stats for viewership) has been quite effective with this group. Indeed the only group that he lost traction with was - gasp - Republicans.

3/27/2008 10:12 PM  
Blogger Joseph a dit...

Cicely,

Do not get me wrong - I want to believe he will weather this. But I'm not talking about the Democratic primaries.

I'm talking about the general election, and I think progressives are fooling themselves completely if they think this won't harm Obama in the fall when the rest of the voting public really become engaged. There are still a sizable number of people who are not all that engaged in this election, but who will still vote in the autumn. That portion of the population is very, how shall we say, malleable. Think Swift-boating. Think equating Saddam with Obama. Those campaigns work on some people, enough to sway public opinion and elections.

They aren't going to sit and watch a wonderful speech, and rally to the cause. They already have their preconceived notions, baked in by the likes of Fox News. So even if they bother to hear Obama's words, the images and their preconceived notions will stick firmer. I grew up in that culture - I know.

The fact remains it will harm Obama in places where he showed some early promise - Colorado, Tennessee, Florida, Iowa, and states like Ohio and Michigan, and New Hampshire. The battle in this election will not be for the deep blue states or the deep red states - they were never going to be the battleground anyway. The reality is his close association with this pastor will hurt him with key voting blocs in the "purple" states where he really needs to break-through.

I will gladly be proven wrong on this one - very gladly. But if you think this is over and that a smattering of polls a couple weeks later put the notion aside for the duration, you're really getting drunk on the kool-aid. That's not how the campaign will play out. There are plenty of ways subtle and direct to work those images and an alternative narrative into the general election campaign.

You know what I would have preferred with timing. I would rather this had come out in January so we could really see what the impact would be. As it is, we're just going to have to hope. Because it's not going to just fade away, and one excellent speech in Pennsylvania in March will not put the issue away for November. This association and these images will be part of the orchestrations this fall.

You had better be ready for it, or you're going to find yourself extremely disappointed.

3/28/2008 1:59 PM  
Blogger Cicely a dit...

I agree that you present a possible scenario. The 'swiftboating' of Obama has been ongoing since his first win. The whisper and internet campaigns about his faith, his wife's lack of patriotism, his lack of patriotism, the list goes on.

He is not just weathering this storm but all of them and although his momentum has certainly slowed he continues to hold his lead with primary voters and continues to pick up superdelegates (Sen Casey PA today).

Part of what is working for his campaign is that he has approached difficulty issues (race, the economy, etc.) with a minimum of canned responses. All campaigns have their slogans and messaging but he hasn't simply stuck to the simple sound bites. As many pundits have noted he is speaking to Americans like they are adults. He is better than good in the traditional media but more importantly, his campaign has been brilliant in their use of social networking.

He has run an incredibly coherent well organized campaign.

I am I fairly experienced and cynical politico and as much as I have had moments where I admit to being enthralled by this candidate, I can assure you that I haven't been 'drinkin' the koolaid'. I have following the campaign pretty closely - both Obama's supporters and detractors.

Finally, the Republicans will run as hard a campaign should HRC be the nominee and her claims to previous vetting does not address her actions post Clinton presidency. You gotta wonder why the reluctance to release the tax returns, earmarks, donor lists, etc....

PS - Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos which is urging staunch Republicans to vote for HRC in the Dem primaries should also make folks pause. When you have such right wing operatives fearing an Obama candidacy it would suggest (to me at least) that Obama has a fairly good shot at the prize.

3/28/2008 2:57 PM  
Blogger Joseph a dit...

Cicely,

As I said before, I truly hope your scenario plays out over the one I fear.

I do have to say that since my last post I saw the clip of Obama on The View. And, you know, it was impressive.

I suspect because he does well at expressing his thoughts as an adult to adults, the republicans will try their best to make this a whisper campaign using third parties as the swift boat attacks were.

But I do share some glimmer of hope that it won't play as well this time around. One, because the voting public is more aware of exactly what its all about. And, second, because Obama does focus on the issues that matter while responding to things like this.

I always felt Kerry's mistake was not in forcefully addressing the swift boat ads, which he did after the attacks had begun to fester. But, somehow, when he did respond, it ended up being an "all about me" kind of reaction instead of about the people and the good of the US. He could have said, "I simply won't dignify attacks on my patriotism when there are so many pressing issues facing our nation" instead of the "I have been attacked, woe is me. See how boldly I respond" retort, which just sounded sort of uppity even though he was defending a bitter and unfair attack.

The truth is Obama does not come across in that fashion.

On a side note, in addition to studying the mechanics of English, Dion should be playing tapes of Obama talking about, well, just about any topic so he can learn a thing or two about connecting with an audience. I think I'll scream next time I hear about election timing being all about when the time is right for the Liberal Party. Perhaps it could be about when it's right for Canada (said with only a partial smile).

3/29/2008 4:16 PM  
Blogger Cicely a dit...

Joseph,
I don't think that Kerry was up for the job of POTUS, although given his competition I would have thought he would have done much better.

In terms of Dion, can't say I am a fan. I am sure he is a nice enough guy and I don't doubt his intellect but he is no leader. He could listen to tapes of Obama 24/7 and it wouldn't change the fundamental problem.

3/29/2008 7:35 PM  

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