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Is The Reverend Mr. Wrong Right About Something?

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During a series of public appearances which Senator Obama probably regrets, the Reverend Mr. Wright said that he hopes the controversy surrounding his relationship with Senator Obama will have a positive outcome and spark an honest dialogue about race in America. Wright says black church traditions are still "invisible" to many Americans, as they have been throughout the country's history.

I am White, and have not attended any church, White or Black, for many years. In my youth, I did attend White churches, and over the years have come to know a few Black men, most of whom might well be disparaged by other Blacks as “Oreos.” I find some of the Reverend Mr. Wright's comments offensive, and disagree with them. I find most of the Reverend Mr. Sharpton's comments offensive, and disagree with them as well. The Reverend Mr. Sharpton's recent threats to “close down” New York City because a court of law acquitted two Black policemen and one White policeman of the “racist” killing of a Black man were, to my mind, wrong. So were the resultant protests, including bystanders who yelled out "Kill the police!”.

I don't understand the Reverend Mr. Wright's anger, or that of the Reverend Mr. Sharpton. Nor do I understand the latter's great and very public anger about the alleged rape by “rich” Duke University lacrosse players of a “poor” Black stripper, or his equally great silence when the charges against the alleged perps were found completely baseless; they were declared innocent of any criminal wrongdoing, and the prosecutor who had brought and vigorously pursued the charges for his own political reasons was fired, disbarred, disgraced and forced into bankruptcy. Apparently, the Reverend Mr. Sharpton sees racism as an irrelevant factor when Whites are disadvantaged, even in the sorry circumstances of that case. Perhaps, as he walked off into the sunset, he should have mumbled that he had misspoken.

Over the years, the status of Black people in the United States has improved tremendously. Slavery was made unlawful many years ago, and no longer exists in the United States (although it persists in some parts of Africa, about which I have noticed little anger among Blacks in the United States). Racial discrimination is, for the most part, unlawful, and many Blacks hold high positions in business and in Government. Not long ago, no one in his right mind would have considered seriously the prospect of a Black Supreme Court Justice, a Black Secretary of State or, God forbid, a Black candidate who just might have a good chance of becoming President.

So, there is quite a lot about Black anger which I do not understand. I think I do understand the politically inspired parts of these things, including The Reverend Mr. Sharpton's persistent rants designed to create social unrest and get media attention; but maybe I don't even understand that.

What I certainly do not understand is the Black perspective in general, and the Black Church perspective in particular. Since I don't understand either, I shall not even attempt to comment on them. Perhaps, however, I should try to understand these things, and perhaps so should lots of other people, both Black and White.

When the United States has found herself facing people of other nations, she has often lacked sufficient understanding of their cultures, religions, and motivations. When those other nations were or became our enemies, the consequences were very bad. We thought that the Japanese were small, buck-toothed yellow people wearing thick eyeglasses whom our soldiers and marines could defeat with ease – with one arm tied behind their collective backs. We were wrong. They put up one hell of a fight, and were hard to defeat; we needed ultimately to drop two atomic bombs. We thought that the North Koreans would never invade South Korea, and that if they did, they could be shoved back north quickly and with hardly any effort; we thought that the Chinese would never come to their assistance. We were wrong. We thought that the peasants of Vietnam cared more about achieving Western style democracy or at least defending against the scourge of Communism than filling their bellies and surviving for another day.  We were wrong. We suffered the consequences. Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran et al are of such recent consequence that they need not be elaborated upon. I think the point is about as clear as I can make it.

If we continuously get into trouble because we don't understand the minds, cultures and religions of people of other countries, isn't it worse when we (White folks) don't understand the minds and cultures of substantial numbers of citizens of our own country – or they (Black folks) ours? They are not off in some distant land an ocean or two away; they are right here, in the United States. In saying that we need an “honest dialogue about race in America,” I think the Reverend Wright is absolutely correct. Achieving a dialogue (by definition a two way communication) about race will be very difficult, making it honest will be harder, making it productive will be even more difficult, and lots of anger will be created in the process. The Reverend Mr. Wright has already generated lots of anger, which most of us would rather he had not; we are reasonably happy, and would prefer not to be disturbed. It might even make us bitter. The Reverend Mr. Wright claimed that the reality of the Black church is invisible to Whites, and asserted that “the reality of the African-American church will no longer be invisible."

This is also a message which Senator Obama seems to be trying to get out, without offending too many Whites. He has offended many, and I gather that he has also offended the Reverend Mr. Wright in the process. However, Senator Obama does proclaim that we have a race problem, which can't simply be swept under the rug or fixed by affirmative action programs, magnet schools, metal detectors and policemen in schools, or other such palliatives. That is a concept I don't recall hearing previously from a major candidate for nomination to the Presidency.

Become angry with Senator Obama, the Reverends Wright, Sharpton, et al. I certainly do. But while we are angry, perhaps we can think about why we are so angry, and why they are as well. In An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish, Bertrand Russell wrote,

If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do. If someone maintains that two and two are five, or that Iceland is on the equator, you feel pity rather than anger. . . . The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. . . . [W]henever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, . . you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants.

Maybe we White people who are so angry with the views of the Reverend Mr. Wright and his colleagues are wholly or partially at fault, and maybe we aren't. But we all need to consider the nature of the problem. The Blacks who are so angry need to do so as well; perhaps all of their problems are solely the fault of White people, but perhaps many of them are not; perhaps some of the frustrations which produce their anger are misdirected. I have not heard Senator Obama say much about the latter point, or the Reverend Mr. Wright say anything, and would very much like to hear both do so. Perhaps I haven't been listening well enough. Be that as it may, until we all honestly and thoughtfully consider these things, the race situation will not get any better. 

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About Dan Miller

  • Pam Baker

    Dan,

    I agree with you on several points but I don’t think much will come from a dialogue with the grandstanders who merely seek fame and fortune at the expense of their own race rather than mutual edification and true social change.

    For such a dialogue to be truly meaningful and honest, it will have to include many voices on both sides, most of them new and previously unsung with few in consensus. I expect the whole ordeal will be painful but well worth the effort.

    May I recommend an excellent book for a different perspective on this subject? Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa by Keith B. Richburg.

    Enjoy!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Interesting piece, Dan. I tend to agree with Pam about the futility of dialogue with grandstanders.

    I happen to think Obama is the best president we could get out of you. At least the enmity of the American regime would be out in the open where cockroaches like Olmert would not longer be able to deny it. As for the anger of black Americans, they have plenty of reason to be angry. But they don’t have any reason to demand “positive discrimination” and “affirmative action” has shown itself a failure.

    Racial reconciliation needed due to enslaving blacks imported from Africa is a problem I no longer have to deal with. Frankly, we have enough problems here in Israel.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Dan,

    I suggest that you look at the comments that the Obnoxious American wrote on Reverend Wrong and the comments from Pablo and me on his article as well.

    You’ll see the thin soup that makes up Judaism in America, some nasty truths (Pablo is not wrong in part of his analysis – but the problem is that the analysis is not complete), and a Jewish analysis of all this, as opposed to one posited by an American Jew whining about the inevitable Jew-hatred that Jews encounter in exile.

  • Dan Miller

    Just an interesting side note — it appears that the appearance of the Reverend Mr. Wright at the National Press Club was organized by Barbara Reynolds, an enthusiastic Hillary Clinton supporter.

    Oh well, politicians will be politicians.

    Dan

  • Doug Hunter

    Interesting, I believe your theory on anger and reason need a bit of tweaking. The reason people get angry regarding race is because the level of personal attacks. For example, I get tired of being painted as priviledged and racist. (I made my first money writing an internet site which had nothing to do with my skin color, I wasn’t even advantaged by having computers given to me by family or used prominently in my school, I learned them in the military and through reading books at the library and bookstore) I know that nothing I do has ‘underpriviledged’ anyone and that I don’t treat people differently based on skin color, period. Therefore, it makes me angry when people speak otherwise and have their message largely accepted by society.

  • troll

    Dan – what is it about white ‘minds and culture’ that you think American blacks don’t understand – ?

  • Dan Miller

    Troll,

    Have you ever read Douglas Adams’ Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy five book “trilogy”? Zaphod Beeblebrox once said to Ford Prefect, “I wish I had listened to what my mother told me.” Ford asked, “What did she tell you?” Zaphod replied, “I don’t know; I wasn’t listening.”

    I don’t know what the American Blacks don’t understand; I am not Black, and I guess if what they don’t understand was ever articulated, I wasn’t listening.

    I guess one of the points I was trying to make is that we, and they, should listen.

    Dan

  • troll

    …blacks understand the ‘white psyche’ all too well while as Wright points out US black culture has developed in what is for white folk ‘the shadows’

    perhaps the onus is on whites to do the listening

    I thought that Wright gave a clear and positive statement of his theology and found nothing particularly objectionable in it

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    In saying that we need an “honest dialogue about race in America,” I think the Reverend Wright is absolutely correct.

    First,I think someone should educate Mr.Wright on what the definition of “honest” means before we consider any attempts at the dialog part.

    Second, most of his comments are definitely Anti-American and I could care less if that “dud” failed out of service only after six years. Does anyone know why he only spent six years? That’s not a good sign that he is a patriot.

    Third, since when was the bible about black & white? Why should someone have to go to a black church to understand God or Jesus? Why should someone have to go to a white church to understand God or Jesus? Church shouldn’t be about color and if Mr. White was a “real” man of God, he would already be doing the footwork for an honest dialogue between races! Mr. White totally denounced his role as a spiritual mentor to Obama. Then what f*cking role could he possibly play to anyone about religion? Then what makes him so important that we should listen to his racist & Anti-American tirades, Especially if they are honestly supported by the word of God(I seriously doubt it)? Being a pastor IS being a SPIRITUAL MENTOR. And, if you aren’t accurately mentoring people in the ways of God & Jesus then you are only doing a dis-service to yourself & your church.

  • troll

    Church shouldn’t be about color and if Mr. White was a “real” man of God, he would already be doing the footwork for an honest dialogue between races!

    …he is

  • Dan Miller

    Doug,

    I agree that personal attacks are part of the problem, but not the whole problem. I don’t recall ever having been called a privileged “Racist,” although Zedd did once refer to me as a “White Supremest” in a comment. I didn’t take the comment too seriously, because under some definition I might be one. I don’t think so, but then there is a lot about the Black culture I don’t understand and, perhaps because I don’t understand it, I don’t much care for.

    These things work several ways. I have a very good friend, who is a “liberal” and a strong supporter of affirmative action. He confided to me, however, that when he learned that the obstetrician designated by their health care plan for wife was Black, he felt concern that the doctor might be an “affirmative action” product. He was greatly relieved when he discovered that the Black doctor was an excellent doctor.

    Would the doctor have considered him a “racist” for having these concerns? Probably. I can understand my friend’s concern, and I can also understand the feelings which the doctor might have had if he had been aware of my friend’s concerns.

    Affirmative action, a product generally of the White culture and White liberal guilt, has had its good and its bad effects, among the latter the concern of my friend, and the (sometimes quite justified) feeling among Whites that they have been discriminated against in favor of less deserving Blacks.

    All of these issues and others need to be ventilated, and perhaps, just perhaps, the furor surrounding Senator Obama may provide a vehicle.

    Dan

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    I thought that Wright gave a clear and positive statement of his theology and found nothing particularly objectionable in it

    Really? The man denounces his main responsibility as a pastor. Picks apart the old & new testament to support his racist & anti-American tirades, basically stating that we deserved 9/11. And when confronted about his “way of the mark” comments, he only turns people’s attention to the supposed atrocities that this country does on a daily basis.
    If that man has to answer to God then he is definitely in a world of sh!t!!

    I’m just happy that I don’t believe in that fairytale and can see past his BullSh!t!!

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Correction – “way off the mark”

  • Dan Miller

    Troll, you say:

    …blacks understand the ‘white psyche’ all too well while as Wright points out US black culture has developed in what is for white folk ‘the shadows’

    perhaps the onus is on whites to do the listening.

    I disagree with your thesis that the Blacks understand the “white psyche” if for no other reason than that there is no single “white psyche.” Nor do I think that there is a consistent Black understanding of the White psyche(s). There has to be a dialogue, not a monologue.

    Dan

  • Clavos

    There has to be a dialogue, not a monologue.

    Quoted for Truth.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I always hear christians saying that their religion is a religion of peace…all I can say is that the small pieces of this reverends sermons that I’ve heard DO NOT inspire peace! His words make christianity just as much a religion of hate as that other religion that claims to be a religion of peace…

    And how can you have a dialogue with someone that believes that the govt is the reason for every wrong ever committed in this country or the world for that matter?

  • troll

    for ‘white psyche’ read ‘systematic racism’…that should do it – you are quite correct of course to point out that we are not dealing with complete and consistent categories here…but what’s your point – ?

    calling for dialog as you do seems to me to be a way of saying ‘shut up’…dialog is a series of monologues

    now how can the promised ’40 acres and a mule’ be delivered…

  • Dan Miller

    Troll,

    You say calling for dialog as you do seems to me to be a way of saying ‘shut up’…dialog is a series of monologues

    According to the online version of the American Heritage Dictionary, a dialogue (first definition) is “A conversation between two or more people.” The fifth definition is “An exchange of ideas or opinions: achieving constructive dialogue with all political elements.” Definitions 2 – 4 have to do with music and plays, and aren’t particularly relevant.

    I use the word “dialogue” as the term is defined in the first and fifth definitions above. I don’t consider a diatribe directed by an irritated wife at her husband, along the following lines, to be a dialogue:

    Wife: you are a no good two timing jerk and your feet stink and not only that but you drink too much and have bad breath . . . . You ought to be ashamed of yourself and my mother agrees with me and so do all of my friends.

    Husband: Yes, dear.

    A serial monologue, perhaps,(and perhaps one leading to serial monogamy) but not a dialogue.

    Dan

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Dan – that would be an incorrect response…the proper response is…You’re absolutely right honey…I’m going out back to kill myself…I promise, I’ll clean up before I leave.

  • troll

    Dan…it’s telling that you miss the underlying dialog in your example of a serial monologue

    whose myth is it that Wright isn’t proposing dialog – ?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dan:

    Re your Hitch-Hiker quote in #7: it was Arthur who was speaking to Ford, not Zaphod.

  • Dan Miller

    Doc,

    Sorry ’bout that. Some cretin borrowed my copy of the trilogy, and as soon as I remember who it was I shall have a “dialogue” (under Troll’s definition) with that person.

    Dan

  • troll

    basically stating that we deserved 9/11

    Brian – is that what he said or did he say that racism and government policy made 9/11 inevitable – ?

  • Dan Miller

    Doc,

    I have tried several times to respond to a comment, only to have the comment rejected by Akismet as spam. It wasn’t spam, I promise.

    Dan

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    troll – what’s the difference…saying we deserved it or giving excuses why we deserved it? It’s all the same fucking thing!

    It amazes me how many apologists this asshole has! He’s a fucking racist and a conspiracy theorist, plain and simple and no one should be making excuses for him least of all a person running for the highest office in this country!

    Everyone seems to love him…why, because he’s a man of the cloth? What’s next, excuses for the asshole catholic pedophiles??? Or is it a black thing and I’m just missing it???

  • Clavos

    Dan,

    You have word in there that Akismet doesn’t like. One such is c a s i n o (as an example).

    About the only thing you can do is try to identify which word t is and either spell it with spaces or different characters, or remove it altogether.

    Look for words that logically might have some connection with spam (such as above), or forget it and rephrase your entire comment.

  • troll

    Andy…behavior has consequences: ‘deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it’

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    troll – I’ll agree that most behavior has consequences…I would suppose the same thing could be said about Obama sitting in that church for twenty years…

    …and what behavior was it that those 3000 plus people in the Twin Towers were involved in that bought those consequences??? As I’ve stated before, the Pentagon is a military target, the Towers were not.

  • troll

    Andy – I question his sanity for having sat in any church for all those years…what folks won’t do to get elected

    …as for the 3000 – the behavior in question was accepting employment in a building that had already been declared a target of terrorists

    were you surprised on 9/11 – ?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    So know getting a job is hazardous to your health?

  • troll

    yup…what with behavior and consequences and all it just might be too dangerous to get up in the morning

  • bliffle

    Wright is a megalomaniac showboat and publicity hound. It is simply amazing that anyone would waste even 30 seconds of time on his proclamations.

    Wasting time discussing Wright helps to assure that you won’t address the real issues of this election. So once again you will vote out of ignorance and based on prejudices and whims. And meanwhile people who DO want the candidates to address issues and develop policy will be frustrated by this smokescreen. Bah.

  • troll

    …what election – ?

  • Clavos

    Wasting time discussing Wright helps to assure that you won’t address the real issues of this election.

    True, but the big flaw in your argument is that, no matter how much and how intelligently the “real” issues are discussed, the result will still be the same:

    Either Larry, Curly, or Moe will be elected.

    So we might as well enjoy ourselves…

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Either Larry, Curly, or Moe will be elected.

    You, MCH and Pablo are running for President??

    ;-)

  • Dan Miller

    According to a “reliable” source, Senator Obama just announced that following a PBS interview, he will hold a “big press conference” about the Reverend Mr. Wright. Whatever the significance of their relationship, lots of folks seem to think it’s a big issue.

    Perceptions trump facts and reality, whatever the facts and reality may be.

    Dan

  • Dan Miller

    Doc,

    If they have any sense at all, they will run like hell in the opposite direction if anyone suggests the idea.

    What was that “whooooshing” sound I just heard from afar?

    Dan

  • troll

    read all about it – ! Obama disses Preacher

  • Clavos

    Dear Assistant Censor,

    Har de har, Doc.

    FYI, I’m much more insulted by being lumped in with Pablo and MCH than with the Stooges…

  • The Obnoxious American

    I noticed Bliffle posted the same comment here as in my article’s thread. As such, here is my reply to him, because suggesting that this is a mere smokescreen isn’t accurate or fair:

    Bliffle,

    You are aware that I’ve written several articles that dissect the Democratic candidates from a purely policy point of view. In case you missed them:

    Democrats: I just don’t understand

    The Official Obama Hit Piece

    Dishonest Dems

    I am very familiar with the policies that Obama is running on, and I’ve devoted the above articles to refuting those policies. Anyone who reads my columns is well versed on policy issues.

    This may very well be the first post dedicated to non-policy stuff. That said, I am in full agreement with Andy Marsh, who you associate yourself with IS important, especially in a candidate with so little else to define his history or views.

  • Clavos

    I noticed Bliffle posted the same comment here as in my article’s thread.

    Which makes him a spammer…

  • Dan Miller

    Troll, this just in

    Senator Obama said today, “I am outraged by the comments that were made [by the Reverend Mr. Wright] and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday.”

    And I was just standing there, waiting for the bus.

    Dan

  • The Obnoxious American

    I think thats too little too late.

    It flies in the face of his previous position, of “not being able to disown Wright just like he wouldnt be able to disown his white grandmother.” So he’s kneeling to pressure on this point from the media of all people. I think (and would guess others do too) that this isn’t the most presidential display I’ve ever seen.

    Further, he only just now finds the spectacle outrageous? Expect more tapes of Wrights sermons, where Obama IS in the audience to now surface.

    Fact is, Obama knew what Wright was about. Obama never disowned the guy, and now the chickens are coming home to roost.

  • Baronius

    I’m pretty much with Brian on this one. Wright’s comments may have been taken out of context, but Obama’s church has its own website that makes them look just as wacky. C.S. Lewis wrote about “Christianity And”, which happens when a person or group sets up two pillars of worship. Obama’s church is Christian And Black. It becomes far too easy to lose track of the Christianity.

    And haven’t we been having a dialogue on race, since forever? No one talks about anything but race. That’s the real reason that Obama’s race speech in Philadelphia had so little impact. What we need is an honest shutting-up about race, for maybe 30 years, then see where things stand.

  • zingzing

    what the fuck do you want, obnoxious? if he says nothing, you’re on him. if he says something, you’re on him. you say you want him to condemn the man, and when he does, it’s not good enough. can’t you see the wright finally pushed him over the edge?

    there was a long relationship there that obama didn’t want to see totally destroyed by a political divergence, but here it is. any relationship that obama shared with wright is probably over, and that’s probably a good thing for obama’s presidential hopes. but, i’d bet it saddens him to see what is happening.

    but for fuck’s sake: the man did what you wanted. isn’t that good enough? one might begin to think you’re just a partisan hack.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Zing,

    To be clear, Obama didn’t do anything I wanted. My prior post where I said this was too little too late isn’t how I feel about his comments. It’s what I suspect the reaction to his big press conference will be – too little too late.

    If we want to talk about what I want from Obama, what he could do to earn my vote, he could stop saying the word “post partisan” whatever that means, stop villifying the rich and talking about making taxation fair by taxing the rich even more (!), and maybe grow up a little in terms of foreign policy.

    But he won’t ever do any of that. He will instead continue trying to sell the same old liberal viewpoints as “Change we can believe in” and some people will gobble it up like turkey on thanksgiving weekend. Just how many Americans gobble will be on display in November.

    As far as being a partisan hack, that’s a funny charge to make on a blog site. I will freely admit my partisanship. Partisanship is what makes this country great. I have a deep disagreement with the policies of the extreme left. And Obama is an extreme left candidate.

    But partisan hack? I’ve never misrepresented his views, I don’t have to – they are that wrong headed that they don’t require embellishment from me.

  • zingzing

    obnoxious, obama would have to become a republican to earn your vote.

    and as for spooning out catchphrases, that’s what politicians do. all your favorite republicans do it. it’s just the way of politics in america. you have to look past these things. i hate it just as much as you do, and it’s one of the main problems i have with obama: at least on the surface, he’s just another politician. which they all are. so take your pick as to who actually has any substance.

    you suspect the american people’s reaction will be “too little, too late?” yes, he is connected to rev. wright at this point. that’s probably true. but anyone with a mind can see that he and rev. wright (and obama has said this TIME AND TIME AGAIN) do not agree on all things political.

    that’s where the “hack” bit comes in. there’s no way you can really believe that obama believes the shit wright spouts. but you continue to make out as if you (and the american people) are really that dumb. some people are that dumb. or that partisan, be it to the republicans or to hillary.

    by saying stuff like (not a direct quote) “obama hasn’t done enough to distance himself from wright’s comments/beliefs,” you’re trying to do your best to connect the two as if they were part of the same person or shared the same beliefs. which, obviously, isn’t true. you’re also doing your best to make obama look bad for something that’s out of his control, which is insincere at best. a hack job, if you will.

    and if you think that obama is “extreme left,” i’d like to introduce you to a shitload of people you’ve obviously never heard of.

  • The Obnoxious American

    lolll poor poor zing. You obviously think I am much more affected by Obama or the things he says than I am. A few facts:

    – it is not me who is making this connection. It’s the media. I am only commenting about it, and enjoying the show like most on the right.

    – as far as pols speaking in catchphrases, well that may be true some of the time. But it seems to me to be true all of the time for Obama. Even Karl Rove suggested that Obama fix his stump speech because it was tired. That said, I’ve watched virtually all of the candidates this cycle, and (I know I will catch flack for saying this but) of the three, McCain speaks the least catchphrase. He actually says real things. Not some bull change we can believe in, yes we can nonsense.

    – in terms of believing that Obama agrees with Wright, I don’t care one bit what he agrees with. Fact is, he associated himself with this guy for 20 years. And when this stuff came to light, he wouldn’t denounce Wright, instead only denouncing the words of the man. Obama has to have a reason for this (dare i say blind) loyalty to this pastor whom by your comments you seem to agree spouts shit.

    – in terms of trying to make a connection, it’s not at all about that. I saw the original 9/11 sermon. I watched Obama’s race speech live. I watched the debates in Penn. I have given Obama the chance. To me, he hasn’t done enough to show he doesn’t agree with Wright. And it seems many in this country are feeling the same way.

    You can call me a hack all you like. Notice I am not calling you anything. Just responding to your posts.

  • zingzing

    “To me, he hasn’t done enough to show he doesn’t agree with Wright.”

    what about his comments today did you not understand?

    earlier, i said, “there’s no way you can really believe that obama believes the shit wright spouts. but you continue to make out as if you (and the american people) are really that dumb. some people are that dumb. or that partisan, be it to the republicans or to hillary.”

    now, i don’t want to say that you are “dumb.” but i think you believe other people are dumb enough to be swayed by this malarkey. but here’s the truth of it:

    -obama clearly stated that he was “outraged” and “saddened by the spectacle,”
    -that wright showed “little personal regard for [obama]” and that wright was looking to take “center stage”
    -and that his remarks were “giving comfort to those who prey on hate.”
    -he also clearly stated that what wright had to say did not represent his own beliefs or those of the black church as he understands it.
    -furthermore, obama stated that “it is completely opposed to what I stand for and where I want to take this country,”
    -and that his relationship with wright is forever changed by the things wright has said and how he has acted.
    -even mccain had to admit that he “[does] not believe that Sen. Obama shares Rev. Wright’s extremist statements or views.”

    so why do you think obama agrees with wright?

  • Baronius

    Zing, is there only one church in Chicago?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Yes, the Church of Daley.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    …or did he say that racism and government policy made 9/11 inevitable

    No, actually, he lumped a bunch of offensives together that had nothing to do with each other & somehow included South Africa. And, Just like most uneducated propagandists,he forgets to include the reasons why, so that most Americans who don’t recall history accurately will applaud his anti-American rhetoric.

    Ultimately, 9/11 happened because we didn’t take care of that f*cking fascist, neo-nazi dictator(Saddam) the first time around & showed those extreme brainwashed religious kamikazes that we would become passive under the so-called wisdom of the U.N. that this racist(Rev.Wright) seems to love so much.

    Still, whenever we,the US, try to defend another country’s people or clean up the f*cking mess, we always have to deal with these diluted f*cks(Rev.Wright)who don’t have a clue about reality and try to pass off their unintelligent frustration as food for thought.

  • The Obnoxious American

    (sigh)

    Zing,

    Bottom line, if Obama truly found what wright had said outrageous, why did he wait till April 28th, 2008 to say that? Perhaps it’s the fact that Wright did show Obama’s candidacy so little regard, and NOT the actual comments he made regarding the US and terrorism, etc so saddening.

    Obama should have put an end to this the DAY the 9/11 sermon came out. Better yet, Obama should have left his church as soon as he knew Wright made those comments.

    Don’t try and sell me that he didn’t know it, because as Gibson established (and I noted in my Penn Debates article), Obama knew enough to try and keep Wright out of the limelight. Why?

    Had Obama at least been much more clear about disavowing not just the comments but the man who said them when this first started, this wouldn’t be an issue. But here is the math formula:

    (Wright + White Grandmother + Typical White Person + Wasn’t in church that day = not fit for president)

  • zingzing

    “Bottom line, if Obama truly found what wright had said outrageous, why did he wait till April 28th, 2008 to say that?”

    he did, as soon as it came under discussion during his presidential campaign.

    “Obama should have put an end to this the DAY the 9/11 sermon came out. Better yet, Obama should have left his church as soon as he knew Wright made those comments.”

    as if he was in any position at the time. people watch their friends do stupid things all the time. people disagree with their friends. no, not everyone is running for president, but presidents should have some amount of loyalty. it took obama until this point to totally give up on someone he’s had a 20-year relationship with. this is just another example of why the church and politics don’t have any place in the same room. if obama believes in what america stands for, he’ll keep what happens in church far, far away from what happens in washington.

    “Had Obama at least been much more clear about disavowing not just the comments but the man who said them when this first started, this wouldn’t be an issue.”

    well, he has. and if he wasn’t clear enough months ago, he was clear enough this time. he didn’t make his church into a political weapon. can you blame him? and, really, what another man says is not an issue in obama’s campaign. wright is not obama, obama is not wright, obama does not believe the same things that his reverend does. fair enough?

    how about this for a math formula?

    pastor does not equal politician. pastor talking politics equal to personal trainer talking economics.

    der.

  • zingzing

    guppy: “Ultimately, 9/11 happened because we didn’t take care of that f*cking fascist, neo-nazi dictator(Saddam) the first time around & showed those extreme brainwashed religious kamikazes that we would become passive under the so-called wisdom of the U.N. that this racist(Rev.Wright) seems to love so much.”

    you do know that the baathists were secular, yeah? and you do know that the history of all this stretches back much, much further than the gulf war, right? that the british tried the same damn thing with similar results? and that you’re sounding just as nuts and misinformed as the radical islamic people you rail against?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Zing, I think guppy was referring to two different things.

    1. “that f*cking fascist, neo-nazi dictator (Saddam)”

    and

    2. “those extreme brainwashed religious kamikazes”

    Dave

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    This debate might be interesting, if it wasn’t so damned stupid,

    The Right,or at least OA, is hanging on a limb as the creek rushes benath him. He knows deep down inside he has no defense against the waters rushing just beneath him, but he refuses to surrender to them.

    I admire him for that,

    Where I feel no pity is in the denial that his wrong-headed sense of direction got him into this mess in the first place. OA will never admit that the views he espouses are what got us intoour current mess.

    Or maybe he doesn’t get out much.

    In the rest of the world, we encounter people we call friends. But as we get to know them as friends, we realize we don’t want them in our lives.

    The fact that Obama had Wright as a pastor does not negate his message.

  • Zedd

    Dan,

    What we witness in the African American community, the uncomfortable aspects, are the natural results of humanities evil. We cant conduct ourselves in the way that we have (historically) and have alternate expectations. It is childish and cruel. America conducted and evil social experiment and what we have are the results.

    I believe that we know this in our collective unconscious that African Americans embody the American spirit. They above all others have persevered and many have excelled under the most bizarre circumstances. It just that we don’t want to think about those circumstances.

    On the verbosity of some African Americans: Americans have big mouths period. Americans love to make threats and Americans expect more out of humanity. Al Sharpton is no different from bubba down the road or Rush Limbaugh (although more intelligent – Al that is. Heck we are at war in the wrong country for goodness sakes and we don’t care. We beat our chests and pounce at any potential menace, most of whom are an invention.

    So I would suggest that you not waste your time simply listening but spend more time THINKING. Processes the entire African American experience from the perspective of a real human beings much like yourself instead of from the view point of some bull like, mindless individual who can withstand situations that are beyond humanity. Follow the natural progressions of things without skipping to the Hollywood ending and see what you end up with. Only then will you be able to understand. Otherwise, it is pointless.

  • Dan

    Dan, the reason there isn’t any honest dialogue on race is because it would involve examination of some hard truth about racial differences.

    Since that’s forbidden, whites will always need to be vilified to explain black failure.

    In the context of this one way “dialogue” it’s not hard to figure out what causes black anger and resentment.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Dave,
    You are correct,sir.

    Zing,
    I wish I was more educated about History but as far as I can tell there is one major difference. We aren’t imposing a Government model that hasn’t been successful in other countries.We’ve given them the power to decide…You know, Voting! Sure, we are dictating a policy only after their Dictator proved that he could not only get along with the world but that he was killing his own people and enabling others to do the same.

    Oh and Zing, if you wanna lump me in with all those radical religious nuts then you are further off your rocker than I originally thought.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    We aren’t imposing a Government model that hasn’t been successful in other countries.We’ve given them the power to decide…You know, Voting!

    And that was the fatal error. Assuming that everyone is ready for democracy is tragically naive. We needed to give them a better pro-western dictator to replace Saddam and then encourage a gradual evolution towards democracy based on capitalism, secularism and education.

    Dave

  • Dan Miller

    Dave,

    I agree, for the most part, although I am afraid that your analysis is a tad overly optimistic. Democracy is a fragile and rare plant, which needs the proper conditions. When it is transplanted to places which are inhospitable, failure is certain. Here in Panama, Ficus trees grow vigorously and get very big; just stick them in the ground and they do that. In Vermont, they won’t even survive except in a hothouse with rigorously controlled and artificial conditions; even then, they don’t do very well. To mix slightly a metaphor, Polar Bears are a home in very cold climates. They would not do well in the wild in Panama. In the artificial conditions of a zoo, they might survive and with great care even breed; but even then, they don’t do very well.

    I think it is historically true that democracy can prosper only when the conditions are propitious. In other places, even with the greatest good will and stupendous investment of money and lives, it will not prosper well or long, if at all. There are a few arguable exceptions, but they are rare and with a bit of analysis they probably aren’t.

    If we had “given” Iraq a better pro-western dictator, the situation might have improved and, perhaps, over many, many years of investment of both lives and money, some species of democracy might or might not have evolved. To have expected a Saul of Tarsus Epiphany to have occurred once the virtues of democracy were explained was a big mistake.

    Dan

  • Dan Miller

    Zedd,

    Thanks. I gave it my best shot in the article and tried, really tried, to generate both listening and thought.

    Unfortunately, I am afraid that the Reverend Wright’s recent outbursts, along with those of the Reverend Sharpton and others have done more to undermine whatever chance Senator Obama might have had of healing the racial divide than a massive resurgence of the KKK. You can, doubtless, glean that from many of the comments.

    We will have to see what happens during and following Senator Obama’s soon to occur PBS interview and “big” press conference. Maybe, but only maybe, he still has a chance. But I am not optimistic. If he doesn’t, I think the best we can expect is more of the same old, tired palliatives which I had hoped might be superseded by something better.

    Dan

  • Dan Miller

    Zedd,

    An addendum. Looking briefly at the news, Senator Obama had his interview and press conference last night, after I had gone to bed. Now, the reactions are starting to pour in. I will have to think about what he said and the reactions, before deciding what I think.

    Dan

  • Zedd

    Dan,

    Thank you for the thoughtful article. I hope that I didn’t imply that it was not well considered and thought provoking. What I was saying is that without humanizing AA’s it will be useless to listen.

    If Obama is not President because of his pastors comments, or Sharpton’s comments (whatever that has to do with anything) its more an indictment on us as a people than on Obama or his pastor. If AAs must provide a situation where all Blacks “behave” before they can attain positions of responsibility, then they have not chance.

    This is mind you is at a time when Rush and Bush rule.

    Also, I am not sure what it was that was so inflamatory about Wrights statements. I’d like to understand your perspective as a White male? What was so bad about what he said? I understand that it was uncomfortable to hear but inflamatory???

  • zingzing

    guppy: “I wish I was more educated about History but as far as I can tell there is one major difference. We aren’t imposing a Government model that hasn’t been successful in other countries.We’ve given them the power to decide…You know, Voting! Sure, we are dictating a policy only after their Dictator proved that he could not only get along with the world but that he was killing his own people and enabling others to do the same.”

    yeah, but that’s a very short view of history. a and a very incomplete view. if you don’t understand what really got us into this mess (you could mention israel as a good place to focus some attention), then how do you ever expect us to get out of it? “kill ‘em all?” that won’t happen, and will just make things worse.

    “Oh and Zing, if you wanna lump me in with all those radical religious nuts then you are further off your rocker than I originally thought.”

    i didn’t. i just said you sound just as crazy and ill-informed. you sound like a reactionary. it boggles the mind that ANYONE, post-wwII, has the dick-for-a-brain to think that going to all-out war is anything but a worldwide death sentence. we’re just one nut getting a nuke away from total annihilation… getting into this kind of a war is gonna be our last mistake.

  • Dan Miller

    No, Zedd, the only thing I found disturbing was the comment So I would suggest that you not waste your time simply listening but spend more time THINKING. I did think, and have done a fair amount of that in the past, but until there is more listening — even to the Reverend Messrs Wright and Sharpton– introspection won’t be enough. The point of the article was to stimulate both listening and thought. Anger is sometimes a viable means of encouraging both. You may have noticed that in the first part of the article, I said a few things which may have caused just a tad of anger. It was intentional.

    I have listened to the Reverend Messrs Wright, Sharpton, et al and have heard quite a lot of racism. I have also heard much which I would not characterize as racism so characterized by others. I don’t want all Blacks [to] “behave” before they can attain positions of responsibility although reasonable measures of decorum and responsibility would be helpful among the leaders who, of course, have followers who try to emulate them. To incite Blacks to shut down the City of New York (not necessarily a bad thing in itself), to encourage them to shout “kill the police,” as the Reverend Mr. Sharpton recently did, and to posture in the spotlight during the travesty of justice which almost ruined the lives of three Duke University Lacrosse players, fail to generate a high degree of respect among Whites. Then, slinking off without a word of regret when the charges against them were found to be the product of a White racist-opportunist’s effort to curry favor among Blacks and thereby secure reelection, did not much help matters. Respect is needed, on all sides.

    I served as a Captain in the JAG Corps in Korea just after law school, between early 1967 and 1970. It was said, probably without total accuracy although I accepted it, that we had no Blacks or Whites in the Army; everybody was the same color, green. The then Chief of Staff of the U.S. Forces in Korea, Lt. General (three stars) Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., himself the son of the first Black general officer in the U.S. Army, was a very impressive man. He was born in 1913, back in Jim Crow days. Upon graduation from the U.S. Military Academy in 1937, his first posting was to Ft. Benning, Georgia where, as a Black officer, he was not allowed into the offiers’ club, an indignity which he well remembered for the rest of his thirty-seven year military career. He rose through the officer ranks, and was very, very highly respected by every officer I encountered in Korea. As a mere captain, I did not know him, but got a strong sense that he respected competent White officers as well, although he would not willingly tolerate incompetents of any race.

    When I compare people like Lt. General Davis with people like the Reverend Mr. Sharpton, one about as color blind as any person can be, and the other a race baiter full of vitriol, I can’t help respecting one but not the other. Nor can I help but believe that one did more during his career to advance the cause of Blacks than the other and dozens like him could ever do in a dozen lifetimes.

    I still have hopes that Senator Obama will win the Democrat nomination and I may even vote for him if he does. If so, it will be the first time I have ever voted for a Democrat or against a Republican.

    Obviously, these are critical days for Senator Obama and for the prospects of having a Black president; one who I hope, if he succeeds, will be the President of the entire country, not merely of those of his race.

    Dan

  • Dan Miller

    Zedd,

    Having read a number of news articles, MSM commentaries and blog comments this morning, I have only one further observation.

    If Senator Obama fails to secure the Democrat nomination due to the ill directed rhetoric of the Reverend Mr. Wright, et al, I shall be very sad, and not only because Senator Clinton, whom I despise, will get it. I will be sad because it will set race relations in the United States back many years and exacerbate the anger already felt by both races. The Reverend Mr. Wright, et al, will have destroyed the first chance any person of color has ever had, and the last I shall probably see in my lifetime, to become our president. And that will be a damn shame. There may be another “Black President” like former President Clinton, intent primarily upon self-advancement, but that will be it.

    Dan

  • Zedd

    Dan,

    Thanks for the reply. However I think that you miss it, even though it is quite clear that you intend to be open and are extending yourself beyond even your own comfort level. That is a beautiful thing and something that is difficult for all humanity.

    You must understand that it is vital for you to see Blacks as you do all human beings. Al Sharpton’s remarks have nothing to do with Obama. Also, Al Sharpton has nothing to do with a rag tag of goofballs shouting “kill the police”. Blacks are not nimble minded drones who react to whatever is being stated by any person with a deep enough tan. Those who shouted “kill…” are clearly dumb Americans with a confusingly low capacity to grasp the big picture. But they are also individuals who are not included enough to have enough to loose to understand the ramifications of such statements. In other words they don’t have the social pressures to prevent them from saying such things in public (lets PONDER why that is). These individuals spoke for themselves, dumb as they are, expressing their own feelings, irresponsible as they are. Al Sharpton is not about killing the police. You haven’t heard him enough to know that.

    Highlighting the accomplishments of one American who happens to be Black, who overcame enormous odds is shameful. Let me explain why. What you are saying is that Blacks have to be bulls, heroic, stronger that everyone, mutant humans in order to be accepted into the fold of normal average, sometimes drooling Americans. We are happy for that General however, he had to ignore a lot of natural human tendencies (frustration, humiliation, anger, disappointment, mortification, in large doses) in order to be accepted by White society. Is that a good thing? Should the goal of one’s life to be accepted by Whites at the expense of your basic dignity? Off course the answer is a resounding “no”. You would not be that General were you born with my completion. Many Whites like to think that they would scale past the twilight zone experience that AAs experience to become a Powell or Rice when they were barely able to cut it as a White person.

    Whites are spoiled. Whites trample all over the globe holding themselves as the marker by which all of creation should be evaluated against. Why? Who knows. I don’t think they know really. While there are multitudes of ignorant, frighteningly dumb Whites roaming around, some who are quite vocal, their abysmal stupidity is never attributed to some movement or consensus or genetic allegiance or attributed to their Whiteness. Their stupidity is regarded as a quirkiness or “misguidedness” of sorts. Should we tag Hitler with doing what he did because of his Whiteness? Better yet, is Bush what he is because he is White? Should all White male candidates be evaluated based on Bushes performance (tall tales, inappropriate jovial notes and wobly reasoning included)

    If the broad sweeping comments that are made by Whites about everyone else were to be turned around, we would have the planet in flames as retribution. A mere suggestion that rural whites are bitter (oooooh forbid) launched all sorts of emotional rants across the world, when Arabs, Chinese, Koreans, heck all Asians and lord knows poor Africans are lumped into every crazy inconceivable pot consistently without notice or recognition that it is THAT lumping in that perpetuates the problems that they face.

    The reason that I am suggesting that one should ponder the situation of AAs is that under normal circumstances a lot of what we see is ridiculous, without a doubt but under the given situation it is not. They are heroic, an astonishment to behold. Holding opinions without understanding the larger issues is like my teenager giving her philosophy about life. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so annoying.

  • Zedd

    Dan,

    The Reverend Mr. Wright, et al, will have destroyed the first chance any person of color has ever had

    I’m afraid it wouldn’t be the Rev Wright’s fault, it will be an illumination of where we are regarding race matters. How this preacher’s views speak to Obama’s ability to serve as President (as we sit under GW Bush’s leadership), is confusing. You do realise that McCain has recieved endorcements from ministers who believe that New Orleans occured because of God’s retribution; who’s views are frightening, who want the teaching of creation in our schools. Talk about distroying the country….

    The “issue” that we are faced with is more so about our own illness regarding wanting to pinch AAs into submissive characatures, Hollywood inventions of what good “others” should be. If only they could be “Asianesque”, perpetually apologetic (I suppose for not being White), then and only then will we deem them good enough.

    Let’s be honest Dan, we are ALL surprised that Obama has gotten this far. We all know that America is not mature regarding race. It’s just that this guy is just that smart. He cant be ignored.

    We don’t need a Black president under circumstances where we are diminished. We don’t want to teach our children that THAT is the way to live out ones life and gain acceptance. Actually we don’t deserve the right to claim equality if we are not. Those White male faces that represent American Presidents, tell the truth about who we are and what we value.

    You still haven’t said what rattled you about Wright.

  • Dan Miller

    Zedd,

    You must understand that it is vital for you to see Blacks as you do all human beings. I try, I really do. And when I do so, I find that I put the Reverend Mr. Sharpton, et al in the same manure pile as David Duke, et al. Although you doubtless wish that Al Sharpton’s remarks [had] nothing to do with Obama, and I do as well, they do because they are so perceived. More often than not, perception trumps reality and reason, by a large measure.

    Highlighting the accomplishments of one American who happens to be Black, who overcame enormous odds is shameful. We disagree, although I do like the expression one American who happens to be Black, and hope that history will so record Senator Obama, win or lose. We all need role models, regardless of whether we are capable of living up to their standards, and I submit that General B.O. Davis, Jr. is a fine one, for Whites and Blacks. There are many others, but I mentioned him only because I met him once, very briefly, and was quite impressed with his dignity and his attributes as a warrior. I consider him a far better role model than many, many others who have been accorded that status in any community, White, Black or whatever. Go out into the Black community — I haven’t done so, but then here in the Mountains of Panama that would be difficult. My guess is that if you were to ask a hundred randomly selected residents whom among Blacks they most admire, you wouldn’t find many who would cite General Davis, General Powell, Mr. Justice Thurgood Marshall, Mr. Justice Clarence Thomas, or any of their ilk. I may be totally off-base, but if I am not, it is a shame. I have no doubt that in any other non-Black community you would find much the same thing. In any event, you contend that the folks who responded to the Reverend Mr. Sharpton’s recent grandstanding in New York City with yells, of “kill . . .” are also individuals who are not included enough to have enough to loose to understand the ramifications of such statements; perhaps it would be otherwise if they had better role models, including but not by way of limitation General Davis.

    You say that there are lots of stupid White folks but that their abysmal stupidity is never attributed to some movement or consensus or genetic allegiance or attributed to their Whiteness. Ever heard the terms, not of endearment, trailer trash, poor white trash, redneck, or honky? Sure you have.

    Whites trample all over the globe holding themselves as the marker by which all of creation should be evaluated against. Some do, most don’t even leave their countries of birth; more probably should. You have doubtless read in history the story of the Japanese trampling all over China and Korea, and what happened in those places in consequence. Muslims are, in many cases, trying to force their views on others in Europe and even in the United States. Slavery is still rather common in parts of Africa, and it got there long before White English and American slave traders arrived in Africa to buy Black slaves from other Blacks. And it was largely the Whites [who] . . . [held] themselves as the marker by which all of creation should be evaluated against who ended slavery, to the extent that it has been ended.

    I must agree that President Bush would probably never have become President of the United States had he been Black, Brown of of any other minority group. In a race-neutral society, I don’t know whether he would have or not. At any rate, we all need bad examples as well as good.

    Under normal circumstances a lot of what we see is ridiculous. . . . Here, we must agree. It has always been, and always (at least as long as there are people) will be, thus. Read Bertrand Russell’s an Outline of Intellectual Rubbish: A Hilarious Catalogue of Organized and Individual Stupidity.

    Clearly, some things which we now see as wrong and ridiculous were accepted contemporaneously as quite right and reasonable. Our current culture(s) have no monopoly on the right and reasonable, and the prism though which we view the past presents a distorted view. In the future, our culture(s) will doubtless be viewed through a similar prism.

    Dan

  • Dan Miller

    Zedd

    Once more into the briar patch.

    If you will re-read my comment #68, and your comment #70, I think you may reconsider what I was actually saying. I used the subjunctive — if Senator Obama fails to get the Democrat nomination, due to the wramblings (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) of the Reverend Mr. Wright et al,, whether due to what the Reverend Mr. Wright actually meant or what he is perceived to have meant (it makes little difference in the end), it will be a bad thing; possibly even worse than if Senator Obama fails to get the nomination because Senator Clinton “done come tooo fur to be tared” and denied what is her wright (opps, again) or words to that effect.

    My article tried to point up something of the Reverend Mr. Wright’s with which I agree. There is much also with which I disagree, but that alone would not keep me from voting for Senator Obama.

    Dan

  • Zedd

    Dan,

    Thank you for your candor and reason. One rarely encounters it when discussing matters of race.

    The term White trash has more to do with Whites not expecting Whites to do poorly. Ponder upon it a bit. The fact that their race is highlighted says it all doesn’t it. Its as if they are an anomaly. We know otherwise don’t we. Dumb is prevalent. I listen to talk radio and bristle….

    Dan, do you have role models? I presume that the people who were chanting were adults. I don’t think they have role models or need them. Also you really would be surprised just how tiresome Sharpton and Jackson are to many if not most AAs. If you were a fly on the wall in the midst of a group of average AAs you would witness an exasperation towards the “contributions” of these two individuals in particular. A lot of people would count Marshall in particular as a “role model”. However, I would venture to guess that most Whites wouldn’t have anyone of relevance to count among their “leaders” either. Probably some numb-scull like Rush or one of the vacuous loud mouths. Same thing.

    I will also bet you your entire life’s earnings that you don’t LISTEN to Al Sharpton very much. If you did, being the thinking man that you are, would be surprised and impressed. Yes he pops off on occasion but he is quite cogent most of the time AND fair. I thought he was some dumb hot head for a while (the greasy hair and preacher cadence didn’t help) until I LISTENED to him. I’ve changed my mind in the past three years.

    The point that you make about the perception of there being a correlation between Sharpton and Obama is the real issue. It is the lumping in that I was speaking of. Its silly, irrational, naive and un-evolved. What the heck do we do about that? Again, do we make all Blacks “behave” in order to advance personally? Are Whites that stupid that they would draw such conclusions? I suppose if “we” lumped Osama in with Saddam anything is possible.

  • Zedd

    side note:

    I found it interesting that some of the comments that Wright made at the NAACP (I believe) conference this weekend were totally misunderstood because of a cultural disconnect. At one point he referenced a song (“I’ve been running for Jesus and I’m not tired yet”) that is well known to AAs but the media mistook it to be grand standing or sympathy getting. If a major cultural reference would be missed by others it would be considered ignorance. Welcome to the twilight zone.

  • bliffle

    Have we ever seen the comparable amount of press and TV coverage wasted on John McCain and his relationship with various religious maniacs? no.

    It cannot be ascribed to McCain not knowing any and not paying homage to religious maniacs because we know that he has.

    But we have a hard time even remembering the names of those nuts because the scandals, if any, were quickly excised from the press and TV. Meanwhile, Jeremiah Wright rumbles on and on so that the ignorant and easily manipulated will never forget his name and the tarnish he lays on Obama (supposedly).

    All you guys who keep the ball rolling on this aberration do is to distract from the real issues of the coming campaign, you know, things like the Iraq war, the economy, etc.

  • Ruvy

    Bottom line, if Obama truly found what wright had said outrageous, why did he wait till April 28th, 2008 to say that?

    [The scene opens on a room in Samaria. In the distance, in the afternoon clear sky, one can see the sun shining off the Mediterranean some 35 miles away. Ruvy pulls up his chair, sits down and raises his hand….]

    ham’atafá b’vakashá? (The envelope please?)

    [A gloved individual hands Ruvy an envelope. Ruvy rips open envelope, pulls out piece of paper, adjusts his glasses and begins to read]

    That, my brilliant friend, is when Barack Obama finally figured out that Reverend Wright, his preacher for twenty years, took a bundle of cash from a different candidate to pee on Obama’s shoes in public.

    [Ruvy turns to the woman with the gloves]

    todá rabá, sára (thank you very much, Sarah)

    [Ruvy takes off his glasses, wipes them off on the black cloth in his glasses case, replaces the glasses in the case, puts the case in his pocket, picks up the chair (vintage 1940 college classroom), and walks away towards his computer, so he can read the comics news from The Jerusalem Post. The scene fades to black]

  • The Obnoxious American

    Ruvy,

    Some pundits were suggesting yesterday that Obama paid him to do this, so Obama could make a big stink about finally disavowing him. All of these conspiracy theories are hillarious to me. What’s more funny however are these laughable responses to my posts.

    Since there is some new anti spam thingy on this site that is not letting me address multiple people in one comment, I will have to post a second.

  • Dan Miller

    Hi again, Zedd

    “We’ve all come a long way, baby.”

    I’m rather surprised that you didn’t catch (or perhaps you had the courtesy not to comment upon) my reference to the “briar patch.” I had rather hoped that you might, because it leads into a point I want to make.

    The term comes from an old motion picture, Song of the South, in which Unka Remus tells a bunch of adoring but “rich white kids” on the plantation a story about how br’er Rabbit out foxed br’er Fox by asking him, “Please, br’er Fox, don’t throw me in that briar patch.” That is precisely what br’er Rabbit wanted br’er Fox to do, rather than eat him.

    Back then, and indeed as recently as the late 1950’s, one’s White Aunt was pronounced with a broad A, and a beloved Black family servant (or slave, going back a bit) was also called Aunt, but with a short A. Uncle referred to one’s actual (White) uncle, while Unca referred to a similarly beloved Black family servant (or, going back a bit, slave).

    My origins are in the South, and when a child I was often taken by my parents to visit my maternal grandparents in a rural town in the mountains of southwestern Virginia (not West Virginia — that’s where the poor white trash hang out). I remember those visits fondly, and with no apologies. I can no more throw my grandparents, whom I loved, under the bus than could Senator Obama; contrary to the pundits, he did nothing of the kind and I think that was the farthest thing from his mind.

    When I accompanied my mother to town, and we encountered a Black man, he automatically got off the sidewalk, removed his hat, and said “Good mornin’, Miss Margaret” (he remembered her from before she had married my father). My grand parents attended funerals at Black churches, and sat at the back; Blacks attended our family funerals, and sat at the back.

    I also remember stories from my youth about the wicked Yankees and the War of Northern Aggression — one involved Unka Willie, who wouldn’t tell the Yanks where the Confederate soldiers were, for which the Yanks murdered him.

    These are my recollections, flawed though they may well be. The point is that none of us can, or should, forget our history. Zeus help us if we do. History helps us to understand the present, and to create what may, just may, be a better future.

    I no more ask you, or anyone else, to forget the past or recollections of it, than I wish to do so. Today, I would most likely be horrified if some of the things, then viewed as kindnesses and courtesy, were to happen today. Nevertheless, they are part of my past but of neither my present nor of our future.

    We can’t and shouldn’t forget the past, either the good of the bad. That’s what made us what we are. But we can reflect upon what is best for now, and pursue it.

    Dan

  • The Obnoxious American

    “The Right,or at least OA, is hanging on a limb as the creek rushes benath him. He knows deep down inside he has no defense against the waters rushing just beneath him, but he refuses to surrender to them.”

    Lolll this is hillarious. The dems picked two flawed candidates as their frontrunners, and I am the one on a limb above a rushing creek.

    I’m not saying McCain will win this year, but the fact that he even has a chance, the fact that he is polling on par or in some cases better than either of the two dems, the fact that Obama (or his associates) keep showing that Obama isn’t the wunderkind, when there has been going on 8 years of a badly run GOP presidency all goes to the point that I may actually be on more of a thick branch, over a nice pillow topped mattress.

    But you can continue imagining whatever you like if it makes you feel better about the situation your party is in.

    “I admire him for that,”

    and I am sure many other things.

    “Where I feel no pity is in the denial that his wrong-headed sense of direction got him into this mess in the first place. OA will never admit that the views he espouses are what got us intoour current mess.”

    Assume you are talking about Iraq. The views I espouse, the same views Bill Clinton espoused around the time, the same view the International Community espoused, even if they weren’t willing to agree to go to war against Iraq (for their own reasons, most having a lot more to do with greed than humanitarianism).

    But regardless, what are we even talking about? We are in Iraq now. Do you really believe Obama when he says he will “END” the war in Iraq merely by pulling the troops out? Why can’t dems be honest and say the truth about Obama’s original Iraq policy? That he would simply make our exit out of the conflict in Iraq, regardless of the consequences?

    “Or maybe he doesn’t get out much.”

    Lolll you guys must love me, I can’t think of any other explanation for why you keep postulating about what I do. Maybe I should raffle off a date with me or something….

    “In the rest of the world, we encounter people we call friends. But as we get to know them as friends, we realize we don’t want them in our lives.

    The fact that Obama had Wright as a pastor does not negate his message.”

    Well goll-eee. In the rest of the world? This man is running for president of the united states. Aside from the fact that he should have known better about what his relationship to this man would do to his presidential run, I think your premise is provably wrong.

    How is it wrong? Let’s chat about the penn debates. Gibson asked Obama a question, why early on in the primary did Obama ask Wright to not attend a political gathering? Because Obama knew that Wright “can get kind of rough in sermons. So what we’ve decided is that it’s best for you not to be out there in public.”

    He wasn’t trying to kick Wright out of his life after getting to know him better as you suggest. Clearly, he was trying to keep his affiliation with Wright alive and also out of sight.

    Why you’d delude yourself into such a rationalization of Obama’s relationship with Wright is beyond me. I suppose you are so invested in this candidate that it would be hard for you to change directions. But at least be honest with yourself as to what you are voting for.

    Let me be clear, to me, all of these candidates are in the public service. As such, whether I agree with their policies or not, I consider them all great Americans. I heartily disagree with Obama’s platforms, and fear for the future of this country should he get elected.

    When people like Zing make excuses and say that his relationship to the pastor or the pastors views don’t matter, that’s purely emotion. We all know it matters, and with someone with so little experience such as Obama, such choices matter all the more. Not to mention the double standard Obamaranians are fond of applying, where if a white candidate has any hint of a link to racism he is banished, but let’s make excuses for the African. Equal standard? Equal rights?

    Keep denying, keep suggesting I am out on a limb. You will be in for a rude awakening, either in Nov when he loses the general, or worse, sometime next year if he wins.

  • Zedd

    Dan

    BTW I somewhat of a Star Trek fan (not a Trekkie though). However when you make mention of the briar patch I have to imagine that you feel as if you are trapped and cant go into worp drive. Am I that brutal? Do you feel stiffled in some way? :o)

  • Zedd

    Dan,

    Sorry I missed your comment on “briar patch”.

  • Zedd

    But we can reflect upon what is best for now, and pursue it.

    Ahhhh… Like a drink of water.

    Well stated Dan.

  • Dan Miller

    Zedd, thanks.

    Sometimes, the devil makes me do things. As a Star Trek fan, you probably also read Douglas Adams’ Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, one of my all time favorites. In it, Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect had hitched a ride on a Volgan Constructor ship just before the Earth was to be destroyed to make way for an hyperspace bypass. They had a dialogue, something like this, just before going into hyperspace drive:

    Ford: Going into hyperspace drive is a bit like being drunk.

    Arthur: What’s bad about that?

    Ford: Ask a glass of water.

    That’s the substance of it; some cretin who borrowed my copy didn’t return it, and I have to go on memory.

    Anyway, I’m very happy that we can have what I hope is a useful and enjoyable dialogue now and then.

    Dan

  • bliffle

    Spam? This entire thread is spam! We even have the obligatory stupid reference to that dumb book about “Hitchhikers Guide…” which is the sure mark of a drivel thread. This entire thread of some 80 comments is inconsequential nonsense which will be entirely forgotten in a few weeks as Jeremiahs rantings become more repetitive and irrational and thus lose their ability to titillate the Peanut Gallery of bubbleheads that infest this corner of the internet.

    So I’m going to remorselessly hijack this thread to discuss Mr. Geo Bush’s speech today in which he ascribed the rise in gas prices to a shortage of oil and lack of refining capacity.

    Neither is true. In fact, the feds are stockpiling excess oil at this very moment. We’ve been expanding refining capacity for years.

    Why then are prices rising? Because the oil companies CAN raise prices, that’s why. We have what the economists call Inflexible Demand: consumers will pay anything for their allotment of gas.

    And the oil companies have a near monopoly, actually an oligopoly, which is an informal combination of agreements that form a monopoly for mutual benefit. Why compete when you can cooperate to screw the consumer?

  • Clavos

    And, of course, the Arabs have nothing to do with oil prices; everyone knows they give the oil to the oil companies without charge out of the goodness of their Wahhabi hearts.

    The individual who decries the “drivel” on these threads is the most prolific source of drivel.

    Meh.

  • Zedd

    Dan,

    Enjoyable indeed.

    I only watched the series of “Hitchhikers”. I was intrigued and challenged. I loved the humor and could find only a few people to share it with.

    Clavos,

    I was at Home Depot today shopping for a numatic nailer. The Spanish interpretation on the box had clavos on it. Does Clavos mean nail?

  • Zedd

    good lord what happened. Sorry folks

  • bliffle

    Drivel and more drivel. Driveling while Rome burns.

  • bliffle

    The oil companies marked up the product they bought from the saudis, and others, enough to make an aggregate profit of $160million last year. And we still give them tax breaks and direct subsidies.

  • http://stacischoff.blogspot.com/ Staci Schoff

    Dan this was interesting to read through.

    One thing, I think there are a lot of reasons to support affirmative action aside from being a “guilty white liberal.” It’s simply the right thing to do to outlaw discrimination in a democratic society and ensure equal opportunity. It’s extraordinarily sad that government oversight should be necessary to do that, but if it is, it should be implemented.

    I don’t feel “guilty” that the tragedy of slavery is part of America’s history (but then I’m descended from German immigrants who settled in the midwest after World War 1 — maybe if my particular ancestors had been slave-owners I’d feel differently). All kinds of different people have been enslaved at different times since the dawn of human existence (and some still are in some places). History is not my fault, but to the extent that I’m complicit in the slavery that exists today I should and do feel guilty.

    As for Jeremiah Wright — I feel really sorry that Obama has to deal with this, though it is life in national politics so he might as well get used to it.

    I think Obama did the right thing initially by distancing himself from the comments while maintaining a decency and respect expected among friends. And I think he did the right thing later when it was obvious that Rev. Wright was more interested in getting his 15 minutes in the spotlight than being a friend to Obama.

    Only time will tell if he can make a full political recovery, but if he doesn’t get the nomination this time, I don’t agree with you that that automatically means we’ll never see him (or a black presidential candidate) again. He’ll no doubt learn a lot and come back somehow. He’s a smart and ambitious guy.

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