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Obama Walks on Hot Water: Addressing America on Race, Religion and Rev. Wright

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We warned you there would be drama with Obama. Before he could walk on hot water today; Barack Obama had to cool down those waters. Clearly, he thinks it’s so over the top that a “major speech” (transcript) was needed to reassure the country and bring it together. The speech was scheduled to begin at 10:15 a.m. ET, but did not begin until 11:00 a.m. ET.

He announced his candidacy in Springfield, at the old courthouse where Abraham Lincoln served. I asked then would Obama have to free slaves? It is ironic that today he channeled and invoked the words of Abraham Lincoln to clear this huge hurdle in his campaign. I recorded audio (32 min) and it is available here.

High points (paraphrase and quotes) from today’s speech: Slavery divided this country. The answer to the slavery question was already embedded in our constitution, the ideal of equal citizenship under the law—perfected over time. Words on a parchment were not enough to deliver men from bondage. Americans protested and struggled through civil war and civil disobedience to bring about change: "I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together…"

He offered much biographical data throughout the speech: I am the son of a black African from Kenya, and a white mother from Kansas. I have gone to one of the best schools in America.

I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slave-owners—an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents.

In no other country on earth is my story even possible. It has been seared into my genetic makeup…Out of many we are truly one. We won commanding victories in nearly all-white states. This is not to say that race has not been an issue. Some commentators have deemed me “too black” or “not black enough.” The pollsters have scoured the polls for the racial divide. It has been purposed that my candidacy is one of affirmative action. Then there is my Pastor Rev. Wright: I have already condemned the statements of Rev. Wright that have caused such pain. Did I know he spoke controversial statements, yes, did I sit in the pews when he spoke such statements, yes.

Reverend Wright's comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems–two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all. 

Why not separate myself from Rev. Wright completely? If all I had known of him was the snippets running endlessly on TV, then I too would have run.

He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, led a church for over thirty years…that serves the community…by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care, scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS. 

The American people are hungry for my message of unity. My church embodies the PhDs. and the welfare mom, it is full of bawdy humor and dancing and shouting, it contains the kindness and cruelty, shocking ignorance, the full gamut of the black experience in America. I’ve never seen him treat anyone with disrespect, including white people. I can no more disown him than my own family, than my own grandmother. I’ve heard my [white] grandmother use racial epithets and cringe when black men passed her on the street. But this is all a part of me. We can dismiss Rev. Wright as a crank, as a demagogue. If we simplify, stereotype and amplify the negative we would be doing the same as Rev. Wright. This country has never really worked through this. If we walk away, retreat, we will never be able to come together to solve health care or find good jobs for every American (applause).

We still haven’t fixed segregated schools (applause) and this has continued to create the accomplishment gap between black and white students. There is still a great difference in wealth between blacks and whites. Anger may not get expressed in public but it does get expressed in barber shops, around the kitchen table, occasionally it finds voice on Sunday morning in the pulpit and in the pews. The fact that so many people find anger in Rev. Wright’s sermons reminds us of the truism that Sunday morning is “the most segregated hour in America.”

There is anger among whites who have lost jobs, anxious about their futures and in an era of stagnant wages opportunity is seen as a zero-sum game. When they are told to bus their children across town…resentment builds over time. Anger over welfare helped to forge the Reagan coalition. “Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism (applause).” White anger is grounded in legitimate concerns. I’ve never been so naïve to think that we can get beyond race in this race. I have asserted a firm conviction: rooted in my faith in the American people and in God…that we can move beyond these wounds to a more perfect union.

Rev. Wright’s fault is that he spoke as if no progress had been made in this country. He was not mindful that one of his own flock has become a candidate for the presidency. The path to a more perfect union for whites does not just exist in the minds of black people, not just with words but with deeds, for enforcing our civil rights laws, more justice. By investing in education for black, white and brown children will help all America prosper. In the end what is called for is nothing more, nothing less than all the world’s great religions demand: do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother’s keeper.

We have choice in this country: "we can accept division, we can tackle race as we did in the O.J. trail as spectacle," as we did over Katrina…we can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter or suspect that all white men will flock to John McCain, but if we do we will be talking about some other distraction in the next election…and nothing will change. That is one option. Or at this moment in this election, at this moment, say not this time we can talk about crumbling schools for black and brown kids and embracing them as our kids. We’ve been stuck in a racial stalemate for years…This union may never be perfect but generation after generation can show that it can be perfected.

He retold the story about one of his volunteers toward the end of the speech. But he ends it with these words:

But it is where we start. It is where our union grows stronger. And as so many generations have come to realize over the course of the two-hundred and twenty one years since a band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia,that is where the perfection begins.

Afterthoughts about the speech abounded on TV and radio. Pat Buchanan spoke on MSNBC and freely gave his opinion on this issue today. Before the speech he noted that nothing Sen. Obama said will suffice to cool or heal these waters.  “He has a wonderful persona, and you don’t detect hatred of him of anybody.” “That’s what so a contradiction.” “He is going to have to separate himself from Rev. Wright, clearly.” “This fella chose his pastor—Jack Kennedy did not choose his father.”

Afterwards, Pat said it was an excellent speech. He thinks that whites will not accept the onus that it (racism) is their fault. He remains deeply unconvinced that this is the end of race in the election. On radio, Rush today said that Obama’s time would have been better spent listening to him rather than to Rev. Wright because his program has sought to inspire and to motivate and to address and fix problems in this society.

Obama's speech was a bombshell; it was not safe rather it was a bold walk on hot water. The truth-fairy quotient will be called into question for those looking for a reason to call Obama a “liar," "bigot" and “racist” in suit’s clothing.

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About Heloise

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Heloise,

    Obama is finally playing the race card in a positive way.

    I still have no use for him and regard him as just a pretty face surrounded with ugly goons – like Zbigniew Brzezinski and his ilk – but for those of you in America of color and mixed race, this is indeed a moment to savor. At last, your lives can be full of meaning, and you can perhaps feel that your vote may actually count for something. I almost envy you.

    But in the end, there will be no redemption for you – not because you personally are evil or don’t deserve it, but because the ship you are on – the S.S. United States of America – is sinking, and nothing Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton or John McCain, for that matter, nothing any of them can do, will save you.

  • JustOneMan

    Heloise,

    The only reason Obama “READ” this speach is because he had too, not because he had an epiphany about race relations. He got caught being associated and supported by a religious huckster and racist.

    If we look past your “idol worship” and the typical liberal racial stereotype of “him being articulate for a black man”. Yesterdays “reading” was nothing more than a guy in trouble reading from a teleprompter what he was told to by his consultants.

    He reminded me of a guy being pulled over by a cop trying to too hard to convince the officer that he had no idea how the drugs, money and gun got into the car. Obama sounded like he was saying, “Honest officer I had no idea that the Reverend Wright was in the back seat yelling out the window “kill whitey” and “death to America”
    honest! I dont beleive in that sort of stuff.”

    In addition, did you really find his monotone delivery motivating?

    JOM “Because someone has to tell the truth”

  • Anon

    JOM youre wasting your time trying to convince brainwashed cultists like this author.

    By the way, is race the most important thing going on right now? Does Obama really think that some family in ohio who lost their home or some guy who got laid off without benefits or an injured soldier returning from Iraq really give a shit about why Obama’s lunatic pastor is pissed off? Believe me people dont care about the reasons for black resentment in this country when they are on the verge of becoming homeless and jobless and cant afford to fill up their gas tanks.
    What a self absorbed, colossal waste of time. ‘Lets cure our race problems’ – by voting for me. I even sell out my own grandmother for votes.

  • Brad Schader

    It was a great speech, but it was just a speech and it did not address any issue that matters in 2008. It gave him a bump that he needed and gave him the news cycle over Hillary. It puts pressure on Hillary to do something, but that is all. It was just a speech. It did not say his plan for the economy. It did not say his plan for Iraq. If this were 1968, the race speech would carry a lot of weight, but this is 2008 and we have more pressing issues.

  • REMF

    “JOM youre wasting your time trying to convince brainwashed cultists like this author.”
    – Anon

    I agree Anon. Those brainwashed cultists are far worse than the phony chickenhawks.

  • Peter

    Obama’s speech is one of the coldest political exploitation I have ever heard: attacking his own grandmother by comparing her private fear of black men to his pastor (Wright)’s public anti-american, racism’ remarks. This guy would say anything to get ahead.

  • 4truth

    “For all the wonderful rhetoric and tantalizing promise of Obama and his speech, there’s not much that is actually new here. Obama’s speech was largely a restatement of Jeremiah Wright’s indictment of America, delivered in University of Chicago parlance instead of South Side Chicago diatribe”.

  • Anon

    REMF is like a child with down syndrome who keeps repeating himself without realizing it. Yes we get it – the neo cons are responsible for everything that is wrong with the country.

    Get over it – they won. They ruled the country for 8 years, started 2 wars, changed the face of the world and the middle east – while you whine about how Al Gore should have won in 2000. Its pathetic.

    And as for Obama – he had no problem letting Ferraro take the heat for her comments which were not even remotely close to being racist compared to his pastor’s. But he had no desire for a ‘more perfect union’ then.
    Only when he was faced with the heat, like a cunning politician he changed the subject. He had to talk about rejecting his pastor’s anti Americanism not the pastor’s problems as a black man in the 60s. What a sham.

    Like someone pointed out, People conveniently forget to mention the good things done by ..say..Don Imus or even Geraldine Ferraro. But we are supposed to look at the ‘good’ his pastor has done?
    Obama’s followers remind me of the story about the pied-piper (obama in this case) who leads the mice (his followers who blindly accept everything he says as the truth) to their demise.

    But it is fun to see the liberals fawning and wetting themselves because of one pre-scripted, politically opportunisitic speech.
    :)

  • ChicagoLOOP

    Obama’s pastor and mentor of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright is a man who less than a week after 9/11 gave a sermon that sadistically rejoiced how America’s chickens had come home to roost. Five days earlier, Americans (of all colors, incidentally) had leapt from the World Trade Center to escape the flames. And this is the Wright context!

  • Mike

    You know a person by the company he/she keeps. Obama has kept this anti-American, anti semitic racist for 20 years as his pastor and “inspirational mentor” (Obama’s own word)

  • http://www.buyingone.com Christopher Rose

    To “Anon”:- As the Comments Editor here, I see that at least 4 different names are making comments from your computer IP address.

    The most common explanation for this is that you are posting under multiple IDs, which is not acceptable here.

    Unless you have a very convincing alternative explanation, I must insist that you pick just one and stick to it, preferably the one that you used with a link to (your?) website, although the choice is yours.

    Thanks

  • Anon

    Unless you have a very convincing alternative explanation

    I have two roommates with divergent points of view that post here occasionally – didn’t know the ‘rule’ was one IP – one name.
    Is that good enough for a reason?

  • http://www.buyingone.com Christopher Rose

    I’m not persuaded. Five different names have been used between possibly three people? Furthermore, having read all the comments you’ve made, I can’t detect any divergence of views.

    As one of you is a BC writer, I think it’s probably best that we stop this practice now to avoid any more confusion.

  • bliffle

    #10 — March 19, 2008 @ 12:44PM — Mike

    You know a person by the company he/she keeps.”

    No. That’s McCarthyism. It’s also dumb. Do you really want to be known by the company you keep? All of it?

    I person is known by their deeds.

  • Heloise

    Obama raps his grandmother but the Clintons will walk over their mothers to get to the White House.

    Many of my relatives are married outside their race and just because of that the person can and does still make racial remarks. I’ve seen it and heard it. He looks bad mentioning it, but I KNOW IT’S TRUE…White folks love to remind black folks “you black ain’t you?” Well, duh!! But guess what the love of my life, two of them, were white men. The rest were black.

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    JOM, Obama wrote the speech himself okay. So his writing trumps Jack Kennedy.

    Heloise

  • JustOneMan

    “two of them, were white men. The rest were black”

    Gee doesnt that make you special.

    JOM

  • JustOneMan

    Did you see him write it? Or are you taking his word?

  • JustOneMan

    Hel…if Obama really did write his own speech ahem…choke…tee hee…he reminds me of the Great Dumbocratic President Jimmy Carter (God rest his soul)…Carter spent more time thinking, writing and talking about doing things but never achieved anything since he left office or since he past away (more on that later).

    JOM

  • REMF

    “Only when he was faced with the heat, like a cunning politician he changed the subject. He had to talk about rejecting his pastor’s anti Americanism not the pastor’s problems as a black man in the 60s. What a sham.”
    – Anon

    Almost as big a “sham” as using four different names…

  • bliffle

    Meanwhile, McCain was stumbling around convincing those who still had doubts of his senility.

  • JustOneMan

    So our choices come down to a senile old man or a young lying racist? Gee well be longing for the good old Bush years by 2010!

    JOM

  • Brad Schader

    The only bright side about McCain is that, at his age, he really can only serve one term. Hillary is a Socialist IMHO and Obama is just not ready. He will be one day and will make a great president, but 2009 is not his time. He should stay in the Senate for a term or two and learn everything he can about international relations and such. He is a smart man. I would rather him start serving in 2012 and have 8 years of a qualified president than have him serve in 2009 and have four years of OJT. That said, in a race between Obama and McCain, and without any real third party candidates, I will vote for Obama.

  • JustOneMan

    REMF,

    Today, Obama called Wright’s statements “divisive,” “racially charged” and “views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation.” But Obama sought to explain his spiritual history with Wright, a man he described as an achiever of good deeds.

    Lets imagine these same words “read” by someone else..

    Today, David Duke called the Emperial Grand Wizard’s statements “divisive,” “racially charged” and “views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation.” But Duke sought to explain his spiritual history with the Wizard, a man he described as an achiever of good deeds. Why he even took the kids fishing and to baseball games between cross burnings.

    Wow….and you prentend that he isnt there because of his race….hmmmmm a claissic case of denial!

    JOM

  • Clavos

    Brad,

    “Hillary is a Socialist IMHO and Obama is just not ready. He will be one day and will make a great president…”

    What irony!

    Read their position papers. “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between ‘em.”

  • Pablo

    I am going to vote for the good reverand as a write in candidate. Right on Wright! He is my Man!

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    It was a wonderful speech, and the people attacking it could have written their attacks before the speech was given, or written, because they wouldn’t be open to any favorable opinions about Obama.

    For those who haven’t watched it, please do. It really is historic.

  • Pablo

    I liked the speech, however my mind is made up I am voting for the Rev.

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

    I didn’t watch the speech but I did read it, and I thought it struck a good balance between distancing himself from Wright’s views and the loyalty of friendship with the man.

    You’re right, Handy: nothing Obama could possibly have said or done would have satisfied his detractors. If he’d given in and publicly disowned Wright, he’d have been branded a flip-flopper and someone who sells his friends down the river (allusion intended).

    They want their pound of flesh.

  • Doug Hunter

    “because they wouldn’t be open to any favorable opinions about Obama.”

    If McCain went to a church for 20 years, was friends with the pastor who worked on his campaign, and had him perform marriages and baptism for his personal family. If this pastor had turned the tables and called this the ‘US of nigger loving America’ and said that blacks wickedness had brought AIDS to this country or that Katrina was the God’s punishment for the above actions would you for a second, for any reason, overlook it?

    No sane person would. I guess because he’s black we shouldn’t hold him to as high a standard as regarding racist behavior. That seems to be the prevailing seentiment.

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

    Doug, aside from the fact that your argument is a strawman, let me repeat once again that Wright’s complaints about America, however vitriolically phrased, are not entirely without foundation.

    Your hypothetical pastor, on the other hand, is speaking utter nonsense.

  • Zedd

    Doug,

    What you proving is that you sir don’t posses the ability to think or reason. It seems quite clear that you either did not even take the time to listen to what Wright said or that you are simply lacking intellectually.

    What Wright said fits within the long tradition of what prophets, pastors and even angels dispense. Jeremiah (the prophet) declared the damnation of Israel. It doesn’t mean that he hated Jews for he was a Jew or that he hated Israel. It was indeed his love for his people which propelled the strong warning.

    I would venture that you are the sort who proclaims a disdain for political correctness. Well, Wright’s message is as un-PC as it gets. Instead of stating that there will be a diplomatic crisis if America doesn’t stop doing xy or z. He says God damn America. In other words, America will pay royally because of Gods retribution of actions xyz take place.

    Now lets hope that the fog has been cleared and you have a better scope of what has happened. You analogy was embarrassing. It really was.

  • robo

    I just dont want to make this election an obamanation.

  • Dan

    Ann Coulter seems to have nailed it down:

    …”the “post-racial candidate” thinks we need to talk yet more about race. How much more? I had had my fill by around 1974. How long must we all marinate in the angry resentment of black people?”

    ” We treat blacks like children, constantly talking about their temper tantrums right in front of them with airy phrases about black anger. I will not pat blacks on the head and say, “Isn’t that cute?” As a post-racial American, I do not believe “the legacy of slavery” gives black people the right to be permanently ill-mannered.”

    “Obama tried to justify Wright’s deranged rants by explaining that “legalized discrimination” is the “reality in which Rev. Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up.”

    …” By Rev. Wright’s own account, he was 12 years old and was attending an integrated school in Philadelphia when Brown v. Board of Education was announced, ending “separate but equal” schooling.

    Meanwhile, at least since the Supreme Court’s decision in University of California v. Bakke in 1978 — and obviously long before that, or there wouldn’t have been a case or controversy for the court to consider — it has been legal for the government to discriminate against whites on the basis of their race.

    Consequently, any white person 30 years old or younger has lived, since the day he was born, in an America where it is legal to discriminate against white people. In many cases it’s not just legal, but mandatory, for example, in education, in hiring and in Academy Award nominations.

    So for half of Rev. Wright’s 66 years, discrimination against blacks was legal — though he never experienced it personally because it existed in a part of the country where he did not live. For the second half of Wright’s life, discrimination against whites was legal throughout the land.

    Discrimination has become so openly accepted that — in a speech meant to tamp down his association with a black racist — Obama felt perfectly comfortable throwing his white grandmother under the bus. He used her as the white racist counterpart to his black racist “old uncle,” Rev. Wright.

    First of all, Wright is not Obama’s uncle. The only reason we indulge crazy uncles is that everyone understands that people don’t choose their relatives the way they choose, for example, their pastors and mentors. No one quarrels with idea that you can’t be expected to publicly denounce your blood relatives.

    But Wright is not a relative of Obama’s at all. Yet Obama cravenly compared Wright’s racist invective to his actual grandmother, who “once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.”

    Rev. Wright accuses white people of inventing AIDS to kill black men, but Obama’s grandmother — who raised him, cooked his food, tucked him in at night, and paid for his clothes and books and private school — has expressed the same feelings about passing black men on the street that Jesse Jackson has.

    Unlike his “old uncle” — who is not his uncle — Obama had no excuses for his grandmother. Obama’s grandmother never felt the lash of discrimination! Crazy grandma doesn’t get the same pass as the crazy uncle; she’s white. Denounce the racist!

    Fine. Can we move on now?

    No, of course, not. It never ends. To be fair, Obama hinted that we might have one way out: If we elect him president, then maybe, just maybe, we can stop talking about race.”

    something to think about.

  • REMF

    “Barack has never been called a rich, phony, sanctimonious, white chickenhawk!!!”
    – Ann Coulter

  • Pablo

    Doug,

    Yeah thats right, if your forebearers had been subjected to the inhuman pracice of slavery, then denied equal access to freedom, and equal employment opportunities, seeing lynchings, and segragated schools, been teased, ridiculed and threatened most of your life, you just might have a different view on this issue too.

    You make me sick.

  • Doug Hunter

    “however vitriolically phrased, are not entirely without foundation… your hypothical pastor is speaking nonsense”

    Which of the following is more true.

    a) Whites invented AIDS to kill blacks

    b) Blacks wickedness brought AIDS to America

    I personally think both statements are nonsense. Although eating monkeys probably isn’t a great sin, the idea that AIDS originated in Africa and spread to the US is technically more correct than the reverse. In fact I’d say the US of KKK A has done more to fight AIDS than most of our peers. Two of our men of the greatest fortunes in the world have devoted their wealth to the fight and many drugs and treatments have been developed at our Universites.

    Thanks though Zedd and Dr. for proving my point. For a white to say something along the same lines as what Wright said is indeed almost unfathomable and would be roundly and rightly rejected. Lets start treating blacks as equals and hold them to the same high standards.

  • Zedd

    Doug,

    You are darn right, Whites cant say certain things because of this nations history. Blacks have reason to distrust a lot of actions that this country does. Even you would agree with that. None of this is in a vacuum. Arise thou sluggard. Snap out of your lulled state.

    White ministers have said that what happened in New Orleans was God’s wrath btw.

  • JustOneMan

    Here are experpts from a speech made by Haile Selassie (also made into a song by Bob Marley) to the UN in 1968….

    That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned: That until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation: that until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes: that Until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race: that until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained.

    Ironically the both Obama and his defenders cannot accept the idea of “equality” as esposed by King and Selassie. Instead they demand special treatment and execeptions to the some of the most basic rules of society (work hard and take care of your children).

    Its clear who the real racists are…those that feel that they deserve some sort of special treatment or payback for the fact that their own “forebearers” sold them into slavery…

    JOM “Dread Natty Dread”

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

    What ‘special treatment’ is Obama demanding?

  • Doug Hunter

    “Ironically the both Obama and his defenders cannot accept the idea of ‘equality'”

    Accepting the idealist concept of equality is much more difficult when you live in a reality of inequality. Besides, as the Doc pointed out, I’m not aware of any concrete plan of Obama’s to provide special treatment of any race.

    Affirmative action is on a slow downhill slide from which I don’t think it’ll recover much. It still has a strong hold in government contracting and, to a lesser extent, urban development. It’s a wrongheaded idea from the start. In fact, Obama himself said as much. He has stated that his children should not be considered over white kids from poor backgrounds. Truth.

    Oh, and Zedd, you are right about the point of reference thing. The only comment I am aware of that was completely out of line was the accusation of whites using AIDS as genocide, and without context calling us the US of KKK A. The KKK is a super tiny group that puts together marches of 4 people at a time with 2000 counter demonstrators. It’s not exactly a dominant force in society and certainly not representative of our country as a whole. His other opinions about the war and the country are exactly that, opinions.

    Out of line is out of line regardless of race.

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

    If you actually listened to Obama’s speech he actually said some things which sounded very positive about racial equality and he specifically touched on the issue of justifiable white resentment of privilege granted on the basis of race. He made a hell of a lot of sense in that section. Way more conscious of the evil of programs like affirmative action than I would have expected.

    dave

  • http://planetjapan.org Doug DeLong

    I ran across this comment from John McCain. It’s from his interview with Sean Hannity on March 13:

    HANNITY: …What does that do to a person, to spend that much time in solitary confinement?

    MCCAIN: I think it makes you a better person. Obviously, it makes you love America. I really didn’t love America until I was deprived of her company.

    Now, if I was to follow the right-wing noise machine playbook, I’d start screaming, “What the fuck? John McCain didn’t love America for the first 20 odd years of his life?” I’d take the quote and try to twist it and manipulate it and spread it around the Internet, knowing full-well that I was not representing his true meaning.

    But that’s how the RWNM works. How is the McCain quote any different than the Michelle Obama quote saying that “for the first time in my adult life I’m proud to be an American,” whose meaning was twisted beyond all recognition by the machine?

    Now they’ve gotten their mitts on the Wright videos and are like a pit bull with a really juicy bone. They’ll do everything they can to smear Obama with the videos, even when they know that Obama has repudiated the comments. They see blood in the water and feel justified in making any vile and insidious claim if it furthers their goal of smearing Obama.

    Obama makes a speech that most normal people have lauded as important and historic and they feel it is their patriotic duty to crap all over it. You really do have to wonder if they actually watched the speech or if they are just taking their talking points from FOX News.

    They decry Wright’s “hate speech” while spewing hate. They respond to Obama’s reasoned plea for racial understanding and healing with a loud “fuck you.”

    God have mercy on America.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Rev. Wright has accomplished a huge feat with his anti-American, racist ideology:

    -That Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton are only concerned with “race” when it’s perceived persecution comes from a white man.

    Now, how does Imus’ remarks measure in comparison to a man that is supposed to be “of the cloth”?

    Don Imus was dragged through the mud for his racial slur but this supposed Reverend basically got away with a terrorist threat as well as a call for a complete racial divide!

    It’s a sad f*cking day in America!!

  • Doug Hunter

    “I’d take the quote and try to twist it and manipulate it and spread it around the Internet”

    Isn’t that exactly what you’re doing? The left wing has just as much lying, spinning, and ‘noise’ as the right. You just can’t see it because you agree with it and, in fact, become part of it.

  • Doug Hunter

    “They decry Wright’s ‘hate speech’ while spewing hate”

    Wright’s hate speech included an outright accusation that the US had created HIV as a weapon to commit genocide on blacks.

    Minimizing that by quoting ‘hate speech’ and comparing it to Foxnews is as big a spin as any I’ve seen.

    You are what you claim to hate. Congratulations!

  • http://planetjapan.org Doug DeLong

    >Wright’s hate speech included an outright accusation that the US had created HIV as a weapon to commit genocide on blacks.

    Yep, that’s pretty nutty, alright. But given that the U.S. government had conducted the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments for 40 years (1932-1972), in which 399 black men were used as human guinea pigs and left to die without being treated, one might forgive some blacks for not entirely trusting the government in such matters. I urge anyone who is looking for a rational response from a conservative to the whole Wright matter to check out this Mike Huckabee video.

  • Clavos

    It should be noted that the US government has also conducted hazardous health-related experiments on white servicemen as well; most notably during 235 open air atomic tests conducted from 1945 to 1962, during which servicemen of all races were exposed to radiation.

    There have been numerous other multi-racial experiments conducted by various branches of the government on servicemen over the years, as well.

    The United States Government: equal opportunity enemy and defiler of its own people.

  • Doug Hunter

    I’m familiar with the experiment but you also have to take it into context. The US government during that time did many experiments on all races without their consent. Injecting radioactive substances or irradiating the body and watching the results seemed to be quite popular. The Tuskeegee study was not nearly the most deadly, it’s the most well known only because it’s used a tool to incite racial mistrust.

    If spun the right way it is very effective at creating division. If you bother to learn details about the victims and the doctors (note, many of them were black) etc, you will still see it as cruel, heartless, and wrong, but not the evil racist conspiracy those who normally relay the story make it out to be.

  • Heloise

    Everyone should watch “The Origin of AIDS” on PBS the next time it comes. Or look for it in your library or on DVD. It is mindblowing.

    I thought that black folks were making up this stuff about HIV being invented…Guess what it was. But not on purpose, but it is a created virus. It combines the polio virus + HIV. That’s why people who get AIDS also get the same symptoms of polio.

    European WHITE scientists created the AIDS virus by using the organs of monkeys that were too close to human DNA. They were warned not to do it but did it anyway. SOmehow with the innoculations associated with polio at the time and voila AIDS was created in the heart of Africa.

    It is mindblowing and too much science to explain here.

    Heloise

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

    “I’d take the quote and try to twist it and manipulate it and spread it around the Internet”

    Isn’t that exactly what you’re doing?

    Doug, did you even read your namesake’s comment?

    He was using the McCain quote as an example of how it might be spun by his enemies.

  • REMF

    “The United States Government: equal opportunity enemy and defiler of its own people.”
    – Clavos

    Careful Clavvy…The radical right-wing chickenhawk talkshow hosts are tarring and feathering Rev. Wright for similar out-of-context snippets…(smile)

  • JustOneMan

    Hel…yea thats right and here are somemore deluionsional fantasies to believe in t…

    1. All of the Jews working in the WTC on 911 stayed home that day
    2. Cubans recieve better medical services than the average US citizen
    3. Al Gwhore really won the election
    4.POKEMON and Magic Cards
    Affect the Minds and Values of Children
    5. Bush lied and fooled all of those intellegent Dumbocratics into voting for the war
    6. Kerry really was a war hero
    7. Obama is really qualified and is not there just because he is black…

    Left wing fairytales….

    JOM

  • REMF

    “6. Kerry really was a war hero”
    – JOM

    3 Purple Hearts, 1 Silver Star, 1 Bronze Star.

    I forgot, JOM, what was your excuse again for not serving?

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

    “7. Obama is really qualified and is not there just because he is black…”

    Hey, REMF, why don’t you join in the fun and ask JOM who he said he was going to vote for in November?

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

    Yep, that’s pretty nutty, alright. But given that the U.S. government had conducted the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments for 40 years (1932-1972), in which 399 black men were used as human guinea pigs and left to die without being treated, one might forgive some blacks for not entirely trusting the government in such matters.

    Let’s just set the record straight on this. None of those men were infected with Syphilis for the experiment. They all contracted it on their own. There was no reliable cure for the disease at the time the study was initiated and the purpose of the study was to use them as a control group to assess the effectiveness of experimental treatments relative to no treatment at all. This is similar to what is done in double-blind studies today.

    The crimes at Tuskegee were that they chose only black soldiers for the experiment, that they did not adequately inform them of how the experiment was being conducted to get truly informed consent, and ultiamtely that they continued the study beyond the point where it was useful for any purpose other than just studying the pathology of the disease once a viable cure was available – a clear excess of scientific research zeal.

    Keep in mind that when the experiment started no care at all was not appreciably worse than whatever experimental treatments white soldiers might be getting at the same time and in some cases considerably LESS dangerous as some of the early treatments could be harmful or fatal beyond even the risk posed by the disease itself. For example, one popular treatment for syphilis was to inhale hot vaporized mercury. Another treatment was to infect the subject with malaria because the fevers it produced slowed the progress of syphilis.

    Dave

  • JustOneMan

    Dave…Dave…”They all contracted it on their own.” Cant you see it was because of the white man that they were forced not use a condom (yes they did have them back then) and due to years of oppresion their immunity systems were so weak…

  • Dan

    Yep, the real story of the Tuskegee study.

  • JustOneMan

    Mulitple Choice Question

    Whic medal did John Kerry recieve for getting hit in the ass with a grain of rice…

    a.Purple Heart
    b.Silver Star, or
    C.Bronze Star.

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

    JOM, I can help you make a fool of yourself all day.

    See comment #3.

  • REMF

    “Mulitple Choice Question
    Whic medal did John Kerry recieve for getting hit in the ass with a grain of rice…
    a.Purple Heart
    b.Silver Star, or
    C.Bronze Star.”
    – JOM

    Multiple Choice Question:
    Which is JOM’s excuse for avoiding service?

    1) I have asthma and am extremely near-sighted. I was going to try and join the Marines at 17, but my daddy talked me out of it;

    2) I had other obligations, besides what difference would one guy make?;

    3) I have a pilonidal cyst, but if I had served, I would’ve been the captain of a ship.

  • Pablo

    The good reverend Wright certainly has my vote as a write in candidate. I love seeing all the racists squirm for cover, that this man (Wright) actually had the audacity to call a spade a spade as it were.

    Is it just me or do any of you others see a correlation between those ignoramuses that would deny a person the right to choose a different raced person for their spouse? Leading up to denying a person the right to wed someone of the same sex. Frequently these same sorts of people also are the first to actively promote capital punishment, yet want to deny a woman the right to choose. It just goes to show me that hate and intolerance is alive and well in the land of the free.

    Do I care if someone is a fudge-packer and finds love in that dark alley of expression? NOPE I do not. Do I care if an asian loves a caucasian? Nope I do not. I hope that both find happiness with their respective spouses, and wish them the best including such things as tax benefits for couples, and dignity and respect from their communities.

    Why is it that the haters-racists always want to dictate their will on other human beings? Nose into others private affairs. As if God could give a damned about where someone finds love.

  • Pablo

    Just One Man

    I really got a kick out of your rastaman post. I can just picture you with your McCain sign and your dreadlocks. Your about as Irie as George Wallace bucko.

  • Zedd

    JOM

    “7. Obama is really qualified and is not there just because he is black…”

    This is the stupidest thing that is being suggested.

    Considering that ALL of Americas Presidents have been White AND that there has NEVER been a viable Black candidate, why would anyone think that Barak Obama’s Blackness is what is propelling his chances of being President of THESE united states?

    Logic. Gotta love it.

  • Pablo

    I got to thinkin about the Rev Wright’s preachin on HIV/AIDS. I then googled google,
    (hey I like that :), hell I may have even coined it, a future google search will settle that.)wondering what the aids count was in Africa, it came back with some 22,500,000 human beings currently living with this virus there. Also there’s about a billion people. These are people that currently are carrying the disease, not the millions that have already died from it.

    Suppose for a second that you the reader are from a particular geo/ethnic culture. That many in your culture in the past had been kidnapped, enslaved, then denied anything even closely resembling equality for several more centuries.

    Then suddenly an epidemic occurs, but mostly to your particular subculture, I wonder how many of you the reader, if you were in those shoes, would not suspect that your racist adversaries with their fancy medical shit, were up to no good.

    Try puttin yourself in another’s shoes sometimes, and see how it fits.

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

    4. Drege…”I was for Obama befor I was against him”

    Well, JOM – all I can say is don’t let me catch you griping about anyone flip-flopping.

    You slagged off Obama pretty much constantly before announcing – quite enthusiastically, I might add – that you were going to vote for him, and then instantly reverted to your 24/7 anti-Obama rants.

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

    Pablo, you’d fit right in with the current president of South Africa who apparently thinks AIDS is spread by magic pixies and/or may not exist at all.

    Dave

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

    I then googled google, (hey I like that :)

    Out of curiosity, I just went to Google and typed in ‘Google’.

    Over two billion results.

    That’s even more than for the word ‘thing’. (Actually, Google didn’t much seem to like me Googling ‘thing’. It wanted me to search for ‘thong’ instead…

    Only 70 million results for ‘Pablo’. Don’t be too downcast, though. I’m sure it’s nothing personal.

  • Pablo

    Dread,
    What is was referring to was “googled google”, the exact phrase which has some 5000 hits.

    I am so glad however that out of that particular post that is what you chose salient to right about.
    Spot On Dread!

    You must be takin lessons from Clavy baby.

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    Why is it implausible that AIDS came about as a result of contaminated needles?

    The theory is that the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) was accidentally introduced to humans by scientists who used chimp tissue to cultivate polio vaccines.

    Now the question is, if at least 1/5 of the bush meat (monkey meat.. yuck) that is sold in markets in certain parts of West Africa has SIV, why are the rates of HIV not greater and why did the virus not spread sooner.

    Not saying that these are my beliefs but that is the theory. Doesn’t sound that pixie-fide does it.

  • Zedd

    Didn’t mean to say needles. The benadryl is kicking in…

  • Pat the Expat

    “Now, how does Imus’ remarks measure in comparison to a man that is supposed to be “of the cloth”?”

    Imus was on the public airwaves. Wright was in a church.

    “I forgot, JOM, what was your excuse again for not serving?”

    From the comments in this thread, it is likely because he was too stupid to be let in. I wouldn’t have wanted him beside me in the thick of it.

    It’s funny to hear white guys complain how tough they have it. They want to blame other minorities for their limited status in the world, but in a one race world, a more capable white person passing these morons by.

  • JustOneMan

    Fat the Exfat

    “I wouldn’t have wanted him beside me in the thick of it.” Hey…I was a great Patrol leader and Eagle scout…you would have wanted me in the “thick of it” who would show you how to pitch a tent, start a fire or make smores?

    Speaking of fire…as a volunteer fire fighter I like your address. If your house is on fire I want be sure that either no one shows up or they take their time…

    It’s funny to hear minorities complain how tough they have it. They want to blame whites for their limited status in the world.

    JOM “On my honor…”

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Hey JOM!

    Think you could hit the side of a mosque barn with an M1 – an M16? How about the side of a circus tent? How about the side of a dirigible? I mean a dirigible tied down with ropes: I wouldn’t want to overburden a hardworking firefighter like you with a moving target.

    I’ll think about what a competent partner you’d make when I’m on patrol with the police Sunday night and sitting guard for the village Tuesday morning.

    I can use the laughs….

    You can sink back into swampy sleaze you call New Jersey now. You have my permission.

    Laters!

    Oh yeah – where you’re concerned, I AM a condescending SOB. It’s hard to be anything else….

    JOM “sliding down the fireman’s pole of truth – into the muck of sleaze”

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Imus was on the public airwaves. Wright was in a church.

    Oh Yea, I forgot… So as long as people in a power position project their racist, fascist & anti-American ideology only on those people behind closed doors that makes it okay?

    Sorry, but people have done far more damage to this nation from a pulpit than from any radio station!

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Disingenuous Dave’s all-too-typical attempt to provide a “liberals-are-so-stupid” rationalization of Tuskegee glosses over a few [thousand] things. The Tuskegee case was a horror, and no purpose is served by “setting the facts straight” in a smug tone designed to make the case sound more minor and less awful than it was.

    From a 2002 NPR piece:

    The Public Health Service, working with the Tuskegee Institute, began the study in 1932. Nearly 400 poor black men with syphilis from Macon County, Ala., were enrolled in the study. They were never told they had syphilis, nor were they ever treated for it. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the men were told they were being treated for “bad blood,” a local term used to describe several illnesses, including syphilis, anemia and fatigue.

    For participating in the study, the men were given free medical exams, free meals and free burial insurance.

    At the start of the study, there was no proven treatment for syphilis. But even after penicillin became a standard cure for the disease in 1947, the medicine was withheld from the men. The Tuskegee scientists wanted to continue to study how the disease spreads and kills. The experiment lasted four decades, until public health workers leaked the story to the media.

    By then, dozens of the men had died, and many wives and children had been infected. In 1973, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) filed a class-action lawsuit. A $9 million settlement was divided among the study’s participants. Free health care was given to the men who were still living, and to infected wives, widows and children.

    And a presidential apology. Just more dumb liberal piety, I guess.

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

    Handy, I acknowledged every one of the points made in the article you quoted in my comment on Tuskegee, except that I wasn’t aware of the wives and children issue. You’re looking for a fight where there isn’t one. I don’t disagree that Tuskegee was unacceptable, but it wasn’t some sort of racially based death camp. It did have a legitimate medical purpose and wasn’t that different at its inception from the way other medical studies are conducted.

    Zedd, you might want to read up on Mbeki’s beliefs about AIDS. He doesn’t think it’s caused by HIV, thinks condoms are evil, and thinks that better nutrition and herbal remedies can cure it. He thinks that AIDS is a western conspiracy to oppress black Africans and even though offered free treatment drugs he refused to distribute them until recently and may resume that policy having fired his health minister who supported AID treatment and replaced her with someone who is essentially a witch doctor.

    Dave

  • JustOneMan

    Ruvy,

    Please stay on topic…we are not bashing racist and bigoted jews…we however bashing racist and bogoted negros. And due to the BC Affirmative Action Bashing quoata please step to the rear of the line or back of the bus please. Your turn will come!

    Thank you for your cooperation

    JOM

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Agreed, Dave, your post was merely condescending, making a “correction” where one was not required.

    It did not stoop to the very low level of Dan’s #34: Quoting approvingly at length from Ann Coulter’s quite remarkably hateful comments on the Obama speech merely demonstrates again the actual depth of Dan’s thinking – ’bout an inch and a half, though wrapped up in totally fake ‘reasonableness.’

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    Don’t you think I read up on Mbeki’s comments the day he made them? He made them a billion years ago by the way… At that time some studies had come out stating that a lot of Africans who were thought to have died of AIDS had actually died of other illnesses but because of the AIDS wave internationally, many people were being lumped into the AIDS category, especially in poor nations and not being treated or even treating themselves for other less “striking” diseases, dying needlessly…. Combine that with a new nation that was to serve 5x it’s previous constituency creating the most basic of services with warnings that he current infrastructure could not sustain the numbers that would be entering the grid. Now a major costly diseases enters the picture, there is massive crime and a hysteria is looming. While it was a dumb statement couched in the situation of the moment. He then went on to say that the biggest killer in Africa is poverty. He made an appeal to the world to forgive the debt of AIDS stricken nations so that they may better address the issue and attack all of the other poverty related matters which are affecting mortality. Not quite the voodoo medicine that you’d hoped was being suggested. Sorry.

    What I was commenting on earlier was your statement about Wright. The HIV controversy is such as I stated it. It is not founded on mambo jumbo as you suggested.

  • Dan

    Handyguy demonstrates the willfully ignorant mindset of those wanting to vilify American whites.

    He seems to think that by reiterating a deceptive, omission laced account of history, he can overcome the truth.

    Syphilus in the latent stages, as these men were, is not contagious. Someone please tell NPR.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Since I am an American white, and a Southern one at that, Dan’s comment makes little sense. His method is to seize upon one phrase or bit of logic and cynically generalize that an entire argument, or the entire mindset of a commenter, is beneath contempt.

    Yet I have never seen Dan make any comment on this site that is not steeped in cynicism, negativism, in fact, hate. He won’t admit to actual bigotry toward gays, blacks or anyone left of Rush Limbaugh; yet nothing in his ‘oeuvre’ would suggest otherwise. If I am off base here, I challenge him to prove he’s really a thinker and not just a creepy hate-spewer.

    On the issue at hand, I was objecting to Dave’s post about Tuskegee, which, whatever its intention, had the very real effect of implying, “It wasn’t as bad as all that. Blacks and white liberals have blown it out of proportion.” And Dan’s chiming-in “yeah” was quite offensive to me. But I didn’t then and don’t now blame “all American whites” for that execrable crime. It’s just one example of the poisonous racism that used to be routine in this country and that still exists in some people, often just below the surface.

    If Dan can’t see that Obama’s speech was remarkably, unusually honest and even-handed, and that Ann Coulter’s reaction to it was ludicrous and dripping with contempt for…what, exactly? — well, then, it’s hard for us to have a conversation. He has no interest in a real exchange of ideas, anyway. In his mind, any minority group or sympathetic majority-group member who suggests that prejudice is real and pernicious and deserves our attention is just a whiner who should be attacked, the more viciously the better.

    I choose my targets rather carefully on here. Only the most objectionable words and commenters get this kind of response from me. You don’t care? Fine. But don’t expect me not to react to this stuff.

  • Dan

    “Since I am an American white, and a Southern one at that, Dan’s comment makes little sense. His method is to seize upon one phrase or bit of logic and cynically generalize that an entire argument, or the entire mindset of a commenter, is beneath contempt.”

    logically I would simply ask what being “an American white, and a Southern one at that” has to do with the sensibility of my comment.

    I’m guessing though that Handyguy has some bigoted assumptions about Southern whites. Although I reckon he’s somehow overcome whatever it is that afflicts them.

    “To seize” upon logic or fact that demonstrates the dishonesty of anothers argument is something I’m not ashamed of doing. I’m not the one attempting to dehumanize here.

    “I challenge him to prove he’s really a thinker and not just a creepy hate-spewer.”

    It’s a challenge for me to figure out what causes handy to engage in such ugly, childish name calling, when he doesn’t articulate any example to draw conclusions from.

    To my thinking, If the Tuskegee myth is a lie, then exposing it would be a crucial step in bringing the races together.

    Only a “creepy hate spewer” would want to perpetuate a false myth to dehumanize 1930’s whites, and encourage resentment, and grievance in todays blacks.

    Handyguys ugliness toward me is probably just easier for him than adjusting his view to conform with reality.

  • Heloise

    News flash: Obama’s race speech has been tagged as appealing to or done for “the elitist” meaning the superdelegates, not us simple folks.

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    Pablo add this to your count: the form of AIDS that Africans have is MUCH more virulent, i.e., deadly than the form contracted here in the states. Why, because it was made and bred in Africa. There are different DNA strains of AIDS.

    Everyone does not get the exact same AIDS or HIV virus. Therefore, the argument should be why don’t those with the most virulent form get greater treatment?

    Well the leaders in Africa are denying there is a problem…oh well.

    Heloise

  • bliffle

    I hate to break into the BC “All Race News All The Time” format, but did anyone notice that the Bush administration bailed out Bear Stearns last week?

    This, after they let 1 million USA families lose their homes to repossession?

    After all that brave talk about “Free Markets”?

    After all the provisos about “consequences”?

    And 2 million more USA families may lose their homes this year?

    Did anyone notice that the Bush Administration has opened the national piggy bank to almost anything that calls itself a financial institution?

    Even if it’s never paid a cent in premiums?

    Even if it’s NOT regulated by federal law as ordinary banks are?

    Oh well. Go back to sleep. Sheep.

  • Clavos

    Answers to some of your questions, bliffle, can be found in this article in The Economist, which says, in part:

    “Rescuing Bear Stearns and its kind from their own folly may strike many people as overly charitable. For years Wall Street minted billions without showing much compassion. Yet the Fed put $30 billion of public money at risk for the best reason of all: the public interest. Bear is a counterparty to some $10 trillion of over-the-counter swaps. With the broker’s collapse, the fear that these and other contracts would no longer be honoured would have infected the world’s derivatives markets. Imagine those doubts raging in all the securities Bear traded and from there spreading across the financial system; then imagine what would happen to the economy in the financial nuclear winter that would follow. Bear Stearns may not have been too big to fail, but it was too entangled.”

    I suppose you would have preferred the administration remain true to its “…brave talk about ‘Free Markets’,” and allowed the chips to fall where they may?

  • Heloise

    Yes, I watch the markets. I should have bought BSC when it was 5 dollars a share. After the welfare for Wall Street went through it is now up to 12 dollars a share. So I paid more for it. But now the stock will go up from the 2 bucks it fell to.

    I could write articles on markets but no one would read it.

    Heloise