But this abrupt turn on a pastor who he chose to follow for 20 years was nothing compared with what he was about to do to a member of his own family. Why did the Senator not "disown" his pastor when he heard him utter radical things from the pulpit? As he goes on to say in his speech, "I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother. A woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world. But a woman 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."
Loosely translated, Senator Obama is giving us the simple argument that, while his pastor at times made racial statements, so did his grandmother. Of course, what he fails to mention — but which we all know anyway — is that you can pick your pastors and your church, but you cannot pick your family members.
But pulling his grandmother into the fray and airing her private statements before the entire nation gives the Senator some cover; so that makes it acceptable — if you're a politician. But was the Senator really accusing his grandmother of racism?
Just a few days ago during a radio interview Senator Obama was asked this very question. His response, in a nutshell, was to call her "a typical white person." Obama's answer to the question was to say, in so many words, "my grandmother is a typical white person, she's racist because it's been 'bred' into her." Too bad the host of the radio show didn't ask him what he meant when he said racism was "bred" into his grandmother.
Does Senator Obama really believe that whites are the only ones who might fear walking down a dark street at night? How might the Senator himself feel walking down the street of a tough neighborhood at night? Jesse Jackson himself said back in 1993, while addressing Operation Push members, that "there is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved"