Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Obama's Speech Sparks Venemous Attacks

you'd like to think that everyone could see things for what they are (but that's always up for debate). yesterday, obama tried to get people, many different groups of people, to understand. i don't know how much clearer he could've been. he could've spoken for a few more hours and answered questions. but you know what, it would never be enough. if you aren't open to understanding then there is none.

obama's love of his former pastor but the rejection of his political views, is precisely what makes obama the president that we need.

yet the extreme forces are in full force this morning. what else are they to do? most of the writers of the attacks have got their very being wrapped up in opposing the "democrats" or the "liberals." therefore, they must be right at all costs and they have to keep their followers energized.

what the negative forces fail to understand is the depth of the anger in the black community. they don't know the impact of the "original sin" of slavery has on people. they suffer what obama calls an empathy deficit. they don't understand the daily oppression of the black community, the problems in the black community. they don't understand the dynamics of the black church. they don't understand that white supremacy is outrageously wrong but there is room for empathy for the black community who still today are fighting the forces of hate. they don't understand that some of us can see why there is so much hatred in the world for the u.s. they don't understand that we can love our country yet be critical. they don't understand that there is a middle ground.
they don't understand the nature of wright's religious sermons. they haven't even seen those. all they've seen is a constant rerun of a few seconds of a few clips sequenced together. the media is relentless.

they can't separate rev. wright's political views from obama. it's incredibly obvious with the way obama has carried himself, his actions, his words, that he's never been hateful. just the opposite. he knows what it takes to bring people together because he understands both sides. he is a man of integrity and character.

i'm convinced that there isn't necessarily a lack of understanding. there isn't even an attempt at understanding because the people in power would do anything to stay in power. that's what this is about. they are rallying the ignorant, striking fear in their hearts that obama is an angry black man who is going to somehow crush white people once he's president. again, it's an exploitation. i do think republicans actually know better but they use the people who don't know better for their gain. it's the easiest way to accomplish their goal: get mccain in the whitehouse, keep the wars, start new ones and continue the "march of freedom."

some of their arguments this morning are quite amusing. there's a lot to choose from but i'll post a couple.

He responded by giving a speech yesterday on the problem of race in America. Unfortunately, it was a good speech--a very good speech, in fact. Obama's delivery, I thought, was a little flat; he sounded too much like a man reading a script, rather than someone opening up about his deepest convictions.


I spent much of last week suggesting that only a sharp repudiation of Mr. Wright's legacy of venom would solve this problem; Mr. Obama did indeed deliver weekend remarks intended to distance him from that rhetorical cesspool. Yesterday, he did it again.

But those reassuring remarks lose some value when attached to flimsy attempts to excuse that legacy. It is proper to identify righteous anger as the historic source for black evangelical rants. But there can be no room in 2008 for that anger to take the shape of poisonous references to an America where "rich white people" infect blacks with AIDS and bring on 9/11.

now for some good:

And that may have been the most significant aspect of the speech: The fact that Obama proposes a conversation, not a monologue. He not only laid out the reasons why some African-Americans might feel alienated or resentful, but also the reasons why some white Americans might feel the same way......
Obama called on African-Americans to embrace "the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past," and to take "full responsibility for our own lives." And he's absolutely right.

This amounts to a new set of talking points for a discussion about race: Don't be paralyzed by history, but acknowledge its effects. Recognize that whites have legitimate grievances that are not racist. Don't cling to victimhood as an all-purpose excuse. Accept personal responsibility.

Obama told me afterward that he doesn't intend to make race a major theme of his campaign. "I don't think that we are going to be gnawing on this bone at every stop," he said. But I believe he might have pulled off something that seemed almost impossible: He not only ventured into the minefield of race and made it back alive, but also marked a path for the rest of us to follow.

Will the Gospel According to Jeremiah Wright sink the Obama candidacy? Not very likely.
Let's start with two basic facts:

(a) Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) has already won the Democratic nomination. It's over. Regardless of how the remaining primaries and caucuses go, including Michigan and even Florida, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) can never catch Obama in elected delegates. His current lead of 170 pledged delegates will not be overcome no matter what happens. Even if Clinton beats him by 10 points in each of these primaries, he will still lead among elected delegates by over 100. The superdelegates will not override the will of the voters unless Obama is in jail. They will not let themselves in for a civil war by overruling a black man who is beloved by the young by going over the heads of the electorate and naming the candidate that lost the primaries as the nominee. Regardless of how damaged Obama may be by the Wright tapes, it will not provide sufficient cover or cause for them to do so.


Presidential politics usually requires candidates to either wholly adopt or reject positions and people. Mr. Obama did neither with his pastor, rejecting his most divisive statements but also filling in the picture of Mr. Wright and his church.

“The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and, yes, the bitterness and biases that make up the black experience in America,” Mr. Obama said.

It was one of several times that Mr. Obama seemed to be quite purposefully arguing two ideas at once — another dangerous tactic in presidential politics, in which statements are sifted for hints of contradiction and every speech is an attack ad waiting to happen. He admitted that his pastor is both a divisive figure and an inspiring one. He said that his candidacy should not be viewed through a merely racial lens, though racial reconciliation is one of the reasons he ran.

In interviews, Democratic and Republican strategists, scholars, and voters all agreed that Mr. Obama had given a brave, incisive speech about one of the topics most difficult to address in American life. But nearly all of them expressed doubt that his address will fully put to rest the firestorm over Mr. Wright’s statements.

Black America has yet to come to grips with its responsibility to tackle head on the problems that plague our communities. White America has yet to acknowledge the fact that here in the "home of the free," true liberty has evaded many for far too long.

Too often these conversations are ended before they've truly begun, due to the ignorance, intransigence or simple unwillingness of people to acknowledge the validity of what the other side has to say.

Who can honestly argue that black America is not today contributing mightily to its own social, cultural and economic decline?

Who can honestly argue that white America has not been willfully blind and too often complicit in the injustices that continue to be visited upon people born with darker hue or stranger accent?

Who will have both the courage and the commitment to the promise of universal justice and equity that undergirds our country, to call upon the nation to move beyond the divisive rhetoric of racial "one-upmanship" and to embrace the challenge of fulfilling that promise?

Apparently a junior senator from Illinois by the name of Barack Obama.