Thursday, May 15, 2008

Some Of My Best Friends Are Racists

The Obama-demonization strategy is pretty firmly ensconced now, and has probably gotten all the traction it's going to. We knew the RNC was going to Demonize Obama, because that's how they deal with threats - they demonize 'em. Have you ever noticed that all the people to speak out against the president are fame-whores, have uncontrollable anger issues, are criminals, or just plain insane? Gosh, there has to be something WRONG with you if you disagree with us!

To summarize, Barack Obama must not be president because people he has associated with are filled with hate toward white people. Therefore he himself must hate white people too.

Oh, where do I begin?

Okay, the Wright stuff. Whatever Wright has said, no matter what you think, it doesn't follow that Obama buys it too. In fact, he's publicly repudiated it. Yet he attended the Church for so long - how could he NOT buy it? Well, there are Catholics who eat meat on Friday and practice birth control. There are Jews who drive around on Saturday not wearing those funny hats. In fact, there are lots of them. You go to Church to connect with God - sometimes you're gonna disagree with the guy giving the sermons while you're there. Does that mean you keep shopping around until you find a Pastor you agree with 100%? You tell me. I'm an Atheist.

Next this: Obama scandalously appears on the same magazine cover as Louis Farrakhan, Elijah Muhammed, Johnnie Cochrane, Luthor Vandross et all. Obviously Obama must be just like these people (Luther Vandross?) because his supporters think he is. This is a little crazy on the face of it, but let's throw a hypothetical out here, h/t to Ed Shultz. The KKK is likely to endorse John McCain and/or Hillary Clinton over Obama. So don't you want to vote for the candidate who isn't with the KKK? I mean, duh. In fact, we'll have to eventually replace ALL the white candidates now.

Still, the crazy guilt-by-association garbage is working with some people, and it's important to figure out why. There's nothing wrong with a candidate hating a group of people, as long as they're the right people. Obama says he hates nobody, but let's ignore that for now. If he hated Muslims, he'd be doing okes with us because they're our enemies after all. (All of them? Let's ignore that for now too.) If he hated homosexuals he'd still probably be just fine with the majority of Americans, who are either hetero or self-loathing closeted homos. But he's accused of hating white folks. Which I guess would include his own white half. So why is that bad?

Because it makes him uppity.

Look, I call 'em as I see 'em. This talking point at its base is a warning to black people to keep quiet or we'll make them sit at the back of the bus again, just before we throw them under it. How dare they think there is still Racism in this country? If we elect Obama, they'll never stay in their place.

Right wing readers, please please please convince me I'm wrong. I don't want to be right about this one.


wamk said...

Don't look now, but the majority of the attacks being levelled at Obama are coming from *gasp* Clinton supporters.

Sure Hannity has beat the Wright story like a dead horse, but it's Hillary! who is out there stumping about how Obama can't get elected (wink-wink, nudge-nudge).

There will always be racism and bigotry in this Country, because there will always be different people in this Country.

Is racism/bigotry at lower levels than in the past? Of course. Is it getting better? Of course. Will it always be here. Yep.

Before you go off on the racist Right Wingers, take a look at what is happening in your own Party first.

Danielk said...

Ah but the Hillary camp's criticisms have been aimed at Obama's lack of experience, which would be as effective on a white candidate. This Rev Wright thing is uniquely race-baiting.

Of course, this is what Hillary is willing to go public with; who knows what Rovian maneuvering she's up to behind the scenes. Point taken.

I'm always a little suspicious when white people insist that racism is better than it used to be. African Americans I've talked to seem to think otherwise, hence Wright's popularity. Can you grant there may be a perspective issue here?

wamk said...

Peoples viewpoints on certain issues will always be clouded by personal issues. I'm sure that it isn't hard to find black people that feel racism in the USA is as bad as it ever was (Rev Wright, for example).

Personally, I haven't seen any "Whites Only" diners, "Whites Only" drinking fountains, separate days for whites and blacks to attend the movies, blacks on the back of the bus, etc in my lifetime. Have you? Additionally, I haven' seen any "Irish need not apply" signs around any of the jobs I've had. Perhaps you have different experiences.

Again, does racism exist? Of course. Have minorities made huge strides in equality? Unquestionably. Is there room for more improvement? Undoubtably.

I disagree that the Rev Wright is race-baiting. It shows a portion of Obama's character, that he would belong to a congregation for over 20 years, that has a pastor that is saying vile things. It has nothing to do with the color of Wrights skin, and everything to do with the content of his words.

Danielk said...

Alrighty then, how is Hagee different and why should we trust McCain to not, say, order an air strike on the Vatican?

wamk said...

Am I to assume that since you didn't respond to the "Whites only" portion of my response, that you agree that there have been major improvements?

As to the Hagee comparison, McCain didn't sit in Hagee's church for 20 years. Hagee didn't perform McCains marriage. Hagee didn't baptize any of the McCain children. Hagee wasn't on McCain religious leadership committee.

Hagee only gave his endorsement of McCain's campaign, to which McCain said the next day:

"Yesterday, Pastor John Hagee endorsed my candidacy for president in San Antonio, Texas. However, in no way did I intend for his endorsement to suggest that I in turn agree with all of Pastor Hagee’s views, which I obviously do not".

Your comparison of Hagee to Wright is either naive or intellectually dishonest.

wamk said...

Not to split hairs, but a member of the KKK (retired) did give an endorsement to a candidate the other day, and it wasn't a Republican that got the endorsement.

Danielk said...

My point is if the Boy in the Hood endorsed a McCain, it wouldn't mean McCain agreed with him. Obviously, I'd think.

I think African Americans are better off than they were in the thirties but worse off than they were in the mid-seventies.

The Haggee comparison was, in fact, naive. I think I had read somewhere that he was McCain's pastor so there is no comparison. Still, the two points remain - it's common to attend a church and still think independently of the pastor; and the things that Wright say are such an issue because they scare white folk, not because they're especially worse than other pastor's remarks.

wamk said...

Thank you for your honesty in recognizing that Hagee/McCain is nowhere close to Obama/Wright.

You need to realize that Obama didn't "just attend"-Wright married him. Wright baptized his kids. Wright was on Obama's advisory committee. Wright has been a major influence on Obama for over 20 years. While I don't doubt he thinks independently, there is definitely an influence there.

Danielk said...

If there is an influence, so what? How do you think it would manifest?

wamk said...

During the 20+ years i was around my parents, they sure influenced me. Not just because they were my parents, but because I respect them.
Much the same way I suspect Obama respects Rev Wright.

Danielk said...

You only saw your parents a couple of hours a week, on Sundays?

wamk said...

Well, one of Wright's sermons had enough influence to inspire the title of one of Obama's books, didn't he?

It's not the quantity of time, Piker, but the quality.

One of my biggest "influencers" was my college track coach. I only spent a few hours a day with him for a few years-he helped shape me into the man I am today.

Have you ever had someone like that in your life?

Danielk said...

I was pretty heavily influenced by Johnny Carson as a youth, yet to date I have never married a woman whose name begins with J. I was influenced by my best friend, from whom I learned how to control my temper and play my cards a little closer to the vest; and yet I'm not homosexual.

My point is, there is more to the Reverend than has made the news, and any of this might be what has influenced Obama. For example, recent news conferences suggest the man is pretty feisty and won't back down from a fight; maybe Obama got THAT from him.

wamk said...

So you are saying that Obama can be influenced by Wrights feistyness, yet can't be influenced by his anti-Americanism?

Look, I'm not saying that people acquire every trait from everyone they encounter. If they did, everyone would be exactly the same.

The flaw in your example about Carson is the lack of interaction-you watched Carson, yet didn't actually interact with him. All you did was watch. You didn't share ideas, have discussions, etc.

Just like you can turn the channel when you see O'Reilly come on, Obama could have left that church when he heard the ideas Wright was speaking.

But he didn't, and that is what I (and others) find troubling.

Danielk said...

People don't look fondly on people who walk out of religious services.

But you know what? I think this is the surest sign that Obama wasn't influenced by Wright in the way that you think - he has a public platform to express these views. To date, he hasn't even mentioned the Tuskegee Experiement or how The Man has to be taken down. And the man talks 18 hours a day. Why hasn't any of this bile slipped out?

By the way, why did you sidestep the homosexual thing?

wamk said...

So it's better to sit in a church, while someones bellows "God damn, America!", than to walk out? That makes perfect sense to me. Not.

It isn't so much that I would expect Obama to spew similar words (he is a pretty smart guy, you know.) It's that he might buy into the same ideas/ideals Wright has, and try and shape portions of US policy to mirror those ideas/ideals.

Besides, Obama may talk for 18 hours every day, but it's the same 15 minute speech every time. Unless he doesn't have a teleprompter, and that's when more of his true colors slip out.

I skipped the homosexual thing, because it's ridiculous.

I spent four years in close quarters with the Jamaican national record holder in the 100m high hurdles. To date, I haven't become the fastest guy in the history of my Country. I did however, learn to mentally prepare for races better, learned how to get a faster start, and learned to be more mentally tough.

Same type of analogy as your homosexuall one, no?

And they are both ridiculous on their face.

It does make me wonder, however. Do you believe homsexuality is a "learned" behavior, or a trait one is born with?

Danielk said...

So ultimately, we are both claiming to read Obama's mind to know what he took away from the Reverend Wright's sermons. Let us believe what we want, because neither of us has evidence.

Homosexuality - trait. I mean, so is heterosexuality, right?

Incidentally, one of the guys I hung out with in High School is now our Ambassador to Tunisia. I wish I coulda been influenced more by him! I bet I'd love embassy food.

wamk said...

Let me try one last time.

When we associate with people, we learn things from them, some good, some bad, some indifferent.

When we chose to continue to associate with peole, we do it for many reasons-perhaps it's a boss, a person we want to date, or a person we develop a kinship with.

In some instances (like a boss), we might "have" to stay in the relationship for reasons other than a genuine liking of the person (like keeping your job).

But when it's a voluntary friendship/relationship, that I chose to continue in, I bear some responsibility for what that person says and does.

I've known my best friend since we were in 10th grade. While he's not in the public eye (like being a high-profile pastor), if he began to spew vile statements about my Country, other friends would ask me why I still hung out with him. And it would be legitimate of them to ask me that.

Wright is a similar burden to Obama, but ona much larger scale. It's one thing to have heard second-hand what Wright has said in the past. It's another to see it on video.

Again, the topic of your post was how evil and racist those on the Right are, but I again point to the Left, and how they are the ones actually playiong the race card with Obama. Hillary is the one suggesting Obama might get killed, not ant prominent figure on the Right.

Danielk said...

Again, we're reading a man's mind here, and coming to different conclusions. Neither one of us can be right.

Hillary may have gotten to it first, but I doubt she'll be the last.

Why is seeing Wright speak more impactful to you than reading his words?

wamk said...

It's more powerful when you actually see someone speak, than reading a transcript.

The written word doesn't convey the force and conviction of what he was communicating.