Today Barack Obama addressed a crowed in Philadelphia regarding the recent outrage over statement his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, has made from the pulpit which include accusing the government of selling drugs to young black men and asking people to sing “God damn America” instead of “God bless American.” Naturally, the whole debacle has been quite a mess for the Obama camp, which is trying to recover from the massacre. I can just see the Cheshire cat-like grin on Hillary’s face as she remains strangely quiet on the issue (full speech).
Even though, Obama ‘splained it to the people, I must admit that the whole thing still makes me very uneasy.
Here’s a two excerpts from Obama’s speech:
I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely – just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.…
I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. 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.
OK, so if you have a relative that says such things you can disown him or her, but you probably won’t. But if your pastor says wild things, you can choose to attend a different church.
For example, if my pastor started saying that everyone who has freckles should be banned from the church, I would take issue with that. Or if he advocated we all go shoplift from Walmart or he if said we should sing “God damn America” instead of “God bless America” or used racial slurs from the pulpit.
Maybe I don’t understand the oppression of black Americans, but yelling about injustice, accusing my ancestors of slavery, and talking about the “white man” doesn’t help either. I am squarely against injustice (as much as I can be). My relatives weren’t even here during the slave trade, and if they had been, they wouldn’t have been able to afford slaves as it is. In fact, a few relatives arrived as the Civil War was starting and fought for the Union Army.
We were filthy Irish and dirty Germans and gypsy tramps (escaping just before Hitler took power). At the end of the day, we were and still are white I guess. It’s just that my family’s history isn’t any more glorious.
Obama then goes on to say:
I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias.
According this story, this is what Democrat Geraldine Ferraro said, “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman — of any color — he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is.” Yeah, that sounds almost the same as Rev. Wright who said:
The government gives them [African Americans] the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme. (Source)
The government’s handing out free drugs? Interesting.
Wright also says that Jesus was a black man who was oppressed by the white Romans (they were Italians, which means they were Europeans, which means they were white according to Wright), in fact, you can listen to the whole thing here. While Obama has said he was NEVER in attendance while Wright made these remarks (even though he’s been a member of Wright’s congregation for 20 years), this report says otherwise. It puts Obama in attendance at Wright’s church on July 22, 2007 when these statements were made. Hmm…
Let’s not forget my favorite racial insult from Rev. Wright–calling the nation “white America, the U.S. of KKK A.” (full article).
Being a white American, I love being lumped in with the Ku Klux Klan. I mean, really, it’s like saying that every Hispanic is an illegal immigrant or every black man is a drug dealer. That certainly is unacceptable, unless of course you’re in the white majority. Then it seems people can say whatever they want about your race and it’s just fine. Guess what? It still hurts.
Having attending a middle school with a high population of Latinos, I can say that I have been the butt of many rude, racial slurs. I was mocked for other things too (being in the gifted class, wearing Christian t-shirts, and being fat), but I also endured horrible abuse for being white–name calling, threats of getting beat up (none of which I took all that seriously), being pushed into walls, having stones thrown at me after school, and the fear that ensued because of that treatment. This type of treatment is intolerable, unacceptable, and hurtful, no matter who perpetrates it. And those who try to pretend they didn’t hear it or excuse it to become President make me sick.
Here’s another view of Obama’s speech by Dr. Phil Monroe.