March 18th, 2008

Did Obama save himself?

I watched Obama’s speech, and then listened to a bit of commentary: hedging and doubts on Fox, glowing dewy-eyed awe on CNN.

I’m not a fan; never have been. I see Obama as a typical liberal of an extreme but very familiar sort. I disagree with him on the war on Iraq in particular, one of my strongest concerns. I’ve also been bothered by his lack of experience combined with some shady associations, of which Reverend Wright is only one.

So I can’t claim neutrality in listening to today’s speech. As I said in last night’s podcast, I expected it to be a sermon of sorts, a counterbalance to Wright’s sermons, and Obama didn’t prove me wrong.

What did he actually say? The gist: let’s put this brouhaha behind us. Reverend Wright is typical of black rage, and I can’t disown him because I can’t disown my people. Whites are angry too. The remedy is to throw more money into our schools, create more economic opportunities for the African-American community, and fix health care in the time-honored liberal manner. Anyone who keeps talking about Reverend Wright is just keeping racial divisions alive, although of course we have to talk about them because they’re real.

Something like that, anyway. And along the way he managed to make what I felt was one of the single most revoltingly self-serving statements I’ve ever heard in a speech. I reproduce it here in bold:

I can no more disown [pastor Wright] 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.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

Talk about equivalences! Somehow his elderly grandmother’s privately uttered statements of mild racial stereotyping have become a counterbalance to the invective Wright spouted from the pulpit as a spiritual leader.

And I can only hope that Obama’s grandmother, who is still alive, was told about this speech in advance and agreed that it was alright with her. If she did, it’s just more proof of her love for her grandson. If she did not, he’s guilty of one of the most coldblooded political exploitations of a loved one that I’ve ever witnessed.

Even with his grandmother’s permission, however, the argument doesn’t hold. There is no equivalence there between the two, which differ mightily in degree.

What’s more, there are plenty of African-American churches, probably even a few in Chicago, that carry on Wright’s sort of social missions without his inflammatory rhetoric. Surely Obama could have found a spiritual home in one of them. Yes, as Obama says, the church to which he belonged probably “embodies the black community in its entirety,” the good and the bad, the hate and the love, but that’s no reason to sit voluntarily steeping oneself in the hatred while in church. Disowning a pastor should be easier than disowning a grandmother.

So, what is the remedy Obama is offering for the racial problems that persist in this country? Aside from whatever healing would come from the mere fact of his own election (which he downplays in the speech, attempting to sound modest), what does he suggest?

Obama spent considerable time describing the roots of anger such as Wright’s in the very real inequities and discrimination of the past. But to my ears, he glossed over and minimized the major policy changes and gains that have been made in the decades since the sixties, and prescribes the following as the remedy:

….the legacy of discrimination—and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past—are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds—by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.

If things are not perfect at this point, it’s certainly not through lack of trying this particular agenda. Is more money really the answer? Is the problem still a lack of a “ladder of opportunity?” Or is a substantial part of it the self-perpetuation of the problems, that they have become culturally and structurally endemic in segments of the black community, and that this is a major force contributing to the stuckness of some African-Americans today despite efforts at affirmative action that have gone on for decades?

Obama does pay lip service to that fact in his speech in what he refers to as the “conservative” “notion of self-help” and responsibility:

And it means taking full responsibility for own lives—by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.

How this all-important personal change on the micro level of family will somehow come to pass isn’t clear. That’s because it’s outside the realm of governmental intervention.

Perhaps Obama thinks that his own election can inspire some of it (he does not say this, however, in his speech). Obama does mention that some of Wright’s sermons that are not on You Tube emphasize this very thing—self-reliance and self-help in the black community. But it’s very difficult for me to believe that dwelling so much (as Wright does) on the legacy of past discrimination, and nurturing both present rage and negative stereotyping of other groups as well as disdain towards this country, could ever help to bring about that healing of which Obama speaks, either within the black community or between the races.

So, did Obama pull it out of the fire? I haven’t a clue. As I said, there’s never been a chance I’ll vote for him, and it has nothing to do with Reverend Wright.

Most of Obama’s diehard supporters are probably still in his camp, and would remain so whatever he would do short of being revealed as an ax-murderer (and maybe even that wouldn’t be enough). Those who didn’t like him before aren’t going to be won over.

It’s that large group of Americans in the middle that he must woo in order to win the general election, and I have no idea whether he reached them. Time—and polls—will tell. It’s still a long way to November 4th, and I suspect this campaign has a great many twistings and turnings ahead.

[ADDENDUM: Victor Davis Hanson wasn't keen on the grandma bit either. Richard Fernandez is far more eloquent than Obama. And Gerard Vanderleun did not relish the speech.]

127 Responses to “Did Obama save himself?”

  1. Mister Thorne Says:

    We all have our perspectives. Mine is influenced by more than 20 years as one half of an interracial couple. I’m Anglo, and my wife is Afro, which means I have experiences most Anglos don’t.

    For instance, I get to hear my wife tell me how the police followed her home from the grocery store, or they stopped her for driving while black just a bit too close to the Stanford Law School.

    When we’re out together, some very odd things happen — things that no white couple or black couple will ever experience.

    There’s much we don’t agree on. Affirmative action is a good example.

    And there’s much we do agree on. Barack Obama’s speech this morning is a fine example.

    Before that speech, I thought the Jeremiah Wright controversy meant the end to Obama’s prospects. Now I feel as if Clinton’s prospects are over. My wife agrees.

  2. Christian Prophet Says:

    Barack Obama wants to both eat his cake and have it. He wants voters to rise above race and religion, while appearing religious himself. He is in deep trouble if a spotlight is placed on his own THEOLOGY. See:
    http://miraclesdaily.blogspot.com

  3. nyomythus Says:

    Mister Thorne — you’ll agree with you wife after that shallow smoke screen of a speech or sleep on the sofa.

  4. Kelly Pierce Says:

    Ace in the hole. This speech should go in the history books. This candidacy should (and will) go in the history books. This was one of the most “presidential” speeches I have ever heard a candidate give in my life, if not THE most. It challenges every American to be better, from top-down and bottom-up. He didn’t dance around issues as most politicians and people in the public light do. If you didn’t feel challenged to be a better American after listening to this speech, you were not paying attention.

  5. Sergey Says:

    This speech is just as empty of substance as any other speech on race from leftist camp, but he certainly surpassed Hillary in eloquence. But compare this with Thomas Sowell’s thoughts on the same topic – and feel the difference.

  6. Anon Says:

    I think your interpretation of the grandmother/pastor thing is a bit off. Barack is saying that despite the failings of each, they are both a part of his life. It’s not about the degree to which the act was offensive, just that it was.

    Also, you suggest that he should have gone to a different church. This whole speech is about taking ownership of ourselves, both the good and the bad, so to switch to a politically less controversial place of worship would be a classic example of old-politics that he’s trying to separate from.

    That church has helped make him who he is, if he believes in who he is than he should be able to take responsibility for that church, for better or worse, and he just has.

    Also – nyomythus – you comment had neither substance or tact.

  7. Sergey Says:

    I have a proposal for Obama. When he would lose election, he can start a career of tv-evangelist – and have a huge success. This was not a “presidental” speech, which assumes some realistic and new policy proposals, but a sermon. And, as a sermon, it was rather good. Even if he accept a pastor job in his own Trinity Church, this will be a big improvement, compared to Jeremiah Wright.

  8. Saint Patton Says:

    Bull. I don’t need an empty suit to preach to me that I need to work harder about race issues, not when Obama managed to attend a racist church for two decades. If my pastor were to talk like that I would be gone after two weeks.

    Obama has been around Wright for TWENTY years and not once, not one single time did he ask himself if such abrasive, racist rhetoric might not be compatible with his own beliefs?

    Obama says he profoundly disagrees with Wright yet also gave the man an advisory role in his campaign, releasing him only after the press started raising uncomfortable questions.

    Obama is turning out to be a classic race-pimp, sidestepping the racial rhetoric only when necessary. Need proof? Notice the tone of his language on this speech; clipped and well enunciated. Now compare that to when Obama is addressing a majority black audience and the ethnic ‘street patois’ appears.

  9. Sergey Says:

    The previous preacher in White House – Jimmy Carter – was a complete disaster. And USA can have another try in this direction. I am sure, Mullas in Tehran will be very happy.

  10. Saint Patton Says:

    Barack is saying that despite the failings of each, they are both a part of his life.

    Yet Wright was released from the Obama campaign. Why would Obama do that if in truth Wright is only partially controversial? Presumably the man would have at least one small bit of good advice to offer.

  11. Sergey Says:

    We have in 1917 in Russia a very liberal, very well-meaning, very eloquent and sympathetic guy as a Head of Interim Government. His name was Kerensky, and his style immediately reminded me Obama. Russia paid for his eloquence 55 million of deaths.

  12. Gray Says:

    If you didn’t feel challenged to be a better American after listening to this speech, you were not paying attention.

    Or maybe you just weren’t a good American….

    I wish Obama and his followers would defend the US for a change rather than defending themselves.

  13. Trimegistus Says:

    Summary: It’s Whitey’s fault that Wright is a race-baiting fanatic. Criticism of Obama for tolerating this guy is racist. Oh, and peace, schools, and stuff like that.

  14. Roy E Says:

    So Obama’s defense is essentially relativism and deflection. That’s it? That’s all there is?

    Sorry. But not good enough. It answers nothing.

    He raised his children under this spiritual mentor and then plays the role of a healer? I don’t buy it for a second.

  15. Gil Says:

    If you didn’t feel challenged to be a better American after listening to this speech, you were not paying attention.

    I heard a lot of “let me tell you whats wrong with America” rather than urging me to build upon all the good.

    Of course Obama is our new fixer; all he sees around him are problems.

  16. roxanne Says:

    Are all of you saying you’ve never disagreed with something said from the pulpit?

    Are you saying you don’t belong to a church for a lot of different reasons–reasons like the congregation, the service, and all the other people who make it up?

    Rev. Wright’s comments have been blown out of proportion. A few comments over the years out of hours of sermonizing. Obama addressed them–forcefully. Those of you still looking to nitpick would be looking to nitpick if he had left the church months or even years ago.

    The real message of his speech: move on. America needs us to.

  17. Lothar Says:

    We have in 1917 in Russia a very liberal, very well-meaning, very eloquent and sympathetic guy as a Head of Interim Government. His name was Kerensky, and his style immediately reminded me Obama. Russia paid for his eloquence 55 million of deaths.

    I am so quoting this in my LiveJournal – comedy gold FTW!

  18. Vince P Says:

    I’m listening to his speech now… My God.. what a wreck.

    A 40 MINUTE DEMAGOGIC rant about race from this lightweight Chicago Democratic Party Machine politician?

    Who the hell could be swayed by this?

  19. colagirl Says:

    I was already planning not to vote for Obama, for reasons unrelated to Wright. Therefore, his speech on Wright didn’t change anything for me–I wasn’t voting for him before, and I’m still not now. And of course the diehard Obama partisans are still going to vote for Obama, so nothing’s changed for them either.

    However, as to the middle, my gut instinct right this moment is that Obama managed to repair the issue with his speech. Which is a shame, because I find his association with Wright extremely problematic for all the reasons others have pointed out, and pretty words don’t change that. There’s something rather weird with both Obamas–neoneo, your profile of Michelle Obama was very well-done and right on, I thought, and I’ve seen another good profile of Barack somewhere else which unfortunately I can’t remember where that is at the moment, doggone it. (Possibly at the Jawa Report.) But what it comes down to, I think, is that a lot of people *want* to believe Obama, or perhaps believe *in* Obama (the Obamessiah), so they will. As long as he makes the slightest gesture in their direction, they’ll meet him more than halfway just to allow themselves to keep believing. Of course, I could be wrong, but that’s my gut instinct right now. *Sigh.*

  20. Vince P Says:

    However, as to the middle, my gut instinct right this moment is that Obama managed to repair the issue with his speech

    How?? Please elaborate.

  21. Gil Says:

    Sorry Roxanne but Wright goes beyond saying things that you might mildly disagree with; blaming an entire demographic for everything from AIDS to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is odd in the extreme.

    If my minister said such things in ANY context I would question his sanity, hell if anyone I knew said such things it would scare me.

    Listen the the speeches, the crowd is doing quite a bit of cheering, if Obama picked this church for its members than he must have realized he was surrounded by nutcases…or he agreed with them.

  22. Shaldag Says:

    I don’t like being preached to about morals by anyone, especially not this ding-a-ling and certainly not when he just got caught hanging out with an amoral fool.

  23. Obama’s big speech: The CliffsNotes version…. at Amused Cynic Says:

    [...] Neo-neocon doesn’t sound all that impressed, either. [...]

  24. Bugs Says:

    The real message of his speech: move on. America needs us to.

    Sorry. Can’t do it. What I heard was not a call for America to become great; what I heard was a call for America to become good enough according to black people and other minorities.

    Obama’s basic tenet – which differs only in its expression, not in its essence – is that America is a bad place and American’s are bad people and only by enacting liberal Democrat policies can they be redeemed.

    This makes me want to become a better American by voting for John McCain.

  25. FredHjr Says:

    I did not hear the speech, since it occurred while I was working. Therefore, I will have to find out about it by the commentary of people I trust, and my own reading of the text itself.

    Since I am not a Democrat (an affiliation I ended six years ago) I will not be voting for him. I have no personal animus towards the man – after all, I do not know him. He’s a Leftist lawyer, which is precisely the wrong person to have as POTUS in these dangerous times. As a Christian who supports Israel’s right to defend itself, I note the prevalence of anti-Jewish people on his policy advisory staff. He has chosen to associate himself with men who have ties to Islamic terror groups. This is not a good thing. As a citizen who has taken it upon himself to read the Qur’an and some English translations of some of the more authoritative ahadith, I can say with utter certainty that I know this enemy more profoundly than Obama and his advisers do. I am also more well-read in the intellectuals who buttress the Left’s architecture than Obama is. I trust my own counsel more than I trust his.

    I’m way beyond the race card. It was never a factor in my life, since my school days, my time in the Army, my time as a Jesuit seminarian who actually, when attached to Loyola of Chicago, did volunteer work in South Chicago, and my time in undergraduate and graduate studies. And I have been, a few times, treated unfairly because I am white, but it never embittered me against black Americans. They are just “Americans” to me and I take individuals, one at at time. So, there is no “healing” that I need from a snake oil salesman.

    I judge Sen. Obama on the issues, his voting record, and what little of his policy prescriptions he has allowed us to be privy to. I have to be faithful to my principles, therefore there is no one in the Democratic Party I can vote for at this time, unless it was Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut (if the party now owned by Dean, Soros, and the Netroots would allow him to remain).

  26. nyomythus Says:

    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

    Right on neo, this is not a comparable justification for Wrights comments, also this is a coldblooded political exploitation. Sorry grams … but sonny boy has an appointment with destiny, didn’t mean to kick you in the eye, you understand.

    What is Obama’s moral character? ASK HIS PREACHER.

  27. Vince P Says:

    I love how Obama kept harping about how we need to move on from race.

    Which is funny since it’s folks like him who keep badgering the rest of us about it.

  28. FredHjr Says:

    Sergey,

    Would I be presuming too much to say you are a Russian expat? And that would mean you know Russia a lot better than I do. Therefore, I have a question for you: Why is Russia now such an ally of Iran? I mean, what can Tehran promise to Putin about Chechnya? Is Iran THAT influential? Why doesn’t Moscow see that Iranian nukes are just as threatening as the rest of the world does? And finally, why is Russia actually helping Iran get nuclear weapons’ capability?

  29. Dave Moelling Says:

    Obama is a really interesting guy who keeps himself very closely guarded. His mom is a true 60′s type who marries and then is left(?) by two husbands from developing countries. Obama grows up in Indonesia and Hawaii, goes to top schools and ends up as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago!

    This is a guy who has absolutely nothing in common with blacks living there except his skin color. His accent and education would pretty much guarantee he would not be passed by a cab in the rain. But he becomes a machine politician in Chicago and goes to a huge black nationalist church in the hood. What gives? Either he has some real issues with his upbringing or he figures to use the crookedest political machine in the US as a springboard.

    We have absolutely no clue as to who the real Obama is. Maybe he doesn’t either.

  30. colagirl Says:

    [i]However, as to the middle, my gut instinct right this moment is that Obama managed to repair the issue with his speech

    How?? Please elaborate.[/i]

    As I said previously, I *suspect* that there are a lot of people in the middle who want to believe Obama, or maybe believe *in* Obama, and if they perceive him as giving them the slightest little bit of a reason, they’ll meet him more than halfway. They’ll hear what they want to hear out of his speech–whatever it takes for them to allow them to believe him.

    I can’t really put it any better than that–it’s just a gut feeling and could be wrong. Personally I hope my feeling *is* wrong. As I said, I think that it doesn’t matter what pretty words he puts on his association with Wright, the fact that he specifically chose this guy–a guy who, fer cryin’ out loud, repeats to his congregation the conspiracy story that the US fabricated the AIDS virus specifically to kill black people???–is inexcusable. (And ditto what others have said about choosing to expose his *daughters* to such hatemongering.) We’ll see. I think there’s a saying somewhere that first impressions are almost always wrong….

  31. Vince P Says:

    I want to know what a “community organizer” means.

  32. SteveH Says:

    What the good reverend forgot to mention is that the taxi driver hesitant about picking up blacks is more likely than not to BE BLACK.

    The odds say that vitually every person of every race would pet a stray Golden Retriever before we would pet a stray Pit Bulldog.

    Why is that? Its about playing odds based on experience to stay safe in this life. Its there no matter what race or color you happen to be.

    How dare people like Rev Wright have the audacity to snarl his teeth at me and then Barak points out the racist in me for being repulsed by it.

    That dog wont hunt.

  33. Sergey Says:

    “Equality means that a black demagogue who has been exposed as a phony deserves exactly the same treatment as a white demagogue who has been exposed as a phony.” – Thomas Sowell
    Read the whole thing:
    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YTQ0MDI5ZDE5MTcyYjBmMjI0MmVhZjhiOTM2MDI5NzM=

  34. JeanneY Says:

    Saying Obama threw his grandmother under the bus is ridiculous and ill-informed. The very things he said about his grandmother are included in his first book, written decades before he took to the political trail. You owe him a major apology on that one.

  35. Sergey Says:

    Fred, in today Russia only one man decides all it foreign policy, and you know this man. His CV tells it all. And his reasons are secret shrouded in mystery cloaked in enigma.

  36. Sergey Says:

    I am not expat, I am Russian citizen and live in Moscow.

  37. stumbley Says:

    “You owe him a major apology on that one.”

    Why? He’s still using a family member’s putative private (or else why “whispered”?) thoughts in service of his political career. And as has been said before, the thoughts are not equivalent: Wright’s diatribes are based on past wrongs, BO’s grammy’s are on present experience. I thought the pit bull/golden retriever analogy of SteveH was particularly apt.

    This was simply a “You still owe me, Whitey” speech cloaked in flowery prose. If the garbage in your neighborhood isn’t picked up, what’s to prevent you and your neighbors—who are presumably as disturbed about it as you are—from cleaning it up yourselves? No jobs in the ‘hood? Maybe if you stopped painting graffiti on businesses and breaking their windows, you’d have a few more employers deciding to locate there. Trouble with “inferior” schools? Try growing up in a town of 7,000 in New Mexico with an education budget of about 1/100 of that of Chicago’s worst district.

    Stop being a victim and suck it up.

  38. gcotharn Says:

    I’m just throwing this out there:

    If I were Barack, I would have operatives frenetically scanning blogs this morning, and leaving positive, feel-good blog comments about my speech. My operatives might have names like “Mr. Thorne” and “Kelly Pierce”. It would be important for my operative’s to be fast, and to get their comments in earlier than other commenters, so as to have maximum impact. My operatives would list some concrete reasons Barack’s speech was wonderful, even if Mr. Thorne and Kelly Pierce did not.

    I clearly have no idea if Mr. Thorne and Kelly Pierce and friends are real or not. Just sayin … my horse manure antennae are activated.

  39. Roy E Says:

    The context of the speech renders it suspect. It was a carefully crafted speech designed to save Obama’s campaign because he was painting himself into a corner.

    That is the purpose and motivation for the speech. He’s saying what he has to say because he’s forced to say it to save himself. So it’s all highly suspect to me.

    That Obama brought his kids to Rev Wright’s Church tells me much, much more — without the doubt cast by ulterior political motives.

  40. gcotharn Says:

    Shelby Steele has an exceptional consideration of Obama, race, and white America in today’s WSJ:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120579535818243439.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

    Neo, I thought this blogpost was outstanding. I do not think Sen. Obama transcends race. I think his subtle yet pervasive message is: vote for me or you are racist. Today was more of the same. What is the following, if not an assertation of “vote for me or you are racist”:

    the legacy of discrimination—and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past—are real and must be addressed. [...] It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.

    I already know my dreams don’t have to come at the expense of someone else’s dreams, thank you very much. Barack’s standard stump speech message is “Americans don’t realize the ‘other’ is just as human as we are.” His standard stump speech, reduced to it’s essence: You are all racists. Vote for me and be saved. I will heal America. Of course, he says it so beautifully, so charismatically, so soothingly: you are all racists, look into the spinning watch… or whatever it is hypnotists use.

    Ugh. I’m too disgusted. Need less politics; more children and dogs and flowers and beauty.

  41. Terrye Says:

    Presidential???? This speech was presidential? Presidential my ass. The man is trying to save his bacon. Plain and simple I did not see him wanting to have this talk until his crazy preacher/uncle showed up on TV.

    I grew up in the 50′s and 60′s, I remember the Civil Rights marches. I remember Martin Luther King. This man is not King. In fact his mentor makes a point in judging people by the color of their skin and not the content of their character.

    I went through the hippy phaze when I was in school and I can remember rent a cops following me through stores, and I am white. Well sort of. I look white, let’s put it that way.

    Obama is not making some great race speech, where white people get to admit once again that they suck, Obama is trying to win the White House. That is all. He would not be having this little chat with us if he could have avoided.

    Now I know that his fan club will drool and swoon, but I am not sure that it would work for most people. After all most of those Independents were at work, did not hear the speech, will only hear snippets…but they will remember Wright’s God DAMN America!!! That is hard to forget.

    Btw, that church had a door, Obama should have walked out of it.

  42. Gray Says:

    Wright: “God Damn America!”

    Obama: “America is damned, but vote for me and together we can fix it!”

    God damn both of them.

  43. Bacal Says:

    You all disgust me. May God forgive your arrogance and your ignorance. Mr. Obama, God willing, will save your country in spite of you.

  44. benning Says:

    I think the MSM will make much ado about nothing when it comes to this speech. Obama said little we didn’t expect to hear. He remains a well-spoken empty suit.

    As a commenter said, over at Sister Toldjah: “I love Shakespeare at times like this….

    ‘…it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’”

  45. grackle Says:

    And where is Reverend Wright now? He’s been sent on an overseas ‘vacation’ – mustn’t let pesky reporters ask Reverend Loose Cannon any pointed questions, you know.

    No matter how many words are thrown at the TV cameras the bottom line is BEHAVIOR. Obama didn’t disassociate himself from Wright. Instead he re-embraced Wright and became an apologist for Wright. You’re either on the bus or you’re off the bus – and Obama is definitely still on the Wright bus.

  46. John Says:

    When will Obama and any other’s who speak for the “Minority” finally stop blaming others who have a different skin color for their problems, things will improve on both sides!

    For example, SKIN COLOR is due to the bodies response to the sun. Human who were exposed more to sun have darker skin over time to protect their skin, while those who were less exposed (or lived in colder climates) had lighter skin so they could absorb UV light easier to produce Vit-D. This is EVOLUTION and has nothing to do with race. You have more DNA in your genes that deal with HEIGHT than with skin color!

    Also for those say “white america” will always keep “our group” down, history shows America is one of the most forgiving and accepting countries on EARTH. We have leaders of every race, creed, and national origin!

    In 1941 Japan attacked America, we locked some up in camps, and fought a WAR against them that killed over 1 million Americans. Yet within 10-20 years after the WAR they were seen not only as our friends, but Allies! Also, we dropped two Atomic Bombs on their country and they forgave us and needed some help to rebuild their country, but they are not blaming us 50 years later for their problems like Obama’s pastor is!

    Those in groups (white, black, brown, etc…) who blame another group (white, black, brown, etc…) should look in the mirror and see their OWN actions (or lack of action) are holding themselves back more than anything else!

    I may vote for Obama, but not if he plays the “Victim” Card, which his own life has proved is not valid. If you work hard, stop blaming other, and realize skin color is (and should be!) meaniless, you will succeed in LIFE.

    Case Closed!

  47. Matt Says:

    The scrutinizing of Obama is hilarious and disheartening. What’s any politician supposed to do with the people they know? Hide from them because one day they may run for president? Silly.
    Obama came out today and gave a good speech that few politicians have given. Actually probably none who have run for President have given.
    This is a time to discuss race. Not scamper to our left and right strongholds playing the same old game.

  48. Pat Says:

    Presidential???? This speech was presidential? Presidential my ass.

    On the contrary, Obama’s speech was very reminiscent of certain former Presidents. Specifically, Clinton and Carter.

  49. Matt Says:

    Pat Says:
    March 18th, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Yes, and guess what? Both Carter and Clinton were both Presidents! Imagine that? So what is your point? That they weren’t?

  50. FredHjr Says:

    “Bacal” said “You all disgust me. May God forgive your arrogance and your ignorance. Mr. Obama, God willing, will save your country in spite of you.”

    Obviously a foreigner, making reference to “your country.” I haven’t read anything worthy of disgust here. Nor do we exhibit ignorance.

    “Bacal” please let us know when you are ready to show us the more erudite and thoughtful side of yourself.

  51. Matt Says:

    Pat

    I believe I misunderstood your post. You were critizing someone who said the speech was not Presidential by comparing it to Carter and Clinton. Sorry. If so I actually find the speech better than Carter or Clinton.

    And to many here who call Obama an empty suit I am sure you still will even if he becomes President and serves 8 years.

    I know I still think Bush is an empty suit.

  52. SteveH Says:

    Obama could read the phone book and have these idiots swooning.

    Just incredible.

  53. FredHjr Says:

    Matt,

    I knew about Barack Obama’s pastor months ago and researched other influences in his life. These people matter because all of them have played a role in the formation of his mind. From his Marxist mother, to his mentor in his teenage years, a member of the Communist Party USA, Frank Davis, to his Columbia University professor mentor, who was a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, to Mr. Rezko, who himself has connections with Islamic terror groups. There are the policy advisers lined up for him by George Soros.

    You ask why this should matter? And you suggest that a double standard that is perhaps racist is being applied here?

    All of this matters because his campaign and his speeches have been devoid of substance. So, the responsible voter goes in search of who this man is and what he stands for. There is no malice in doing this. Some of us have, after all, graduated from college long before the regime of political correctness.

  54. Matt Says:

    FredHjr:

    Oh come on. His Marxist mother! Love that. Does that mean he will rule like a communist leader? Didn’t Arnold Schwarzenegger have a Nazi father and a good friendship with Kurt Waldheim? Yet Arnold is no closer to being a Nazi than you are.
    Arnold too was an empty suit. And guess what? Despite a few policies I disagree with he is doing alright.
    My college education taught me the simple fact that one cannot and should not be accused of guilt by association [or family, no less]. I don’t think Obama will become some kind of anti-semitic communist monster, which I assume in the extreme you are proposing here.
    But sure, his life is fair game. What politician’s life isn’t?

  55. AmericanWoman Says:

    I wasn’t going to vote for Obama before, and I wont now. But I was gratified that he not only continued to repudiate Wright’s statements, he also explained why they were wrong.

    I do think that Obama has a unique perspective being both white and black. He can’t alienate one part or the other (hence the grandma story). So he has the credibility to address BOTH sides.

    I did like that he addressed that white people have anger and issues as well, and that these are real issues. Too many black politicians and leaders play into the ‘white people have it made’ mantra that makes me ill.

    Did he make this speech to save his political ass, yes. Did he throw his minister under the bus, yes. Is he a typical hypocritical politician, yes. But at least he showed that he can be the president of American, not black America. He’s a candidate, not a black candidate. He’ll address issues, not black issues.

    At least if he wins, we’ll have that.

  56. Uh-huh Says:

    How about this issue… He heard “Crazy uncle” pastor guy preach about how the CIA developed & spread AIDS to kill Blacks, and gleefully screeched out “God damn America” over 9/11, does he believe this crap himself or not?

    I saw a great summary of His speech over at another blog, Ace of Spades HQ
    http://minx.cc/?post=258029

    “SteveL:

    Ok, let me see if I understood this speech correctly:

    1. I was in church when Wright said some bad things.

    2. I didn’t like the bad things he said.

    3. I never, ever spoke up about how I felt about the bad things.

    4. I continued to go to the church even after he said the bad things.

    5. All of which is irrelevant because my grandmother used some racial epithets.

    Did I get it right?”

  57. Joe Porchnik Says:

    America was discovered, founded, and built by white Christian men, not crypto-muslim blacks or mulattos. The signers of the Declaration of Independence are rolling in the graves after that speech by that half-Kenyan Barrack HUSSEIN Obama. God help this country.

  58. Occam's Beard Says:

    I do think that Obama has a unique perspective being both white and black.

    This may be a useful to point out that virtually all American blacks are both white and black. I’ve had grad students from Africa, and believe me, they look nothing like Obama or (especially) Wright.

    Another useful point, greater dissemination of which would materially ameliorate race relations in this country: American blacks were sold into slavery by their brethren in Africa, not captured by white men. American slavery was a white and black crime against other blacks.

    And a third one. America was born with slavery in place, and thus is in exactly the same position as a child born with a veneral disease. Blame the European imperial powers that started the practice, not the country that fought a bitter civil war to end it.

  59. chartreuse Says:

    the sad thing about this posts and some of the comments is the complete and utter cynicism.

    For the record, hope feels a lot better.

  60. FredHjr Says:

    Matt,

    I’m not practicing “guilt by association.” In his own book and in his own statements he credits his mother with developing his mind AND HIS WORLDVIEW.

    Having been a student of the history of ideas, and also having studied HOW it is that people often (not always) arrive at the ideas they hold, you cannot minimize the role that influential adults have in the framework for how you think about the world.

    Do some introspection about YOUR life and how you came to see the world the way you do. I guarantee you that you will find that a parent, or a teacher, or a mentor, or a professor, or any combination of these, as well as your own explorations, played a large role in your ideological template. If you think that you or anybody else are immune to these influences, then I think you need to go back to the beginning and re-examine the process by which you arrive at that conclusion.

    As a former Leftist, I’ve deconstructed pretty much the entire process by which I arrived at my affinity for Marxism. I’ve looked at it all within myself and I can indeed point to every person, book, personal experience, and class that enticed me down the path I took.

    Don’t lecture me about applying critical inquiry to political candidates. And your vituperative response is very revealing about your character and mind.

  61. Niggalodeon Says:

    America was born with slavery in place, and thus is in exactly the same position as a child born with a veneral disease.

    What a brilliant insight. Tell that to your especially dark skinned grad students from Africa. It may materially ameliorate them.

  62. Eddy Schwartz Says:

    I used to be another rightwing white guy, but about ten years ago someting happened: whenever I got really angry about something I saw happening in this country, I couldn’t help but imagine how much more pissed off I’d be if I had been born black. Long story short, I realized I was full of shit and started to vote Democratic. I feel much better now and also my sex life has improved immensely. I discovered how much better liberal women are in bed.

  63. Vince P Says:

    I discovered how much better liberal women are in bed.

    Uh huh.. I bet those gals like Medea Benjamin really know how to debase themselves the way you like it. And no anger there.. right?

  64. harry McHitlerburtonstein the Extremist Says:

    I think Obama’s managed to save his bacon. A couple of days alone with himself and he proves he can summon up a hell of an emotionally charged, manipulative sermon. I think it will be enough to win back most of whom went off a week before. A phone conversation with mom will be telling. She’s a push over for flowery rhetoric, especially if its pandering empty sophistry. Im sorry to say that, but its the truth.

  65. Matt Says:

    FredHjr

    My grandfather and grandmother were communist supporters at one time in the 1930′s. They had lived through the Depression. My grandfather was a strong believer in equality for men, women and minorities and he hated the wars of the 20th century. He didn’t like the contradictions of capitalism and thought the government could do better for the people. [FDR’s programs helped him get back on his feet]. He was a great man who, yes, influenced me. My grandmother became a devout Methodist who – God bless her – also had a strong belief in equality, caring for the poor and hoped one day for universal health care. She, yes, influenced me.
    While I see communism as a great failure that killed millions I cannot deny that some people during the Depression looking for other governmental solutions looked toward communism. It was the wrong solution to be sure.
    However, my grandparents were not Stalinists – which I am certain someone would call them if they didn’t know them and wanted to throw slurs my way.
    That is partly my point.

  66. Adam Says:

    Don’t worry about it. He wasn’t talking about you, specifically.

  67. Pat Says:

    Matt wrote:

    I believe I misunderstood your post. You were critizing someone who said the speech was not Presidential by comparing it to Carter and Clinton.

    Not quite. I was, indeed, responding to someone who said the speech was not presidential. However, my point was that being presidential is not necessarily a good thing; it depends on which President you are being likened to. If Obama’s speech is reminiscent of the dishonest sophistry of Clinton or the mealymouthed platitudes of Carter, then Obama is not exactly covering himself with glory.

    If so I actually find the speech better than Carter or Clinton.

    I wish I could say the same.

  68. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Chartreuse, you say that hope “feels a lot better” than what you are calling cynicism — but cynicism isn’t the same thing as critical thinking. I don’t see too many cynics in this comment thread. I do see quite a few people who apparently prefer to base their voting decisions on rational analysis of the facts, rather than on emotion.

    Yes, it might “feel a lot better” to avoid the hard work of critical thinking, and just let oneself get caught up in an emotional wave of hero worship when a charismatic candidate like Obama comes along. It also feels better to eat ice cream and chocolate and french fries than it does to do the hard work of making sensible, healthy food choices. That doesn’t make healthy eaters cynics. It just makes them people who realize that indulging their feelings isn’t the best way to get optimal results.

  69. Bronislawa Says:

    Yes, to the original post.

    Barack Obama pimped out his grandmother to save his own political career.

    Nixon pimped his dog, Checkers.

    Obama went way lower than that.

    He makes me sick. His supporters drink waaaay too much KoolAid.

    At this point I think a simple intelligence test could consist of just one question, “Are you an Obama supporter?”

    if the person answers “yes,” they should not be allowed to operate heavy machinery.

  70. Charlie Bucketrtz Says:

    Most of Obama’s diehard supporters are probably still in his camp, and would remain so whatever he would do short of being revealed as an ax-murderer

    You mean, not unlike the 30% who still support Bush even after he’s trashed the country many times over? You picked the wrong time in American history to jump over to the Republicans. They’ll be in the wilderness for a decade or more, as well they should.

    Go Obama!

  71. Matt Says:

    Chartreuse

    Let me translate what Mrs Whatsit just wrote:

    “I’m smarter than you.”

    Now we just need to know if Mrs Whatsit thinks Bush and Cheney and Rove are eligible for the same ‘critical thinking’ she speaks of.

  72. Occam's Beard Says:

    America was born with slavery in place, and thus is in exactly the same position as a child born with a veneral disease.

    What a brilliant insight. Tell that to your especially dark skinned grad students from Africa. It may materially ameliorate them.

    Thank you for underscoring the point that reading comprehension is not within the grasp of all.

    My metaphor clearly likened slavery to a venereal disease, not the blacks. In fact, I’d often made that comment to them. Fortunately, they were a good deal brighter than some, and took the point.

    “Ameliorate?” Big words are tough, but I believe you were going for “placate.”

    In any case, at least in my experience, Africans don’t have the same chip on their shoulders about slavery, as is only right: they were involved in it up to their eyeballs, and can hardly point the finger at anyone else.

    As Hugh Thomas points out in The Slave Trade, the biggest single obstacle Britain faced in trying to abolish the slave trade was …African chieftains, who made a fortune from it.

  73. Bronislawa Says:

    Mister Thorne wrote:

    “We all have our perspectives. Mine is influenced by more than 20 years as one half of an interracial couple. I’m Anglo, and my wife is Afro, which means I have experiences most Anglos don’t.”

    Mister Thorne, you assume a superior attitude. Because you know what other “Anglos” — a racist, obfuscating, and hostile term — do not know, you are in a position to preach.

    Your post shows zero awareness of the many worlds you refuse to acknowledge. You don’t need to teach. You need to learn.

    Expand your vision, Mister Thorne. Talk to me about Korean immigrants, with a history of their own oppression, including mass rape under the Japanese, coming to this country, working like dogs to set up businesses, and being disrespected, insulted, beaten, robbed, and having their stores burned down by African Americans — people they never enslaved, never harmed, never even met before they arrived on theses shores.

    Talk to me, Mister Thorne, about Jews, Italians, and Portugese who saw a city they built, Newark, NJ, go up in flames because African Americans were angry at white supremacy, a legacy that oppressed these Jews and other immigrants as well.

    Talk to me, Mister Thorne, about how white police officers, or even black police officers, feel when they listen to the lyrics of African American hit songs that call police officers “pigs” and recommend their *murder.*

    Talk to me, Mister Throne, about New York City cab drivers who aren’t racist, who didn’t even arrive in this country until a few years ago, but who have been stiffed for rides by African American male customers.

    Talk to me about innocent people mugged, raped, murdered, in African American crime.

    Talk about Jews who have faced disrimination, about Jews who have faced even a pogrom in this country — Crown Heights — and yet still manage to love America.

    Learn about the Irish, who were as dogs when they first escaped the potato famine, and yet still learned to love America.

    Talk about Joe Dimaggio, who was denounced as a “Wop” and a “greaser” and a “Dago” when he played ball for the Yankees — and Italians still learned to love America.

    The problem is not that non-black Americans — forget your hostile, racist word “Anglo” — don’t know about black suffering. We are force fed a constant diet of how much blacks have suffered.

    The problem is that people like you, like Jeremiah Wright, insist that black people *own* suffering, and that black people can never transcend suffering, and can never love America.

    Black people don’t own suffering. Plenty of non-black people have suffered as well.

    Black people *can* transcend suffering. Frederick Douglass was a very great man. Martin Luther King was a very great man. Harriet Tubman was a very great woman. Suffering did not hold them back; suffering did not force them to take crack and go on welfare.

    Black people *can* love America.

    Jeremiah Wright says “God **** America.”

    Marion Anderson, a black woman, sang “God bless America.”

  74. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Before I can answer your question, Matt, you’ll have to explain what iyou mean by “eligible for critical thinking.” It’s not a phrase I’ve ever heard, and I frankly can’t figure out what on earth it might mean.

    If you’re asking whether I think critical thinking ought to be applied to a Republican candidate, or if, instead, I think that rationality ought to be reserved for Democratic candidates, while Republicans should be chosen based on feelings — well, actually, I think that’s a pretty silly question. Tell me what you found in my previous post that sounded partisan to you, other than my unwillingness to follow Obama blindly based on what feels good. Republican candidates can be charismatic too — think Reagan, for instance. Would you argue that voting for Reagan was a fine thing to do, as long as it “felt better” than “cynicism”?

    As for being smarter than Chartreuse, haven’t met her, don’t know, expressed no opinion on the subject. I just disagreed with her point of view and said so. If you think that amounts to declaring that I’m smarter than she is, then I guess your post disagreeing with mine should be translated in exactly the same way.

  75. Occam's Beard Says:

    the sad thing about this posts and some of the comments is the complete and utter cynicism.

    I believe it’s called “realism.” I don’t see much cynicism on this board. Arguably the most cynical person involved is Obama himself, who apparently calculated (correctly, it seems) that his supporters could be kept onside no matter what he’d done.

    For the record, hope feels a lot better.

    And feelings are paramount, right?

  76. Thomas Says:

    Kelly Pierce Says:

    “This was one of the most “presidential” speeches I have ever heard a candidate give in my life, if not THE most. It challenges every American to be better”

    What a load of bs…

    I hang out with racists and black nationalists… but their anger is real and ergo you need to understand its roots… and elect me and give me all my progressive spending programs… to make it go away…

    Anyway, I know the anger is real… you can hear it in their hate speech. I also know the roots. I just don’t think it justifies either.

    It’s just so typical… liberal fascism…

  77. Matt Says:

    Bronislawa

    Talk to me about Obama who is trying to transcend all of this.
    Yes, Black people *can* love America.
    Black people *can* transcend suffering.

    I see Obama’s life as an example of that.

    So what is your point?

  78. Occam's Beard Says:

    OK, let me sharpen Bronislawa’s point.

    Black people can wear flag lapel pins and recite the Pledge of Allegiance – but Obama doesn’t, and won’t.

    Does that help?

  79. Shaldag Says:

    Well…this particular issue in general and the latest Obama speech in particular seem to have hit a serious nerve. Every site I frequent is going apeshlitz in the comments section.

    If I were Obama I might be a bit worried right about now, this thing isn’t going away anytime soon and the RNC commercial production crew is waiting in the wings.

  80. Uh-huh Says:

    Trying to transcend all this?
    Hell, he had no problem with old “Crazy Uncle” until all this came out. He’d still be going there, he went for 20 years.
    Transcend my ass, he just playing politics.

  81. Terrye Says:

    Cynicism??? Barack Obama was the first candidate to demand that Imus be fired. He made some sanctimonious comment about his children not being exposed to such toxic something or other.

    But he does not mind having the good Pastor here not only baptize those children. He makes sure they sit there in church and listen to that crap.

    Now that is cynical.

    And yes, I do still support Bush. He has been president through some really rough times and thus far he has not made out with any interns or called a bigot his “spritual advisor”. He has had to live with a constantly hostile press and not so loyal opposition. Barack Obama gets a small taste of what Bush has to live with 24/7 in terms of scrutiny and all Obama’s followers can do is whine at the injustice of it all.

  82. Terrye Says:

    And btw I am hoping. I am hoping Barack Obama does not become the President of the United States. If I click my heels together, will it help? Clap if you believe……

  83. Terrye Says:

    And you know something? You do not have to be black to know what suffering is. That kind of crap is so condescending.

  84. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Of course black people can love America. And of course they can transcend suffering. Obama’s rhetoric makes me think he might be one of those people. (For the record, I thought that some of his speech today was admirable for its straight talk on race relations, I thought he did make some substantive points in that connection, and therefore I disagree with those who say the speech was completely empty.)

    But the rhetoric of some of the people Obama chooses to keep close to him makes me question his sincerity. His wife says she’s never been proud of America in her life, not once, until her husband ran for President. His spiritual advisor says he prefers “God D*** America” to “God Bless America.” If Obama’s really all about transcending race, why hasn’t he either distanced himself from these people long ago, or at least persuaded them to keep their divisive, hate-based views to themselves until he can get elected?

  85. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Oops. Sorry, didn’t mean to put all that into italics. XHTML gone wild!

  86. Matt Says:

    Occam’s Beard

    Dude, you need to stop reading chain letters. Obama does recite the Pledge of Allegiance and even puts his hand over his heart. Learn the facts. Do a simple Google search.

    And how can you make a point about the superficiality of a good speech and then claim that wearing a flag lapel is more meaningful?

  87. Shaldag Says:

    Read the guys autobiography, there is generous evidence that the man has all sorts of ingrained racist tendencies and thoughts.

  88. Occam's Beard Says:

    Sorry, didn’t know that was specious. I withdraw the point.

    I didn’t refer to the superficiality of the speech, actually, as I haven’t heard it. In any case, however, it’s hard to imagine what Obama could possibly say that, in my book, would exculpate him from his choice of pastor. It would be bad enough if Wright had said that sort of thing once, but apparently it was pretty routine, and that’s simply unacceptable.

  89. Matt Says:

    Occam’s Beard

    I agree, this whole Wright thing is problematic for Obama and I have a tough time believing him completely.
    Those on the Left feel good about his speech while those on the Right see political calculation.
    Suffice it to say I see both as correct. He is a politician, afterall.
    That said, if his speech today can get people thinking a bit about race that’s a step in the right direction.

  90. RHurley Says:

    I have never seen such venom. I doubt if the author of this blog ever was a liberal.

  91. Matt Says:

    Mrs Whatsit
    It’s not a phrase I’ve ever heard

    It means are those politicians you admire or like ‘eligible or qualified or suitable’ to be critically accessed?
    Most on the Right and Left don’t apply the same standards to the candidate they like.
    Perhaps you do?
    But I can tell you that Obama speaks to people in ways Hillary and McCain do not. Is that superficial? You would have to be the judge. But appearance and articulation and good speeches help men becomes presidents. Usually because they connect with voters on a superficial level. Is that a bad thing? Maybe. But it’s also reality. I know of no modern Presidential politician who has not used this ability to get elected. And some had little experience. Woodrow Wilson and JFK are just two.

    Would you argue that voting for Reagan was a fine thing to do, as long as it “felt better” than “cynicism”?
    LOTS of people voted for Reagan because he made them feel good. And you know what? That’s not a bad thing. A president is supposed to set a tone and a direction that the people can believe in. He [or she] then needs to surround themselves with politicians and people who can carry out their vision.
    Then it is up to you [or maybe historians] to decide if they succeeded.

  92. grackle Says:

    America was discovered, founded, and built by white Christian men, not crypto-muslim blacks or mulattos

    Wrong – just totally wrong – factually, metaphorically and any which way the above statement is examined.

    There were no doubt at least some slaves from Islamic backgrounds and the blood and sweat of slaves helped sustain(“built,” if you like) America from the first. Slavery, which always included mulattoes, and the economy of slavery is an unfortunate part of American history. Declaring otherwise is naive.

    True, North America was exploited by groups with primarily European backgrounds but there were indigenous folks here already. In that context, “discovered” is not the proper word.

    My reading of history tells me that the religion of the founders was largely irrelevant. Democracy, after all, was not invented by Christians – Christians came along much later.

  93. Shaldag Says:

    I have never seen such venom. I doubt if the author of this blog ever was a liberal.

    You must not not get out much. Or online much.

  94. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Matt, I agree that Obama connects with people in ways that Hillary and McCain do not. He has that magic something — and they don’t. No question about it. I also agree that lots of people voted for Reagan because he made them feel good. He, too, had that magic something.

    But for that matter, so does David Archuleta, whom I am watching at this moment on American Idol. He’s got this magically beautiful singing voice that allows him to connect with the audience in ways that the other contestants cannot, even though at 17, he doesn’t have the life experience to understand half of what he’s singing about. It’s a perfectly good reason to vote him in as the next American Idol. But not as the next President.
    I disagree, absolutely, that choosing a political leader based on that magic something is a good idea. Of course plenty of people do it. That doesn’t mean I’m going to. I love listening to him.

  95. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Oh goodness, there I go again. I am going to stop cluttering up this comment thread with apologies for poorly-proofread comments, I promise, but the final paragraph of my previous comment should have been deleted. I’d edit if I could. Sorry!

  96. Occam's Beard Says:

    But appearance and articulation and good speeches help men becomes presidents.

    And Chancellors, too.

    Reagan also made people feel good, but with a huge difference: he had a specific philosophy he wanted to implement. It was easy to guess what Reagan would do in a postulated situation. It wasn’t surprising (but merely gratifying) when he fired the air traffic controllers for breaking their contractual agreement not to strike. We knew where he stood generally, and specifically regarding communism, and America’s place in the world.

    Does anyone have any idea about any of Obama’s (honestly held) views? What kind of man is he? What’s his character? What would he do if Iran told him to get stuffed and forged ahead on its nuclear weapons program? Would he stand up to him, or cave? It’s just not clear, is it?

    That’s my problem with him.

  97. Fredjr Says:

    Occam’s Beard articulates very well what many of us think regarding the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama. Except that I would venture forth with the opinion that we can fairly well surmise where he would most definitely be in matters of foreign policy.

    Take, for instance, his declarations about a month ago before some liberal Jews in Cleveland, OH that he supports Israel’s right to exist. But in the same speech he also stated that he would unequivocally not stand by a Likud government. Translation: the Likud Party is most opposed to more land give-backs and more concessions granted to further a “peace process” that has not resulted in security or peace for Israel – only more terror and threats of war against the Jewish State. In other words, “we like Jews when they are supine victims and especially when they are caving in to the Muslims.” Also, his choice of advisers – many of whom were actually chosen for him by George Soros and who are, to put it mildly, rabid Jew haters like Samantha Power, Robert Malley, and Zbignew Brezhinsky. We also know that Sen. Obama has kept company with men with ties to Muslim terrorist fundraising and jihad organizations.

    So, we have a good picture of where he would be in a major part of foreign policy. And folks, it is not pleasant.

    I know I am going to get lambasted again for the “guilt by association” rap by “Matt” here. But, you can indeed know a lot about a person by the company he keeps. And in the matter of the things I mentioned above this really does indeed put us into the orbit of where his thoughts roam.

  98. Occam's Beard Says:

    The “guilt by association” aspect arises because we don’t have anything else to go on but who his associates are.

    It’s kind of like Kreliminogists of yore who used to diviine who was in the ascendancy from the order in which Soviet leaders appeared to review the troops on May Day. Feeble, and imperfect, but it’s all we’ve got.

  99. Gray Says:

    Talk to me about Obama who is trying to transcend all of this.
    Yes, Black people *can* love America.
    Black people *can* transcend suffering.

    But he didn’t transcend it:

    He wallowed in the fever swamps of Black Nationalism, Racism and Anti-americanism.

    Obama has just done an excellent job of tapping into to white leftist hatred of America and self-loathing.

    It’s a symbiotic relationship:

    Obama and his Spiritual advisor hate the white middle class and hate America. You hate the white middle class and you hate America.

    Perfect!

  100. Vince P Says:

    If someone has to keep reminding you that they “transcend race”.. gee you think maybe that they really don’t?

    If Obama really “transcended race” (whatever the hell that means).. HE WOULDN’T HAVE TO HAVE JUST GIVEN A 45 MINUTE JUMBLE OF A VERBAL MIDDLE FINGER regarding race.

    Ugh I resent Obama just for the fact that we have to endure a whole year of racial identity politics of the most tired sort.

    zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    The entire nation now has to suffer because of the Left wing’s hang up over every physical characteristic that they take advantage of for political gain.

  101. KYJurisDoctor Says:

    “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. …

    In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world’s great religions demand – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother’s keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister’s keeper.”

    That says it ALL, folks.

    http://osi-speaks.blogspot.com/2008/03/heres-obamas-speech-on-race-religion.html#links

  102. Vince P Says:

    In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world’s great religions demand – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother’s keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister’s keeper.”

    Islam doesn’t have such a demand.

  103. nyomythus Says:

    Obama’s October

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oC8l4rnfXQ

  104. Fredjr Says:

    “Islam doesn’t have such a demand.” – Vince P

    Quite correct. Nailed that one, you did. Unfortunately, most Americans and Europeans (hell, even a lot of Israelis) don’t know it. Reading an English translation of the Qur’an and parts of the Sunnah (the ahadith) should be required.

    I highly recommend that everyone go on over to jihadwatch.org every now and then. And here is a list of scholars whose books and articles will land you on solid footing, if you really want to know what Islam teaches, not what its taqiyya and kitman practicioners and Western dhimmi apologists say it does.

    Robert Spencer
    Bat Ye’or
    Serge Trifkovic
    Andrew Bostom

    All of their work is based on solid research and scholarship. They don’t engage in hysteria; they just tell you what traditional Islam teaches, how it has treated dhimmi peoples, and how it conquered most of the known world and what that meant.

    None of this is a part of Obama’s knowledge base or that of his advisers. If he becomes POTUS, expect raucus celebrations across the Muslim world. They know they will have their way with us.

  105. Artfldgr Says:

    If she did not, he’s guilty of one of the most cold blooded political exploitations of a loved one that I’ve ever witnessed.

    He is limited in thought only, potential outcomes limit his deeds.

    the argument doesn’t hold. There is no equivalence there between the two, which differ mightily in degree.

    Ah, but the youngins are steeped in a deep deep broth of relativism. The younger you are the more relativisms logic you have had applied to you. (a constant bias, pushes things towards one direction with the issue being reduced to when rather than whether)

    At some point, the population will be relativism concentrated enough that the person with the right lines and phrases will sweep the situation and like certain charismatic Germans, be able to do bad things and RELATIVATE them away. In a way, this election is a test of whether we are soaked in enough gasoline to burn brightly.

    Surely Obama could have found a spiritual home in one of them.

    And still be close to the leaders of these groups? It’s hard to have a dialogue if you’re in a church and there is no excuse for there being a contact path between people. If he was in a different church, there would be no path and that wouldn’t serve needs. In this church he is ‘connected’.

    Is more money really the answer?

    It is when the idea is to run the capitalist machine till it blows. And crush us between the vise of taxation and inflation, paraphrasing Lenin. Anyone check out what their tax plans and spend plans are?

    Is the problem still a lack of a “ladder of opportunity?”

    No, the problem is population distribution and disproportionate performance of groups.
    Most new immigrants move here to larger cities and urban centers. This puts them in a very competitive market in which the natural time component has well established players. Though not Marx’s version of them since they do grow and fade. Bear Stearns being a timely example. However, much of that is a myth since immigrants as a group do better than the natives. IE, they are more economically mobile because they have a harder life someplace else so have a better work ethic (we are assuming the conversation isn’t the troublemakers).

    Though if you read the stuff on the Frankfurt school and look at policies, in ways many of them got their experimental start in the African communities. Even Jesse Jackson went from crowing one tune as to the distribution of abortion clinics, and he becomes a D, and zip on that. Sanger’s book is online at MIT if anyone cares to read it, as are other things maintained by some professor, but probably mirrored someplace. When they claim that the quotes are out of context, they are not out of context.

    Tupaks parents are who? Were they the kind to be steeped in adorno and the others? Creating the fuel and problems that create the oppression and the derprivation necessary to give them standing. Anyone ever read the poetry of H “Rap” Brown (“die n-word die” is the title)? Rap was known for how he rhymed and talked. Or find out his new Islamic name and what he has done since it changed?

    how this all-important personal change on the micro level of family will somehow come to pass isn’t clear. That’s because it’s outside the realm of governmental intervention.

    Is it? I have been through this system. Rather than bore you with details that would boggle the mind to the point of a point I can’t express. He doesn’t wish to change the family at the micro level. We use precedent from other countries now, and because of a certain article of the UN (started by Alger Hiss, remember him?), we are aligning our laws. Which is why the superior American system is turning into more kangaroo systems and principals. Heck we delegated state powers to agencies, something that cant be done. The state gets its power from the people, so it cant delegate it. a CP authority has more power than a police officer. They can enter a home and take children and remove them at will with no court case or judicial review at all. A cop needs a warrant.

    I guess one would have to know whats going on to know what he is referring to.

    Housework looms for Spanish men
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4100140.stm
    “Spanish law is changing so men have to do 50% of the housework,” Santi tells me, rather red-faced. “I am getting married this autumn so I am learning things I’ve never done before: ironing, cleaning floors and doing the washing up.

    Ok.. why do this? Easy.. men and women are complimentary. Their skills give them different advantages in different categories, if they can work together they can do more than any other combination. Female female, will not be as strong, male male will not be as strong. Ok… by sharing the work 50/50 you destroy the advantage that heterosexual couples have that creates the extra capacity to create children and rear them (not raise them, there is a difference or haven’t you noticed the language change?).

    The big thing comes from how women being hypergamous will then perceive this situation. Their pairing will appear to be underperforming. That should kick in a response to leave. That kicks in the punitive actions of the courts. The kicker is that they can now impugn more income than he can earn. Then he goes to jail. In jail he works for a large company, like a nicer gulag, for about 27 cents an hour.

    Given that law is already doing this… how can you say it’s beyond the government?
    Parens patria allows them to. Under that, your kids are not your kids, and so you have no rights to them. You are only wardens of them for the state.

    “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.” – adolf hitler

    Perhaps Obama thinks that his own election can inspire some of it

    Well, no… the left has been running this plan for more than 40 years, so he is only going to inch it forward. You only have to read what they actually wrote that no one teaches.

  106. Artfldgr Says:

    FredHjr,

    Why is Russia now such an ally of Iran? I mean, what can Tehran promise to Putin about Chechnya? Is Iran THAT influential? – etc

    Simple tactics. Take out a map, and drop listening to the meaningless rhetoric and look at each countries basis and work from their.

    Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, make a one country wide line dividing all land paths to the middle east and Africa. With one exception, IRAN. If iran fell into different control spheres, the line would be closed.

    Georgia and Azerbaijan are also key in this as is the Caspian. Why should they care about such small countries that have such small economies and not much else? Because they are part of that land bridge to the middle east and Africa.

    Land transport is the only way that material can be moved in HUGE (like for wars) amounts and keep these amounts hidden. Planes, ships, both imply a cap. Planes hold less, but they are safer. Ships hold more, but are unsafe. Which is why spain was bombed. You need control of the straights and such to get things through.

    Why all this? Russia is a country that is mostly natural resources. There is only a few ways to get the most money for them. one is to own all of the material and hold the buyers for hostage to the price (opec, gasprom, etc)… the other way is destabilization in general, and in the lands who have that matieral, or competing materials (Africa). That is unless you can capture the lands themselves, and get the people to attack the foreign concerns who bring money and food into the country, and then take over them till you have overwhelming controlling amount of them.

    You see, everything went wacko as soon as possible after iran was to be the next target. The door would be closed. Then how do they deliver a reported 20 plus billion in arms a year? (Reported is probably a lot lower than the real number).

    Now if that door was closed and the weapons staunched, the world would have had the situation that the terrorist in middle east and Africa would quickly run out of weapons, and supplies. Though only sort of, as they have enough other things to terrorize for more than 100 years.

    You cant fix darfur, or the other places till you can stop the bleeding. And you cant stop the bleeding unless you can plug the hole.

    So if you look carefully at a lot of events and start figuring “cui Buono?”, then you might figure it out.

    The game is above rhetoric. The people running the state really can’t let some rhetorical point decide the outcome of this “great game” as it was called.

    The farther away the population moved from being able to handle things the more we fit nixons description of us. that we are like the young children in the family.

  107. Artfldgr Says:

    And finally, why is Russia actually helping Iran get nuclear weapons’ capability?

    they arent. they are teasing them… if they wanted to they could have it in a day… so its a long tease, with the iraqies knowing its the only game in town… all th while imagining that they will one day figure it out past a certain point, and then can turn the tables.

    stalin used hitler to do his work.
    the current regime is using islam.

    in both cases when things dont work out, the unfortunate tool is discarded.

    and if you look at it this way, you can see that the points that are different are the points that might be considered the mistakes.

    first it works and so it provides an out if things collapse… someone else takes the dive.

    hitler was too strong… but between hitler and past vietnam, the things been evolving till a swarm of fleas can tie up a good state indefinitely (as long as you can keep giving them weapons and make history happn)

    so the islamics are weak, but large, and concentrated. they dont need strength to beat the attriction game. the alligator just holds the animal underwater and holds its breath. eventually it cant keep it up, it leaves, and weapons pour in and the place changes back. (we forget the vietnamese and cambodian boat people and the few million slaughered after we left)

  108. Beverly Says:

    Wow. I see I’m late to the party, but I wanted to post this. I’ve had a nagging feeling that the reaction to Obama’s speeches was familiar somehow. Finally I put my finger on it: the reaction of listeners to Saruman the wizard in Lord of the Rings:

    “…Another voice spoke, low and melodious, its very sound an enchantment. Those who listened unwarily to that voice could seldom report the words that they heard; and if they did, they wondered, for little power remained in them.

    “Mostly they remembered only that it was a delight to hear the voice speaking, all that it said seemed wise and reasonable, and desire awoke in them by swift agreement to seem wise and reasonable themselves. When others spoke they seemed harsh and uncouth by contrast; and if they gainsaid the voice, anger was kindled in the hearts of those under the spell.

    “For some the spell lasted only while the voice spoke to them, and when it spoke to another they smiled, as men do who see through a juggler’s trick while others gape at it. For many the sound of the voice alone was enough to hold them enthralled; but for those whom it conquered the spell endured while they were far away, and ever they heard that soft voice whispering and urging them.

    “But none were unmoved; none rejected its pleas and its commands without an effort of mind and will, so long as its master had control of it….”

    Obama is clever and persuasive, no doubt. But he doesn’t fool me any more than he does Neo.

    We wouldn’t even be debating the issue if it were McCain, with Fred Phelps as his “spiritual mentor” and pastor of 20 years. Good grief.

  109. Vince P Says:

    Bevery: Wow.. that’s some good stuff.

  110. Perfected democrat Says:

    So, BO’s “Christian” church and eccentric “uncle” and “spiritual” mentor.. where in a world with countless examples of authentic “black” and “Christian” leaders, selfless and successful community organizers, social and neighborhood workers, scholars, teachers, doctors, businessmen and entrepeneurs, actors, musicians, and wealthy professional athletes breaking ground everyday, rising themselves and raising their brothers and sisters of color in so doing, by virtue of their dedication and hard work, personifying the greatness that black culture brings and contributes to all (emphasis) of us in this melting pot that is our American culture… and BO’s church chooses none of these people for it’s major award of the year, but instead chooses the bitter muslim, race baiting anti-semite Farakhan to honor; and BO’s “uncle” and “spiritual mentor”, and Farakhan make a conspicuous point of visiting and pandering to the likes of the Libyan Qaddafi, Islamist, arch enemy and murderer of Americans; and B.O. and his wife are happily present at the dinner and award ceremony, and twenty years of related tirades… I’m a Jew, but I know for sure that when a Christian finds Christ in his/her life, that it’s more than lip service ending in the betrayal of the essence which Jesus (the Jew) represented, and that is not dedication to Islam and the degradation of all others; and there is Odinga, another strange “Christian”, BO’s “cousin”, who BO has ardently championed, who is reputed to have referred to Islam as the one true religion, and promised to promote the installation of sharia in Kenya, once in power, correct me if that’s incorrect. There is something surreal about this charade and disingenuous presentation tonite; Like I said several days ago, I can hardly wait to hear “the first black president”, and Hillary extolling the virtues of the manchurian candidate at the convention in Denver. The Dhimocrats have truly sold this country out…

  111. logern Says:

    Ward Connerly, a black conservative leading a national effort to ban race-based preferences, said he would use Obama’s success to validate anti-affirmative action questions his organization is promoting in five states.

    “I’ve been saying for a number of years that the American people are not institutionally racist,” said Connerly, founder of the American Civil Rights Institute. “It underscores my position … that affirmative action is an idea whose time has passed.”

    http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_News/2008/03/18/some_say_racial_preference_not_needed_now/6552/

  112. strcpy Says:

    I’ve seen Obama’s campaign described as a train wreck on the way – the only question is when. I like that statement quite a bit, will it happen before the DNC or after the POTUS Election?

    I hope between the DNC and POTUS Election and generally figure it to be the case. He is struggling too much with people who *want* to believe him right now and is not doing a thing for those that have no inner desire to do so. If he is doing this badly against someone who has her hands tied with respect to attacks he is going to falter miserably when the real fight begins.

    His speech today spoke to his base and pretty much no one else. I just don’t see Obama as having anything other than that. Further I see him as being able to get the conservatives that would refuse to vote for McCain to come out and do so.

    I shudder to think what would happen if he were to make POTUS though, personally I would rather not take the chance on him beating McCain – but then being a republican I suppose it isn’t my call anyway.

  113. SteveH Says:

    I find it very strange that we’re even having a discussion of BO possibly being president. I’ve never heard such vile hatred spewed as that from Jeremiah Wright. And it happens to be BO’s pastor and “mentor”?

    Have the liberals in this country gone so “punitively” mad that they want our destruction if it gets rid of conservatism?

    The evidence says YES.

  114. Terrye Says:

    People can say that people like me are venomous. I read that somewhere in this comment thread. But you know what? If you want venom, go to Trinity Church on any given Sunday and listen to Barack Obama’s crazy uncle preach. After all, if that kind of venom is good enough for Barack and his wife and kids it should be good enough for his fan club.

  115. Tony Iovino Says:

    That he didn’t throw his pastor under the bus, while still convincingly repudiating his words, showed class and a maturity not often displayed in recent American politics. It was a well-executed high wire act. It is something that has to be a part of the new politics– we simply have to break out of this pattern of playing gotcha with the other side, of Bork-anizing each other. As a nation, as a media, as a bodypolitic, we have to …grow up.

    I think Obama’s speech was a clarion call for maturity.

    My problem?

    I follow him until I hear his solutions to America’s problems, and then he loses me. Because although I’m “only” 49, I am old enough to know that the liberal plans he is pushing are doomed to fail because of two undeniable facts: they go against human nature and they always have.

  116. syn Says:

    I simply do not appreciate a politician such as Obama, who earns twice as much as income than I and has far more political power than I, lecturing to me that I and my country are failures.

    That said; using his grandmother to protect and defend his hateful religious mentor is a sign of bad character and poor taste. In other words, Obama will beat up his own grandmother in order to get power.

    If Obama’s supporters need to identify themselves racists in order to feel like they’re doing something meaningful in their lives let them however leave me out of this ugly stuff. I have a dream and I’m living it.

  117. colagirl Says:

    Beverly–I second Vince P. That’s some good stuff.

  118. Jo Says:

    The fact that he would defame is own grandmother, who help to raise him and pay for his prep-school education in order to make excuses for his hate-mongering preacher is absolutely disgracefully !!!!!!!!

    I do not understand how people can praise him for his loyalty to Rev. Wright when that loyalty brings shame on a person that has supported and loved him since birth.

    This only goes to show how truly week-mined Sen. Obama really is that he could be so brainwashed by this hateful man he would turn on his own family.

    My only comfort is that should he win the nomination (which he probably will because the democratic party is so afraid of angering the black community) is that the 527 are gonna swift-boat him rite out of the presidency.

    This country can not afford to have a weak-mined, disloyal racist in the white house.

  119. Sergey Says:

    Having re-read BO speech, I must retract my opinion that it was completely devoid of substance. It has real stuff in it, but this stuff is so old! This is exactly Great Society programm of Lindon Johnson, launched after JFK assasination. It failed 40 years ago, failed miserably, and its first victim was black community, due to destruction of black family spoiled by wellfare benefits. This harm was partially undone by Reagan Revolution. Now Obama wants to try this disasrous policy once again. This is, in nutshell, his programm about race relation: undo Reagan revolution and return 40 yers ago.
    I was decieved by his intonation suggesting that he proposes something new and finding no novelty in his promisses. It is same-old-same-old, and quite ruinous.

  120. Obama’s Speech, Day Two | The Anchoress Says:

    [...] writing: Neo-neocon by TheAnchoress @ 12:02 pm. Filed under America, Barack Obama, Election 2008, Parenting [...]

  121. How to Win Friends and Influence People « Obi’s Sister Says:

    [...] have remembered that he himself had been loved and cherished regardless of his skin color. From Neo: And I can only hope that Obama’s grandmother, who is still alive, was told about this speech in [...]

  122. Tatterdemalian Says:

    I have to admit, the message I got from his speech is one I’ve been waiting to hear from ANY politician for a long time: “My friends have flaws, my family has flaws, and damn it, I have flaws too. So what, are you going to elect someone who pretends to be flawless?”

    Sadly, having been a leftist for many years, I know they think. The speech is fine, but its really a cover for actions that are the opposite. “I oppose racism, so I can use the word ‘n*gger.’” “I oppose sexism, so I can punch women.” “I oppose genocide, so I am best qualified to impose population controls.” And now, “I stand by my flawed friends, so I can throw anyone I like under the train to get elected.”

    I’ve learned to be more wary of the inspiring words than the ugly ones, especially when the actions don’t match them.

  123. FredHjr Says:

    Sergey,

    You are so right about what the implied policy positions are that are expressed in that speech. Those policies destroyed the black family right at the moment blacks were starting to do very well in America. And it wasn’t just blacks who were harmed by the Great Society Experiment.

    Lyndon Johnson was a vain bully who also went by half measures in a war by fighting it as if lawyers were tiptoeing around the yard.

  124. Dan Stark Says:

    “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. ”

    For 20 years Obama has heard “controversial remarks” while sitting and saying nothing. For 20 years Obama has heard “critical” remarks about American domestic and foreign policy. He admits he heard it while even sitting in the church. He sat for 20 years and said nothing. Why denounce his “former pastor” now? Why not then, the first time you heard it? Is it because of political maneuvering? Sounds like it.

    Of all this talk about how Obama has character, I really don’t see it here. Obama is not a movement, if you believe it, you’ve been tricked. Obama is a politician, nothing more nothing else.

  125. craig Says:

    Wright’s statements were thoughtless. But Sunday at 10:00 am remains America’s most divided hour. I honestly think we’re addicted to race politics, like some sort of racial Stockholm syndrome victim. We love it. It gives us something to define our struggles. It allows us to put some people “in” and others “out” and supports our definitions of of ourselves. I found it interesting to find that most black people in America, have much more European in them then one would think (see Dr. Skip Gates’ African American Lives part 2 on PBS). The opposite is true for whites too. The overlap of our shared American history leaves whites bloodline a little mottled as well. So our understanding of “black” and “white” are constructs that have little to do with our actual heritage. I think that what Obama was saying is that he lies at the crossroads of our shared American history. He’s bi racial, his father was an immigrant, he lived overseas for some time. He’s a true American. I don’t understand why we as Americans would rather argue race politics instead of solve our problems. I’m not saying you have to agree with me, as a matter of fact you SHOULD dissent, America was founded on dissent. At the very least though, we should be able to put our differences aside and do whats best for our country.

  126. Vince P Says:

    The *LEFT* is obsessed with Race. Not America.

    The LEFT is. And it’s the Left control of things like the University and the Media that amplifies this obsession and makes it seem like all of us are racists or dying to prove that we’re not.

    Nonsense… The Left is obsessed with Race and all other aspects of identity politics and I’m getting sick of the whole country being dragged in mud because of those idiots.

  127. Artfldgr Says:

    Sunday at 10 was not americas most divided hour.

    the time americas most divided was april 12, 1861

    General P. G. T. Beauregard fired on Fort Sumter

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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