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Monday, April 28. 2008
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From today's Wahington Post
For Obama, a Voice of Doom?
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, explaining this morning why he had waited so long before breaking his silence about his incendiary sermons, offered a paraphrase from Proverbs: "It is better to be quiet and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
Barack Obama's pastor would have been wise to continue to heed that wisdom.
Should it become necessary in the months from now to identify the moment that doomed Obama's presidential aspirations, attention is likely to focus on the hour between nine and ten this morning at the National Press Club. It was then that Wright, Obama's longtime pastor, reignited a controversy about race from which Obama had only recently recovered - and added lighter fuel.
Speaking before an audience that included Marion Barry, Cornel West, Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party and Nation of Islam official Jamil Muhammad, Wright praised Louis Farrakhan, defended the view that Zionism is racism, accused the United States of terrorism, repeated his view that the government created the AIDS virus to cause the genocide of racial minorities, stood by other past remarks ("God damn America") and held himself out as a spokesman for the black church in America.
In front of 30 television cameras, Wright's audience cheered him on as the minister mocked the media and, at one point, did a little victory dance on the podium. It seemed as if Wright, jokingly offering himself as Obama's vice president, was actually trying to doom Obama; a member of the head table, American Urban Radio's April Ryan, confirmed that Wright's security was provided by bodyguards from Farrakhan's Nation of Islam.
Wright suggested that Obama was insincere in distancing himself from his pastor. "He didn't distance himself," Wright announced. "He had to distance himself, because he's a politician, from what the media was saying I had said, which was anti-American."
Explaining further, Wright said friends had written to him and said, "We both know that if Senator Obama did not say what he said, he would never get elected." The minister continued: "Politicians say what they say and do what they do based on electability, based on sound bites, based on polls."
Wright also argued, at least four times over the course of the hour, that he was speaking not for himself but for the black church.
"This is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright," the minister said. "It is an attack on the black church." He positioned himself as a mainstream voice of African American religious traditions. "Why am I speaking out now?" he asked. "If you think I'm going to let you talk about my mama and her religious tradition, and my daddy and his religious tradition and my grandma, you got another thing coming."
That significantly complicates Obama's job as he contemplates how to extinguish Wright's latest incendiary device. Now, he needs to do more than express disagreement with his former pastor's view; he needs to refute his former pastor's suggestion that Obama privately agrees with him.
Wright seemed aggrieved that his inflammatory quotations were out of the full "context" of his sermons -- yet he repeated many of the same accusations in the context of a half-hour Q&A session this morning.
His claim that the September 11 attacks mean "America's chickens are coming home to roost"?
Wright defended it: "Jesus said, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' You cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you. Those are biblical principles, not Jeremiah Wright bombastic divisive principles."
His views on Farrakhan and Israel? "Louis said 20 years ago that Zionism, not Judaism, was a gutter religion. He was talking about the same thing United Nations resolutions say, the same thing now that President Carter's being vilified for and Bishop Tutu's being vilified for. And everybody wants to paint me as if I'm anti-Semitic because of what Louis Farrakhan said 20 years ago. He is one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century; that's what I think about him. . . . Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He did not put me in chains, he did not put me in slavery, and he didn't make me this color."
He denounced those who "can worship God on Sunday morning, wearing a black clergy robe, and kill others on Sunday evening, wearing a white Klan robe." He praised the communist Sandinista regime of Nicaragua. He renewed his belief that the government created AIDS as a means of genocide against people of color ("I believe our government is capable of doing anything").
And he vigorously renewed demands for an apology for slavery: "Britain has apologized to Africans. But this country's leaders have refused to apologize. So until that apology comes, I'm not going to keep stepping on your foot and asking you, does this hurt, do you forgive me for stepping on your foot, if I'm still stepping on your foot. Understand that? Capisce?"
Capisce, reverend. All too well.
By Eric Pianin | April 28, 2008; 12:55 PM ET
One big cognitive difference between left and right is that right never posits a 'new way of being'. The left roundly ridicules precisely that trait (conservatives are "stuck in the past").
But what goes unexamined is how often (by 'often' i mean sooner or later 100% of the time) the left's new paradigms achieve the exact, 180 degree, opposite of what was intended.
The topic of this post is the latest example -- multiculturalism, intending to coerce racial togetherness, achieves a major regression of social progress -- a regression that would have been possible no other way than via the left's ''improvements''.
Multiculturalism is indeed coerced racial togetherness. It is another example where the left inappropriately applies it's perception of equality. While all cultures can be respected, all cultures and their accomplishments are the same. To believe so requires a blatant disregard of the facts - a unique talent of many on the left.
Likewise, the left has consistently confused equality of opportunity with equality in outcome. While all people may be equal in terms of intrinsic worth, not all people are equal in terms of talent. Equal outcomes are neither possible nor desirable.
The unintended consequence is either regression in social progress or a material delays in social progress. Johnson's Great Society has wreaked havoc on the very people it was supposed to help. Patrick Moynihan, no conservative, properly spoke out about this to no avail.
People must be recognized for merit based accomplishment. In an instant, all preference derived prejudice is removed. (Michelle Obama would not feel like a second class citizen at Princeton because she would have known she deserved to be there.)
Regarding Wright, his comment (directed at Obama) of "I am coming after you" if you win the election to right all of wrongs borne by black America should be Obama's undoing.
Obama is a naive, neophyte who swam with sharks (e.g. Wright, Ayers, Rezko) and now those sharks will come back to bite him.
Sorry for the long post.
All cultures and their accomplishments are NOT the same.
The best the country can do is to mandate equality before the law (the blindfold over Justice's eyes).
That this is the best the country can do doesn't mean that it was an easy accomplishment -- history shows it has been anything and everything but.
It just means that a step further is tyranny -- even if small tyranny, still tyranny.
For Jeremiah Wright, the enemy comes with a white skin. He has taken historical injustices and turned them into a lifelong call for vengeance.
Jere Wright better watch what he hates. It works both ways and with only 14% of the population a new rising KKK could develop to take care of the situation.
Is that what he wants?
Bring it on then cause that's what he'll get.