Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Obama, Wright, and Race

I have been mute on the Barack Obama-Jeremiah Wright imbroglio because, frankly, I was sick of it before the whole thing turned into the latest excuse for mock outrage. First, Obama's speech yesterday encapsulated everything I like and admire about the man. It was sophisticated and smart and powerful and inspiring and it will do little to dissuade those who are either looking for reasons not to support him or who, such as Republicans looking to win a general election in the fall, were never so interested in an Obama presidency in the first place.

Let's just say that I find the demand that Obama do more to separate himself from Wright and his church comical coming from at least two groups of people. First, if you are a Catholic, I do not want to hear it unless you have disavowed the entire Catholic Church after years of priests raping children, protecting those who did it, and covering up the crimes to begin with. Second, the Republican Party has largely suckled at the teat of the religious right for two decades now. And that religious right has spewed so much hatred it is hard to fathom where Wright's crimes alleged and real and that happen to have a foundation in some reality -- America's racial history is so loathsomely terrible it is hard to take seriously those who assert that Wright's assertions amount to racism -- rate, but they rate pretty low.

In any case, there is plenty of coverage of the Wright fiasco and Obama's response. The Washington Post had worthwhile pieces here,
here, and here. The New Republic asked several people to weigh in on the politically salient question of whether the speech was effective here and here. The New York Times' praiseful editorial is worth perusing, and naturally Andrew Sullivan has peppered The Daily Dish with Obama and Wright. And finally, I think one of the more thoughtful (and historically based) reflections, which came before Obama's speech, is Ralph Luker's Jeremiah, which the Atlanta Journal-Constitution republished in slightly modified form. The topic of the religious tradition in the black community plays right into Ralph's wheelhouse.

1 comment:

Thunderstick said...

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