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An Open Letter to Obama Supporters

I must say, Obama's speech was quite good. After all, that's what he does. He makes pretty (albeit sometimes hollow) speeches and he's brilliant at it.

However, he didn't address the questions I would have asked him. He skimmed over his tolerance for Wright and his church, how he could have known the man for 20 years and yet only now be exposed to his views, and why, if he stands for racial harmony and comes from a multiracial background, he joined an afro-centric church instead of one with a more diverse congregation. Was he trying to prove his blackness?

If you ask me, his speech was an attempt to re-mezmerize those whose Hope-ium and Dreamamine highs were wearing off, being replaced with the lucidity that only true hate-speech can invoke. He was under pressure and he performed extremely well, but it marked the beginning of his attempts to bury this snag in what was (and essentially still is) a nearly flawless campaign. It wasn't the response I was looking for in regard to the allegations against him and his reputation, having associated himself with such an extremist. And he didn't just associate with him, this man was arguably a father figure. Barack's father left him as a child, and he has described Wright as the "uncle" with whom he didn't always agree.

He compared Jeremiah's comments to his white grandmother's stereotyping of black men, which he says made him cringe. I don't doubt that, as I'm sure he's had to deal with a lot of discomfort growing up and being of mixed-race. But while his grandmother may have had some personal racial hurdles of her own, Wright accuses the government of creating the AIDS virus to systematically murder an entire race of people. There's a huge gap between those two.

You could argue that Bush and other Republicans have accepted and embraced support from the likes of Jerry Falwell (who also blamed 9/11 on America and its own degeneracy), but the difference is that Bush & Friends didn't give money to these churches or sit complacently in them for years.

And, given that the media is completely "in the tank" for your candidate, you might imagine what would happen if a conservative (or any politician other than our new rock star) was found to have repeatedly listened to sermons of an equally radical and hateful nature (Christian or not). If a conservative's pastor released sermons (on DVD, no less) attacking the United States and an entire race, wouldn't the media (and the American people) say that the candidate who attended this church "lacked judgment," and that their financial contributions to the church were nothing more than a subsidy for hateful extremism?

Yes they would, and they would be completely justified.

I don't think Barack Obama hates. I honestly don't, and I don't think any but the most ignorant of Americans would think he shares the whole of Wright's views. But there's something you should know about me, and other Obama-skeptics:

"Jeremiah-Gate" is still near the bottom of the list of reasons why I wouldn't vote for Barack. I don't possess (nor do most Americans) a presidential phobia when it comes to race or cultural perspective, and while I do have expectations in the area of "judgment," I have no expectations from a man's surrogates, because they serve no tangible role in his presidency. This is precisely the reason why Mitt Romney's Mormonism never bothered me.

But if a man keeps my taxes low, secures the border, ends our dependence on Saudi oil (rather, the First Bank of Jihad), enforces our immigration laws, cuts federal spending, obliterates earmarks and the forces of special interests, gets the government out of our lives and our paychecks, reconciles our trade deficits and crumbling economic status abroad, rescues our failing currency, and upholds the values of our constitution, then that man has my vote, regardless of his skin color, and regardless of where he sits on Sunday morning.

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  • Anonymous Sara S said:
    Wednesday, March 19, 2008  

    Chris, I love your blog.

    As for the speech, I couldn't listen to it, so I just read the text. Maybe that's why I was less impressed. Seems to me he failed to answer the key questions:

    If you're so close to him, why did you not confront Reverend Wright on his views?

    In the future, wow can we know you will stand up against pressures from those you like and trust, but somewhat disagree with (lobbyists, party leaders, etc)?

    If Rev. Wright's theology was entirely built on "liberation" (i.e. hatred and racism, at least in this case), how could you go to his church for so long? And expose your young and impressionable kids to that?

    For me, I never thought too highly of Obama and this doesn't change that. But his supporters should note that the campaign promises of unification, hope, and change are now exposed as just cheap stump speech rhetoric.

    That leaves us with his boring, tow-the-line liberal record. A record that says not a thing to me about change or bipartisanship. He was so willing to go along with the party line that he saw protecting babies after they survive an abortion and are born alive as hindering a woman's right to choose. NO. top

  • Anonymous Keith said:
    Thursday, March 20, 2008  

    I think Obama did a perfect job of defending why he hasn't disowned Jeremiah Wright. Shit, he has a racist white grandmother! Is he supposed to disown her too? Get em Barack! Hahaha. And he did throw in some bits of conservative self-determination (welfare hurts black people!)

    I think it's a good thing that he went to an afro-centric church. Odds are if he had gone to a more diverse congregation he would have learned little about either race. Plus, sometimes people need support of others going through the same things they're going through, just like an AA meeting. As Barack talks about, we all experience hardships, but not necessarily in the same way.

    I don't think it's such a big difference between the Falwell situation and the Wright situation. In the former, they embraced his support but did not listen to him, in the latter, they listened to him but did not embrace his support. Which is worse?

    All this being said, I have to take back some of the things I said a few days ago in his defense. His speech COMPLETELY contradicts what he said a few days before this speech:

    "The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign."

    VS his speech:

    "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."

    Okay, so now he's going to say "I heard him say stuff that was controversial, but not THAT controversial." Whatever, man. top

  • Anonymous Keith said:
    Thursday, March 20, 2008  

    Oh, and by the way, Drudge Report just released a statement where the found out the actual words of that elderly black man mentioned at the end of the speech:

    "I'm here for the fine ass white chicks. I see you Ashley." top

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