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Albatross Week: Obama and the Reverend

It's another installment of a week-long series about the company kept by our presidential candidates. It should come as no surprise that Obama is enjoying his second day in a row as part of Albatross Week, and today has been reserved for the "reverend" Jeremiah Wright. Wright is an interesting character indeed, and I'm torn each time I consider his views -- is he brilliantly wicked, or just plain nuts?

If there's one thing Jeremiah can't say enough about, it's race. His other more notable topics of discussion include: Zionism versus the poor Palestinians, white Jesus versus black Jesus, white rhythm versus black rhythm, white students versus black students, American terrorism, the KKK, and government-dispersed AIDS. Because there are just too many Jeremiah gems to absorb, I have scattered them throughout the two videos on this page, like the Easter bunny of hate. Let's start with a quick refresher.

We've heard it all before. Despite what the media has been feeding you (until now), we know Wright is a problem for Obama. Wright himself knows he's a problem for Obama. So why is he keeping this up? Well, if his off-the-cuff comment to the National Press Club is to be believed, he's got a book coming out. Is he climbing on the shoulders of his own disciple and attempting to destroy his dear friend's chance at the presidency to sell a book?

Of course we know Obama has constantly emphasized that he doesn't agree with the reverend. I don't know anyone who thought he did, because that was never the question. The important (and wholly legitimate) question was: why would he regard him so highly for 20 years, be a member of the church, give the church a substantial charitable donation, have him marry him and his wife and baptize his children, and say a prayer when he announced his candidacy for presidency?

I said it yesterday, and I'll say it again. This man has a remarkable pattern of being comfortable around people who hate this country. The question isn't "Would you like Obama as your next-door neighbor?" It's "Is Obama judgmentally sound and thought through enough to lead the free world?"

As per usual when dealing with questions about the reverend, he uses the vocabulary of dismissal. This is the man who tells us he will transcend racial tensions in this country, and the closest mentor in his life (by his own admission) turns out to be race-obsessed, if not outright racist. Meanwhile, we're told we should just "move on." We're told that providing health care for every American or getting the Unites States out of Iraq is more important than the character, judgment, and racial perspective of Barack Obama, the man who up until now was being virtually catapulted into the white house.

One of the most telling of Wright's comments was his claim that there is an "African brain," and that black children don't learn the way white children do. God forbid we ask black children to sit in a desk, refrain from talking, and follow the instructions of a teacher. That's not the right way -- it's the white way. Watch.

There is nothing more purely racist in the precise definition of the word, than attesting that there is an African brain and a non-African brain. By implying that Africans have an inherent difference in their learning style and ability to be taught with the methods that have worked for centuries, Wright is basing this claim entirely on race, not culture or values. This is race-based intellectual relativism which teaches us that there is no such thing as "improper English." There is simply a white way of speaking and a black way of speaking, and who are we to judge that which is "improper?" After all, as Jeremiah quipped in regard to JFK's inaugural "ask not what your country can do for you" address -- how do you spell "eehsk?"

If that's the case, and there truly are different brains for different races, what kind of brain does Obama have? Is it half-white and half-black? Is the left side black, and the right side white? Does he get the best of both? Maybe he got the worst of both? Come on Reverend, help me out with some more stereotypes to set blacks and whites back even further. Can he no more get enough Young Jeezy than he can issues of the Wall Street Journal?

According to Jeremiah, if you sit in a quiet library for hours and slave over a text, diligently making notes, working long and hard to write a graduate thesis, complete a research paper, or simply prepare for an exam -- that's a "white" thing to do; that’s the "white" way to learn. Blacks, he claims, do not learn this way. They can not sit still in class, and they have difficulty learning from quiet study.

How does Wright explain self-made blacks in America, who did study quietly, who did pay attention in class, and who did reject anyone who told them that the rules are or should be different for them based on their race? Has the reverend never met a wealthy black man who attributed his success to hard work and academic diligence? I have, and I was inspired.

Do you want to know why? Do you want to know why white people enjoy seeing hard-working, dignified, self-made, self-reliant black Americans? Because by being irrationally anxious about being branded a “racist,” their mindsets have been so warped by white liberal guilt, which offers nothing but contempt for African-American potential. They realize that they are witnessing what amounts to a flicker of hope; that young black men and women will finally see through the decades of lies that have been fed to them, shun the victim mentality, and build bridges to their common man through the revelation of their own self-worth.

When it comes to America's racial wounds, whites generally feel powerless to do anything. In constant fear of a perpetual scarlet ‘R’ pinned to their chest, many tread lightly through society, almost going out of their way to be perceived as a non-bigoted person. It is for this reason that "white America" (to use Wright's vernacular) is so tired of the Sharptons, the Jacksons, and the Jeremiahs telling them they are oppressive, intolerant, and above all -- guilty as sin. But while whites just try to keep these racial wounds from becoming infected, race-baiters like Jeremiah are taking scalpels to the sutures, and setting the progress of their people back decades in the process. He is enslaving his race all over again, only this time with shackles made of hate.

After all, did you hear any boos? Did you see anyone turning around to walk out when Wright said Africans had different brains, and can't learn from quiet study the way white children do? Did you hear any jeers when Jeremiah reprised the cultural differential that "blacks clap on beats 2 and 4, while whites clap on beats 1 and 3," and extrapolated it into a metaphor for the classroom? Did you hear anyone stand up and say “Excuse me, but this man believes the government invented the AIDS virus in order to intentionally infect black people; why are we listening to him again?” If I remember correctly, there was uproarious applause and laughter.

Jeremiah's ideas were not simply disseminated once during an NAACP dinner or forum with the National Press Club. This rhetorical poison was administered in the pews of Trinity United Church for two decades, while Obama sat there and told us he didn't hear it. How deeply have these racially venomous ideas penetrated Obama's psyche? I don't know for sure, but if I had to make a bet, I'd wager that most Americans do not believe the revelation that Jeremiah Wright is a race-oriented America-hating zealot is new to Barack Obama. In fact, a majority of voters polled by the New York Times said that Obama “distanced himself from Wright for political reasons,” and “not because he really disagreed with his statements.” For Barry, this is devastating.

Barack has referred to the often repeated sound-bites as "snippets," like the now-infamous "God Damn America" sermon delivered on September 16th, 2001 -- the Sunday after 9/11, on which more Americans attended churches than had in decades. But apparently Barack wasn't in church the Sunday after 9/11. That is, if what he is telling us now is true.

And they aren't "snippets." They aren't "out of context." Trust me, I've read the entire sermons and these comments are the context. The sound-bites are merely individual measures from the symphony of hate that is a Jeremiah Wright sermon; one that might not end on a high note for our friend Barack Obama.

Next: Hillary and the Martyrs

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