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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Stepping out of my car. . .

. . .just now, I still have the voice of Rev. Jeremiah Wright ringing in my head. I can't remember hearing an angrier sounding man in my life. It seems Sean Hannity was discussing ABC's coverage of the minister, whom Barack Obama has referred to as being "like an old uncle who says things I don't always agree with". That description strikes me as more than a little odd. I have uncles who say things I don't agree with. I come from a long line of union workers. And, yes, I do like them. Uncles do have that avuncularity about them, after all.

But, what I don't do is go out of my way to drop by on a weekly basis to hear them say things that I don't agree with. I also don't take my children to them to have them baptized into the world of organized labor. Of course, I don't have any children. But, that's not relevant here. If I did, I wouldn't. In fact, if I did have children, and were taking them to see my uncles, I'd spend the entire car ride explaining to them how my uncles are OK guys, but extremely wrong-headed in their thinking with regard to the relationship between business and labor, and that they think the way they do because, when they were young, they were brainwashed by monsters who feast on the souls of children. (Need a babysitter?)

But, Obama has taken his children to see Rev. Wright on a regular basis. And, they were baptized by the Rev. Wright. You'll have to forgive my skepticism, but I somehow doubt that Obama has sat his children down beforehand, and said:
"You know, girls, Rev. Wright is a good guy. But, he's a bit of a kook. And, while it's important to remember that he says some outrageous stuff that you might just as likely hear coming from the mouth of a really bad guy like, say, David Duke, it's just as important that we keep going to this church. You see, kids, it's a very important church to the black people of Chicago. And, me being involved in politics the way I am, I have to maintain the appearance of a God-fearing man, while also maintaining a sense of authenticity with regard to my blackness. So, what I want you girls to remember is that, Rev. Wright is a kook, but I'm a senator who hopes to become President of the United States. And, if I am to have any chance of becoming President, I'm going to have to have the support of Rev. Wright. Yes. . .even though Rev. Wright is a kook. But, we can't go around calling Rev. Wright a kook in public, because that might cause him to withdraw his support, and call into question the authenticity of my blackness. So, we just have to think of him as a kind of wacky uncle from the Old School.

So, I want you girls to remember this: Rev. Wright says things that make people very angry. We don't agree with all of those things. But, we like him anyway. And, if anyone thinks there's something wrong with that, just say, 'It's a black thing. You wouldn't understand.' Now go and get dressed for church."

Now, if it weren't for the fact that the senator's wife had expressed similar sentiments as Rev. Wright with regard to America's basic morality, the above speech could very well be a plausible scenario. But, it seems readily apparent that something has sunk in from all those sermons. In fact, anyone who sat in on one of Mr. Wright's sermons and didn't know anything about America could easily be forgiven for thinking that America is "downright mean" and not a place to be considered a source of pride until Barack Obama arrived on the scene.

But, Michelle Obama grew up in an America that allowed her to attend one of the world's most elite institutions of higher learning, and land a job making well over $300,000 a year as an attorney working for a high profile university hospital in one of the nations largest cities. If that's the kind of meanness that America represents to Rev. Wright and Mrs. Obama, I'll take a curb sandwich and a nice, tall can of whoop-ass.

What this really all boils down to is the fact that Barack Obama and his wife, running under the banner of Hope, Change and Unity, have cried foul over the Clinton campaign's divisiveness, while at the same time immersing themselves and their children on a near-weekly basis in some of the most divisive rhetoric anyone can imagine being employed in modern American society. The fact that this rhetoric emanates from the pulpit and the mouth of an "old uncle" who says things they "don't always agree with" doesn't mean it isn't divisive. And, the fact that the mouth and the pulpit belong to a black man doesn't make it any less deplorable or dangerous.

So, if the Obama campaign is truly interested in bringing people together and putting an end to the same old politics that that pit Americans against one another, it seems to this particular blogger that he ought to begin at home with his wife, and at church with his minister, and get off his high horse with regard to Geraldine Ferraro.

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