Campaigns/Elections

The Audacity of Friends

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Am I out of step with the country or just out of step with the pundit class? The things I'm told to like about Barack Obama's persona turn me off, and the things that are supposed to be disturbing seem appealing.

I got my first inkling of this during the debate season, when the conventional wisdom had it that Obama was at his best when giving a speech and that he suffered when he had to share a stage with someone else. Whereas I always thought his speeches were platitudinous mush but enjoyed his debate performances, where he proved himself able to think quickly on his feet and crack a few unscripted jokes. The Obama of the speeches is a bore; the Obama of the debates seems like a man with whom I'd enjoy a friendly political argument over lunch.

Now we have the Jeremiah Wright "scandal," which frankly makes me like Obama more. If you don't have a friend—a real friend, someone who means something to you and sometimes influences your decisions—who occasionally expresses a nutty opinion ("The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color") or an impolitic truth ("a country and a culture controlled by rich white people"), then you really, really need to get out more. Obama's connection to Wright is like his cigarette habit, his willingness to talk about his past drug use, his fondness for gritty TV shows—it's a sign that there's an actual human being in that suit after all, no matter how empty it may seem when he's blathering about "an insistence on small miracles" and the like. It's a sign he might know a thing or two about the real America after all.

This morning Obama delivered a speech on the subject. It goes on endlessly, as his speeches often do, but it makes the essential, obvious point:

As imperfect as he may be, [Wright] has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions—the good and the bad—of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother—a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

I guess you either understand this instinctively or you don't. And then, of course, there are the people who understand it but will continue to pretend they don't, the better to smear Obama as a secret jihadist, Weatherman, or Farrakhanite.

NEXT: Human Contraband, Pot Residue, Whatever

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  1. Jesse: Couldn’t similar praise be made for Paul and his unwillingness to blame his “friend” Lew Rockwell for the newsletters?

  2. Obama fargin’ smokes?

    Jesus Chrysler, he’ll never get elected.

  3. That’s Obama–all things to all people.

    Am I the only one who sees him and says “politician, therefore douchebag” without getting charmed by some aspect of him?

  4. There are people who will understand this instinctively

    Like most Catholics I know…

    There are many aspects of their faith that they don’t agree with and find reprehensible. But I don’t see Catholics fleeing in droves or public ally repudiating their church. Nor do I see anyone calling for out catholic politicians to repudiate the Pope when he says some of his nutty shit either.

    I guess it’s ok if it’s mainstream nuttiness (like gays are an abomination and the equivalent of pedophiles and animal fuckers)…but when the nuttiness comes from a Black Church or some other non-mainstream sources, then it has to be all be repudiated and disowned.

  5. Why’d you drop “PC drones”? Afraid of offending your colleagues?

  6. If you don’t have a friend — a real friend, someone who means something to you and sometimes influences your decisions — who occasionally expresses a nutty opinion

    I’m not running for President, but it’s nice to know if I have a pastor friend that married me and served on my campaign who happens to be a neo-Nazi and says blacks and Jews are ruining the country, no one would hold it against me. Hey, we all have nutty friends!

    And then, of course, there are the people who understand it but will continue to pretend they don’t, the better to smear Obama as a secret jihadist, Weatherman, or Farrakhanite.

    Does that mean Trent Lott will be getting an apology for wishing a 90-year-old well on his birthday?

    Anyways, Obama’s gotten so far left and will have such a long primary campaign this probably won’t even matter.

  7. Am I the only one who sees him and says “politician, therefore douchebag” without getting charmed by some aspect of him?

    I look at him and I say “not the best, but SEEMINGLY better than most politicians so far” and I keep in mind that I have choose from the politicians we have, not the ones we wish we had

  8. Similar to what Ross Douhat has written, liberals would be up in arms if McCain had as close a relationship with an outspokenly homophobic preacher, as they were when McCain was endorsed by Pat Robertson.

  9. Obama fargin’ smokes?

    He has quit during the campaign.

    I know because it was in my local newspaper. Apparently his smoking habits are newsworthy for some reason. No word yet on what his favorite liquor is.

  10. there are the people who understand it but will continue to pretend they don’t, the better to smear Obama as a secret jihadist, Weatherman, or Farrakhanite.

    Why can’t we smear him as a self-serving little weasel lusting after power? Just because it won’t distinguish him from the other candidates?

  11. The second half of his speech was really good. A black liberal Democrat talking about how whites resent busing. Has that ever happened before?

  12. The essential problem with this speech isn’t the speech itself, but the double standard that conservatives will be offended by. Obama is making excellent points, but conservatives will rightly feel that they would -never- be given the kind of forgiveness or leeway Obama is requesting if they broke bread regularly, or god-forbid, followed a pastor with similarly incendiary views of minorities. The indignity won’t come at Obama’s actual words, but at umbrage toward the wider media and press whom conservatives will (rightly) note are willing to give Obama a much longer leash that they would give a similarly entangled WASP or Good-Ol-Boy southerner. I would simply posit: “What would happen if George W. Bush were a member of a congregation that held similar angry views.” I don’t think requests of understanding from Bush, or any other rightward-leaning official, would be kindly answered.

  13. If cozying up to Bob Jones University back when it still enforced its ban on interracial dating didn’t hurt George W, then I don’t see why nuttiness of the same flavor but a different color should hurt Obama. Hell, even a couple of drunk-driving convictions on his record shouldn’t matter. But does Obama have the courage to choose a vice-presidential running mate with a tendency to get drunk on hunting trips and shoot his friends in the ass? American voters like me want to know!

  14. I don’t hold this against Obama and do think sticking up for mildly crazy friends is upstanding, but I am nowhere near convinced I should choose him over anyone else come the fall. Oh well, mabye it’ll be another year of voting for the crazy LP’er.

  15. If you don’t have a friend — a real friend, someone who means something to you and sometimes influences your decisions — who occasionally expresses a nutty opinion (“The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color”) or an impolitic truth (“a country and a culture controlled by rich white people”), then you really, really need to get out more.

    Yeah, I do have friends like that. And if I ran for office and somebody found out and published it, I would get creamed. So fuck Obama, he can get screwed for having an impolitic friend just like the rest of us.

  16. Damon-

    I’ve never heard Wright disparage whites in any of his speeches. He attacked the government, said nutty and offensive things, but he never said something like whites are devils or whites are inferior or something like that.

    Again, I don’t think “black” churches are any different from Polish Catholic or Russian Orthodox Churches. Or, for that matter, the Episcopal Church which is just a WASP club.

  17. Why’d you drop “PC drones”? Afraid of offending your colleagues?

    I don’t know my colleagues’ views on the matter. I dropped it because there are other gradations of opinion that the phrase ignores.

    Does that mean Trent Lott will be getting an apology for wishing a 90-year-old well on his birthday?

    When Obama declares that the world would be better off if Jeremiah Wright had been elected president on a Kill Whitey ticket in 1968, I will revise my opinion.

  18. “If you don’t have a friend — a real friend, someone who means something to you and sometimes influences your decisions — who occasionally expresses a nutty opinion”

    I have a friend whose a diehard Union supporter, but he has a friend whose a libertarian, so I guess we’re even…

  19. a tendency to get drunk on hunting trips and shoot his friends in the ass

    Jennifer,
    Cheney shot his friend in the face, not his ass…his face! It’s much funnier that way. Jon Stewart repeated it endlessly one night so I know it’s true. And I’m all for face-shooting VPs.
    Who wouldn’t be?

  20. i have to say i’m sort of impressed as well.

    (if you don’t see the difference between wright and rockwell…shrug?)

  21. Obama wants it both ways. He asks America to rise above race and religion, while hoping to appear religious himself. But he is in deep trouble if a spotlight is shined on his own THEOLOGY. See:
    http://miraclesdaily.blogspot.com

  22. that was one of the more moving speeches that i’ve heard in a while. When was the last time that you’ve heard a politician – one running for president of all things – talk so honestly about an issue as divisive about race?

  23. but conservatives will rightly feel that they would -never- be given the kind of forgiveness or leeway Obama is requesting if they broke bread regularly, or god-forbid, followed a pastor with similarly incendiary views of minorities.

    What??? I mean really what fucking world do you live in where conservatives would rightly feel that way.

    McCain has gotten a pass on his sucking up to Hagee and Falwell. So has every GOPer that courts the Bill Donahues and the Pat Robertsons.

    The GOP is in full embrace of racists and no one bats an eye. In fact, its so accepted that shills like Jeff Beck get put on the TV and are given a plaform to ask a Mulsim congressman “How do I know you aren’t working for Al-Queada” or some such thing.

  24. When Obama declares that the world would be better off if Jeremiah Wright had been elected president on a Kill Whitey ticket in 1968, I will revise my opinion.

    Ah, I see, so we ARE going to pretend Trent Lott is a racist, but we’re NOT going to pretend Obama is a racist.

    Glad we straightened that out.

  25. that was one of the more moving speeches that i’ve heard in a while. When was the last time that you’ve heard a politician – one running for president of all things – talk so honestly about an issue as divisive about race?

    Not only that, he talked about how white resentment really is grounded in reality. I’ve never, ever heard a liberal Democratic politician (let alone a black one!) say something like that before.

  26. Oh, and the Duke lacrosse team is on line 2 for you Jesse. Something about lefty hypocrisy on race.

  27. saying “man, it’s too bad we didn’t elect the white supremacist way back when” in public requires a whole in one’s head so large that geese or perhaps even albatross could be directed through it.

    does it make trent lott a racist? no, but it makes him a ginormous fucking idiot, to be sure. (i realize for some “republican” and “idiot” are synonyms, and while this is generally true, this was a level of dumb above and beyond the call of duty.)

  28. What if I’m the nutty friend with the nutty opinions?

  29. Ah, I see, so we ARE going to pretend Trent Lott is a racist, but we’re NOT going to pretend Obama is a racist.

    Trent Lott probably is a racist, but that’s beside the point. He didn’t get in trouble for associating with Strom Thurmond. He got in trouble for praising Thurmond’s presidential campaign of 1948.

  30. Does that mean Trent Lott will be getting an apology for wishing a 90-year-old well on his birthday?

    Or how about Geraldine Ferraro for stating an obvious truth? Or is that somehow different?

    I’m sure Rush Limbaugh will be forgiven real soon for the treatment he got for his “outrageous” comment regarding Donovan McNabb being over-rated: “The press wants to see a black quarterback do well.”

  31. I’m sure Rush Limbaugh will be forgiven real soon for the treatment he got for his “outrageous” comment regarding Donovan McNabb being over-rated: “The press wants to see a black quarterback do well.”

    Limbaugh was a moron for injecting divisive politics into something that is, for many (myself included) a diversion from that kind of stuff–sports.

  32. Or how about Geraldine Ferraro for stating an obvious truth? Or is that somehow different?

    Uh, he actually defended Ferraro in his speech from accusations of racism.

  33. saying “man, it’s too bad we didn’t elect the white supremacist way back when” in public requires a whole in one’s head so large that geese or perhaps even albatross could be directed through it.

    There is still a KKK member serving in the Senate.

    Trent’s exact words were “I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either,” He might have been talking about the budget deficit, national defense, or any number of things.

    It’s ridiculous. Pretty much all the candidates running in 1948 were racist homophobes by today’s standards. We had just interned 100,000 Japanese Americans for Christ’s sake.

  34. Some interesting comparisons to the Obama/Wright situation here, but I don’t think any of them hold up.

    In this case, Obama is acknowledging what Wright has said, stating categorically that he disagrees with the statements, and further saying that he is still the man’s friend regardless of this disagreement.

    With Bush/Bob Jones or McCain/Robertson, first of all I don’t think the people involved ARE friends, and if the politicians disagree with those they’re trying to get support from, they’re doing their best to hide it. Sure, McCain denounced Robertson years ago, but we all know he’s trying his best now to cover that up.

    With Lott/Thurmond, the whole point was that Lott was strongly implying that he AGREED with Thurmond. A totally different situation.

    Finally, regarding Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell, Paul is shielding an unnamed ghostwriter who wrote in his own name, which makes people (not me!) suspect that he either (a) wrote the articles himself or (b) sympathizes with the articles. Paul would have been much better off taking exactly the tack Obama is here. Just say Rockwell wrote them, that you disagree vehemently, but that the guy’s your friend.

  35. Ah, I see, so we ARE going to pretend Trent Lott is a racist, but we’re NOT going to pretend Obama is a racist.

    No, what you ARE pretending is that there’s no qualitative difference between a black guy who says “I think the government treats black people like shit” and a white guy who says “I think the government SHOULD treat black people like shit.”

  36. Obama is not just friends with a guy who has loopy views. He’s a member of the club which cheers when they hear “God Damn America.” And it’s not just a club, it’s a religious belief. I’m not supposed to have faith in my poker buddy’s fad diets, but I am supposed to have faith in my church.

    That’s why it’s different. That’s why the press spent so much time asking Huckabee and Romney about their faiths.

  37. Similar to what Ross Douhat has written, liberals would be up in arms if McCain had as close a relationship with an outspokenly homophobic preacher, as they were when McCain was endorsed by Pat Robertson.

    This is BS. There were people who were up in arms about it, just as there were people who were up in arms about McCain’s french kissing of Hagee, but the media and the pundit class shrugged it off and moved on.

    When the media talks about Hagee and McCain for ten days, get back to me.

    And when the media focuses on McCain’s admitted hatred of “gooks” for ten days, get back to me.

    McCain can’t even get in trouble for virulent anti-Arab racism when he employs it IN A DEBATE. When Ron Paul advocated friendship and trade with Arab nations, McCain said he didn’t want to trade “for burkhas”. If a Presidential candidate said there was no need for friendship and trade with Israel, because “I don’t need any yarmulkes” what do you think the reaction would be?

    McCain is getting a pass on all of this precisely because he’s such a contemptible piece of shit that no one expects any better of him. It’s like his obvious near-insanity is such an old story that he’s infinitely entitled to act like a crazy old coot now.

  38. Cesar and Chicago Tom

    Cesar:

    Check YouTube. Plenty of examples.

    ChicagoTom:

    It’s a little different. Obama is a 20 year member of this man’s congregation. He’s not just sucking up to him, he’s a follower of the reverend who, as he says, was deeply moved by the man and regularly attended his sermons. There’s definitely pandering on the right, but the relationship with Wright is much deeper. Equating the right-wing pandering towards religious figures is different from being a member of a specific flock. Trying to equate the two is post-hock reasoning. This doesn’t make right-wing pandering any more tolerable, but it is not the same thing at all. Also, if you pay attention to Michele Obama’s speeches, you’ll notice many of Wright’s sentiments echoed at times, which would indicate to me that she, at least, was quite familiar with the content of his speeches. She’s not running for office, of course, but it does indicate to me that the Obamas aren’t blind to Wright’s stances, and it begs why Obama didn’t distance himself until after the relationship became a problem.

    My feelings about Obama have no impact on my feelings toward similarly hypocritical right-wing politicians. I take politicians on a case by case basis. Obama’s relationship to Wright, however, is simply not the same as the pandering you mention above.

  39. I’m sure Rush Limbaugh will be forgiven real soon for the treatment he got for his “outrageous” comment regarding Donovan McNabb being over-rated: “The press wants to see a black quarterback do well.”

    Clearly you don’t understand the Jesse Walker Doctrine: when a Democrat embraces a racist, calling attention to it is “smearing” and “pretending not to understand he has nutty friends who have absolutely no influence on his views, except in good ways.” When a Republican does it, it is a Very Significant Issue that must be followed by protests, apology, begging for forgiveness, and a formal ceremony wherein they kiss Jesse Jackson’s bare ass.


  40. Trent’s exact words were “I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either,” He might have been talking about the budget deficit, national defense, or any number of things.

    then mr. lott prolly shoulda been smart enough to mention those things specifically.

    i mean, like, durrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  41. Damon, I’ve watched the youtoube loops. I don’t hear anti-white statements. I hear statements against the United States government. I hear statements that the government is run by “rich white people” (which though crudely put is a fact). The closest thing I heard to “anti-white” sentiment was that the United States government create HIV. Again, it seems more anti-government than anti-white. Loopy and crazy? Sure. Anti-white? Thats a stretch.

  42. I’m still waiting for Al Sharpton to be tolerant of the following three words:

    Nappy Haired Hos

  43. I’ll start watching cable again if Jeff Beck gets to do the interviews.

    http://208.65.153.238/watch?v=YHGNUxSqqmg&feature=related

  44. an outspokenly homophobic preacher, as they were when McCain was endorsed by Pat Robertson

    Isn’t McCain the Rep. Candidate?

    Points be made several times above.

    My only worry.
    Enough people on this board were impressed by Obama’s speech. If this group likes it, the chances it will play well with the larger public is slim…

    ;^)

  45. Paul would have been much better off taking exactly the tack Obama is here. Just say Rockwell wrote them, that you disagree vehemently, but that the guy’s your friend.

    You’re absolutely right.
    Instead though, Paul didn’t even feel he had to talk about it. He felt like there was something wrong with even being questioned about it. Only reluctantly and after a lot of hounding did he even revisit this thing that was “in the past”

  46. He might have been talking about the budget deficit, national defense, or any number of things.

    As someone said earlier, if this is what Lott meant, he’s a ginormous idiot. The raison d’etre of Strom’s presidential campaign was white racism. To praise his run is to praise that strain of American thought. There really isn’t another way to take it.

    Caveat: I think Lott was just trying to say something nice to a guy on his birthday. But wow, what a tone-deaf thing to say.

  47. Not only that, he talked about how white resentment really is grounded in reality. I’ve never, ever heard a liberal Democratic politician (let alone a black one!) say something like that before.

    You are absolutely correct. I remember Bill Clinton talking about “angry white males” with a smirk on his face and a condescending tone.

    Obama is eloquent. I was listening to him talk and I was swayed, but my inner cynic was saying, “he is a lieing bastard and could not care less about poor Americans of any color”. The even deeper cynic in me was saying “you are full of shit, Hillary cares even less about poor Americans”.

    I think Obama is unelectable because of his affiliation with the not quite white Reverand Wright. If the Dems nominate him, we will suffer the lash under McCain.

  48. Clearly you don’t understand the Jesse Walker Doctrine: when a Democrat embraces a racist, calling attention to it is “smearing” and “pretending not to understand he has nutty friends who have absolutely no influence on his views, except in good ways.” When a Republican does it, it is a Very Significant Issue that must be followed by protests, apology, begging for forgiveness, and a formal ceremony wherein they kiss Jesse Jackson’s bare ass.

    It is impossible for anyone to understand the Jesse Walker Doctrine outside the context of the Tall Dave Law of Conciliation: a Democrat whose friend says “I think the government mistreats black people” is no different from a Republican who says “Wasn’t life grand when the government mistreated black people? Wouldn’t life be awesome today if we’d voted for the segregationist?”

  49. Cesar

    That’s a pretty semantic argument. Aren’t you leaving out the detial about the HIV comment stating that “the government” created aids to whipe out black people.

    Not a large leap then to suppose that “the government” doesn’t include black folk?

    Regardless, I don’t think it is very difficult to piece together a somewhat obvious bias in the reverend’s opinion, and more to the point, to note that similar biases in certain white preachers are rightly condemned and belittled by the media. That’s really the crux of the argument: balance.

  50. This, by Jennifer, is the best summary of the issue.

    No, what you ARE pretending is that there’s no qualitative difference between a black guy who says “I think the government treats black people like shit” and a white guy who says “I think the government SHOULD treat black people like shit.”

  51. Damon, I dont recall the media crucifying George W. Bush even though one of his “spiritual advisers” (namely, Franklin Grahm) made anti-semitic statements in the past.

  52. And I’m all for face-shooting VPs.
    Who wouldn’t be?

    Besides, he was an attorney. Where’s the harm?

  53. Abdul, do you mean Obama is a member of the Westboro Baptist Church? I thought they were mainly white inbreds.

  54. Abdul, do you mean Obama is a member of the Westboro Baptist Church? I thought they were mainly white inbreds.

    When Obama starts picketing the funerals of America’s soldiers, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

  55. I’d also like someone to explain how Obama can supposedly hate white people when half his family is white.

  56. But wow, what a tone-deaf thing to say.

    And what a tone-deaf career decision by Obama to embrace a pastor who said and did the things he said and did.

    Oh wait, did I just “smear Obama as a secret Farrakhanite”? My bad! Nevermind, he was just a nutty friend! But not like Strom Thurmond!

  57. Black or white, you gotta love the irony of a guy like TallDave posting on a libertarian forum to criticize a guy who had the audacity to express distrust in the government.

  58. I’d also like someone to explain how Obama can supposedly hate white people when half his family is white.

    For the same reason his white grandmother could be nervous about black men when her beloved grandson was one of them.

  59. TallDave, I’m still curious: do you honestly not see a difference between a black guy saying “the government treats black people badly” and a white guy saying “the government should continue to treat black people badly?” Do you honestly not get it, or do you simply find it more convenient to keep your partisan blinders on?

  60. For the same reason his white grandmother could be nervous about black men when her beloved grandson was one of them.

    Theres a difference between being nervous and hate.

  61. I don’t really even understand how this is such an issue.

    Water is wet, Good Charlotte is a terrible band, the US Government has consistently mistreated people of color. They’re called facts. Deal with it.

  62. Damon,

    I dunno if agree with your analysis. The pandering is worse to me.

    many people don’t agree with everything that their spiritual leaders say, but most don’t feel the need to disavow or change churches. Like I said upthread about catholics, many disagree with the Pope on many things. But we don’t demand that all Catholics repudiate the Pope.

    Now I don’t know the reverend Wright. And I can’t speak to how good or bad he is as a spiritual leader. But I do know that there are many people who are close to me personally and who I am good friends with who are homophobes and racists (among other things). I don’t agree with them about those things, but they do have many other positive traits and I remain have remained close with them throughout the years. When they do bring up a topic that we disagree on I either change the subject or politely chide them, but I don’t repudiate my friendship with them.

    I wouldn’t expect Obama to do so either.

    And I have to say, I think Obama is doing the right thing. He isn’t going to be pressured into ending his relationship with someone because other people are trying to score political points. But he also isn’t trying to sweep this under the rug. He is publically repudiating the sentiments he disagrees with — which is the right thing to do (and is something the GOP hyppocrites don’t have the courage to do — how often do you see GOP panderers turn around and repudiate the hateful rhetoric of the same blowhards they are trying to get an endorsement from? )

    In this instance, I think Obama is not only handling it properly, but is also the morally superior one (compared to GOP panderers or Ron “Let’s not talk about the garbage out in my name” Paul). He is dealing with it head on, and he is repudiating what should be repudiated. And he isn’t allowing himself to be pressured into throwing a friend under the bus, even if that might be the smarter political move.

  63. I hear statements that the government is run by “rich white people” (which though crudely put is a fact).

    Cesar – when David Duke says the media is controlled by jews – is your first thought that this is a “crudely put” fact?

  64. to criticize a guy who had the audacity to express distrust in the government.

    Point taken, except that Obama means to involve the government he doesn’t trust in the medical business to a much greater degree than it is now.

    Obama also trusts that the government should safeguard the armory by further reducing our ability to own and use guns.

  65. Cesar,

    You’ve just switched the context of your point. Are we talking about Obama or Bush? I take it then that you at least concede my point that Wright is obviously not assuming that the “government” that created AIDS was pretty explicitly and contextually a “white” entity?

    As for your Bush comment: I don’t think that Grahm’s statements are any more or less excusable. However, the relationship is still a bit different. George Bush was, as far as I know and I could be quite wrong, not brought to Jesus by Grahm and a part of Grahm’s flock for 20 years, and so I would assume the attachment is not nearly as close. Nor, as far as I know, was Grahm quite as vociferous and reliable on such topics as Obama’s Reverend.

    As far as religious context goes: I’d actually not be as worried if Wright were making negative statements about other religions as I am about the racial context. After all, most religions espouse to be “the true faith” and so condemnation of other religions, though very unsettling and distasteful, are somewhat expected. The Rev. seems to be moving quite outside the province of religion though, and his anger and bias seems to focus quite a lot on the aforementioned “government.”

    I understand your point, I simply disagree with your premise.

  66. Point taken, except that Obama means to involve the government he doesn’t trust in the medical business to a much greater degree than it is now.

    I was talking about Wright.

  67. The Rev. seems to be moving quite outside the province of religion though, and his anger and bias seems to focus quite a lot on the aforementioned “government.”

    So should the Reasonoids stop posting about government perfidy and start bashing Muslims instead?

  68. TallDave, I’m still curious: do you honestly not see a difference between a black guy saying “the government treats black people badly” and a white guy saying “the government should continue to treat black people badly?” Do you honestly not get it, or do you simply find it more convenient to keep your partisan blinders on?

    What a crock. Trent Lott did not say black people should be treated badly, and Jeremiah Wright did not just say America treats blacks badly.

    But hey, enjoy your imaginary debate.

  69. Bendover-

    The Senate is a millionaires club. Its also 99% white.

    Ditto for the Supreme Court. Its rich, and 8/9 of the people on it are white.

    Forty-three our of Forty-three of our Presidents have been white, and were either wealthy before or after leaving office.

    It is not the same thing as saying the media is “Jewish”.

  70. TallDave, I’m still curious: do you honestly not see a difference between a black guy saying “the government treats black people badly” and a white guy saying “the government should continue to treat black people badly?” Do you honestly not get it, or do you simply find it more convenient to keep your partisan blinders on?

    Jennifer, pardon my interruption of your flaying the flesh off the tall one’s back, but where did Trent Lott (I presume you are talking about Lott) say, “the government should continue to treat black people badly?”

  71. Maybe I missed it, but I’ve yet to see a piece from anyone at reason analyzing the similarities and differences between this and the Ron Paul newsletters. Any takers? Jesee? You seem willing enough to post follow-ups on the blog. How about a 700-1000 word analysis?

  72. What a crock. Trent Lott did not say black people should be treated badly,

    No, he simply said that if America had voted a segregationist for president the country would be better off today. But continue focusing on semantics rather than reality; I’ll bet it makes you feel a lot more confident in your delusions.

  73. In fact, Bush was “brought to Jesus” by the Grahms. So you’re wrong about that. He has a long-standing relationship with them.

  74. Jesse Walker –
    Yes. I was thinking the same thing while I was reading his speech, but you put it nicely into words.

  75. I have a friend who believes in psychics, and I don’t think any less of her as a friend because of this. But believing in psychics isn’t the same thing as holding and disseminating dangerous, false convictions that the U.S. government is implementing genocide. It’s especially not the same when someone who’s running for president of said U.S. is so close to the conspiracy theorist as to have him as his pastor.

  76. Kelly, we elected Ronald Reagan, a man who believed the apocalypse would happen in his lifetime.

  77. Obama’s speech vs. TallDave’s comments really drive home who wants to keep racial hostility alive in this country, and who wants to move past it.

  78. Jesse Walker | March 18, 2008, 11:59am | #

    “Ah, I see, so we ARE going to pretend Trent Lott is a racist, but we’re NOT going to pretend Obama is a racist.”

    Trent Lott probably is a racist,

    Again, glad we cleared that up.

  79. McCain’s associations don’t net much press because people feel they already know him (rightly or wrongly).

    Obama is still much of an unknown. And one of his main appeals is that he is a “nice black man” and not an “angry black man.” The majority of white people aren’t going to vote for somebody who they think is going to shake them down for reparations and make them feel guilty for living.

    The association with Wright, however, could (we’ll see) make him come off as some sort black Manchurian Candidate for many. Nice up front but when he’s in office he’ll suddenly start acting like Al Sharpton.

    If it sticks, he’s done. In the general election if not in the primary.

  80. TallDave, I’m still curious: do you honestly not see a difference between a black guy saying “the government treats black people badly” and a white guy saying “the government should continue to treat black people badly?” Do you honestly not get it, or do you simply find it more convenient to keep your partisan blinders on?

    Jennifer – do you honestly not see the difference between making an offhand compliment at the 90th birthday party of a retiring co-worker and spending 20 some odd years as a member of a church whose pastor spouts this nonsense. Or do you simply find it more convenient to keep your partisan blinders on?

    BTW – Talldave I know you can defend yourself, excuse me for chiming in ;~)

  81. ChicagoTom,

    I see your point, but I don’t know if I agree. I would never sit in a church with a preacher espousing hate. I explicitly know several people (and one standing politician) who have left their churches because they found distaste with opinions their pastors have espoused on the pulpit.

    I -would- expect a person to walk away from a church that espouses such anger and hate (especially and at least when that anger and hate seems more than a bit paranoid).

    Obama had a very long time to move away from these stances, but only did so when it became politically expedient. This indicates to me some kind of tacit acknowledgment and agreement with the basic views of the Rev, and at the very least, the lack of courage to stand against those points. I would suggest that he stayed with the congregation for the same reason he now distances himself: political advantage. In his early political days (not too long ago), Obama probably gained a lot by associating with the Rev. considering his weight in his state. Now he stands to lose a lot, and so the distancing happens. I only suggest that this distancing has nothing to do with the content of Wright’s views, since one would then have expected Obama to distance himself when the Reverend -made- the comments, not when the comments began to gain media attention.

    And no, I don’t hold any other politician in the political race to be any more honest. We get our choice of pandering weasels.

  82. But believing in psychics isn’t the same thing as holding and disseminating dangerous, false convictions that the U.S. government is implementing genocide.

    Sounds like you’re begging the question there. I don’t believe in psychics or that AIDS was a government invention, but if I wanted to write an article called “The U.S. Government Is Implementing Genocide” I could find a lot more actual facts to back that up than I could find facts to justify an article called “Psychics Are Real.”

    Face it: your psychic friend is just as bugshit crazy as Wright.

  83. I love how nobody is talking about Obama.

    “Look over there! Trent Lott!”

  84. Finally, regarding Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell, Paul is shielding an unnamed ghostwriter who wrote in his own name, which makes people (not me!) suspect that he either (a) wrote the articles himself or (b) sympathizes with the articles. Paul would have been much better off taking exactly the tack Obama is here. Just say Rockwell wrote them, that you disagree vehemently, but that the guy’s your friend.

    Brian24: Ah, but it wouldn’t be “exactly the same tack.” Paul would have had to do something Obama would not have to do: he would have to actively “out” his friend and/or some lowly stringer. Obama did not have to do this since Wright is clearly identified as the source of the statements. Paul’s challenge was a lot more difficult in this regard….that is if we accept Jesse’s initial premise.

  85. But does Obama have the courage to choose a vice-presidential running mate with a tendency to get drunk on hunting trips and shoot his friends in the ass? American voters like me want to know!

    If he does, then for the sake of the nation I am willing to serve as vice president.

  86. In fact, Trent Lott is still in office and is the second ranking Republican in the Senate IIRC. Its not like he was forced to resign from office.

  87. “I have a friend who believes in psychics, and I don’t think any less of her as a friend because of this. But believing in psychics isn’t the same thing as holding and disseminating dangerous, false convictions that the U.S. government is implementing genocide.”

    What about a president who consults psychics?

    Reagan: putting the “voodoo” in Voodoo Economics for over 8 years…

  88. The same magazine that barbequed Ron Paul for having his name on a couple of newsletters that were written 10 years ago and were racist, now like Obama even more for going to a black supremicist church for over 20 years. Jesus Jessee, is this supposed to be comedy?

  89. TallDave: I explained why I think the Obama and Thurmond situations were different. So far, you have not engaged — or even acknowledged — my argument, instead preferring to spin this silly fantasy that I am motivated by a partisan preference for the Democrats over the Republicans. As long as that’s the approach you’re going to take, I don’t see any reason to continue the conversation.

    For the record, I do think there was a lot of self-congratulation — and a whiff of heresy-hunting — to the anti-Lott crusade. And while I criticized Lott at the time, I also offered some criticisms of his critics. The fact remains, though, that there is an obvious difference between what Obama has said about Wright and what Lott said about Thurmond. I summed up the distinction at 11:48.

  90. McCain rightly called Falwell and Robertson “agents of intolerance” several years ago, but then got on his knees for them when he decided he needs their votes again. That’s not pandering, that’s selling your soul. McCain wants to be president so bad that he’ll stoop to that. At least Obama is taking it like a man and saying yeah, this is my pastor, he’s not perfect either. So he said some things that scare whitey or are a little nuts. I don’t agree with him on those things.

    The likelyhood that Obama is racist is about the same as McCain. Like most people, they probably hate some type of person. Heck, maybe they both hate fat people. Bottom line is that if you have a preconceived notion regarding either one, these religious jerks surrounding them will only reinforce your views.

  91. In fact, Bush was “brought to Jesus” by the Grahms. So you’re wrong about that. He has a long-standing relationship with them.

    The Clintons were also friendly with Billy Graham. In fact, I think the last five or six presidents had him over to the White House at least once or twice. He was as moderate as a high-profile religious figure can be.

    Somehow, I expect we will not be seeing Rev. Wright strolling about Obama’s rose garden.

  92. I’d really like someone to give me a “black supremacist” statement from Wright. It seems people are seeing things that are not there.

    He never said “blacks are the master race” or “whites are inferior”. If you can find a quote like that, let me know. Until then, hes not a “black supremacist”.

  93. John: I see your reading comprehension skills are at the TallDave level.

  94. No, he simply said that if America had voted a segregationist for president the country would be better off today.

    They also elected Robert Byrd, who was a KKK member. I haven’t heard anyone apologizing for saying nice things about him.

    Also, that was in 1948. We had just interned 100,000 Japanese, and homoseuxality was considered a mental illness. I don’t think any of the candidates were exactly enlightened by today’s standards.

  95. Oh, not to mention the fact Bill Clinton’s spiritual adviser was Jessie “Hymietown” Jackson, but the media gave him a pass on that too.

  96. The bottomline is that Reason would never give a white politician this kind of pass. It didn’t give Ron Paul a pass. Why does Obama get a pass? Because ultimately the all white staff at Reason doesn’t think black people or politicians are worthy of being held to the same moral standards as white people. Basically it is saying that it is okay for black people to beleive and be associated with crazy shit because they really aren’t the same as white people. It is a common and subtle form of white supremecy that we sadly still engage in.

  97. Brian24 and Jesse:

    Taking the Paul comparison further, Obama’s reaction also does not compare well with Paul’s in another respect. His remark about his racist grandmother who helped raise him showed a surprising lack of good grace.

  98. TallDave-

    Truman and Dewey were calling for de-segregation and civil rights in 1948.

    Thurmond opposed them. That makes him a fringe candidate, even by the standards of the day.

  99. was the birthday party also in 1948?

    hmmmm…

  100. Cesar,

    Indeed? I didn’t know that.

    I thought Bush was converted to Christianity by “Billy Graham” not “Frankling Grahm”. Am I mistaken?

    Assuming you are right, can you say that the following are true:

    -Grahm expresses anti-semetic sentiments as a matter of course (at least to a similar level as Wright expresses his level of anger?). Or do you have to dig very deep to find “possible anti-semitism” in his case?
    -Was Bush a member of Grahms flock for as much of a time, or at least somewhat the same length of time?

    However, I do think you may be wrong about Franklin Grahm converting Bush. I rather believe it was Billy Graham, who is entirely a different person with his own issues.

  101. Damon I could, if I wanted, put together Billy Grahms “Greatest hits” and make him look like a complete kook.

  102. If you’re a black guy who came of age in the 1960s-70s, how can you not be a paranoid government-hater at least willing to consider the craziest conspiracy theories? I’m not surprised some people believe that the government invented AIDS or things like that; I’m surprised so few do.

  103. “Now we have the Jeremiah Wright “scandal,” which frankly makes me like Obama more. ”

    Which part did I not understand Jesee? Do you like Trent Lott more for his standing by his friend Strom Thrumond? Do you dislike Robert Byrd more for his having ditched his KKK friends? Do you like George Bush more for having spoken at Bob Jones University? Why do you like Obama more for standing by a nutcase preacher who thinks white people created AIDS and thinks that God only loves black people?

  104. Oh, I’m still waiting for a quote by Wright that says blacks are superior, or that God doesn’t love white people.

  105. Ceaser,

    Wright is a Black Liberation Theologist. Black Liberation Theology beleives the black race is God’s chosen people. If that is not Black Supremecy, what is?

    James Cone, the most prominent theologian in the “black liberation” school, teaches that Jesus Christ himself is black. As he explains:

    Christ is black therefore not because of some cultural or psychological need of black people, but because and only because Christ really enters into our world where the poor were despised and the black are, disclosing that he is with them enduring humiliation and pain and transforming oppressed slaves into liberating servants.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/JC18Aa01.html

  106. TallDave: I explained why I think the Obama and Thurmond situations were different. So far, you have not engaged — or even acknowledged — my argument,

    On the contrary, I’ve not just engaged but destroyed it. You call Lott a probable racist and say he should be condemned for an offhand compliment to an ancient Washington fixture, but claim any similar criticism of Obama based on his much closer association with his pastor must be a “smear” based on deliberate misunderstanding.

    It’s ridiculous, and you know it.

  107. Which part did I not understand Jesee? Do you like Trent Lott more for his standing by his friend Strom Thrumond? Do you dislike Robert Byrd more for his having ditched his KKK friends? Do you like George Bush more for having spoken at Bob Jones University?

    Not that I can speak for Jesse, but you’re making the same fallacious comparison as TallDave did: the examples you mentioned here were all examples of using authority (either governmental or on-campus) to keep black people legally segregated and legally distinct from white people. This is NOT the same thing as a black guy saying “the government has done bad things to people of my color.”

  108. The usual suspects, making a point of playing dumb.

    Look, geniuses: Trent Lott endorsed Strom Thurmond’s segregationism when he said we’d be better off with if we’d had a segregationist president.

    Barack Obama just spent the better part of an hour, and the better part of two weeks, and has spent the past year, denouncing, not embracing, not saying we’d be better off being led by, black militants.

    Embracing vs. denouncing. I don’t believe for a second anyone actually misunderstands this.

    Some people want to whip up hostility between the races as part of their political program, and some people want to help our society get past that.

    I’m damn proud of the side I’m on.

  109. Jesse,

    What the hell did you expect Lott to say when it came time for his toast, “You were a miserable, cheating scumbag and now that you are old you will soon meet the devil…”?

    I know next to nothing about Lott, but it was obvious that he was railroaded (or lynched to use a term with racial connotations) over his toast on his friend’s birthday.

  110. More Black Liberation theology Ceaser

    ither God must do what we want him to do, or we must reject him, Cone maintains:

    Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community … Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love. [1]

  111. Black Liberation Theology beleives the black race is God’s chosen people. says John, based on his years of theological study and attendance as a black church.

    Er, wait a second, instead of “years of theological study and attendance as a black church,” I meant “repeated viewing of four five-second clips culled from a decade worth of someone’s sermons.” My bad.

  112. Way to go John, you made joe look like the reasonable one.

  113. damon,

    I would never sit in a church with a preacher espousing hate. I explicitly know several people (and one standing politician) who have left their churches because they found distaste with opinions their pastors have espoused on the pulpit.

    And while I genuinely find that position admirable, I don’t hold it against the others who choose not to go that route.

    Furthermore, I don’t pretend to know the reverend Wright or anyone else’s pastors for that matter. If someone makes a decision that despite the spiritual leader’s flaws, the positives outweigh the negatives and this person can have a possible influence on their life, I don’t find it my place to judge that decision as right or wrong. Nor am I arrogant enough to believe that my opinion and what I would do is the only acceptable action to take. Furthermore, It wouldn’t just be Obama leaving the church, it would be his family as well. And it might cause his family to sacrifice many other relationships within that church community.

    As for the politics aspect, to me, his current course of actions seems the least politically expedient.

    As a voter you are entitled to judge it however you want, and I see where you are coming from and think your beliefs are justified, but I will have to respectfully disagree with your analysis.

  114. I’m guessing that if I went around saying “women in the world still often get the short end of the stick these days,” John and TallDave would insist that I’m the equivalent of a Saudi judge insisting that women need to be kept under gender-based house arret all their lives. Because, you know, we’re both making some point about gender equality or the lack thereof, and all points about gender are exactly alike, just as all points about race are too.

  115. John-

    I’m familiar with black liberation theology, and if you take it literally it looks ridiculous. But its not mean to be literal. The tales of the ancient Israelites are used as metaphors for the experience of blacks in the United States. Thats why Martin Luther King made so many Old Testament references in his speeches.

  116. Jennifer,

    Read the examples of Black Liberation Theology above. It is a lot more than that. It is basically the black version of the old bullshit Nazi “Aryans are God’s Chosen people” stuff. Wright is not just some pissed off black guy. Anyone that would go to his church and listen to that crap and still have their kids baptized there, and give them thousands of dollars is either a moral coward or a crank.

  117. Look, geniuses: Trent Lott endorsed Strom Thurmond’s segregationism when he said we’d be better off with if we’d had a segregationist president.

    Joe, no he did not say that. He said we would be better off if we’s had Strom Thurmond as president. I know you don’t see the difference, but hey that’s why you’re not a genius.

  118. James Cone, the most prominent theologian in the “black liberation” school, teaches that Jesus Christ himself is black.

    Note that this is supposed to be a reason to be afraid of Jeremiah Wright.

    Think about what’s going on in the head of someone who believes that.

  119. Cesar,

    I’m noticing that you simply move on to other points when direct questions are directed to you. Are you perchance a politician?

    I’m sure Graham has also said some dumb things, and yet the argument remains: Does a person brought to religion by, and 20 years in the congregation of, and a close friend of a person such as Rev. Wright, genuinely distance himself from the Rev. at this point because of actual disagreement, or out of pure political expediency? My argument is simply that, and I posit that Obama may share more views with Wright than he would now let on.

    This is entirely separate from the question of: Are George Bush, Hillary Clinton, Thomas Jefferson, or Aquaman also hyprocrites?

  120. Regardless, I don’t think it is very difficult to piece together a somewhat obvious bias in the reverend’s opinion,

    Dig a little deeper, folks. The good Rev. is a leading light in the “black liberation theology” movement, where the racialism and resentment-amped-to-hate is pretty obvious.

    Whatever else you can say about the Rev., I don’t think you can say he’s post-racialist or working toward racial conciliation.

    The real interesting question now is whether the leading lights of the MSM will seize upon Obama’s speech as an excuse to put this behind themselves, or whether they will continue to dag and press on the unanswered questions.

  121. Who the hell is this “Cone” guy?

    They’re not all interchangeable, John.

  122. Correction:

    possible influence

    Positive Influence

  123. Damon, no one has proved to my satisfaction that Wright thinks whites are devils, or blacks are the superior race. You’re seeing things that simply aren’t there.

    There are, in fact, white members of Wrights Church. Why would they go there if hes an arch-racist?

  124. ChicagoTom,

    Well, at the very least your position is honest and your argument logical. I disagree with it (in that I fully expect people to distance themselves from such a church and I would hold it against them for not doing so until the media has made it a topic) but I agree that I am not the arbiter of other people’s decisions in the context of their own lives.

    Let us then agree to disagree, and I’m quite glad we’ve had a civil and rational debate on the issue. It has been a pleasure.

  125. “There are, in fact, white members of Wrights Church. Why would they go there if hes an arch-racist?”

    Yeah, Barrack Obama for one.

  126. Let us then agree to disagree, and I’m quite glad we’ve had a civil and rational debate on the issue. It has been a pleasure.

    Damon,

    Same hear, sir.

  127. There is a white version of this nonsense. There are nutcases out in the West who believe that Whites are God’s chosen people. If a white politician went to such a church for 20 years, no way would any of you be making excuses for the guy. But you make excuses for Obama? Why? Because you don’t think that Obama is worthy of being held to the same standards as a white politician.

  128. joe,

    Embracing vs. denouncing. I don’t believe for a second anyone actually misunderstands this.

    /eyeroll

    Lott also apologized for his remark and denounced segregationism after it became a big issue — just like Obama is doing now.

    The issue here is not whether Trent Lott was wrong to endorse segregationism, every indirectly. He clearly was, and he paid the price.

    The issue is also not whether either man apologizes/denounces/etc now. The issue is whether, like Lott’s comment, whether Obama did something wrong by embracing Wright for 20 years.

  129. Joe,

    This Cone guy is the founder of the movement and the inspiration for Wright. They pretty much are interchangeable.

  130. There is a white version of this nonsense. There are nutcases out in the West who believe that Whites are God’s chosen people.

    Yeah, and they believe it to be literally true, and believe its their mission to exterminate the “mud races”. Not quite the same thing.

    John, if black liberation theology is racist then you have to said Judaism is racist, too.

  131. Cesar,

    I never posited any of those points. You’re asking me to prove comments that other people made and which I do not agree with.

    My only point, which I believe I proved through deduction, was that Wright’s anti government rant in regards to AIDS implicitly and inherently posits that the “government” that created AIDS is anti-black (in that he believes AIDS was created to wipe out black people) and hence, by deduction, said government is probably not “black” itself, since the creation of AIDS would then seem to be an act of suicide.

    That is all.

  132. Actually, wayne, I am a genius.

    And, as a genius, I’m able to go to the wikipedia homepage, enter Strom Thurmond, and read about his single-issue campaign in 1948.

    This thread is very heartening to me as a Democrat. The only people expressing any continuing fear of Barack Obama, secret Black Panther are the most obvious Republican shills.

    And, as already noted, none of them are talking about Barack Obama. Now, they’re playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with some preacher he’s never even met, because apparently, not even Jeremiah Wright expresses the racism they wish to impute to Obama.

    I second Cesar’s challenge: somebody find a racist quote from Jeremiah Wright. Since John is so eager to go after him, and so eager to find scary “black liberationist” quotes, you know he’d have put them up if he could find them.

    But he hasn’t. None of them have.

  133. http://www.tucc.org/talking_points.htm

    Joe look at the website. You will see how Cone is the spiritual inspiration for Wright and the church itself.

  134. FWIW I defended Mitt Romney from this shit, too. I think religions are ridiculous all around, so to go after one particular religion when you still believe in invisible angels, men walking on water and whatnot smacks of a double standard.

  135. What I would have liked to hear Obama say is:

    “Give me a break people. I just wanted to make a living as a “community activist” like my contemporaries, the guys I mentioned earlier that play on black rage. Well unfortunately I give excellent speeches and my demand has surpassed my expectations. So now after waiting and preparing to be a “community organizer”, to be an arm of the Democratic party to make sure the inner cities stay needy and brainwashed while taking my cut off the top, I have been thrown into this Jackie Robinson position. It is your fault. I played your game under your rules and you forced this temptation on me. You people do remember I am from Chicago right? When has the words “Chicago” and “honest” ever met without a negative in between in relation to politics? To build me up just to knock me down is a projection of your own ignorance, or an intellectually dishonest attempt at politics.”

  136. The bottomline is that Reason would never give a white politician this kind of pass. It didn’t give Ron Paul a pass.

    Actually, when the issue was Paul’s personal associations — i.e., something roughly equivalent to Obama’s relationship with Wright — most of us did give him a pass. I was aware throughout his campaign that some of the people in Paul’s circle had a history of insensitive statements. I did not hold that against him then, and I don’t hold it against him now.

    The criticisms came because of statements that went out under Paul’s own name. And even then different staffers took different positions on the issue, so you’re wrong to assign a unitary position to Reason. (For that matter, I wouldn’t assume that all of my colleagues agree with me about Obama and Wright.)

    What the hell did you expect Lott to say when it came time for his toast, “You were a miserable, cheating scumbag and now that you are old you will soon meet the devil…”?

    I know next to nothing about Lott, but it was obvious that he was railroaded (or lynched to use a term with racial connotations) over his toast on his friend’s birthday.

    Except that he had praised Thurmond’s old campaign in almost identical terms in at least one previous speech in 1980. It wasn’t an off-the-cuff remark.

    I don’t care that Lott is friends with Thurmond or that he said something nice at his birthday. I think the “nice” thing he chose to say — to single out for praise a presidential campaign that was basically a single-issue crusade for Jim Crow — was stupid and offensive. The public reaction may have been disproportionate, but that’s a different issue.

  137. “The vision statement of Trinity United Church of Christ is based upon the systematized liberation theology that started in 1969 with the publication of Dr. James Cone’s book, Black Power and Black Theology.”

    that is who this Cone guy is Joe
    http://www.tucc.org/talking_points.htm

  138. James Cone, the most prominent theologian in the “black liberation” school, teaches that Jesus Christ himself is black.

    Note that this is supposed to be a reason to be afraid of Jeremiah Wright.

    Joe,
    Rev. Wright is a self-proclaimed “black liberation” preacher. While black liberation theology may not have the message discipline of the Catholic church, and individual preachers have more freedom to interpet the theology differently, Rev. Wright signed on to this theology and claims to support it. It’s not completely out of bounds to bring it up.

    Everyone else,
    People accused John and TallDave of using strawman arguments, I see a lot of straw-men directed at them. The problem with Rev. Wright is not his criticism of America’s history of racism. The problem is wright’s “profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.”

  139. Chicago Tom:

    In this instance, I think Obama is not only handling it properly, but is also the morally superior one (compared to GOP panderers or Ron “Let’s not talk about the garbage out in my name” Paul). He is dealing with it head on, and he is repudiating what should be repudiated. And he isn’t allowing himself to be pressured into throwing a friend under the bus, even if that might be the smarter political move.

    Again, Obama is being forced her to comment on his longtime minister but, unlike Paul, is NOT being forced into a situation where he has to out a friend or “name names.” Paul’s challenge was much greater in this respect. Let me also note again that Obama’s remarks about his white grandmother who helped raise him show a comparative lack of loyalty by “naming her name” when he didn’t have to.

    Especially when one considers the grandma remark, you are giving Obama too much credit for bravery.

  140. Look, geniuses: Trent Lott endorsed Strom Thurmond’s segregationism when he said we’d be better off with if we’d had a segregationist president.

    Joe, no he did not say that. He said we would be better off if we’s had Strom Thurmond as president. I know you don’t see the difference, but hey that’s why you’re not a genius.

    We’d be better off if Strom Thurmond had been elected president having run a one issue campaign on the preservation of segregation. Nope, nothing at all like calling for a segregationist president.

  141. TallDave writes, Lott also apologized for his remark and denounced segregationism after it became a big issue — just like Obama is doing now.

    And that’s the diffference – Barack Obama didn’t start talking about racial reconcilliation and moving past the earlier generations’ racial warfare “after it became a big issue.” He has been strongly pushing that message throughout this campaign, and before it. Unlike Trent Lott, his denunciations of racial resentment and hostility aren’t something he whipped up in response to a scandal, but have always been a central, defining plank of his political program.

    Barack Obama didn’t stay up last night trying to come up with something to say. He’s been talking about this literally for years.

  142. I can’t read through all of this crap.

    What strikes me as the most important point that is barely hit on is that Rev Wright is not really much of a controversial figure at all if one takes a look at his ministry in whole, rather than listening to out of context soundbites.
    And even those soundbites are merely a little nutty, not hateful, not anti white.

  143. Black liberation theology:

    Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community … Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.

    How is this any better than the Dixiecrat plan in 1948?

    Here, try this out:

    white theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the white community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of white theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the white community … white theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in white Power, which is the power of white people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.

    Yeah, I think people might have an issue with that.

  144. Highnumber-

    Anyone with video editing skills could make Pope John Paul II look like a hateful, intolerant bigot on youtube.

  145. They pretty much are interchangeable.

    Uh huh. Of course they are. That must be why you still can’t find any such comments by Wright, and had to drag some other preacher into the conversation instead.

  146. Which is a bigger deal Jessee, saying something nice about a guy at his retirement party or attending a church for 20 years and giving 10s of thousands of dollars to it? Come on, Lott is a dirtbag but ultimately all he did was make an off handed remark. He never said “segregation was great” he said, “life would have been great had his buddy Strom won the Presidency”. It was one nice statement. Had Thurmond never denounced segregation and Lott given him thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, it would be similiar to Obama’s situtation with Wright.

  147. TallDave, is Judaism racist?

  148. Joe,

    have you read the website? It is a black liberation theology church. They make no secret about it. That is who they are and Cone is the founder of black liberation theology. Wright’s comment fit perfectly into that world view. Wright is a black liberation theologist. Stop denying the obvious.

  149. And that’s the diffference – Barack Obama didn’t start talking about racial reconcilliation and moving past the earlier generations’ racial warfare “after it became a big issue.”

    Right, he was so about “moving past the earlier generations’ racial warfare”, he embraced Wright as his pastor for 20 years, was married by him, and had him on his campaign staff… until it became a big issue.

  150. Joe,

    It is like talking about a Catholic Priest and me quoting Vatican II and you saying “well he never said that”. He is fucking priest you moron he doesn’t have to.

  151. TallDave, is Judaism racist?

    Judaism is a religion, not a race. Anyone can become Jewish.

  152. Lissen, you guys are libertarians, Obama claims to be a Christian AND he attends church. Now ordinarily, those two admissions would be enough for at least 250 comments going postal on his sorry backside. What gives?

  153. Anyone can go to Obama’s church. They have white members. Try finding black members of an Aryan Nations “church”.

  154. Anyone can become Jewish.

    Yes, but aren’t you a second class Jew if your mom isn’t Jewish?

  155. Black liberation theology is theology from the perspective of oppressed people. It seeks to interpret the gospel of Jesus against the backdrop of historical and contemporary racism. The message of black theology is that the African American struggle for liberation is consistent with the gospel–every theological statement must be consistent with, and perpetuate, the goals of liberation.

    The theology maintains that African Americans must be liberated from multiple forms of bondage-social, political, economic and religious. This liberation involves empowerment and seeks the right of self-definition, self-affirmation and self-determination.

    Nowhere is there any hate directed against white people in that description. Nowhere.

  156. Now, they’ve even given up on trying to slam Wright, and have moved onto “black liberation theology” in general, in its most frightening and offensive form.

    Once again, anyone care to provide a quote from Jeremiah Wright demonstrating that he considers white people, such as those who are members of his congregation, the enemy?

    Right, he was so about “moving past the earlier generations’ racial warfare”, he embraced Wright as his pastor for 20 years, was married by him, and had him on his campaign staff… until it became a big issue.

    Yup. Even as he was attending that church, even when he was married by Wright, he was preaching a very different message about race relations. Yes, that’s exactly right.

    It’s almost as if Democrats don’t take their religious leaders’ sermons are marching orders for their political program. Imagine that.

  157. Try finding black members of an Aryan Nations “church”.

    Better: Try finding black members of Strom Thurmond’s church in 1948.

  158. Yes, but aren’t you a second class Jew if your mom isn’t Jewish?

    Heh, I’ll have to ask my gf. Her mom converted when she married.

  159. Well, John, if Wright shares those same beliefs you quoted, I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding statements from Wright expressing those sentiments.

    We’re all waiting.

    Tick tock, John.

  160. Again, Obama is being forced her to comment on his longtime minister but, unlike Paul, is NOT being forced into a situation where he has to out a friend or “name names.” Paul’s challenge was much greater in this respect. Let me also note again that Obama’s remarks about his white grandmother who helped raise him show a comparative lack of loyalty by “naming her name” when he didn’t have to.

    dodsworth,

    Ron Paul had a greater challange because he had much more to answer for than Obama.

    Paul would have been forced to name names because he is trying to deny the words written with his byline. If you are gonna say “those words in my newsletter that have me listed as the author…well I never wrote them” then yeah, maybe you should out who in fact wrote them.

  161. The speech today certainly seems to have put this non-issue to bed once and for all.

  162. A little reminder for everyone here:

    ..no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

  163. It is like talking about a Catholic Priest and me quoting Vatican II and you saying “well he never said that”. He is fucking priest you moron he doesn’t have to.

    We can now add “Catholicism” to the list of things John doesn’t know anything about.

    Yes, John, all Catholic priests share the same political program. If you’re looking to understand the liberation theology of the Jesuits in El Salvador, you just need to read the doctrinal statements of Cardinal Ratzinger.

  164. WHY AFRICAN?

    Because?”We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian…our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and we remain “true to our native land”, the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation; and we constantly affirm our trust in God through the cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black community.”

    http://www.tucc.org/cfab_mstatement.html

    Nothing black seperatist about that.

  165. Joe,
    anyone care to provide a quote from Jeremiah Wright demonstrating that he considers white people, such as those who are members of his congregation, the enemy?

    That’s a strawman. No one has to prove that Wright thinks white people–in or out of his congregation (btw, haven’t seen any proof of this assertion)–are the enemy. Obama himself summed up the problem with Wright, namely, that he sees America as evil, incurably racist, and in thrall to Jewish interests.

  166. How about this, John?

    ?”We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Russian and Unapologetically Orthodox…our roots in the Russian religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are aRussian people, and we remain “true to our native land”

    Would you consider that racist?

  167. Abdul,

    John and TallDave seem to think that. They seem to think that we can reasonably impute the most hateful statements fromt he most extremist versions of black liberation theology to Jeremiah Wright, and then impute the beliefs of Jeremiah Wright to Barack Obama.

    Sort of a transitive property of black people, I guess.

  168. So now people here claim that saying “the country would be better off if this segregationist guy had been president” is NOT the same thing as supporting segregation. If that’s true, then why do y’all give a shit WHAT Obama thinks about race? After all, it’s not like saying “Y’all need to vote for Obama” is any sort of, y’know, endorsement of what he might claim to stand for.

  169. Can somebody please point me toward a church that doesn’t say something irrational?

  170. 200 posts and not one inch moved by either side. There’s a time when you cut your losses and give up. That time is now.

  171. Cesar,

    John doesn’t know what it’s like to live in a country run by rich Russian people; Gary Kasparov does.

    Pretty scary stuff.

  172. So now people here claim that saying “the country would be better off if this segregationist guy had been president” is NOT the same thing as supporting segregation.

    Again, not the issue.

    The issue is you can’t condemn Lott and exonerate Obama anymore than you can condemn Obama but exonerate Lott.

  173. How about this:

    ?”We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Anglican and Unapologetically Christian…our roots in the English religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an Anglican people, and we remain “true to our native land

    Racist?

  174. Ron Paul had a greater challange because he had much more to answer for than Obama.

    Paul would have been forced to name names because he is trying to deny the words written with his byline. If you are gonna say “those words in my newsletter that have me listed as the author…well I never wrote them” then yeah, maybe you should out who in fact wrote them.

    Why should Paul have to “find out” the name of the lowly stringer who probably wrote them (perhaps under Rockwell’s editorship) if he feels personally responsible for allowing them to go under his name? Paul didn’t tell about the newsletters, btw, because he was forced to (as Obama was) but back in 2001 when he volunteered the information to a reporter.

    Finally, it should be noted that until last week Obama said that he was not present when Wright made ANY offensive statements. Now….he changes his story and admits that he was present for at least some of them. What does that kind of flip flopping (not to mention the remark about grandma) say about him?

    Did Paul screw up big time? Certainly. On the other hand, you seem to give Obama a free pass on everything….or do you?

  175. The problem with Rev. Wright is not his criticism of America’s history of racism. The problem is wright’s “profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.”

    You know what? This is crap, and if anything this reflects more badly on Obama than anything Wright said.

    Basically this translates to “Any criticism Pat Robertson makes of America is just the sincere concern of a patriot, but any criticism of America that the guys at the Corner don’t agree with is hateful antiAmericanism that has to be denounced.”

    The real reason to criticize Obama here is because by refusing to just say “Fuck you” to everyone demanding he renounce Wright, he’s pandering.

  176. Which is a bigger deal Jessee, saying something nice about a guy at his retirement party or attending a church for 20 years and giving 10s of thousands of dollars to it?

    Actually, Lott made similar statements over a longer period of time. But if your point is that Lott’s remarks are not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, I’ll concede the point. His comments don’t speak well of him, but there are much better reasons to criticize Trent Lott.

    As for Obama — sorry, I just can’t work up any outrage about his membership in the church, no matter how many years he spent there. I suppose that’s one way that Obama’s relationship to Wright does resemble Lott’s relationship to Thurmond: There are better reasons to criticize him.

  177. You know I think the real issue with Wright is what he says about the Palestinians, or rather what he does not say about the Palestinians. That does influence your press coverage, unless we are to think that there are certain groups that don’t engage in identity politics but I would say that is a foolish assertion. If you do not recite with docility certain “agreed to premises” then you are looked on with very little favor. Hell if you advocate neutrality you are considered anti semitic and an enabler to a future genocide. The other assertion that Wright made if you shoot enough people that people, that otherwise wouldn’t have, will shoot at you seems correct to me though that is not allowed either.

    I haven’t heard anything necessarily racist, at least racist compared to what I might hear on a regular basis walking to the supermarket in DC, and not the supermarket in the nice cushy area near Reason offices either.

  178. WHY WHITE?

    Because?”We are a congregation which is Unashamedly White and Unapologetically Christian…our roots in the White religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an European people, and we remain “true to our native land”, the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation; and we constantly affirm our trust in God through the cultural expression of a White worship service and ministries which address the White community.”

    Nope, nothing wrong there. If you belong to the KKK that is.

  179. Cesar,

    No Anglican is unapologetic and unashamed about anything, least of all their faith.

  180. Marcvs,

    It isn’t about the “sides.” It’s about the middle.

    See brotherben up there? He was writing about how white people are reasonably nervous when they hear rhetoric like Wright’s. (A perfectly reasonable position, btw.)

    Now, it’s been put to bed.

    It doesn’t matter what the John/TallDave/Rush Limbaugh “side” thinks. They were never going to move anyway; it’s a just a club to beat a Democrat.

    In a week, people like them, working to whip this issue to promote racial divisions, are going to be pariahs. Obama slew the dragon today.

  181. TallDave-

    Blacks are an ethnic group as well as a race in this country. A black church is no more racist than a Russian Orthodox Church or a WASPy Episcopalian Church.

  182. The issue is you can’t condemn Lott and exonerate Obama anymore than you can condemn Obama but exonerate Lott.

    Sure you can, because Lott embraced that position – not just Thurmond the individual, but segregation and white racial grievance – throughout his career, while Obama has rejected the position Wright argues and embraced an alternative throughout his career.

  183. 200 posts and not one inch moved by either side. There’s a time when you cut your losses and give up. That time is now.

    No Marcvs, we must stay the course! Peace is in sight. In fact, we need a surge of posts. That will make everything perfect.

  184. Well, if being a member of a nutty church disqualifies someone for office, that would disqualify about half of the Republican party, right there. Of all the reasons I likely won’t be voting for Obama, this one isn’t even on my radar.

    An interesting take on the matter from Frank Schaeffer, late of the Religious Right……

  185. “Black women are being raped daily in Africa. One white girl from Alabama gets drunk at a graduation trip to Aruba, goes off and gives it up while in a foreign country and that stays in the news for months.”

    “White America got their wake-up call after 9-11. White America and the Western world came to realize people of color had not gone away, faded in the woodwork, or just disappeared as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns.”

    Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said “truly epitomized greatness.” That man is Louis Farrakhan.

    Over the years, he has compiled an awesome record of offensive statements, even denigrating the Holocaust by falsely attributing it to Jewish cooperation with Hitler — “They helped him get the Third Reich on the road.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/14/AR2008011402083.html

    And yet Wright heaped praise on Farrakhan. According to Trumpet, he applauded his “depth of analysis when it comes to the racial ills of this nation.” He praised “his integrity and honesty.” He called him “an unforgettable force, a catalyst for change and a religious leader who is sincere about his faith and his purpose.”

    That is pretty awful stuff.

  186. “As imperfect as he may be, [Wright] has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect.”

    Chris Rock on old black men:

    Whenever an old black man sees an old white man…the old black man always kisses the old white man’s ass.

    “How you doing, sir? Pleased to meet you. Whatever l can get you, you let me know.”

    As soon as the white man get out of sight, he’s like: “Cracker-ass cracker! l’ll put my foot in the crack of your ass, cracker-ass cracker! l wish that cracker would’ve said some shit to me, saltine-assed, motherfucking cracker! Cracker, kiss my ass, you fucking cracker!”

    The white man come back. “Howdy, sir?”

    I got an uncle real crazy. My uncle B., years old, hates the white people, married to a white lady. And he sits around going, “These crackers ain’t shit, except for Susie.”

    He tried to explain the whole thing to me one day. He said, “Yeah, l got a white wife. l love her, she love me. That’s all that matters. But l’ll tell you this: if the revolution ever come, l’ll kill her first…just to show these crackers I mean business! Motherfucker, cracker-ass, motherfucker cracker! Shit, cracker, motherfucker! Hi, honey. Motherfucker cracker. l’ll kill my cracker kids, too!”

  187. They were never going to move anyway; it’s a just a club to beat a Democrat.

    Of course, that’s the point! They beat Trent Lott, Rush Limbaugh, and the Duke lacrosse team with that club, and now that the club is turned on them they complain how unfair it is.

  188. Breaking news! Obama paid Wright $4,000 for sexual favors!

  189. Paul didn’t tell about the newsletters, btw, because he was forced to (as Obama was)

    Wrong. Barack Obama mentioned Rev. Wright in his book, and has long spoken about his commitment to his church.

    Finally, it should be noted that until last week Obama said that he was not present when Wright made ANY offensive statements. Wrong. Obama stated that he was not present for the sermons that the offending quotes were clipped from, while acknowledging that he had been there for a lot of statements that he disagreed with.

  190. The only interest for me any more is whether or not this will be fanned into a conflagration that will cost Obama the nomination. Sides have been chosen, lines are drawn.
    Politics is a bitch here in the U.S.of KKKA.

  191. I still prefer Obama to the neocon alternatives but I find it rich that the same people who were unabashedly skewering Paul are now sitting there with their pants down defending Obama.

    It’s a double standard and it really pisses me off. If you think it’s bad on these forums hop on over to the Daily Kos and see how sick those Obaminations are. They absolutely blasted Paul over the newsletters and now the silence is deafening.

    I hate hypocrites.

  192. “s for Obama — sorry, I just can’t work up any outrage about his membership in the church, no matter how many years he spent there. I suppose that’s one way that Obama’s relationship to Wright does resemble Lott’s relationship to Thurmond: There are better reasons to criticize him.”

    So Jessee you would cut a white politician who was a member of a racist white church for 20 years the same slack? Come on Jessee that doesn’t even pass the laugh test. Why does obama get so much slack?

  193. Cesar,

    Russians aren’t a race. Neither are Protestants.

  194. TallDave-

    Blacks are a race and an ethnic group in this country. If they all knew where they came from, you’d probably see Nigerian and Angolan Christian Churches. But they don’t, so there are black churches.

  195. Wrong. Barack Obama mentioned Rev. Wright in his book, and has long spoken about his commitment to his church.

    And now he denounces him, and says he was only committed to the parts of the church that aren’t “controversial.”

  196. “That is pretty awful stuff.”

    I’m an old conservative white guy. I also read Farrakhan’s paper (Final Call) and have seen him speak on TV. And frankly put, a lot of what he writes and says rings true. He also has changed his views over the years. He no longer is an anti-Semite.

    If George Wallace could change, anyone can.

  197. “Black women are being raped daily in Africa. One white girl from Alabama gets drunk at a graduation trip to Aruba, goes off and gives it up while in a foreign country and that stays in the news for months.”

    There’s nothing wrong with this statement at all. If you want media attention for a missing person case, your victim better be a pretty white woman or young girl, preferably blonde, or you are shit out of luck.

    Personalizing the issue with that girl in Aruba is pretty insensitive, but it’s not untrue.

    Personally I make no apologies for being more interested in stories about pretty white women. That’s just my personal preference. But I certainly don’t expect people worried about black missing persons to share that preference.

  198. This Wright guy is a racist dickstain, possibly a paranoid schizophrenic. Obama should flee his church like a naked leper in a porcupine colony.

  199. http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0308/Wright_on_film.html

    Let Reverend Wright speak for himself. I defy anyone to listen to the above linked video and say that Wright is anything but a racist and a first class kook. There is no way Obama went to this guy’s church for 20 years and didn’t know how crazy he is.

  200. IMO Wallace only changed to woo the changing voters. That is, in appearance only.

  201. Wrong. Barack Obama mentioned Rev. Wright in his book, and has long spoken about his commitment to his church.

    Joe:

    Paul’s unsolicited admisssion to the reporter in 2001 was not that the newsletters existed (of course they did!) but that he felt guilty and responsible for the fact that they included offensive remarks that he did not write or believe.

    Obama not only mentioned Wright in his bio but gave him a key role in his campaign DESPITE the fact (as Obama finally admitted today) that he was aware that Wright had made offensive remarks.

    The existence of Wright or newsletters per se was never in dispute by either Obama or Paul.

  202. On Farrakhan: He no longer is an anti-Semite.

    That’s because he’s no longer breathing.

  203. So Jessee you would cut a white politician who was a member of a racist white church for 20 years the same slack? Come on Jessee that doesn’t even pass the laugh test

    Wait, here, let me try the laugh test.

    Hmmmmm…

    …Bwahahahahahah!!

    Nope, didn’t pass.

  204. And now he denounces him, No, he doesn’t. He denounces some of the things he said, while continuing to embrace him for the good work he’s done in the community, for bringing him to Christianity, and for advocating for the poor and downtrodden. You can do that with your clergy, because embracing their spiritual and charitable leadership doesn’t require you to embrace their politics. You should see the Odd Couple pairings within Habitat for Humanity!

  205. John,
    Obama’s church is not racist. All those Wright statements you quoted up the page, they aren’t racist. As far as Wright offering his respect to Farrakhan, while I despise much of Farrakhan’s message (and I’ve read a lot of his stuff – my roommate in college joined the NOI and I read the literature when he was out), Farrakhan gets a lot of respect from a lot of the Black community for a lot of good reasons.

  206. Pro Libertate | March 18, 2008, 1:24pm | #
    Breaking news! Obama paid Wright $4,000 for sexual favors!

    Of course everyone’s concerned about the sexual favors, but nobody mentions the tithe-laundering that made it possible! That’s the real abuse here!

  207. So Jessee you would cut a white politician who was a member of a racist white church for 20 years the same slack?

    I don’t buy the argument that the church is racist.

  208. Oh, wait, my bad. He’s alive. He just stepped down from his position.

  209. A great number of them are stupid, offensive, and absurd. But not racist.

  210. I think the problem here is people have different definitions of “racist”.

  211. OK, since everyone else keeps mentioning the Paul newsletters I think I’ll chime in.

    I never was bent out of shape by the “black teenagers run fast” element in the newsletters. The objectionable element in the newsletters to me was the “black helicopters” conspiracy crap.

    I criticized Paul for not distancing himself from this material further because deep down I knew that Paul believes all that CFR conspiracy stuff. It wasn’t even just a riff to get donations from crazy militia guys. He really believes in it.

    That made it hard for me to stand up for Paul on the newsletter issue, although I occasionally would try. It touched on one uncomfortable fact about Paul: although I voted for him in my primary, donated to his campaign, evangelized for him online, and will almost certainly write him in this November, part of me knows that on some level he’s got personality traits that are the equivalent of the guy who believes in UFO’s or Bigfoot or that NASA faked the moon landing.

    I hated to be reminded of that aspect of his personality, so I was pissed off when the newsletters and fundraising letters came out. Paul was my candidate so all that “the new $20 bill is a plot to steal all your money” stuff was just EMBARASSING to me personally.

  212. Wright is a Black Liberation Theologist. Black Liberation Theology beleives the black race is God’s chosen people. If that is not Black Supremecy, what is?

    That sounds to me like a black version of Judaism. Jews also believe they’re God’s chosen people.

  213. This is an imporant moment in American politics. Barack Obama has laid out a course for people to GET OVER the racial/political warfare of previous generations.

    Some people don’t want that. Other people don’t care one way or the other. And still others might want that, but not as much as they want to denounce a Democrat and use white racial resentment to get a Republican elected.

    I think those people are a minority in this country, and this is going to be their last gasp.

  214. I’ve heard this guy Dr Graves speak and he seems more credible than the MSM on the topic of AIDS. He went to the Naval Acadamey and has HIV. He has done a fair amount of research on the topic.

    http://www.eaec.org/expose/KateMcClureExcllusive.htm

    http://www.boydgraves.com/

    Maybe Rev. Dr. Wright is wrong about some things. Again, so what? maybe, the US government didn’t invent AIDS to kill black people. But the US government does maintain a vast etablishment at Ft. Detrick, Maryland, dedicated to making every manner of plague and other biological weapon to sicken and kill its enemies. To mention, let alone criticize, that hellish establishment is also “anti-American.” ”

    Dr Graves points to some government programs that did put out some pretty scary descriptions. The government says it is all secret and won’t release any details?so if the accusations aren’t tru then it is possible the turth is even worse for all we can tell?at a minimum it is a waste of tax dollars and I don’t think people should be banned from office for talking about it.

    “…advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.”

    Who wrote these words in their own strategy document? The Nazis? The regime of Pol Pot?

    No, it was Paul Wolfowitz, William Kristol and the rest of the Neo-Fascist collaborators that formed the Project For a New American Century – the ideological framework of the Bush administration.

    Quote from Page 72 where they talk about how great it is too have race specific bioweapons.

    http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf

    Here is a interview:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrIeYfuviq8&feature=related

  215. Isn’t the Limbaugh Plan? to make sure Hillary gets the nomination, because McCain should have a better chance of beating her than he does Obama? Must be why he’s harping on this so much.

  216. “I don’t buy the argument that the church is racist.”

    Really? There is nothing racist about black liberation theology? There is nothing racist about claiming, falsly, that Jesus was a black man killed by White Italians? There is nothing racist about claiming that black people are God’s chosen people and that if God is a “white God we must deny his love”? Come on Jessee you normally more reasonable than this.

  217. There are different kinds and degrees of racism. While Wright may possibly be properly considered a racist, there is a big difference between a black racist saying “white people are out to get us” or something to that effect and a white racist saying “black people should be treated as second class citizens and are inferior”. The fact is that it is true that for hundreds of years, and to this day, white people (not all of them, but plenty) have conspired to treat blacks like shit and keep them down. Is it really surprising that there is still quite a bit of paranoia among blacks about such things? Even if it is wrong and unhelpful, it is very different from trying to subjugate an entire race, which is what white racism is about.

  218. Joe: Wrong. Obama stated that he was not present for the sermons that the offending quotes were clipped from, while acknowledging that he had been there for a lot of statements that he disagreed with.

    Here is a pre-speech story in which Obama says the following about all the remarks he heard over the many years he attended the church….now, of course, he has flip flopped on this point:

    And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another. …

  219. Look, most white Christians have an image of Jesus as a blonde white guy with blue eyes.

    I’m sure the Chinese Christians think Jesus looks Chinese.

    At least they’re more honest about the image they truthfully have of Jesus in their heads than most people.

  220. Obama’s church is not racist.

    Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy.

    Heehee!

    Sorry, laugh test again.

  221. John can’t tell the difference between “black liberation theology” and a particular black church.

    They all look…nah. Too easy.

    There is nothing racist about claiming, falsly, that Jesus was a black man killed by White Italians? It absolutely drives you batty to hear Jesus called “black,” doesn’t it?

  222. It absolutely drives you batty to hear Jesus called “black,” doesn’t it?

    Drives me batty because it’s not a fact.
    Other than that, Jesus can go eat anus.

  223. And neither can TallDave.

    Some people look at members of a group, and substitute the worst person ever to belong to that group for all the faces they see.

    Smart people don’t spend their time worrying about what such people have to say about race.

  224. The truth is, Jesus probably looked something like Osama bin Laden. But of course, the religious always want their God to be in their own image.

  225. Real Question: were there black jews back then? Could Jesus the Christ have been black?

  226. Jamie Kelly,

    Drives me batty because it’s not a fact.

    Jesus, a Galilean, would have been considered the equivalent of “black” even by other Jews in the first century AD, nevermind the Greek-speaking Romans who ruled Israel.

  227. Whether anyone likes it or not, America must choose between the “Big Three” … Obama, McCain, and HRC. A sad spot, to be certain. The unpalatable choice between the lesser of three evils. I am convinced that the “lesser” one of these is Obama. That is not to say that any libertarian should heartily support his candidacy. At this point in history, the best we could hope for is a President that would do less harm to the Constitution and the cause of liberty than the alternatives. I cautiously support Obama for this reason, and will hold my nose and vote for him should he secure his party’s nomination.

  228. It absolutely drives you batty to hear Jesus called “black,” doesn’t it?

    Yes! Everyone knows Jesus is just a myth perpetrated by Xenu to steal our body thetans.

  229. Are peoples minds so small they can’t tell the difference between something being literally true and something being used as a metaphor?

  230. I have to admit I like Obama a lot more after the “Wright Incident”…though I disagree with a lot of the conspiracy stuff that he said, I am far more offended by the National Fairy Tale that conservatives trot out ad nauseum…

  231. Joe,

    You might want to call up the good reverend Wright and tell him that his website is wrong. If he is not a proponent of black liberation theology, why does his church’s website proclaim otherwise and list Cone as it’s spiritual inspiration? Did you just ignore that because it is convienent?

  232. I thought everyone agreed that Jesus was a Jew. A blond-haired, blue-eyed, Aryan ?bermensch Jew.

    joe,

    In the sense that Bill Clinton was the first black president? I hate revisionism, even the kind done from “my” culture’s perspective.

  233. I guess when Martin Luther King said he had “been to the mountaintop” and “seen the promise land” he was claiming to be Moses himself huh?

  234. brotherben,

    He wasn’t African, if that’s what you mean.

    But the line between black and white has always changed from culture to culture.

    Ever see a Dominican with dark skin and kinky hair get mad because someone thinks he’s black? In the D.R., he’s white. To a white American who might not be terribly knowledgeable about the complications of Carribean history, he might look black.

  235. John can’t tell the difference between “black liberation theology” and a particular black church.

    I don’t know people would think a black liberation theology church would ascribe to black liberation theology.

  236. My point, joe, is that Jesus was not “black” in that he was not from Africa and didn’t have the skin tone of what we today would consider “black.”
    He probably was dark-skinned, however, as were many Jews in Galilee and Judea.

  237. Yes! Everyone knows Jesus is just a myth perpetrated by Xenu to steal our body thetans.

    TallDave wins the thread! Who would have guessed?

    But seriously, when the Universal Father hears you wrote that, you can just forget about buying wilted roses from those people by the side of the road.

  238. I don’t agree with “Black Liberation Theology” or any theology as I am an atheist, but if you consider that racist, than how is Judiasm not racist?? Aren’t the Jews God’s chosen people?

  239. My point, joe, is that Jesus was not “black” in that he was not from Africa and didn’t have the skin tone of what we today would consider “black.”

    I would wager that Jesus then looked more like a black man today than a white man today. By today’s standards Jesus would definitely not be considered “white” or “caucasian”

  240. You might want to call up the good reverend Wright and tell him that his website is wrong. If he is not a proponent of black liberation theology, why does his church’s website proclaim otherwise and list Cone as it’s spiritual inspiration? Did you just ignore that because it is convienent?

    I didn’t ignore it, John. I wrote that not all of “those people” are exactly the same. Do you know WHY you can’t find statements from Jeremiah Wright talking about white people in the terms you are assuming are universal among black liberationist pastors? Despite wanting so desperately to be able to quote some?

    Because the religious and political beliefs of clergymen, even clergymen within the same denomination, often differ pretty considerably.

  241. Actually, Jesus probably looked like this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus

    I don’t think he had that stupid surprised look on his face all the time, though. Probably only when Xenu was taking his thetans.

  242. I would wager that Jesus then looked more like a black man today than a white man today. By today’s standards Jesus would definitely not be considered “white” or “caucasian”

    I should have also added :

    In the USA.

    In places like Brazil, being considered “white” or “black” has more to do with your economic and social situation rather than the color of your skin.

  243. FLUFFY says:
    “Paul believes all that CFR conspiracy stuff.”

    I guess in Fluffy world there is no CFR and there never was a Mandell House and he never wrote a book and he never received lots of funding from Rockefeller because of it? There is a awful lot of the “conspiracy” that is completely undisputable fact….you can read Chernows books and Mandell House’s Book, if not then you are just ignorant.

    So in your world I guess the PNAC documents don’t exist either and Cheney’s glorification of race specific bio weapons clearly written about on page 72 of the public website jsut aren’t there? THESE PEOPLE SAY RACE SPECIFIC BIO WEAPONS WILL BE A USEFUL TOOL FOR OUR EMPIRE!!! you cannot deny it….read it….it is there in black and white…if the mere act of designing and encouraging race specific bio-weapons is not pure evil(in your PC universe) then I don’t know what is…it dwarfs anything Dr Wright or Dr Paul have said or done on the racists scales created at Oberlin college.

    The fact that Hillary and all the mainstream republicans have no problem with these issues puts them far beyond the pale of casual racism you guys are bickering about and my only hope with Obama is that he’d appoint Dr Wright as the Secretary of defense so he can investigate this for himself…if he gets a real investigation and is found to be wrong then I apologize…if your wrong and we get genocide then go f yourselves. your deserve hell.

  244. I thought this Black Jesus stuff was just a typically bad episode of Good Times.

    BTW, I am simply astonished Mr. Walker would bother to reply to some of the asinine comments in this thread.

    [Shakes head sadly, wanders off humming “Moving On Up”…]

  245. Fluffy wrote, “Paul was my candidate so all that “the new $20 bill is a plot to steal all your money” stuff was just EMBARASSING to me personally.”

    But Fluffy, given that 1) any new $20 bill is almost certainly a consequence of inflationary mechanisms; 2) those mechanisms were designed and are operated by a group of smart, learned, elite, who are not ignorant of the likely consequences of their actions, and 3) inflation is unarguably the real theft of real value from you, me, and anyone else who uses dollars, it is glaringly OBVIOUS to anyone who has been paying attention to Ron Paul over the years that the statement you cited above is quite literally true.

    Why should YOU be embarrassed by that truth? You should be outraged and pitching in to boil the tar or pluck the feathers that we will soon need in abundance in DC and the State capitals. Once the public in general understands — really understands at a gut level — how they have been robbed by those in a position of public trust, the resulting backlash will be breathtaking. I am hoping that this can be initially confined to a vast housecleaning via the ballot box. Because if it turns into rioting or other violence, that will only give the same gang of miscreants license to use the military in maintaining the oppression.

  246. There is a 91.5% chance that joe is currently batin’ to this thread.

  247. James,

    You can always join the Jews, you can’t turn yourself black.

    The thing that strikes me most about the Wright is how much he obviously hates the country and hates white people. He clearly considers white America to be the root of evil in the world. The logic is pretty simple; America is evil and racist and America is run by white people. What does that say about white people? To claim that Wright is not a racist is to reduce the meaning of racist to nothing. If he isn’t a racist who is?

  248. Pro Libertate,

    In the sense that Bill Clinton was the first black president? No, in the sense that considers the culture and politics of the first century AD, not those of the twentieth.

    Jamie Kelly,

    My point, joe, is that Jesus was not “black” in that he was not from Africa and didn’t have the skin tone of what we today would consider “black.”
    He probably was dark-skinned, however, as were many Jews in Galilee and Judea.

    Right, he is not “black” as we use the term today. However, he was the Roman-era equivalent; a darker-skinned member of a racial minority whose appearance and ethnic background marked him as belonging to a lower strata of society than the people who were running things.

  249. I mean, really: can’t you just see the bubble coming out of his mouth saying “Oh no! My thetans!”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus

  250. Jesus was a Jew Joe. Why is that such a controversial idea for you? Don’t worry though, he died for guilty white guys’ sins to.

  251. To claim that Wright is not a racist is to reduce the meaning of racist to nothing. If he isn’t a racist who is?

    Strom Thurmond?

  252. I don’t know people would think a black liberation theology church would ascribe to black liberation theology.

    yes, “those people” are all the same. They’re not like our churches, where the clergy all have different, sometimes radically different, opinions.

  253. who in the fuck really cares what Jesus looked like? He’s Jesus … a supernatural superhero that whip’s the Devil’s ass.

  254. Here is an indepth look at Trinity and its pastor…

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_11_124/ai_n19328537/pg_1

    “Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run! … We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God … And. And And! Gawd! Has GOT! To be SICK! OF THIS SHIT!” This may be the kind of passion that Obama now finds a bit embarrassing. The sermon was actually delivered as part of the inauguration of a new dean of the chapel at Howard University, whom Wright was encouraging to take on a prophetic role, not just a priestly one. But all that was posted on YouTube was a video of Wright shouting the words above.

    Ironically, Wright says that in that part of the sermon he was quoting white evangelical preacher Tony Campolo, who has long railed about social ills in front of evangelical audiences. One of Campolo’s signature rhetorical gestures is to use colorful language and tell his listeners that he fears they are “more concerned that I said ‘shit'” than with racism in America. When Campolo makes this move, he’s regarded as a prophetic figure. When Wright does it, his opponents call him a militant.

    Also

    When I asked Otis Moss and Dwight Hopkins about the attacks on Trinity, they both noted that ethnic versions of Christianity are commonplace among white Christians–Greek Orthodoxy, Irish Catholicism, German Lutheranism. Why, they wonder, is that kind of ethnocentrism permissible for whites, but Africentric Christianity is not legitimate for blacks?

    It is worth a read.
    And yes, John, it discusses Cone and the uglier aspects of BLT…

    (BLT, with mayo, yum)…

  255. I think that Jews run the world and the entire world is set up to get guys like me. But I am not anti-semetic or anything. You would have to apply the same logic to deny that Wright is a racist. He is a racist crank.

  256. So instead of getting to a real race related question at the next deabte such as “on page 72 of the main PNAC document Cheney, Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush and others talk about our race specific bio weapons developments and speak glowingly of their usefulness in the future….do you see a problem here and what will you do about it?”

    they will be treated to the meaningless devisive crap like this: “do you think Jesus was a black man Mr Obama?”

  257. You can always join the Jews, you can’t turn yourself black.

    There are white members of the Trinity Church, which is itself a part of the majority-white United Church of Christ.

    But John knows they’re segregationist and hate white people.

  258. John-

    The federal government isn’t predominatley white?

  259. Gabe Harris,

    THESE PEOPLE SAY RACE SPECIFIC BIO WEAPONS WILL BE A USEFUL TOOL FOR OUR EMPIRE!!!

    Dude, calm down, you’re frothing.

    If you actually read the PNAC report, it’s just listing various weapons that might emerge by 2100. The U.S. suspended bioweapon development decades ago.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_weapons

    In 1972, the U.S. signed the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention, which banned the “development, production and stockpiling of microbes or their poisonous products except in amounts necessary for protective and peaceful research.” By 1996, 137 countries had signed the treaty. It is, however, believed that since the signing of the Convention the number of countries capable of producing such weapons has increased.

  260. John,

    Jesus was a Jew Joe. Yes, dimwit, that’s why I wrote he would have been considered black by “other Jews.” You really are working hard not to get obvious points today. Not a good sign.

    And don’t lecture me on Christian theology. Based on your clueless statements, you probably haven’t belonged to church since you were a kid.

  261. or maybe we can hear this question from our MSM…”it has recently come out that Governor Patterson and his wife have some sort of black open marriage agrement…Mr Obama, will you be having any open marriage arangements in the White House?”

  262. Good point, joe (the one where you responded to me).

    As to people listening to a crazy pastor, I pretty much lump about anyone who goes to church into this group. The Bible is filled with crazy racist shit that makes the KKK look like a book club. But that’s an argument for another time.

    And yes, James, Zionism — if not Judaism as a whole — is very racist. As is the concept of a “Jewish country”. But it’s considered an acceptable form of racism by many people, though (not me).

  263. “I guess you either understand this instinctively or you don’t.”

    And claiming there is something there to understand “insitinctively” doesn’t make it so.

  264. To claim that Wright is not a racist is to reduce the meaning of racist to nothing. If he isn’t a racist who is?

    Don Imus

  265. Joe

    You are such an asshole. You don’t know anything about my theology. But, I am not going to highjack the thread by explaining theology to you. For the record, I am a Luthern but attend Catholic Church with my wife and have a large collection of books on Christian Theology and am a devote of NT Wright.

  266. Wow, some good discussion on this thread.

    It’s preposterous to attempt to hold Obama accountable for what this man Wright has said. Obama has denounced it and distanced himself from it; what I see in some comments here is stuff like “But if a white guy running for president had weird religious friends that spewed incendiary nonsense he’d be burned at the stake,” and other posts that seem to be based on the ability of the poster to magically divine Jesse Walker’s motives or make comparisons of this situation with other, supposedly similar situtations.

    Sorry, but I’m not going to pretend to be able to read Obama’s mind and assume he believes and accepts everything his friends say. Nor should anyone else.

  267. They’re not literally saying Jesus was black.

    They’re saying, essentially, Jesus was a member of an oppressed minority (the Jews) who were being kept down by a powerful majority (the Romans). Then they draw paralels between that and the black experience in America, where they too (for a long time) were an oppressed minority.

  268. Why you are at it Joe, why don’t you explain transsubstantiation and the difference between the Catholic, Protestent and Reformed views of it? Enlighten me.

  269. When I asked Otis Moss and Dwight Hopkins about the attacks on Trinity, they both noted that ethnic versions of Christianity are commonplace among white Christians–Greek Orthodoxy, Irish Catholicism, German Lutheranism. Why, they wonder, is that kind of ethnocentrism permissible for whites, but Africentric Christianity is not legitimate for blacks?

    Little known fact: the Greek Orthodox charter reads:

    Greek Orthodox theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the Greek community. If God is not for us and against non-Greek people (esp Persians), then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of white theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the white community … white theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Greek Power, which is the power of Greek people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love. This is SPAAAARTAAA!! and we will kick God into a well.

  270. Tall I did read it…that is why I gave the page number. Ya they have a idea it will be around because they have been working on it…as Dr Graves points out.

  271. This Greek Orthodox recruiting video will SHOCK you:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZBA0SKmQy8

  272. No, James Anderson Merritt, you dope.

    Paul sent out a fundraising letter claiming that the design changes in the new $100, $50 and $20 bills were intended to invalidate all existing currency, in order to punish people who have been hiding their assets in cash.

    The fundraising letter included very colorful detail about AK-47 wielding IRS agents jumping out of cakes to make you bow down and kiss their feet as they took away your old money and gave you nothing.

    It was all a very demented fantasy designed to appeal to the right wing equivalent of the fucking Unabomber.

    Face it, the paleos on some level actually believe in the secret 13th Amendment, and that black helicopters are bringing US troops to Waco to steal your bodily fluids.

    I can find little fault with just about every political action of Paul’s that I know of, outside of the way he occasionally abandons federalism when abortion is the issue. But the paleos are right when they say that there’s a “cultural divide” in libertarianism. And one side of that divide is peopled with nutjob crackers who write ominous fundraising letters about the quasiMasonic plot being undertaken by the Skull and Bones society, and my side alternately laughs at those folks and is embarassed by them.

  273. And yes, James, Zionism — if not Judaism as a whole — is very racist. As is the concept of a “Jewish country”.

    Is the concept of an “Icelandic country” racist? Icelanders are ethnically pretty homogenous, you know. The same goes for, I don’t know, about 90% of the countries in the world.

  274. Ah, so John is a Lutheran.

    I should have known.

    The combination of finding one’s works irrelevant to one’s moral status, and the urge to bootlick any and all authority figures, is between the lines of all of his posts and I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see that he got it straight from Martin Luther himself.

  275. The truth is, Jesus probably looked something like Osama bin Laden. But of course, the religious always want their God to be in their own image.

    I think Naveen Andrews of Lost would make a good Jesus Portrait.

    Our image of Jesus doesn’t come just from Renaissance era painters, but from 2nd century Syrian sources as well.

  276. Gabe,

    I find your views intriguing and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  277. “To claim that Wright is not a racist is to reduce the meaning of racist to nothing. If he isn’t a racist who is?”

    racism is good for dehumanizing populations that we wish to murder in the hundreds of thousands, making it seem like the humane thing to do, as if we were just controlling the stray dog population. Therefore people like Kissinger, Bush, Madwoman Albright Petraus, Hillary and McCain are pretty racist, acing as if it is ok to hide information on race specific bio weapons, carpet bomb camdodia, or kill a few hundred thousand Iraqis…all in the name of american greatness of course.

  278. Right, he is not “black” as we use the term today. However, he was the Roman-era equivalent; a darker-skinned member of a racial minority whose appearance and ethnic background marked him as belonging to a lower strata of society than the people who were running things.

    Agreed.

  279. Woah, woah, Fluffy,

    I agree that the crazy stuff stated about the anti-counterfit measures you describe are just that, crazy, but I am a paleolib, or as I prefer, liberal classic.

    I don’t know why there is so much discussion of Paul in this matter as he isn’t a relevant factor in the current news cycle. In fact a little too much fixedness on Paul makes me wonder about other people might be crazy.

  280. TallDave:
    The Greeks used to be bad-ass. You know, math and philosophy and swords.
    Gyros and religion destroyed that place.
    Shame.

  281. In fact a little too much fixedness on Paul makes me wonder about other people might be crazy.

    Not necessarily you fluffy, you may be just responding to the deluge of Paul related post like I am. I’ve really been trying to ignore them, so I don’t know who is at fault.

  282. Fuck you, John.

    You are such an asshole. You don’t know anything about my theology. While you, apparently, feel perfectly confident assuming I don’t realize Jesus was Jewish.

    But, I am not going to highjack the thread by explaining theology to you. Too late. You hijacked the thread an hour ago in an attempt to “explain” theology – specifically, the theology you assume Rev. Wright subscribes to.

    If I lived my life at your level, I’d root around the internet for the scariest statements I could find from uber-Catholic Mel Gibson and the most backwoods Missouri Synod Lutherans, to impute them to you.

    But I’m not going to do that, because I am a more honorable, less bigoted, and more honest person than you.

  283. Jim Bob,

    We agree.

    Obama is being criticized for having listened to someone else say things.

    Apparently Wright has voodoo powers and turns his church members into Zombies that carry out his will.

  284. joe,

    That was pure hubris.

    Reminds me of my old motto…

    I’m more smug than you!!!!

  285. er,

    n fact a little too much fixedness on Paul makes me wonder about other people might be crazy.

    makes me wonder if other people might be crazy.

  286. Apparently Wright has voodoo powers and turns his church members into Zombies that carry out his will.

    We can turn it into a punk diddy ~

    Guilt! Guilt! Guilt by Ass-o-c-i-a-tion.

    Guilt! Guilt! Guilt by Ass-o-c-i-a-tion.

  287. The fact that Obama attends services at Trinity and still developed the philosophy he’s been articulating about transcending racial mistrust and insularity, makes him look even better in my eyes that if he’d come to that stance after years attending some bland, happy-happy church.

    It speaks well of him morally, and intellectually.

  288. Tall,
    No newsletter… I just want to know why people like you think it is a good idea to keep the details regarding Project MKNAOMI secret?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKNAOMI

    what kind of jollies do you get in acting as if we never had bio weapons programs? and if you do acknowledge that we did then when did the government turn into altruisitic guardians of humanity and change their ways…and if they did change their ways then why not come clean about the details? and if they refuse to come clean about this stuff then why are you so confidenet they wouldn’t do worse than has been made public.

    It should be clear from the disregard they have shown for millions of innocents around the world that they do not care a lot about innocent people like you and me and this is why I am suspicious of their bio-weapons programs. Forgive me for this crazy paranoia of mine.

  289. But, in particular, we must face the deeply ambiguous question of the present power and position of America. I have said it before and will say it again: I am not anti-American when I criticise some policies of some American leaders, any more than I am anti-British when I criticise some of the policies of my own elected leaders. To suggest otherwise is simply a cheap way of avoiding the real questions; and when I said similar things to this in America a couple of weeks ago I found a great many Americans eager to agree.

    A wise man said this.
    Can you guess who John?

    Does it apply to Wright’s comments in your mind

  290. A mash up of NT Wright and A Wright needs to be done by someone.

  291. That’t NT and J. Wright, I mean.

  292. Is the concept of an “Icelandic country” racist? Icelanders are ethnically pretty homogenous, you know. The same goes for, I don’t know, about 90% of the countries in the world.

    Did you take a country filled with people and move those Icelanders into it and then only allow those Icelanders full citizenship, forcing out those that already lived there? No? Ok, then we are talking about completely different things.

  293. The intellectual dishonesty or outright stupidity on some of these threads is astounding.

  294. On the “blaming America” thing.

    Yes we cannot by any means blame the people of this country for voting for or for “not voting” against the politicians we have in office. Just because they vote or “not vote” them into power it doesn’t mean they should be responsible for correcting their mistakes. You obviously hate your country if you want to point out its perceived ignorance. Our leaders are empowered by our apathy. While one might blame America for their willingness to live in this wasteland, one can hardly say that Americans do not get the government that they deserve. To think otherwise is the epidemy of welfarism. Personal responsibility does not mean immunity from criticism, but oversensitiveness of many and paronoia of a few do create this environment. Of course if one looks around and likes the America it sees, then that person also hates America.

  295. bizzaro world alert…this race specific bio weapon must not exist either. Wired magazine is jsut a bunch of paleo nutjobs.

    http://www.wired.com/politics/law/news/1998/11/16272

    From “Polio, Hepatitis B and AIDS: An Integrative Theory on a Possible Vaccine Induced Pandemic”
    By
    Leonard G. Horowitz, D.M.D., M.A., M.P.H.

    Ok you guys don’t like the idea of the US being involved in race specific bioweapons so this MD must also be a complete kook.

    “Relatedly, in a recovered interview, Dr. Hilleman reported unwittingly importing AIDS virus into North America in contaminated monkeys destined for vaccine research and development at Merck.22 Likewise, Dr. Hilleman’s coauthor and senior Merck vaccine developer, Benjamin Sweet, expressed regret that their early SV40 contaminated polio vaccines may have contributed to contemporary cancer epidemics. “[N]ow, with the theoretical links to HIV and cancer,” he reported in 1998 on the internet, “it just blows my mind.”23”

    from this article here:
    http://notaids.com/en/morehepb

    all footnoted and written by people who know more about dieseases than any of you yet you just trust that the governemnt wouldn’t do anything really bad.

  296. Gabe Harris,

    UNCLE!!! UNCLE!!!!!!!

  297. (“a country and a culture controlled by rich white people”

    I wish I were a rich white person.

  298. (“a country and a culture controlled by rich white people”

    I wish I were a rich white person.

    Chin up, Paul. All you have to do is work hard, pay your bills regularly, stay out of trouble, don’t antagonize authorities, avoid spicy foods, and
    one day, before you know it, you too will be rich AND white!

  299. Jews definitely run the world.

    Oh wait, that is probably just my world since both my boss, my wife and my son are jewish.

  300. The same magazine that barbequed Ron Paul for having his name on a couple of newsletters that were written 10 years ago and were racist, now like Obama even more for going to a black supremicist church for over 20 years. Jesus Jessee, is this supposed to be comedy?

    Bullshit and you fuckin’ know it. I challenge you list those “Black Supremecist” statements the (rightfully) angry black preacher made.
    That is a bullshit untruth. Your lying or stupid. Pick one.

  301. Wright is a Black Liberation Theologist. Black Liberation Theology beleives the black race is God’s chosen people. If that is not Black Supremecy, what is?

    Linky link?

    I got to the party late and am slowly catching up. It least we’ve evolved socially enough that papists get a pass from their spiritual leaders dambassery. I guess that is some progress.

  302. Paul | March 18, 2008, 2:55pm | #

    (“a country and a culture controlled by rich white people”

    I wish I were a rich white person.”

    Didn’t work out so good for Michael Jackson…

  303. Some people want to whip up hostility between the races as part of their political program, and some people want to help our society get past that.

    I’m damn proud of the side I’m on.

    As much as I cringe while posting this, joe and I are on the same side here.

  304. Lissen, you guys are libertarians, Obama claims to be a Christian AND he attends church. Now ordinarily, those two admissions would be enough for at least 250 comments going postal on his sorry backside. What gives?

    TWC, you know I’m an equal opportunity theist basher. This ain’t the thread for me to debunk the god delusion. This is a thread to slam fuckwad racist fools.

  305. Jesse: Sorry if I skipped over a post addressing this, but isn’t the real elephant in the corner that everyone is talking around but not looking at this simple fact: African Americans who spout quasi-racist views have frequently gotten a pass, particularly within their own group, because that group believes the centuries of oppression and exploitation they have suffered justifies these kinds of expressions, which they believe are not justified when spoken by members of other races who have not experienced similar suffering? Obama alludes to this in his speech, but I think he was too subtle by not taking it on directly. When are the members of Wright’s church and others like it going to admit that such rhetoric, no matter how justified they feel it is, does nothing for the advancement of racial harmony in this country, and has little in common with Christian principles? Is there white racism in this country? Sure. Is it always addressed and condemned vigorously? Maybe not. But so what? Until the African American community reaches at least the same broad consensus as exists in the white community that such sentiments should be condemned, this issue is going to be a thorn in the side of any African American running for high office. Obama took on the issue, but not strongly enough, in my opinion.

    If you want to test the “reasonableness” of Wright’s comments, just substitute “Jew” for “white”, and see how what that looks like.

  306. ok let’s recap:

    1) jesus was a swarthy jew.

    2) he killed himself in order as part of a complicated anti-semitic plot that would forever place the jewish people as the underdog and garner sympathy while they enacted their plots.

    3) profit???

    did i miss anything?

  307. If it’s any consolation, Ron, you are far from the first person to use the phrase he took on the issue, but not strongly enough, in my opinion when discussing a political leader’s program to fight racism and promote racial justice.

  308. Joe: Hi, I haven’t been posting much in the last year, but couldn’t resist on this one. My point is that Obama had an opportunity to hit a home run here, and seal-up the Democratic nomination and possibly the Presidency, but he hit a triple. Very good, but probably not quite enough.

  309. That speech was amazing, and I think Obama just turned a major crisis for his campaign into a gain.

  310. Ron,

    Hitting a triple against that stuff is fine. He’s already ahead. All he had to do was to keep this from sinking him, and he did that and then some.

    You know what they’re calling it on CNN? “The most important speech on race since Martin Luther King’s I Had A Dream speech.”

  311. Say, I wonder what Reverend Wright thinks about it?

    It’s like the Sermon on the Mount. I’m going to stop thinking of Obama as a mere mortal and start praying to him. (Just kidding, joe. Enjoy the good times. . .until he betrays and murders us all, like all good national politicians).

  312. I mean, The Rev Wright story gave Obama a massive soapbox and spotlight to talk at length about race. Obama, the best speech giver by far running, about race, one of the major sources of his support, and he absolutly killed it. Potentially not the best idea if the video was leaked to hurt him.

    This is a watershed moment in his campaign, and he may ride it to victory. Just a stunning turn of events, because really, his campaign was starting to get boring. Which is bad for him.

  313. So when Robert Byrd retires, if John Kerry says something like “it’s too bad you never ran for president when you were younger” at his retirement party, I fully expect Jesse, joe, and ChiTom to call him out for being a disgusting racist.

    Also, they’d better change his actual quote to “it’s too bad we never got a chance to lynch some niggers,” just as they did creative editing to Trent Lott’s actual quote in this thread.

  314. John Kerry would never say that. Trent Lott would. That’s the difference.

  315. I stuck my tongue in Reverend Wright’s cornhole, while he was shooting heroin. He never said anything hateful to me, even though I am a white hillbilly homo.

    But the Reverend is not being truthful about his past, so I am suing the Trinity Church for 3.9 million dollars for trying to silence me. I will be taking a Reverse Speech test by renowned experts to prove this.

  316. Robert Byrd:
    Byrd explained that he was a member because he “was sorely afflicted with tunnel vision-a jejune and immature outlook-seeing only what I wanted to see because I thought the Klan could provide an outlet for my talents and ambitions.”[10] Byrd also said, in 2005, “I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times … and I don’t mind apologizing over and over again. I can’t erase what happened.”

    Now let me see if I get this right.

    Obama is a radical because

    He went to church at Trinity
    Which has a pastor who said some provocative things.
    And that’s like Trent Lott wishing Thurmond’s Dixiecrat- single issue pro-segragationist presidency had saved us from “all these troubles.”
    And since Obama is a Democrat, the fact that Robert Byrd, a former KKK member is also a Democrat means that Obama’s party is very tolerant of racists…so he should expect no political heat from his party for his radical Black Nationalist Ideology…

    Right?

  317. Oh, wait…I forgot the important part.

    MOST PEOPLE see Obama as “The Black Candidate” and are very soft in their support because they are afraid he will turn out to be the Black Panther’s Final Solution.

    All they need is some tiny piece of evidence to tie him to Black Militants, and his campaign is toast as whites everywhere run from his covert Black Nationalist Agenda.

    Or something.

  318. J Sub D,

    Read the thread you moron. Read the links to the church;’s website which says that it is a black liberation theology church and lists Cone as its spiritual inspiration. Then read the Cone quotes. Wright has never made any secret of his admiration for Cone and his embrace of black liberation theology. This is not backwoods stuff. It is very mainline. Black Liberation Theology has been around since the 1960s and Wright is adherent. Stop playing Joe and denying reality. Don’t accuse me of not providing links. Read the fucking thread before you shoot off your mouth.

  319. “Right, he is not “black” as we use the term today. However, he was the Roman-era equivalent; a darker-skinned member of a racial minority whose appearance and ethnic background marked him as belonging to a lower strata of society than the people who were running things.”

    And yet, he ended up the King of Kings, which speaks well of his Jewish mother.

  320. Joe of course the media calls it a great speech. He could have gotten up and said he wanted to kill whitey and they would have called it that. The fact is though the media doesn’t matter. Independent white voters matter and what they see is a guy who goes to a leftist black supremicist get the US out of North America Church and makes excuses for the paster and talks about how right he is for being angry. This is going to be the death of him. His only hope was that no one noticed. Well, now that he has said something, people will notice and no amount of spinning from the media is going to change that.

  321. John,

    You are full of shit on this one.

  322. I wish he had said, “Kill Whitey.” Then this stupid election would actually have become entertaining.

  323. joe:

    Are you sure about that? You’re sure John Kerry always runs everything he says at informal social gatherings past a focus group first to make sure they can’t be interpreted in a bad way? Judging by his “botched joke” about dead American soldiers a couple of years ago, I doubt it.

    In any case, if a Democratic senator said such a thing at Byrd’s retirement, would you count it as evidence of racism or not?

  324. John,

    The fact is though the media doesn’t matter. Independent white voters matter and what they see is a guy who goes to a leftist black supremicist get the US out of North America Church and makes excuses for the paster and talks about how right he is for being angry.

    I don’t think you have a very good sense of what matters to the average “independent white voter” in this country.

    Really.

    You find this important, so you assume that everyone else must also.

    I don’t buy it.

  325. And btw

    a leftist black supremicist get the US out of North America Church

    You’ve gone so far into hyperbole that you are stringing together random scary sounding words into a meaningless jumble.

  326. Hershal,

    How do we know Jesus was a Jew? He lived at home until he was thirty, never got married, and his mother thought he was God.

    John,

    HA HA!

    Priapus,

    You’re sure John Kerry always runs everything he says at informal social gatherings past a focus group first to make sure they can’t be interpreted in a bad way? No, what I’m sure about is that John Kerry, unlike Trent Lott, is not a racist who looks back fondly on the days of segregation, before we had “all these troubles.”

    And if someone made a positive reference to Robert Byrd’s time in the Klan, of course I would take it as a racist statement! How else could one interpret such a statement?

  327. The media doesn’t matter; and yet, the only reason the American people are opposed to the Iraq War is because of the media.

    You can learn a lot from John.

    Now he’s going to swear at me again.

  328. Priapus,

    See Byrd’s take on his KKK past above.

    Unless I am confused, Thurmond never specifically renounced his segregationist positions, although he abandoned fighting for them when it became politically untenable.

    Do you see that as a difference?

    Remember…Lott praised Thurmond’s single-issue presidential campaign, not his later career.

  329. All right, joe, at least you’re consistent on that hypothetical; but it still seems to me that many here are willing to give Kerry or Biden (remember “articulate and clean”?) the benefit of the doubt regarding such gaffes, while still crucifying Lott for his. Personally, when someone says something that could be interpreted in a good way or a bad way, I assume the good was intended, so I’m equally happy assuming Obama sat in church and rolled his eyes when his pastor said these hateful things and assuming Lott was just trying to be nice to a guy with one foot in the grave at his birthday party.

  330. Wow, this is really fun-liberation theology, conspiracies, racist fringe groups, and fidelity to goofy friends. I’m sorry I didn’t get into this earlier. My post isn’t nearly as exciting, but here it is anyway.
    1) I belong to a particular large, organized, Christian denomination, but I have to do plenty of mental gymnastics to remain one. I’m ok with that, since I’ve always believed that most of us are members of a church for reasons other than a rational evaluation of the totality of our particular church’s teachings. (Social and cultural reasons come to mind first.)
    2) Therefore, I accept Sen. Obama’s explanation of his position as, in fact, an explanation of his position. He contrived this explanation, as a candidate for political office, in response to questions which he probably hoped not to have to answer. With a few others of you, I find certain aspects of this position refreshing and insightful. It matters little to me whether or not he believes it to the depths of his soul or whether he has always believed it. It is now part of his platform, and he and his bureaucracy should be held accountable, if he’s elected president.
    3) This one element of his candidacy– essentially positive, in my view– probably does not override all the other reasons not to support him, especially for folks like us who think government cannot and should not try to fix everything. I am still somewhat undecided, because…
    4) … our choices are, as others have pointed out, rather poor once again. We will not achieve any of our objectives with any of the candidates. And here’s another blinding flash of the obvious: it appears, fellow lunatics, that we are sadly out of step with the overwhelming majority of American voters who expect our government to deliver a risk-free society, with certain civil liberties held to be expendable for the “greater good.”

  331. If you don’t have a friend…who occasionally expresses a nutty opinion…or an impolitic truth…then you really, really need to get out more.

    There’s something to be said for standing up for your friends, even the ones with goofball opinions.

  332. “John | March 18, 2008, 12:39pm | #

    The bottomline is that Reason would never give a white politician this kind of pass. It didn’t give Ron Paul a pass. Why does Obama get a pass?”

    Because Obama has never, ever, made staements similar to what Wright (or Paul) has made. If Obama had, he would be done.

    I hear a “but but…” in response. It doesn’t matter if Paul actually wrote the nutty things he was accused of writing, or if it was merely a ghostwriter. The solicitation letter in particular was written in the first person, on stationary that read “Congressman Ron Paul”, was signed by Paul, and refered (again, in the first person) to Paul’s experience as a doctor. If Wright’s speech was in the form of a letter written on stationary that said “Senator Barack Obama” and featured his signature, he would be just as toast as Paul was.

  333. A disappointing thread. Boring.

  334. A vacuous comment. Inconsequential.

  335. First, I don’t think Senator Obama ought to be held strictly accountable for the views of his pastor or of his wife, who have both made public statements which, one hopes, do not represent Sen. Obama’s views. Sen. Obama isn’t asking voters to elect Rev. Wright or Mrs. Obama.

    But the statements of Rev. Wright and Mrs. Obama are certainly worse than anything in the Ron Paul Report. The oh-so-clever joke about the USofKKKA, the request that “G__ d___ America,” the idea that the US govt. invented AIDS as a weapon against people of color – of course, if I could see the full context of these statements maybe there would be some innocent explanation. But I doubt it.

    But I think Sen. Obama’s Checkers Speech may be just the thing to get him past this thing. The speech (what I saw of it) was pure genius. The backdrop of American flags, the high-minded discourse on surmounting our racial problems, and the thing about his old grandmother – priceless. And the media eats it up. This could be a plus for the Senator.

    (If anyone made the forgoing points already, I’m sorry for the repetitiveness)

  336. But the statements of Rev. Wright and Mrs. Obama are certainly worse than anything in the Ron Paul Report. The oh-so-clever joke about the USofKKKA, the request that “G__ d___ America,” the idea that the US govt. invented AIDS as a weapon against people of color – of course, if I could see the full context of these statements maybe there would be some innocent explanation. But I doubt it.

    One question I have for the Senator. Obama, you are clearly an intelligent guy. An urbane man, quite a cut above average. How could you sit in the pew year after year listening to someone who is as banal and common and boorish as Jeremiah Wright? Even if you did not hear the more incendiary comments he made, certainly whatever else he had to say could not have engaged your mind. I am beginning to appreciate the sacrifices that you have made to reach the goals you have in your political life because my brain would have went catatonic if I was in that pew with you.

  337. Similar to what Ross Douhat has written, liberals would be up in arms if McCain had as close a relationship with an outspokenly homophobic preacher, as they were when McCain was endorsed by Pat Robertson.

    Is this a serious comment? Republicans have had close relationships with “outspokenly homophobic” preachers for over 30 years.

    Endorsed by Pat Robertson (even though I think you meant John Hagee, another nut)? Hell, Pat Robertson ran for president as a Republican in 1988 and got millions of votes. He also, by the way, blamed America for 9/11 just the same as Jeremiah Wright. Well, he blamed America for tolerating homosexuals and abortionists who were the actual cause of 9/11. Hagee blamed homos in New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina. Both remain respected members of the Republican Party to this day.

  338. Nice speech, but little evidence that he has even thought beyond the box of standard-issue left-liberalism. Something like mentioning school choice would take real audacity.

    http://alanbock.blogspot.com/2008/03/obamas-racy-talk.html

  339. How could you sit in the pew year after year listening to someone who is as banal and common and boorish as Jeremiah Wright?

    alan,

    Let’s not forget: you have seen approximately 4 clips of 5-10 seconds each, edited together by people trying to make the man look as bad as possible. I don’t think it’s fair for you to draw a conclusion about the totality of is ministry from that.

  340. Joe,

    I deliberately put the incediary nature of his words to the side, and only concentrated on the quality of mind of someone who could speak of the ‘USofKKKA’.

    To put it in context, I had two professors one semester back in ’92.

    One was a Marxist, and he was a very thoughtful man, who had a grasp of the entire modern history of socialist thinking, from Comte to modern variations.

    In a discussion on Lange, the professor was speaking on the problems of economic calculation. I was reading Mises at the time, and I brought up Mises’ counter arguments as they were fresh in my mind. The professor grew excited and animated, and invited me to his office where we spoke for two hours. After that we became chess partners for the remaining few months.

    The other professor was a, well, a Democrat. He loved to turn his index fingers into quotation marks while uttering things like, ‘trickle down economics’, and state uninformed things like, ‘Bush is talking about cutting taxes during this recession, but some economist say we should raise them’ (even a Keynesian would not say something that silly, plus ignoring the fact Bush did raise taxes the year before). I kept my mouth shut during the clown’s performances, but when I wasn’t being galled by his bizarro world logic (you should have heard his opinions on child care), I was utterly bored in his class. If it wasn’t for the fact I needed those credit hours, I would have sprung from his pews on day one.

  341. This isn’t why I’m against Obama. If it were just over his association with somebody with extreme opinions, I wouldn’t be one of Ron Paul’s long time supporters. I oppose Barack Obama mostly because he’s a socialist.

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