Do We Mind Disturbing the Priest? Not at All, Not at All, Not in the Least

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Here's Hillary Clinton on Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

"I think that given all we have heard and seen, he would not have been my pastor," Clinton said at a news conference after being asked if Obama should have left the church.

Clinton was ready for the question at her news conference, and read much of her response from notes, unlike her handling of other questions.

"We don't have a choice when it comes to our relatives," she said. "We have a choice when it comes to our pastors and the churches we attend. Everyone will have to decide these matters for themselves. They are obviously very personal matters."

If Wright were her pastor, she said, "the choice would be clear."

Here's the pastor of Hillary Clinton's former church, Dean Snyder, on Jeremiah Wright.

To evaluate his dynamic ministry on the basis of two or three sound bites does a grave injustice to Dr. Wright, the members of his congregation, and the African-American church which has been the spiritual refuge of a people that has suffered from discrimination, disadvantage, and violence. Dr. Wright, a member of an integrated denomination, has been an agent of racial reconciliation while proclaiming perceptions and truths uncomfortable for some white people to hear. Those of us who are white Americans would do well to listen carefully to Dr. Wright rather than to use a few of his quotes to polarize.

See, this is what happens when you play keep-away with the eucharist—you empower religious leaders to run the debate. And really, I can't imagine Clinton doing a worse job of handling this. She avoided commenting on Wright for twelve days. At the height of the controversy Marc Ambinder reported that "campaign manager Maggie Williams issued an edict to staff members" to shut up about the story. They were clearly waiting to see if the story would torpedo Obama, and when it didn't, and the "Bosnia hawk down" story started to get traction, Clinton yelled "Hey! Look over there!" It might be the most disingenuous statement about religion in politics since Jim Traficant got beamed up.

I am moving closer and closer to the conspiracy theory that she is setting up Obama to play Al Smith to John McCain's Herbert Hoover.

Headline explained here.

NEXT: More Kathryn Johnston Fallout in Atlanta

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  1. If she doesn’t get the nomination she and Bill are going to snipe at Obama for the entire general election.

  2. It is a humbling experience to learn how easily I was manipulated by some media assassin with an editing program into believing the hype about Wright.

    My only consolation is that I was hardly alone.

  3. Cesar, don’t you think that would put her own seat as risk?

  4. Cesar, don’t you think that would put her own seat as risk?

    Did it put Ted Kennedy’s seat at risk when he sniped at Carter in 1980 even after losing?

    Exactly.

  5. This Obama line is my favorite:

    “He didn’t just cross the line,” Obama said. “He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America?It was a degrading comment. It’s one that I’m not interested in supporting.”

    Was he talking about Rev. Wright? No, that was Don Imus, whom he demanded MSNBC fire.

    But hey, I’m just a “typical white person” so what do I know.

  6. Here’s the pastor of Hillary Clinton’s former church, Dean Snyder, on Jeremiah Wright.

    Holy CRAP! You mean that Twisted Sister Transvestite is now a pastor. Damn! Stick that in your grail Tipper! [maniacal laugh]Haa ha ha ha ha

    What?… Oh DEAN Snyder

  7. But hey, I’m just a “typical white person” so what do I know.

    Republican talking points?

  8. TallDave,

    Your check is in the mail.

  9. I think this will end up working about as well as when they accused Bill Clinton of being a secret Communist agent in 1992.

  10. Shilly D, conspiracy theories are fun, but do you really think Hillary is that much of a strategist? We’re talking chess moves here, ones that take years. They require patience, planning, and guessing lots of stuff right. They’re basically impossible to pull off.

    And do you really think she’s willing to take the risk? She has a chance here. Not a great one, but it’s there.

  11. The main problem with this primary is that there is very little substantive policy difference between the two candidates.

    This encourages the worst tactics in an attempt to make a distinction between the two.

    And now that the republicans can concentrate, they can snipe from the outside to keep things stirred up, discrediting both of their potential opponents.

    Obama and Clinton would be wise to avoid the trap…but they won’t be.

  12. Can someone explain to me why Rasmussen always has McCain up +10 when all the other polls have him up +1 or tied?

  13. Perception is “reality” based on a meme. I now live in Atlanta I can’t count the number of greasy-haired Bushnecks around here who call the ACLU “anti-American” for safeguarding our Bill of Rights. Working up religious fervor is the oldest political game there is.

    “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” – Seneca.

  14. Well, TD, I surely don’t recall Wright ever calling anyone nappy-headed hoes.

    Not that it was particularly judicious for Imus to be fired, but still, his comments were far less interesting and far more insulting than anything Wright had to say. Except for the HIV thing, which was just stupid.

  15. Cesar,

    Their methods are either substantially better or worse than the others at capturing the truth.

    Impossible to tell which it is, unfortunately.

  16. What?… Oh DEAN Snyder

    I’m surprised the Clinton’s ever had him as a mentor after the piss poor job he’s done of running the Redskins.

  17. I missed the part where Wright called people “blue eyed devils” or “red-necked crackers”. Then it would be like Imus.

  18. Those of us who are white Americans would do well to listen carefully to Dr. Wright rather than to use a few of his quotes to polarize.

    “But what about the days I DIDN’T wear a skirt to school! No one talks about that!”

    — Milhouse Van Houten

  19. TallDave,

    So that would mean you see the whole polarizing thing as good for the country?

    Got it.

  20. I will point out that the polls on this issue still show a vast majority of people find it unimportant.

    The edges screaming at each other over the rational majority again.

    Annoying, but the price of freedom of speech.

  21. So, taking Imus out of context wasn’t polarizing?

    Got it.

  22. Wright is sort of a black ARchie Bunker. I give him credit for being an equal opportunity hater of anyone who is not black. He apparently hates Italians to:
    (CNSNews.com) – Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., pastor emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago where Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has been a member for two decades, slurred Italians in a piece published in the most recent issue of Trumpet Newsmagazine.

    “(Jesus’) enemies had their opinion about Him,” Wright wrote in a eulogy of the late scholar Asa Hilliard in the November/December 2007 issue. “The Italians for the most part looked down their garlic noses at the Galileans.”

    Wright continued, “From the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth (in a barn in a township that was under the Apartheid Roman government that said his daddy had to be in), up to and including the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ death on a cross, a Roman cross, public lynching Italian style. …

    “He refused to be defined by others and Dr. Asa Hilliard also refused to be defined by others. The government runs everything from the White House to the schoolhouse, from the Capitol to the Klan, white supremacy is clearly in charge, but Asa, like Jesus, refused to be defined by an oppressive government because Asa got his identity from an Omnipotent God.”

    http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics.asp?Page=/Politics/archive/200803/POL20080326a.html

  23. I think that given all we have heard and seen, he she would not have been be my pastor president…..

  24. Words of wisdom from Neu Mejican @ 11:41.

    Add to this need to inflate any distinction or flaw into epic proportions the reliance by the Democratic Party on identity politics and a grievance/entitlement mentality, and the Dems current mess is inevitable, in a Greek tragedy kind of way.

  25. Oh and
    SSSSAAAABBAAAATTTTHHHH!!!

  26. do you really think Hillary is that much of a strategist? We’re talking chess moves here, ones that take years. They require patience, planning, and guessing lots of stuff right.

    Hillary – or rather, her campaign, who knows how much of this is her – has done an excellent job of fighting strategically, rather than tactically, during this election. She picks fights not so much to win them, but to shape the battlefield.

    For example, the charges she levelled the Obama had plagiarized his own campaign chair when used that “Just words?” shtick. She lost that fight – she might as well have accused him of plagiarizing his speech writers, the accusation was absurd – but because they had the fight, Obama had to stop using that line. Once they had the fight, even after he’d won it, if he’d trotted that bit of rhetoric out, people would have thought of the controversy first, rather than what he was saying. So, basically, she took a very effective arrow out of his quiver, even though she superficially “lost” that fight.

    So, yeah, I can see Hillary Clinton thinking a few moves ahead.

  27. Yeah, Romney looks pretty classy and foresighted for dropping out when he could have held on.

    Hillary, otoh, is giving every indication of taking this all the way to the convention even though her own people say there’s almost no chance she can win.

  28. the reliance by the Democratic Party on identity politics and a grievance/entitlement mentality

    Somehow that is beautifully ironic wording.

  29. If you give me six lines written by the most honest man, I will find something in them to hang him. (Cardinal Richelieu)

    If all men knew what others say of them, there would not be four friends in the world. (Blaise Pascal)

    Old standards of propriety and decency are irrelevant in a world that records every spoken word and has lost the capacity to forget any incident, no matter how trivial.

  30. The magazine links to the first page of Wright’s article:

    http://www.trumpetmag.com/pdf/nov_dec_message.pdf

    I suppose that you have to pay them to get the full context – which I’m not interested in doing.

    I imagine that the full context would be something like this, thus showing the danger of publishing selected excerpts for polarization purposes:

    “(Jesus’) enemies had their opinion about Him. The Italians for the most part looked down their garlic noses at the Galileans.” Omitted portion: “I, for one, love garlic and I think Italians are just wonderful.”

    Wright continued, “. . . Jesus’ death on a cross, a Roman cross, public lynching Italian style.” Omitted portion: “But please remember, folks, the Italians gave us opera and spaghetti, so God wants us to love them, the dears.”

    “The government runs everything from the White House to the schoolhouse, from the Capitol to the Klan, white supremacy is clearly in charge . . .” Omitted portion: “Ha ha, just kidding.”

  31. An anti-Clinton talking point is that Clinton shouldn’t be elected because the way she’s run her campaign is mediocre. Now you’re telling us she has strategic vision? I’m so confused!

  32. If I can just keep sniping the libertarians will not notice all the anti-liberty stuff that McCain stands for…just gotta keep the pressure up.

    Distract.
    Distract.
    Distract.

    Luckily, there are many republicans who think that they are libertarians who will show up and help me create an effective echo chamber.

    [rubs hands]

  33. Does this mean I get an apology?

  34. Hey, look at that: the same talking point appearing independently on the same thread, just a few minutes apart.

    Who woulda thunk it?

  35. I miss being a Senate Leader.

  36. Wait, but joe | March 26, 2008, 12:05pm | #

    An anti-Clinton talking point is that Clinton shouldn’t be elected because the way she’s run her campaign is mediocre. Now you’re telling us she has strategic vision? I’m so confused!

    Wait a second, you mean I’m repeating talking points atrributed to “my side,” but making arguments that make the opposite point?

    Gee, you don’t say. I must be quite the shill.

  37. Sweet! Now I can be an NFL announcer again!

    Thanks Mr. Weigel!

  38. Mark Fuhrman to Trent Lott.

    Yeah, those damned niggers ruined it all for us, huh?

  39. Yeah, like any of you thought the answer was “naggers.”

  40. In other news, the American Conservative (or at least one of their writers) came out for Obama.

  41. Trent Lott to Mark Fuhrman

    You got that brother.

  42. So, yeah, I can see Hillary Clinton thinking a few moves ahead.

    Is she desperately clinging on or playing brilliant chess? Which is it?

    Everybody tries to think a few moves ahead. Shilly D alluded to a conspiracy theory where she’s thinking 4 years ahead. Even if she has been playing good chess, I can’t subscribe to the idea that she’s playing “Obama gets nom but loses (because I help sink him) and then after 4 years of McCain, Hillary comes in and wins!”

    Dave, if I am characterizing that theory incorrectly, please let me know.

  43. Where were you guys during the “Hymietown” thing?

  44. Hey, look at that: the same talking point appearing independently on the same thread, just a few minutes apart.

    Who woulda thunk it?

    Man. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

  45. I missed the part where Wright called people “blue eyed devils”

    That was Mike Doughty…

  46. Hey, I’m a “racial realist” not a racist!

    Why does everyone take me out of context?

  47. Every thing is racist.
    Every thing is great.
    If word is racist
    The world gets quite irate.

    (sung to the tune of “every sperm”

  48. David Duke, et al…

    So apparently all racist statements and all those who say them are equally blameless…

    or something.

    Is that the point?

  49. Is she desperately clinging on or playing brilliant chess? Which is it?

    Both. She knows her chances are very small, and is working a strategy that is her sole remaining opportunity; destroy Obama, make him unelectable. If it doesn’t deny him the nomination, it might deny him the presidency, setting her up in 2012. (Actually, I’m on the fence about that last bit. I can just as easily see her conceding at some point, and suddenly “I admire Barack Obama, I have always admired Barack Obama.”

  50. Yeah Max, I am sure Wright just loves Italians and Jews and everyone else. Wright is a racist hate filled piece of shit. In this age you can be black and get buy with being that way by calling yourself an “afrocentrist”. Obama tells everyone how he is for unity. Okay, but the only people he seems to associate with are far leftists. He has never worked with anyone from the otherside of the political spectrum. Basically, he can bring the country together provided that we all become socialist afrocentrics like Reverend Wright.

  51. Is Wright going to be Obama’s Secretary of State or something? Or his nominee to the Supreme Court?

  52. Joe,

    I think Hillary might be too old in 2012, if not in age in spirit. She will have been on the national scene for 20 years by then. That is more than McCain today. No one really knew of McCain until 1992 and even then he wasn’t that big of a deal nationally. I think she thinks she can win and if she doesn’t she can have run such a tough fight, she will be the most important Democratic Senator for the next decade or more. Think about it, if Obama loses in November, who in the Senate will be a bigger dog than her on the Democratic side?

  53. I guess when there are so few of you, posting anonymously is a good way to make it look as if you aren’t a deluded fringe.

    Man. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Oh, Eric, didn’t you hear? I defend Wright beyond what Obama said, and don’t repeat the Democratic talking points about Clinton.

    You know, one of those people who spouts talking points, except when I don’t, at which point you yell Ah-ha!” and tell me I’m not spouting the party line, as if I’m supposed to care.

  54. Anytime a black person points out institutional racism they are being racist.

    When a white man makes a similar statement about blacks he is avoiding the oppressive PC attitude that controls the discourse in our culture.

  55. “Is Wright going to be Obama’s Secretary of State or something? Or his nominee to the Supreme Court?”

    No. Even Obama doesn’t have those kind of balls But the President appoints a lot of people. How many whackjobs who think like Wright will be filling various lower profile Presidential appointments?

  56. It’s about time someone stood up against these context-evading bastards!

  57. If a theoretical Obama loss has Hillary’s fingerprints on it, John, that isn’t going to help her gain a leadership position in the Democratic Party.

  58. deluded fringe.

    Woot! Time to drink!

  59. Anytime a white person says the government runs the KKK or makes some other lunatic statement like the government is behind 9-11, everyone calls him a lunatic because he is.

  60. John, he’d appoint the same people any run-of-the-mill liberal Democrat would.

    The way some conservatives talk about him though you would think hes secretly scheming to put all white people in concentration camps or something.

  61. Louis Farrakhan is just a misunderstood calypso artist who discovered dadaism and embarked on the worlds most subtle and long standing performance art project.

  62. I don’t think Wright ever said the government was behind 9/11. Hes a lot of things but hes not a troofer.

  63. Add to this need to inflate any distinction or flaw into epic proportions…

    Somebody did a campaign vid (viral perhaps) using two purported Dem supporters. One for Obama one for St Hill. Each picking at the other like a vulture. Each pick getting a little more snide until the clueless viewer (meaning me, not you) is left trying to figure out who the ad is supporting. Then Voila! Neither.

    Hey, lookit that, I found it.

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

  64. setting her up in 2012

    But that’s such a stretch. If she lost to the guy who lost to McCain, why nominate her?

    Yes, it’s better that she lose to Obama than McCain. But it’s still not good. I would think that she feels she is within striking distance of her vs. McCain, and that she could also win that. So why not pull out all the stops and go for it?

    It’s really a question of whether she thinks now, or 2012, gives her a better chance. Personally, I would think now is her best chance.

  65. That dadaist art project includes posting on libertarian discussion boards under the name “John.”

  66. “If a theoretical Obama loss has Hillary’s fingerprints on it, John, that isn’t going to help her gain a leadership position in the Democratic Party.”

    If Obama loses in November, can he really blame it on Hillary? Also, Hillary still has a lot of supporters. Her supporters are going to say, “we tried to warn you and look what happened.” If you are a true insurgent candidate like Pat Buchanan or Ralph Nader you can be blamed for torpedoing the nominee. But if you are mainstream and have a lot of supporters, you can just say, “I told you so.”

  67. I guess what I’m saying is I don’t know why the Republicans don’t attack him on his tax plan, or his socialist healthcare scheme, or his big-government tendencies.

    Theres so much out there to attack him on thats completely legitimate why drag out some preacher?

  68. “context”

    You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

    This is why right-wingers suck so badly at coopting the race card; they hear points made by liberals, and all they can hear is a collection of magic words.

    Hey, he said “context” to refute a charge of racism, so that means I just have to use the word “context” to refute any charge of racism.

  69. @Cesar

    Can someone explain to me why Rasmussen always has McCain up +10 when all the other polls have him up +1 or tied?

    I’m sure I don’t know, but I do know they called the last two elections closer than anyone else in the business. All of the pollsters methods seem to favor one side or the other, and Rasmussen’s thumb tends to be on the right side of the scale. All the same, if you compare their predictions against actual elections, they do a better than average job of calling the results.

  70. Anytime a white person says the government runs the KKK or makes some other lunatic statement like the government is behind 9-11, everyone calls him a lunatic because he is.

    I haven’t heard anyone disagree with that characterization. The man clearly believes some crazy sh*t about the government. You see, you can actually point to statements he made that demonstrate that.

    As opposed to the accusations that he preaches hatred, or is a racist.

  71. Back to the topic.

    I think Hillary’s pastor sounds like a wise man, she made a good choice to stick with him. I wonder if she will use his wise words the next time the media ask her about Wright?

  72. John,

    If Obama loses in November, can he really blame it on Hillary?

    That depends on what she does between now and November, no?

  73. Hey, he said “context” to refute a charge of racism, so that means I just have to use the word “context” to refute any charge of racism.

    Ah HA! So you’re one those context-evaders too!

    Dammit I really thought you were on my side.

    For many years, Farrakhan’s statements have sparked debate and controversy. Farrakhan has often insisted that critics take his comments out of context, thereby misrepresenting his beliefs. Religion scholar Mattias Gardell[18] argues that that is at least partly accurate. When considered in the context of Farrakhan’s typically lengthy lectures, Gardell argues that many of Farrakhan’s controversial comments take on a more nuanced or thoughtful meaning that cannot be conveyed in a sound bite. For his part, Farrakhan has also stated that much of America’s pecreption of him has been filtered by short media clips.

  74. America’s context-omission has come home to roost.

  75. See? They think it’s a magic word.

    But someone else, in a completely different situation, who said a completely different thing, also used the word “context.”

    This point is so incredibly fucking important that we must all bow down and acknowledge the troll’s unimpeachable logic.

  76. Is this REALLY the issue the election is going to be decided on? Really?

    We’re at war and in a recession, entitlements are going to bankrupt us in 25 years, and we’re spending our time debating the merits of black liberation theology?

  77. I think Hillary’s pastor sounds like a wise man, she made a good choice to stick with him.

    Actually, Dean Snyder is HRC’s former pastor. Hillary said you can choose your pastor, and clearly went cleric shopping when Snyder started going off-message.

  78. The important point about using context to elaborate the meaning of a statement is that the specifics of the context are what matters.

    One context will help to refute a charge of racism, another will help to support it.

    The context which makes Louis Farrakhan’s points more nuanced and thoughtful may not make them less racist…just more nuanced and thoughtful.

    Same for reverend Wright.
    In the context of being a pastor in an integrated church as part of an integrated denomination, his words may be more nuanced than they have been presented. When they are racist and nutty, however, that context doesn’t help.

  79. Sure, everyone talks about “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” No one mentions the record number of black appointments I made.

    Context, people. Context! And I mean the good joe kind of context, not whatever the alternative is.

  80. Ok I think everyone has decided they’re not going to vote for Reverend Wright.

  81. Ok I think everyone has decided they’re not going to vote for Reverend Wright.

    Speak for yourself. I like his anti-government stance.

  82. Cesar,

    I haven’t seen a poll, but how many people rank this in their topic ten issues?

    My guess,
    John
    Glenn Beck

  83. I know I’m just getting really, really fucking sick of hearing conservatives whine about it and I don’t even care for the left.

  84. Context, people. Context! And I mean the good joe kind of context, not whatever the alternative is.

    Magic words.

  85. George Wallace,

    The context for the segregation now statements did not include those black appointments.

    Those occurred in a different context.

  86. I’ve listened to an entire Farrakhan speech, back in the day. They used to be on public access cable.

    And the context usually shifted the racism, and didn’t get rid of it.

    For example, he clearly believed that there was a Jewish conspiracy to act collectively to advance the interests of Jews. But when he made this claim, he would hold it up as a perfectly acceptable thing for Jews to be doing and would advocate for blacks to do it, too.

    So his racism was more of the Archie Bunker “I hire Jews as lawyers because they’re clever and vicious!” variety and not the Adolf Hitler “Let’s kill Jews because they’re not really fully human!” variety.

    There are lots of people out there who think they aren’t racist because they find a way to paint their stereotypes in a positive light. I think Farrakhan was [often] one of those. Although I’m sure if I went looking I’d find a few statements that didn’t fit entirely into that envelope.

  87. I guess what I’m saying is I don’t know why the Republicans don’t attack him on his tax plan, or his socialist healthcare scheme, or his big-government tendencies.

    Theres so much out there to attack him on thats completely legitimate why drag out some preacher?

    If McCain questioned those policies someone just might ask what his policies are. That’s a losing proposition for candidates.

    Talking about the preacher doesn’t raise questions about McCain’s preacher. What church does he attend anyway?

  88. “the joe kind” = telling people to watch the sermon and see what Wright was actually saying.

    “the other kind” = sprinkling the word “context” about like fairy dust in the hope that people will not bother to consider what the speaker is actually saying.

  89. So I said a few bad things about Jews. What about the context? We accomplished great things!

  90. Uh, I don’t remember a “Hermann Goebbels”.

    I remember a Joseph Goebbels, and a Herman Goering.

    You clearly need to read some books.

  91. This is why right-wingers suck so badly at coopting the race card; they hear points made by liberals, and all they can hear is a collection of magic words.

    Hey, he said “context” to refute a charge of racism, so that means I just have to use the word “context” to refute any charge of racism.

    It’s almost like commandeering “liberal.”

  92. Nows I can be a Presidential advisor!

    Dis is da greatest country in da world.

    Dunno bout dat “comtest” though, sounds like something Meathead would say.

  93. Cesar | March 26, 2008, 12:47pm | #

    Uh, I don’t remember a “Hermann Goebbels”.

    I remember a Joseph Goebbels, and a Herman Goering.

    You clearly need to read some books.

    Context! Context! Double-plus contexty context!

    Ha! I really got you there, Cesar.

  94. Why don’t you love me anymore?

    (sob)

  95. What’s this about a wet t-shirt context?

  96. I am only applicable to the statements of lifelong advisors to Democrats running for President, as any fool can plainly see.

  97. Heh, cute.

    Once upon a time, you thought you had an argument, didn’t you?

  98. Wah wah wah, “teh Democrats.”

    Yup, that really is all there is here. That’s all there ever was here.

    By all means, troll, go ahead and put the statements of any of the racists you posed as in context. Explain to us how simply quoting “segregation now, segregation forever” doesn’t convey what Wallace was actually saying.

    You claim the meaning changes in context. OK, go head. Show us.

  99. Joe, come home. We haven’t seen you for weeks, and the kids really miss you.

  100. Uhhhh…context?

  101. Yeah, I’d waive the white flag, too.

  102. Hey Republicans, want to make people who usually can’t stand liberals vote for Obama just to spite you for over-playing this stupid “issue”?

    Keep it up!

  103. Fluffy,

    For example, he clearly believed that there was a Jewish conspiracy to act collectively to advance the interests of Jews. But when he made this claim, he would hold it up as a perfectly acceptable thing for Jews to be doing and would advocate for blacks to do it, too.

    This was also part of Malcolm X’s message, although he made it about whites rather than jews. It is also at the root of what Reverend Wright is preaching, as far as I can tell.

    The underlying message that communities need to pull together to rise above their situation is a positive one.

    I happen to have a problem with definitions of community that are based on race. They don’t seem very useful. However, when your community is defined from the outside based on race, it may make sense. In America’s recent history outside pressure on blacks to define their communities based race was much greater than it is today. I think Farrakhan and Wright are hold-overs from that time period.

  104. Campaign highlights to date:

    Wright is wrong.
    If it ain’t Barack, don’t fix it.
    Billary.

  105. By all means, troll, go ahead and put the statements of any of the racists you posed as in context.

    Clearly the point was precisely opposite: claims of “context” by racists are not exculpatory.

    Sir, I bow to your skill in namecalling, but as to logic you have none.

  106. The Wright thing will either come back or not come back to haunt Obama in the general, but I think the damage and undamage is done as far as the primaries are concerned.

    I’m far more impressed by the Clintonian spin around her outright fabrications about being shot at. I mean, “misspoke”? How about, “I lied, and nobody died?” With all due respect to joe, his earlier point about Clinton being good at strategy is false. She’s made some horrific blunders, and lying about something that was on video tape was a particularly bad one. Given the can’t-trust-a-Clinton baggage, she should’ve done everything in her power to at least appear honest and above duplicity. But her actions and words have repeatedly gone the other direction, unbullets and Florida/Michigan just being the most prominent of the bunch.

    Fact is, both of these candidates lack ready-for-prime-time status. Unfortunately, the opposition one of them is going to face is maybe too prime.

    By the way, while people like Hannity are all over this Wright business, it makes little sense for them to play that card now. They may prefer to face Clinton in the general, but something like this serves them much better coming out later. I smell a Clinton operative here, not a GOP one.

  107. Clearly the point was precisely opposite: claims of “context” by racists are not exculpatory.

    You haven’t shown any evidence Wright is a racist. You’re meerly asserting that Wright is a racist because of his words, and his words are racist because Wright, the racist, said them.

    Please, lecture us more about logic.

    I wouldn’t want my name on the crap you’re spouting either.

  108. Does the context around apparently-racist speech refute the assertion that it is racist?

    That depends on the actual context, dimwit.

    Sometimes, it does. Sometimes, the context doesn’t. To find out whether it does, you actually have to look at the context.

    No, none of the people you invoked look any better when you put their words in context. Viewed in context, “segregation now, segregation forever” means exactly what it means just as the sound bite.

    And Wright’s words do not mean what they have been asserted to mean when put into their proper context.

    Noting that words have a context does not, in fact, tell us whether that context adds or changes meaning.

  109. Incidentally, Rev. Wright was supposed to appear at a Tampa church (I think this week) but canceled, citing security concerns. I’m disappointed, ’cause I was going to go ask him whether he was a racist. You know, just to settle the dispute here at Hit & Run.

  110. Can’t believe only Warren noticed the relatively obscure Black Sabbath reference in the title of the piece.

  111. joe,

    Once again, I bow to your superior namecalling skills.

    No, none of the people you invoked look any better when you put their words in context.

    Which was my point.

  112. daveylee,

    It’s only surprising until you learn that Warren is, in fact, Ozzy Osbourne. Most of us here are celebrities of one sort or the other in disguise.

  113. Hah, you are wrong, ProL! Warren is Ronnie James Dio!

  114. Once again, I bow to your superior namecalling skills.

    When all you’ve got are “racist” and “surrender-monkey,” you’re not too hard to beat.

    Which was my point. No, you weren’t trying to make a point about Rev. Wright at all.

  115. Well, except Randy Marsh.

    She’s made some horrific blunders, and lying about something that was on video tape was a particularly bad one.

    Yea, that’s pretty amazing, especially considering how Kerry got nailed for his Christmas in Cambodia story with the lucky hat.

    I guess she just assumed no one would check.

  116. Once again, irony is totally lost on joe.

  117. A little context on the Gallup numbers: the Wright story broke on the 14th, the Speech was on the 18th.

    (You see what I did there, TallDave? I provided information that is not apparent from the limited amount of data presented, which helps in understanding the meaning of that data. That’s what’s called “context.”)

  118. It hasn’t hurt him much in general either FWIW.

    Republicans don’t know when to quit. The flap brought down his likability numbers even after they speech, they should’ve left it there.

    Keep playing it up and you’re going to look like idiots and drive people to vote for him just to spite you.

  119. (claps for joe)

    Hey, you’re learning!

  120. Episiarch,

    Of course you are correct. I’m Ozzy Osbourne. How embarrassing.

  121. See, TallDave, and if the “context” was different – if, for example, the story had broken on the 10th, and Obama had given his speech on the 14th, that “context” would be very different, and the data from the chart would mean something different.

    Because, you see, that’s the way “context” works; the specific information surrounding the data or statement in question – not merely the fact that such information exists, but the specific character of that information – helps us to understand the small amount of data better.

    Whereas simply observing that something HAS a context does not.

    (If you’re going to play dumb, I’m going to take you at your word.)

  122. It hasn’t hurt him much in general either FWIW.

    O rly?

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/general_election_mccain_vs_obama-225.html

    See where that blue line goes straight down?

  123. joe,

    And the difference between Wright’s context and all the others is… ?

  124. I also see it stopped falling and even ticked up after the speech.

    But keep talking about how he hates his grandma and hates white people. Forget about issues, personal destruction is where its at!

  125. I’m Ozzy Osbourne. How embarrassing.

    Indeed. Have you ever watched your own MTV show?

  126. I’m Ozzy Osbourne. How embarrassing. Indeed. Have you ever watched your own MTV show?

    You know, the federal government could probably cut drug use in half if they just took the DEA budget and used it to continuously rebroadcast that show.

  127. Forget about issues

    Well, we go to the polls with the elections we have, not the elections we might wish to have or have at a later date.

    It’s not like Dems are any better. Remember the release of Bush’s DUI 48 hours before the 2000 elections and forging memos about Bush’s Guard service in 2004?

  128. And the difference between Wright’s context and all the others is… ?

    …specific to each individual statement and speaker. That’s what context is, you know; the specific facts and statements surrounding something, which help to give it meaning.

    Viewed in context, the allegedly racist statements by Wright are not, in fact, racist statements.

    Viewed in context, the meaning of Wallace’s “segregation now, segregation forever” speech is exactly what you think it is if you only see that sound bite.

  129. Ceaser,

    He did throw his grandmother under the bus. As I listened to it I wanted to say “Well maybe if her daughter hadn’t married a deadbeat who ran off and left her daughter, grandma might have been more enlightened”. But that would have been impolite.

    There were some offensive things in the speech. Where he talks about how white people perceive that affirmative action is an injustice. Not that it is one but that those stupid white people who don’t realize that the real enemy is corporate America perceives it as an injustice. Well fuck Obama, it is an injustice and if he can’t see that, he is no racial healer.

  130. Is his grandmother still alive?

    If so, don’t you think he asked her permission to use this in the speech?

    The stupid stuff he said in the speech (the xenophobic anti-trade bull shit) wasn’t anything Hillary Clinton or John Edwards wouldn’t have said.

  131. Viewed in context, the allegedly racist statements by Wright are not, in fact, racist statements.

    They’re certainly hateful and race-based and loony. Are they specifically denigrating to whites? Well, if you think it would be racist to claim blacks invented and spread a disease to kill whites, then I think you’d have to say yes. I leave that to you.

    As for Wallace, many people don’t realize he later converted to the civil rights movement and appointed a record number of blacks to state positions. But that doesn’t make his segregation comments and other racist campaigning any less vile — any more than Wright’s other statements make his any less vile.

  132. The reason people really get upset about the grandma statement is because there are a lot of people out there who do, in fact, get scared when they’re on the street late at night and see a group of black males.

    It doesn’t make them racist, it means a lot of us have been conditioned to assume certain things that may or may not be true.

    FWIW I’ve had the same feeling before. I’m sure most people commenting on this blog have. Whether they want to admit it or not is another matter.

  133. They’re certainly hateful and race-based and loony. And you know this because you’ve watched Wright’s sermons, I assume, and have put the tightly-edited statements in context, right?

    Right? I mean, you wouldn’t opine on what something means in context without actually looking at that context, would you?

    Well, if you think it would be racist to claim blacks invented and spread a disease to kill whites, then I think you’d have to say yes. Wright doesn’t claim that “white people” invented AIDS to kill black people. He claims that the government did. Which is loony, but neither racist nor hateful. I see worse statements made about the government every day on these threads.

    As for Wallace, many people don’t realize he later converted to the civil rights movement and appointed a record number of blacks to state positions. But that doesn’t make his segregation comments and other racist campaigning any less vile His later actions are not the CONTEXT of his earlier words. They might be relevant context for understanding the entire arc of his life and beliefs, but they provide no context whatsoever for understanding the meaning of a speech he have years earlier.

  134. Wright doesn’t claim that “white people” invented AIDS to kill black people. He claims that the government did. Which is loony, but neither racist nor hateful.

    He also says whites control the government. Ergo, whites are responsible.

  135. Viewed in context, the allegedly racist statements by Wright are not, in fact, racist statements.

    It depends on the context. If the context includes the “black liberation theology” of which Wright is a major proponent, then it gets to be a lot harder to say that what he’s up to isn’t racially divisive and bigoted.

    But if all you care about is what he said that day, then, whatever, dude.

    See, the great thing about context is that there’s never only one.

    My take on the relevance of the whole thing continues to be “meh”, except for its usefulness in exposing Barack Obama to be just another cynical pol.

  136. I’m sure most people on here have said offensive things they wouldn’t say in mixed company before, too. Again I count myself among them.

    My point is people need to get down off their high horse sitting in judgement of others (Wright, Imus, whatever) and admit that they too have probably said or thought things that could be seen as racist. Until people admit that theres not going to be any further progress made on race in this country.

  137. I see worse statements made about the government every day on these threads.

    And if anyone on these threads has a close personal 20-year mentoring relationship with a Presidential candidate, that would be very damaging to said candidacy.

  138. exposing Barack Obama to be just another cynical pol.

    Yeah, it’s interesting that Barack’s Hawaiian upbringing was apparently very nonracial. It looks like he hooked up with Wright for local political reasons early in his career. Ironic.

  139. He also says whites control the government.

    Actually, if you could be bothered to actually look at the context, he postulates that a clique of rich, white people control the government. He does not, ever, generalize this control, or reponsibility for 1) the government’s actions or 2) any other racial oppression to white people as a whole.

    News flash: a clique of rich, white people DO control the government. Surely, you’ve noticed this. There are sometimes references to cocktail parties?

    This is where the comparisons to Jewish conspiracy theories or white supremacist churches breaks down. They actually do view membership in the hated racial or ethnic group as conferring collective guilt on everyone who belongs to those groups. Rev. Wright does not; he denounces such thinking. In the “God and Government” sermon, for example, he goes off on a tangent, talking about white presidents who were enlightened, changed the government, and fought the evils of segregation and slavery.

  140. R C,

    If the context includes the “black liberation theology” of which Wright is a major proponent, then it gets to be a lot harder to say that what he’s up to isn’t racially divisive and bigoted.

    It would be unwise to lump all adherents of black liberation theology into an undifferentiated mass. There are different strains, and there is the individual take on that broad category which individual religious leaders espouse.

    For example, both of the following statements can be said to be consistent with black liberation theology: “Black people need to fight white people,” and “The people on top use racist appeals to keep white and black people fighting each other.”

    And yet, those statements are directly contradictory.

    There are certainly black liberationist preachers who have a racist message, but just tells us we should ask the question about Rev. Wright. It doesn’t answer it for us.

  141. “They actually do view membership in the hated racial or ethnic group as conferring collective guilt on everyone who belongs to those groups. Rev. Wright does not; he denounces such thinking. In the “God and Government” sermon, for example, he goes off on a tangent, talking about white presidents who were enlightened, changed the government, and fought the evils of segregation and slavery.”

    In one sense you are right Joe, he only hates rich white people. Forgive me if I am not very comforted by that. Further, he certainly views white people with contempt. There are rich black people out there who work in banks and for the government but they are not the threat that the white people in those positions are. Basically, in Wright’s view anytime a white person gets in power he will do harm to others.

    Wright is a horrible racist human being Joe. Just admit it. You can still defend Obama by saying that he was young and needed to find his political identity so he put up with it the way a lot of black people do. But stop trying to defend Wright. He is thoroughly reprehensible.

  142. When white people who have heard of Black Liberation Theology proclaim it racist, I am reminded of one of my all time favorite song lyrics (I have quoted it here before):

    “I stare at things I don’t wanna see
    And selfishly assume they were done for me”

    “Can’t Forgive” Embrace

  143. In one sense you are right Joe, he only hates rich white people. Forgive me if I am not very comforted by that. Further, he certainly views white people with contempt. There are rich black people out there who work in banks and for the government but they are not the threat that the white people in those positions are. Basically, in Wright’s view anytime a white person gets in power he will do harm to others. Wow, you learned all of that from a 30 second, editted loop you saw on television? No Way!

    It’s funny, because the white pastor from Hillary’s Methodist church, who has actually, you know, met the man, worked with him, and become familiar with his ideas and ministry, says exactly the opposite. As do his superiors in the majority white United Church of Christ. (Do they count as white people in an position of power? Help me out here.) As do the white people who belong to his church, and have visited it.

    But you probably know better.

    Wright is a horrible racist human being Joe. Just admit it.

    Oh, well, no arguing with that logic.

    No, I mean it: there is no way to argue with that logic.

    “C’mon, joe, why can’t you just be nice and fair and admit that the things I keep asserting without evidence of logic are true?”

  144. Joe,

    I am sure Hitler was a hell of nice guy in person. I met some people overseas that could wow with their charm but had been guilty of some pretty awful things. I can only judge Wright by his statements. Decent people don’t think the government invented AIDS to kill black people. Pick anyone of his nutball things and go with it. Further, the Methodists are complete PC liberals. He really could be arguing to kill whitey and they wouldn’t say anything about it.

  145. News flash: a clique of rich, white people DO control the government. Surely, you’ve noticed this.

    Sigh.

  146. John would you have voted against Winston Churchill because he praised Mussolini at one time?

  147. Obama wouldn’t be the first President to hang around questionable people (many others come to mind) and he wouldn’t be the last.

  148. I can only judge Wright by the spin peole who have never spoken to him or even seen him preach have put on tightly edited, decontextualized clips put together for the purpose of misrepresenting his statements

    There, John, I fixed that for you.

    And, btw, the white Methodist Rev. Snyder didn’t say “he’s a nice guy.” He said he isnt’ a racist. Yes, John, he’s in a better position to make a judgement about that than you.

    Decent people don’t think the government invented AIDS to kill black people. Yes, they do. A very small number of them, anyway. You really have led sheltered, segregated life if you think that conspiracy theory is limited only to a fringe of bigots. Like the theory about different brands of malt liquor or energy drinks or cigarettes predominantly sold to black people containing “sterilizing agents,” it’s a fairly common anti-government conspiracy theory. It’s the black version of “the government is covering up UFOs.”

    Further, the Methodists are complete PC liberals. He really could be arguing to kill whitey and they wouldn’t say anything about it.

    Nice. Religious bigotry, race-baiting, and partisan horsehit in one neat little package.

  149. Also Joe, if Wright is not a hater and an awful person, why did Obama renounce him? You are always on here talking about how forceful Obama’s speech was in renouncing Wright but then you are on here saying how Wright is this wonderful guy. You sound like that old law school canard about how the guy defending the case where his client was accused of stealing a pot and breaking it. The lawyers argues first, my client never had the pot, second, if he did he borrowed it and didn’t steal it, second, even if he did steal it, he didn’t break it.

    Which is it Joe, is Wright a terrible person that Obama strongly disavowed or is Wright a good guy that Obama threw under the bus for political purposes? You seem to be arguing all of it and then some.

  150. Joe,

    There are people out ther who believe that stuff and they are nutcase bigots. I have no doubt there are bigots and hate mongers out there and Wright is one of them. Apparently you think that it is a okay to think that the government is trying to kill black people via malt liquer sales and that someone who thinks that is not racist and fit for polite society. I think you might be in the minority on that one though.

  151. joe,

    Well, if you want to argue claiming a clique of white people created a virus to kill blacks isn’t racist, then good luck with that.

    In any case, it’s undeniably loony and hateful and divisive, and that’s why we’re still talking about long after you called it a dead issue.

  152. Maybe you are right Joe. Maybe your typical liberal thinks that it is the “Racist United States of America” and that the US deserved what it got on 9-11 and that the government created AIDS to kill minority. I always gave liberals more credit than that, but you know them better than me. Perhap that is the disconect here. In my world people generally don’t believe that stuff. But in your’s and Obama’s world maybe they do. Maybe the good Reverend is a typical far left Democrat and I just didn’t realize it. How that helps your case I am not really sure, but if those are the facts, what can you say?

  153. There are people out ther who believe that stuff and they are nutcase bigots.

    Tuskegee Experiments.

  154. John,

    You are always on here talking about how forceful Obama’s speech was in renouncing Wright but then you are on here saying how Wright is this wonderful guy.

    So did Obama. You would know this if you watched the speech, which you didn’t. He renounced the offensive statements, then described that Wright is still a good person, and discussed his background and where his anger come from.

    You’re like one of those film students who loves the art so much that he has opinions about movies he’s never seen.

  155. I think you might be in the minority on that one though.

    I’m not even a minority on a libertarian web site, John. You are.

    and that’s why we’re still talking about long after you called it a dead issue. Actually, it’s pretty much just you and John.

    And I think everybody understands why you’re doing that.

  156. if Wright is not a hater and an awful person, why did Obama renounce him?

    John,
    Get a refund for those reading comprehension classes. Obama made a point of not denouncing Rev Wright.
    Just a couple of highlights from Obama’s Philadelphia speech:

    As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children.

    I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.

  157. “So did Obama. You would know this if you watched the speech, which you didn’t. He renounced the offensive statements, then described that Wright is still a good person, and discussed his background and where his anger come from.”

    Actually Joe, watching the speech on Youtube made dislike Obama even more. But Obama’s defense of WRight doesn’t hold water. Obama made it seem like Wright came from poverty and JIm Crow. The reality is that Wright is from an upper middle class family in Philadelphia and never experienced Jim Crow or poverty growing up. You listen to Obama and you would think Wright was a character out of Beloved or something. In reality he is anything but and Obama flat out lied in the speech.

  158. People who had problems with Obama after Wright not after the speech:
    Me
    Brotherben
    High#
    NAL

    People who still have problems with Obama:
    John
    TallDave
    RC Dean

    It seems like the only thing this will do is motivate the Republican base to come out more November, not really change anyone’s mind.

  159. John,
    Get a refund for those reading comprehension classes.

    That’s grossly unfair, highnumber!

    John has never read those words before in his life.

  160. Highnumber,

    I realize what Obama said. But of course Joe is always on here saying how Obama distanced himself from Wright. Bullshit. He basically sais that he likes Wright and thinks he is a great guy and the he is a racist and a nut doesn’t matter. Worse the “renounce the black community line” is really insidious when you think about it. Does Obama beleive that WRight is truly representative of the black community to such a degree that to walk away from him would be to walk away form the black community? If so, he has a pretty low opinion of the black community or maybe he agrees with Wright.

  161. Actually Joe, watching the speech on Youtube made dislike Obama even more.

    There’s a shocker. You are such a blind partisan, you would have disliked him if he’d healed your grandmother’s gout with his own tears.

    Cesar, put me in category 1.

  162. Joe something tells me you would’ve voted for Obama anyway. Just like TallDave would’ve always voted against him, even if he walked on water.

  163. Two things are going to do him in Ceaser, Wright and the grandma is a “typical white person” line. The “typical white person” remark if you watch it is so smug and condesending. Some 527 group is going to put that on a comercial and end Obama getting any white votes outside of Joe’s neighborhood.

  164. Cesar,

    I was freaked out by Wright when this story first came out. If it had turned out that Wright actually was the caricature of a black militant that John still so gullibly clings to, and if Obama had embraced such an ideology, I would have gone with Clinton.

  165. The last time you made predictions about an election, John, you were telling us about Arab Spring.

    You don’t speak for anyone. You have this cute vision of yourself as “the common man,” and the rest of the country is leaving you in the rearview mirror.

    Read a poll; you’re the fringe, John.

    BTW, I actually have nonwhite people in my neighborhood. You?

  166. If the typical white person remark does it in it will be for all the wrong reasons.

    I’m not white but I’ve felt distinctly uncomfortable before if I’m on a street late at night and see a group of young black males. It doesn’t make me a racist, it just makes me conditioned by the media. Thats the real reason people are uncomfortable with the grandma statement–because they’ve felt the same way before and hate to admit it.

  167. Joe,

    If Romney or worse yet Huckabe had won the nomination, I would have certainly voted for Clinton in the general election and might have voted for Obama had the Wright stuff not come out. But I find Wright deeply offensive. The “God Damn America” and the “we got what we deserved on 9-11” cuts me to the core and I think Obama is at best a hustling moral coward for associating with Wright or at worst agrees with Wright, only Obama knows the truth of that. You may not find those things offensive and that is your right but I do and Obama can go to hell as far as I am concerned.

  168. Well, John, far be it from me to try to talk you down once you’ve got a good hate on.

  169. Joe,

    I am on the fringe, I guess that is why so many of Hillary Clinton’s supporters in the Democratic Party are saying they won’t vote for Obama if he gets the nomination. What chance do you think he has with Republicans?

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/105691/McCain-vs-Obama-28-Clinton-Backers-McCain.aspx

  170. Let me be clear as far as Cesar’s list up there. I never had any problem with Obama’s association with Wright. I paid little attention to the matter. I was not offended by the out-of-context statements, probably because I had some understanding of what the context could have been. My estimation of Obama did go up after the speech, though. It was a hell of a speech and, regardless of his political philosophy, I think Obama is more statesman than politician. That said, I more or less don’t think nation-states are legitimate, so I am not likely to vote for him.
    IOW, all of you who do like to be governed, I believe you clearly have one candidate who is head and shoulders (and chest and abdomen and thighs and knees and ankles) above the rest.

  171. you’re the fringe

    Woohoo! Drink again!

  172. “the “we got what we deserved on 9-11″ cuts me to the core”

    I’m sorry, but our meddling foreign policy has caused blowback. So Wright was right about that although I don’t believe it is justifiable to ever kill innocent civilians just as it was wrong for us to kill innocent civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  173. I’m not white but I’ve felt distinctly uncomfortable before if I’m on a street late at night and see a group of young black males. It doesn’t make me a racist, it just makes me conditioned by the media. Thats the real reason people are uncomfortable with the grandma statement–because they’ve felt the same way before and hate to admit it.

    Well, I’m not sure about that. If I see a group of young black men in suits and ties, I give them a wave and a nod as I walk by. If I see a group of young black men with baggy pants yelling and blasting “Cop Killa” on the boombox, I probably detour around. That’s not racism or the media, that’s common sense and a sense of self-preservation.

  174. Joe,

    It is a question of integrity. When someone says something truly offensive do you stand there and amen or do you stand up and say something? Put it in another context. As a white person if you were somewhere where a white person started running down black people and talking about how they brought AIDS over from Africa and what a gutter race they are, would you be polite or would you say something? I think you would say something. I don’t think for a minute you would let that pass and nor should you. Obama sat in a church for 20 years and let that garbage pass. He had his shot at integrity and he failed. It was more important to him to get a political in than it was to do the right thing.

  175. Jessie Jackson not too many years ago said when he heard someone walking behind him at night, and turned around and saw the person was white he felt “relieved”.

    If HE feels that way its not a stretch to say most white people do,too.

  176. “Well, I’m not sure about that. If I see a group of young black men in suits and ties, I give them a wave and a nod as I walk by. If I see a group of young black men with baggy pants yelling and blasting “Cop Killa” on the boombox, I probably detour around. That’s not racism or the media, that’s common sense and a sense of self-preservation.”

    Make those kids white and you will feel the same way. Anyone who isn’t afraid of certain white people either doesn’t get out much or is stupid. Frankly, I would rather deal with the black kids than a lot of white kids I have seen. Living in Washington DC I see a lot of young black men who are dressed just as you describe and I never have a problem. Also, if I ever needed help, I would rather need it in a black neighborhood than my own middle class white neighborhood. I gaurentee you the black people are more likly to help you.

  177. “I guess that is why so many of Hillary Clinton’s supporters in the Democratic Party are saying they won’t vote for Obama if he gets the nomination.”

    They won’t vote for Obama because they are of the Clinton cult and Hillary’s staying in a race that she has no chance of winning is creating division in the party. If she would stop battering Obama and withdraw and tell her supporters to back Obama, the party could be reunited, but Hillary will never do that. She cares more about her ego than she does the party.

  178. Obama should’ve added, though, that a black person would probably feel scared walking through the main street of a 99% white town in Appalachia.

  179. “Obama should’ve added, though, that a black person would probably feel scared walking through the main street of a 99% white town in Appalachia.”

    What does black have to do with it? I am white and rode my motorcycle all over North Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina when I lived in Atlanta and I felt scared more there than I ever have in Washington.

  180. Joe,

    It is a question of integrity. When someone says something truly offensive do you stand there and amen or do you stand up and say something?

    Remember, this is joe you’re asking this question.

  181. “If I see a group of young black men in suits and ties, I give them a wave and a nod as I walk by. If I see a group of young black men with baggy pants yelling and blasting “Cop Killa” on the boombox, I probably detour around.”

    Just like if you saw a group of nerdy looking blacks like Erkul, you probably wouldn’t be afraid, but if you saw a group of young white hoodlums with black leather jackets and slicked back hair, you probably would be scared.

  182. John, we all have our baggage.

    As a white person if you were somewhere where a white person started running down black people and talking about how they brought AIDS over from Africa and what a gutter race they are…

    None of these things are the equivalent of what Wright said. Wright did not blame the white race for AIDS, nor denounce the white race in any way.

    You are too eager to believe there’s a race war on, and people are taking advantage of that. Thankfully, it would seem that you are not a typical white person after all.

    BTW, Obama and Hillary both started dropping against McCain two weeks before the Wright story broke. That’s what happens when two candidates in a tough primary are matched against someone who’s already started his general election campaign.

  183. John, its just a basic human instinct that people tend to feel more vulnerable when they’re the minority.

    If you were a black person in Appalachia and saw a group of rednecks wearing Confederate flag t-shirts walking towards you how would you honestly feel?

  184. I’m not disparaging Appalachia, btw probably the friendliest people in the world live there. But fear is often irrational for people.

  185. “If you were a black person in Appalachia and saw a group of rednecks wearing Confederate flag t-shirts walking towards you how would you honestly feel?”

    Not good and I see your point. But frankly, as a white yuppie up from the big city, I didn’t feel to good myself. The only difference was that I didn’t have to worry about the cops harassing me which is no small point.

  186. “Jessie Jackson not too many years ago said when he heard someone walking behind him at night, and turned around and saw the person was white he felt “relieved”.”

    “If HE feels that way its not a stretch to say most white people do,too.”

    My wife who is Iranian said she would be afraid to get on a plane if she saw a Middle Easterner getting on it.

  187. Clothing and music can only get you so far. There are a lot of decent, harmless people who listen to rap music and dress in trendy clothing.

    But it’s always going to be easier to pick up on subtle cues coming from people of the same cultural group than people from a different one. Things like body language and voice modulation, you learn to interpret on a subconscious level. If you haven’t had a great deal of exposure to people from a certain cultural or ethnic group, you aren’t going to be able to read the signs as well, so you might fall back on second-best cues.

    None of this makes us bad people. It’s settling for using skin color or rap music as being “good enough” measures of someone’s character that demonstrates the paucity of your own.

  188. joe,

    I think you’re giving Wright too much of a pass here. He’s definitely on the kooky side of the spectrum, and I’m not sure it’s that much of a stretch to view him as having disturbing views about race. Whether Obama shares those views is really the only question for many voters, not whether Wright is on the side of the angels. I think most people generally would say that he isn’t, though the percentage of “most people” likely would vary around racial lines.

  189. “But it’s always going to be easier to pick up on subtle cues coming from people of the same cultural group than people from a different one. Things like body language and voice modulation, you learn to interpret on a subconscious level. If you haven’t had a great deal of exposure to people from a certain cultural or ethnic group, you aren’t going to be able to read the signs as well, so you might fall back on second-best cues.”

    Some of it is culture. Black teenagers are just generally rowdier and louder than white ones. I think a lot of white people don’t get that so when a really loud group of black teenagers approaches them they think all hell is going to break lose. Most teenagers black or white are not going to mug you. The only times I have ever felt threatened was by homeless people who were anything but teenagers. The idea that there are roving bands of black teenagers out praying on white yuppies is a pretty big myth. Yeah, it happens but it is pretty rare. Even a hardcore gang banger is more interested in killing his rivals than killing you.

  190. When I first moved to a city, I realized that I couldn’t tell the difference between a good neighborhood and a bad one. If it had houses from the 20s or before, and some of them had more than one mailbox, then they all looked the same.

    It wasn’t until I’d live in cities for a while that I was able to get the feel of a place, by looking for evidence of upkeep in the houses, trash in the yards, the volume of graffitti, the body language of people on front steps, and a thousand other little cues I probably couldn’t even articulate.

    That’s because I’m from the burbs, where all the houses are new or newly-renovated, and people don’t sit on front stoops.

    And if somebody wanted to scare me out of moving to a nice, urban neighborhood, it would have been easy for them to do so.

  191. Black teenagers are just generally rowdier and louder than white ones. I think a lot of white people don’t get that so when a really loud group of black teenagers approaches them they think all hell is going to break lose.

    Right, right. Something I’ve noticed is that people who haven’t shared sidewalks with very many non-white people have difficulty ditinguishing between anger and happiness/boisterousness when they hear a loud voice or voices.

  192. John, thats a good point and white people especially forget that most crime, by far, is black on black.

    I’ve been told many times by blacks that most black criminals won’t dare rob a white person because they’re afraid of getting a stiffer sentence than if they robbed a black person. The sad thing is, that might be true.

  193. Not that it was particularly judicious for Imus to be fired, but still, his comments were far less interesting and far more insulting than anything Wright had to say.

    I think Wright’s comments (as well as Imus’) were pretty small beer, and the controversy surrounding both ridiculously overblown. But I think the following remark attributed to Wright (I have not, and don’t have enough interest to, actually watch the videos) is vapid and offensive almost exactly the same way Imus’ was:

    One 18-year-old white girl from Alabama gets drunk on a graduation trip to Aruba, goes off and ‘gives it up’ while in a foreign country, and that stays in the news for months!

  194. Joe,

    A friend of mine once gave me good advice; if people are out of their houses at night that means that their houses are such that they don’t want to be home and it is generally a sign of it being a bad neighborhood. That is true of both white neighborhoods and black ones. She was talking about the poor white neighborhoods in Philadelphia at the time.

    Even in bad neighborhoods, most people are not criminals. I have a friend who is a 30 something single white woman and lives in an area of Anacostia that is so bad the cops pull her over when she is walking from the Metro because they think any white person there must be up to no good and she has never had a problem in five years. Go figure.

  195. Cesar I have heard that to. The best man at my wedding is a Public Defender in San Antonio and he tells me that the last place any of his burgler clients would rob is the rich white neighborhoods. The reason is that if a house is robbed on the South Side the cops take the report and throw it in the trash. If a house is robbed in Alamo Hieghts or Olmos Park they actually try to find who did it. Sad but true.

  196. John,

    That’s really crappy advice.

    People in cities sit outside because they want to. It’s sociable, and interesting, and relaxing. I have a front porch, we’re out there with the wine every evening in the nice weather. There is always just enough going on – there’s a cat, there’s somebody walking a dog with a frisbee, hey that guy’s going too fast SLOW DOWN BUDDY! – that you can waste hours and hours without getting bored. It’s great.

    When you live in a city, you LIVE in the CITY, just as much as you live in your house. Rich, poor, everyone. The public space is a feature, not just someting you travel through.

    It’s different from the burbs. How long can you stare at your driveway, you know?

  197. People don’t sit out at sidewalk cafes because it’s crappy inside. The WANT to.

  198. Pro Libertate | March 26, 2008, 1:22pm | #

    daveylee,

    It’s only surprising until you learn that Warren is, in fact, Ozzy Osbourne. Most of us here are celebrities of one sort or the other in disguise.

    AHAH! You’re all frauds! The lyric in question was actually written by Ian Gillan! Not Ozzy or Dio! Besides, if anyone gets to play the part of Dio on this blog, it’s me. I qualify as the short, old guy with the loud obnoxious voice!

    Loosely in the context of the thread, Gillan actually sang the part of Christ in the original “Jesus Christ Superstar”. Gillan is white. Rev. Wright, then, in the context of John’s belief, must hate Mr Gillan (Christ) as well…

  199. I’d vote for Jesus. Everyone knows that he was a libertarian.

  200. It is actually refreshing to see some dialog about racial attitudes that is honest and open followed the partisan bickering.

    FWIW, I believe there are some gross generalizations going on. The main thing that makes people uncomfortable walking down the street at night is someone who they can’t read.

    That may be because of cultural disconnect, preconceived prejudice, or a history of some similar situation that went wrong.

    I have spent most of my career as the only white guy in sight. In every new community the process of learning the subtle social cues unique to that community takes a fair amount of time. If you’ve done it before, you can speed up the process, but it never happens over night. What is a mistake is to assume that because the unique community you are in at the moment shares some superficial characteristic with some other community means that you can use their social standards and get by.

    No two “black” communities are equivalent.
    No two “hispanic” communities are equivalent.
    No two “suburban” communities are equivalent.

    Fwiw, the most dangerous people I have ever interacted with were from my upper middle class white suburban neighborhood. Interacting with them gave me a good sense of the difference between dangerous individuals and not-dangerous individuals.

    Interestingly, dangerous individuals can be recognized for the behaviors that make them dangerous. None of the racial stereotypes seem to be connected to identification at all.

  201. Joe,

    There is difference between the crowded streets I was referring and a sidewalk cafe. The streets are full in Clevland Park but that is not what I meant.

    Neu Mexican,

    I would be curious to hear who these dangerous suburbanites you met were. I am not doubting you, I am just curious.

  202. If I see a group of young black men with baggy pants yelling and blasting “Cop Killa” on the boombox, I probably detour around.

    dude, if you see that you should return the time machine you bought because 1992 sucked it.


  203. Just like if you saw a group of nerdy looking blacks like Erkul, you probably wouldn’t be afraid, but if you saw a group of young white hoodlums with black leather jackets and slicked back hair, you probably would be scared.

    i’d be scared.

    of peeing myself from laughing too hard, i mean.

  204. “I have a friend who is a 30 something single white woman and lives in an area of Anacostia that is so bad the cops pull her over when she is walking from the Metro because they think any white person there must be up to no good”

    My brother and a friend of his and I were in a black part of Dallas to visit a black guy that I worked with. We were parked outside of a convenience store, calling him every so often to see if he was home yet so we could get directions. The owner of the store called the cops on us, thinking it was strange that white guys would be in the neighborhood. He obviously thought we were going to rob him.

  205. Honey, let’s cross the street.

    I don’t like the look of those goths.

  206. if people are out of their houses at night that means that their houses are such that they don’t want to be home and it is generally a sign of it being a bad neighborhood.

    Um, I think this trend, esp in the summer, is explained by air conditioning, or lack therof – which to be fair, does have some correlation to a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ neighborhood.

  207. And, FWIW, I think the invention and propagation of air conditioning explains at least as many socioeconomic trends over the last century as does the automobile.

  208. Honest question: is that strictly a figure of speech or rhetorical device when people talk about crossing to the other side of the street to avoid scary people, or are there people who actually do that?
    I’ve never done that, and I figure that if someone was really looking to trouble you they would cross the street, too.

  209. when i was younger people would cross the street sometimes. apparently i looked mad all the time or something. i do remember this one woman with an infant that was like OH GOD and ran across the street into traffic.

    i was maybe 14? dunno. never dressed funny or nothing.

    so yeah that shit does happen.

  210. Dammit man, isn’t this shit old yet?

  211. dhex,

    You were yelling “boogada boogada boogada!”
    What was she supposed to do?

    (I have this image of a hysterical yuppie mother with one of those old fashioned baby buggies yelping, then running blindly into traffic, taxis swerving and screeching their brakes to avoid her, windows rolling down, curses yelled in 18 different languages, her face contorted with fear, just a nonverbal howl escaping her throat as she dodges in and out of traffic.)

  212. Dammit man, isn’t this shit old yet?

    Apparently not for everybody. Did I miss anything pithy and incisive?

    Or was it just the same old crap?

  213. John

    I would be curious to hear who these dangerous suburbanites you met were. I am not doubting you, I am just curious.

    Well, I used to run with a pretty tough crowd. They were your typical array of vandals, buglers, pugilists, junkies, and hot heads. All from economically stable backgrounds. One of the most dangerous used to make sport out of randomly attacking people on the street if they responded positively to some innocuous request -for the time or a cigarette, whatever. He never stole shit, he just liked violence (and fire, but that’s a whole ‘nuther story). Another one of his favorite tricks was to get aggressive with people’s girl-friends to increase the chances that he would get a chance to get in a fight. I was one of the only people that could intervene in his bad behavior without it escalating into violence. Never quite knew why. I think it may have been because he loved the band I was in at the time.

    Of that old crowd more than a few are locked up (appropriately).
    Several are dead (predictably).
    And the rest have retired to more stable lives.

    To be honest, however, the most dangerous person I ever knew was a student from a Pueblo near Albuquerque: sex offender, violent, man without hope. A case-study in how a horrific upbringing can turn a child into a socio-path. I say he was the most dangerous person I ever knew even though I have taught classes in the NEW MEXICO prison system.

    For context- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Mexico_State_Penitentiary_Riot

  214. The term that REALLY kills me? Institutionalized racism!

    You mean like Affirmative Action? Minority scholarships? Preferences in hiring, promotions and points on civil service exams? Every liberal ‘institution’ in the country going after the Duke Lacrosse team? How about minority job fairs sponsored by major corporations, where No Whites Need Apply?
    THOSE institutions? I’m with you there, brothers!

    Personally, the only institutionalized racism I see are in that Reichstag of a church whose pastor Obama calls his spiritual advisor and mentor and all the Afrocentric institutions just like it. Might as well just throw banners up that say Hate Whitey!

    BTW did you know that Wright just got caught slandering Italians as ‘garlic noses’? Tell me, what context, EXACTLY, is that NOT a racist slur? Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot. Blacks CAN’T be racist, can they?

    Becaause all of that institutionalized racism that makes their hatred of whitey OK. My bad.

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