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June 02, 2008

Obama, Manliness, and the Notion of Black Privilege

So. Obama has finally parted company with Trinity United, leaving puzzled onlookers with more questions than answers:

SO WHY -- AFTER FAILING TO DO SO WHEN IT WOULD HAVE DONE HIM THE MOST GOOD -- did Obama decide to quit the Trinity Church now?

I tend to think Grim has the right of it. This isn't so much a case of political expediency as it is just one more example of how well Barack Obama represents the Democratic Party's utter rejection of traditional masculinity. The man won't fight for anything, even his God-given right to not denounce statements he considers destructive and divisive:

“I’m not denouncing the church and I’m not interested in people who want me to denounce the church,” he said, adding that the new pastor at Trinity and “the church have been suffering from the attention my campaign has focused on them.”

Okay. This man wants to be Chief Executive of the world's largest superpower, and what he is apparently telling us is that after 20 years of attending a church where destructive and divisive (to use his own words) statements were uttered with regularity, he has just gotten around to noticing a few things:

1. ...what ...I didn't see this as a member of the church but I saw ... yesterday, is when you start focusing so much on the plight of the historically oppressed, ... you lose sight of what we have in common; ... it overrides everything else; ... we're not concerned about the struggles of others because we're looking at things only through a particular lens.

2. When you become famous, and especially when you run for the highest political office in the land, the media will display great interest in all aspects of your life. If you attend an ostensibly tax-exempt house of worship whose celebrants repeatedly make pointedly political statements from the pulpit, chances are the media are going to find their utterances newsworthy.

3. When these political statements occur in the church of a candidate for the presidency, and if those statements are made about his opponent, they are going to be considered twice as newsworthy.

What Barack Obama appears not to have noticed (at least judging by his public statements) is that if a preacher makes political statements in church about race that, had they been made by a white person about a black person, would be considered by any reasonably objective person to be racist, you have a veritable trifecta of newsworthiness. Where he repeatedly keeps missing the clue bus is here: American society has changed to the point where pretty much every white person I know would not feel comfortable staying in the room, were a white preacher to make comparable statements about blacks. People would deal with it in their own way.

There might be complaints. There might be calls for his resignation. Some might just leave the church quietly after the service. What I cannot under any circumstances imagine is a white audience hooting and hollering in open approval of such "destructive and divisive" rhetoric because it was rooted in the "white church" tradition. I cannot imagine the media giving a white politician a pass if he either defended or refused to denounce such words.

I cannot imagine the media maintaining that it was acceptable to passively listen to such rhetoric without objecting because it "did not reflect his beliefs".

I do not believe things were always this way in this country. Things changed because this kind of talk was no longer tolerated. Because it was denounced, just as those who uttered such sentiments were denounced by those who found them 'destructive and divisive'. That is the only reason people who continue to feel that way to this day do not say those things. They know better. They know that if they say things like that in public decent people will shun them, because it is no longer acceptable in America to attach pejorative labels to people you do not know based on no other attribute but the color of their skin.

Unless, of course, you attend Barack Obama's church, in which case it is understood the four hundred years of wrongs make this sort of thing Wright.

So what does it say when a man who wants to be President says (on the one hand) that such words are destructive, when he admits that they divide us as a people, and then goes on to say that he has no interest in denouncing them nor those who utter them?

For Barack Obama to say it saddens him that overtly political statements made in a church which enjoys tax exempt status during a Presidential campaign should receive so much attention betrays a stunning disregard for the role of a vigorous and non-partisan media as well as the laws of the country he will, as President, be called upon to enforce. It also displays a rather stunning lack of foresight.

What on earth did he expect to happen once he began his campaign? Did he seriously think that he would be exempted from the scrutiny other candidates have had to endure? Ironically, Obama got into hot water for Wright and Pfleger's inflammatory remarks about white entitlement; yet he seems to be suffering from a pronounced case of black entitlement: a sense of untouchability attributable to our national squeamishness about race. His professed hope that Trinity United will soon be "left alone" to continue their admittedly divisive and counterproductive rhetoric (which, as he says, runs counter to all his professed beliefs, though he will not denounce it!) reminds one of a similar story in the news: (via Phi Beta Cons)

Morehouse, flagship of HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) and Dr. King's alma mater, graduated its first white valedictorian this year, Joshua Packwood. Homey, and he is officially that now, is a Rhodes Scholar who turned down an Ivy League scholarship for Atlanta and earned a perfect 4.0.

I first became aware of the seemingly strange presence of whites at HBCUs about a decade ago but have yet to get a chance to dig into it. Turns out that there are some that, due to demographic changes over the century and a half since most were founded, are now white enough to bring their very designation into question: "there are institutions that are classified as HBCUs with White enrollments above 80% of the student population (e.g., Bluefield State University, West Virginia 88.8% and West Virginia State University 83.2%)". Ten percent of the HBCU population, over all, is now white.

It's fascinating and confusing with serious danger for knees, including my own, to start jerking furiously. It's all I can do not to wail, "Can't we please have something that's just ours? Please?" But I know that's the wrong attitude. Still, I hope they stop making all those Drum Line movies.

Some, of course, don't want whites at HBCUs and must break out in hives when they pass their school's minority affairs office which helps whites navigate their majority black college world. The lawsuits which allowed the white students in in the first place have not quite been forgotten yet either. White students are lured with scholarships and by the $10K annual tuition savings, on average, between HBCUs and other state schools, which some find troubling. And shouldn't the scholarships be going to poor minority kids instead of to high achieving whites who help raise the school's stats? OK, all right. HBCUs have to think of both.

Is it just me, or does the world get weirder everyday? Still, this does present a rare opportunity for blacks to experience the loss of one of the few tiny areas of privilege we had.


"Can't we please have something that's just ours? Please?"

That seems to be the argument Barack Obama made for Trinity United.

I know it's divisive. I know it's wrong. And yes, it contradicts everything I keep telling you my campaign is about. But it's "ours". Can't you please just go away and leave us alone, stop shining that media spotlight on us and our divisive rhetoric?

Funny. I imagine the KKK felt that way, all those years ago. Could this have been what Martin Luther King had in mind when he talked of a color blind society? You know, that whole "content_of_your_character, not_the_color_of_your_skin" bag?

Some things, as Grim says so eloquently in his post, were worth fighting for then. They are still worth fighting for today. But Barack Obama seems always to be on the wrong side. Or more disturbingly, he refuses to take sides, and that is inexcusable in a leader.

More importantly, it may well be dangerous:

Jim Webb is hardly the only Democrat who can 'win' an election on the grounds of having traditional masculine virtues. The problem is not that "Democrats" can't do this; it is that the progressive movement is opposed to traditional masculine virtue. They don't want warriors, even reluctant ones; they want people who will "negotiate with dictators," and are excited to see someone who will stand up for their right to do so. They want Obama, a man who has "not been 'tough.'." They don't want a character who is "a liberal, but in no way a sissy."

That is a supporter's words, notice. It is not the first time an Obama supporter has described his candidate in such terms, "...as a skinny, athletic, gentle-seeming, virtually metrosexual man, he nearly splits the difference on gender as well."

The Democrats seem to produce this type of candidate in abundance: the type of man who speaks loudly but carries a soft stick. Who, like Jim Webb or John Kerry, waves his son's shoes or his war medals around with professed martial ardor, but who constantly tells us war is something to be avoided at all costs. He should look tough, but not actually be tough. That looks great on the campaign trail, but how well will it work in the real world?

...ideas about courage and cowardice can exist in a protected class, whether Quakers or Senators, without causing harm -- they may even improve us as a society in some ways.

If they step outside of that class, however, they will quickly find that their ideas on second nature clash sharply with the first nature of man, and the nature of the world. If the Quaker becomes the Marshal, and sets aside the rifle in favor of a kind heart and a language of hope, he will be fine as long as he only meets with other Quakers; or with Quirt Evans, the young man ready for reform in the face of beauty.

But there are other kinds of men in the world, too. You cannot wish them away. Klein's preferred second nature may be fine for him, as his streets are guarded by United States Marines. It may be fine for a Senator. It may have things to offer the greater society that are of value. But it cannot defend society. Society cannot stand on it, nor survive protected by it.

A President must be of the Marshal class. That is not a preference that can be reframed; it is an absolute requirement arising from the nature of the world. It may be that a good politician can smooth voters' fears enough to cause them to set aside that requirement, and elect the Quaker to office. If they do, however, there will be evil consequences.

There is no changing that. You can talk all you want, but there are men who do not talk. It is the President's job, first among all his duties, to be the answer to them.

It's hard to see how anyone who believes in change can hope to effect it if he is not willing to stand and fight for what he believes in. Talking vaguely about hope is not enough in a world where some people are willing to die to make their visions come true.

** Thanks to Paul for catching my typo on the Grim link!

Posted by Cassandra at June 2, 2008 07:34 AM

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Comments

> 2. When you become famous, and especially when you run for the highest political office in the land, the media will display great interest in all aspects of your life.


Took this geeeenyus until NOW to grasp this part?

Does anyone really, really need a more obvious sign that the political skills of Obama are utterly inadequate to the demands of the Presidency?

He would've had a hard time justifying belonging to that church if he'd left it FIVE YEARS AGO. He'd've gotten away with it with the media's fawning help if he'd had brains enough for it then. Now? If you vote for this nit you're a bigger moron than he is.

Posted by: OBloody Hell at June 2, 2008 02:00 PM

Your observations about imagining something like this going on in a "white" church are spot on.

Yes. Things changed because people STOOD UP. You know, as in LEADERSHIP.

And, you know, as in the only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

Obama obviously feels himself to be a victim and an observer, rather than a leader. Or a man.

Posted by: MaryAnn at June 2, 2008 02:40 PM

What's even better is this:

He's inexperienced, but we're supposed to believe he'll overcome his lack of experience with his superior judgment ...

Ummm... yeah.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 2, 2008 02:44 PM

Riiiiiight...

Posted by: MaryAnn at June 2, 2008 02:55 PM

.

> That looks great on the campaign trail, but how will will it work in the real world?

That sells to Dems, Cass, but not to either the GoP or the Swing vote. Which is why Obama won't win in November. This is just the first mortal blow. Others will come out once he gets the nom.

He's not smart enough, his campaign people aren't smart enough, to have distanced him ahead of time from such a blatantly obvious no-win situation. That right there says a lot about his ability to perform the job as PotUS. It shows an amazing lack of foresight about what sort of political barbs will be used to weaken his position and gain political advantage. Does anyone imagine it will be easier in the Real World, when he negotiates with Ahminajad or the Little Gargoyle? As you noted before, when talking about Kennedy vs. Khruschev -- he will be worse than out of his league.

Given Obama's damnfool fiscal policies, it is a good bet that he will take this country into the toilet, both domestically and on the foreign front, and go down in history as a worse president than Jimmy Carter.

How that will set back the cause of blacks as PotUs cannot be underestimated. If he does as crappy a job as I'm certain he will, then anytime anyone seriously suggests another black man -- no matter how talented or able -- for the PotUS, the response will be "look what happened with Obama!".

And no matter how stupid and racist that idea is, it will have just enough appeal that it will be an albatross few blacks will be able to overcome. And so it will be literally several decades until another black man has a serious chance to become president.

So even if you strongly support the idea of a black as president -- even if you want one a lot -- you should have brains enough to realize that
a) Obama is not the right man for the job in the first place
b) it would be a bad thing for race relations to place so woefully ineffective a man into such a position.

.

Posted by: OBloody Hell at June 2, 2008 03:00 PM

"If you vote for this nit you're a bigger moron than he is."

That, OBH, is what scares me the most. Given the almost Beatlemania-like fervor that this man has managed to create around his campaign, it scares the crap out of me that those who vote for him will not realize they are drinking poison until after the Kool-Aid is gone from the cup....and then it'll be too late.

Posted by: DL Sly at June 2, 2008 03:03 PM

...those who vote for him will not realize they are drinking poison until after the Kool-Aid is gone from the cup...

They won't realize it then, either.

They'll die hollering that the styrofoam cups were coated with strychnine by Republican caterers...

Posted by: BillT at June 2, 2008 03:36 PM

He's a georgous, charismatic, empty suit who can do wonderful speeches. That's about it, actually. Aside from the exotic element of being half-African, there's not much there. Which is what is becoming apparent.
It's always painful, waking up to reality from a lovely dream.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at June 2, 2008 05:30 PM

Who, like Jim Webb or John Kerry, waves his son's shoes or his war medals around with professed martial ardor, but who constantly tells us war is something to be avoided at all costs. He should look tough, but not actually be tough.

While I agree with much of this well written post, I have to disagree with you about Jim Webb. I urge you to read his books. Just from those I think he has earned the right to say what he will about war. I disagree with him on many things, but his views are both less calculated and far more nuanced than any of the other democrats and quite a few republicans too for that matter.

Posted by: Marc at June 2, 2008 05:45 PM

"I am not denouncing the church. I am not interested in people who want me to denounce the church because it's not a church worthy of denouncing. And so if they've seen caricatures of the church and accept those caricatures despite my insistence that's not what the church is about, then there's not much I can do about it," Obama said.
emp mine

You missed the best part of his non-denouncing denounce :) Great post Cass

Posted by: Lord Nazh at June 2, 2008 05:51 PM

I have read some of his books.

And my problem with Webb is that his son left school early to join the Marines b/c he wanted to get into the war. Of course listening to Webb's speeches, you get the impression his son is some kind of victim of the Bush administration.

I don't appreciate the whole waving the boots nonsense. It is theatrical and politicizes his son's service. It is also misleading.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 2, 2008 05:52 PM

Excellent post. (But it's martial, not marshall, virtues)
---
Michael: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.
Kay Adams: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don't have men killed.
Michael: Oh. Who's being naive, Kay?

Posted by: joe y at June 2, 2008 05:53 PM

You have one too many "http://" in that Grim link. Need to fix that.

Posted by: paul a'barge at June 2, 2008 05:54 PM

Here is the Grim link that works.

Posted by: paul a'barge at June 2, 2008 05:55 PM

I didn't pounce on that, Lord N., because I genuinely think he just misspoke :p

I got the irony. But I don't think he meant to say the church wasn't worth denouncing.

However, I didn't see this part:

And so if they've seen caricatures of the church and accept those caricatures despite my insistence that's not what the church is about, then there's not much I can do about it,"

If I had, I would have said something :)

People have seen enough of this church that the term 'caricatures' is a bit much. These folks have parodied themselves - how many times do you have to be taped stamping and hollering with approval for unacceptable language in order for people to look at you and decide they don't approve of you or your sentiments, or that they wouldn't be caught dead acting that way?

Posted by: Cassandra at June 2, 2008 05:57 PM

Thanks Paul - I'll fix it!

Posted by: Cassandra at June 2, 2008 05:57 PM

I think he actually meant that, but not in the way that most seem to take it (as the church is too good to denounce).

I think he meant the church was ACTUALLY not worthy of being denounced (so that he can play that part later on when this starts back up in the general and claim that he utterly left them)

Posted by: Lord Nazh at June 2, 2008 06:09 PM

So was Bill Clinton's predatory randiness considered a next-best substitute for masculinity, and thus admired even as it was condemned? That would be an evil precedent.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at June 2, 2008 06:11 PM

FWIW Marc, I do agree that there are men who will fight, but who disagree that we are currently engaged in a war worth fighting. I think that's an important distinction. But I also think it's important to recognize those times when a nation has made commitments.

That is really difficult, especially for those who served in Vietnam. There are many on both sides of that particular fence: those who remember what happened when Saigon fell and we abandoned our allies, and those who swore, "Never again", and for whom that sentiment is so strong that it precludes all but the most dire of occasions for war. As a military wife and one whose husband has served for over 25 years (and who just returned from a year over there) I am not unaware of the difficulties posed by this war.

But I am also mindful of history, and of the fact that nations and foreign policy can't turn on a dime.

No one has satisfactorily explained to me what will happen to the Iraqis if we pull out of Iraq, what they expect al Qaeda in Iraq to do then, or how that advances our regional interests. And until they do, I find Webb's rhetoric utterly unconvincing.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 2, 2008 06:17 PM

If that's true, Lord N, he's far cleverer than I have given him credit for :p It's possible, though!

Posted by: Cassandra at June 2, 2008 06:18 PM

Oh, and Joe:

On the "Marshall" thing:

That is in reference to a movie Grim refers to in his post. I could have made that clearer. In the movie, the Quakers can afford to be pacifists because the Marshall keeps violent men at bay. So he compares the President to a man of the "Marshall" mold rather than the Quaker mold - he must be able to back up his pronouncements with something more forceful than negotiations if his citizens are to continue to enjoy peace (and by extension, the freedom to abhor war and espouse pacifist sentiments).

A la Garrison Keillor and his obnoxious Memorial Day editorial :p

Posted by: Cassandra at June 2, 2008 06:21 PM

"He should look tough, but not actually be tough."

This reminded me of something a Democrat in Congress said about the Authorization of Use of Military Force against Iraq they passed. To paraphrase, he said he voted to give Bush teh authority to threaten Saddam but not to actually use force. Some people just don't understand when to bluff or even how.

Posted by: submandave at June 2, 2008 06:29 PM

Let's not be to hard on Obama....he is in the midst of an ongoing slow motion self-beclowning...I,for one, am just going to sit back and watch the comedy continue to unfold and get my share of chuckles with the occasional guffaw

Posted by: Robbins Mitchell at June 2, 2008 06:46 PM

an ongoing slow motion self-beclowning...

I like that - it made me laugh out loud :)

Posted by: Cassandra at June 2, 2008 06:51 PM

Jim Webb can posture all he wants:

Webb received the Navy Cross for actions on July 10, 1969. The citation read:
“ The Navy Cross is presented to James H. Webb, Jr., First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 10 July 1969, while participating in a company-sized search and destroy operation deep in hostile territory, First Lieutenant Webb's platoon discovered a well-camouflaged bunker complex that appeared to be unoccupied. Deploying his men into defensive positions, First Lieutenant Webb was advancing to the first bunker when three enemy soldiers armed with hand grenades jumped out. Reacting instantly, he grabbed the closest man and, brandishing his .45 caliber pistol at the others, apprehended all three of the soldiers. Accompanied by one of his men, he then approached the second bunker and called for the enemy to surrender. When the hostile soldiers failed to answer him and threw a grenade that detonated dangerously close to him, First Lieutenant Webb detonated a claymore mine in the bunker aperture, accounting for two enemy casualties and disclosing the entrance to a tunnel. Despite the smoke and debris from the explosion and the possibility of enemy soldiers hiding in the tunnel, he then conducted a thorough search that yielded several items of equipment and numerous documents containing valuable intelligence data. Continuing the assault, he approached a third bunker and was preparing to fire into it when the enemy threw another grenade. Observing the grenade land dangerously close to his companion, First Lieutenant Webb simultaneously fired his weapon at the enemy, pushed the Marine away from the grenade, and shielded him from the explosion with his own body. Although sustaining painful fragmentation wounds from the explosion, he managed to throw a grenade into the aperture and completely destroy the remaining bunker. By his courage, aggressive leadership, and selfless devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Webb upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.[6]

Posted by: Horst Graben at June 2, 2008 06:52 PM

Horst, I am well aware of Webb's record, but that's a weak argument.

His military record doesn't touch the correctness of his political opinions on the war, whether he is right or wrong on questions of fact, nor does it buy him a pass for whatever he may subsequently do in life.

My family has unbroken military service going all the way back to the Revolutionary War. But no one in my family would try to tell you that this means whatever they do is right, even if they serve in war.

Military service and heroism are worthy of honor in their own right. But it makes no sense to conflate them with with everything else a person ever does. If a military person - even a hero - commits a crime or tells a lie (not that I'm saying Webb has done these things: I'm using this as an extreme example to prove a point) he is no more and no less guilty than any other citizen.

The last thing military folks want is to be viewed as "special" or privileged. Honor the service, but don't elevate the person to the status of sainthood because of it. That is misguided. Their actions must stand on their own, right or wrong.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 2, 2008 07:00 PM

At any rate, I am happy to stipulate that reasonable people may differ on Webb.

It bothers me that he uses his son's boots to undermine the mission his son volunteered for. I think that is wrong. He should (I think) use his own record and his own damned boots if he wants to argue that point publicly.

Apparently you disagree. That is your right, and better people than I will ever be have died to guarantee your (and my, and his) right to express our views. However, this post is not about Jim Webb. It's about Obama. So let's move on.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 2, 2008 07:13 PM

I find it difficult to make any case for anyone about the honor of having served in the military when our president did squat but get us into a war based on a LIE.
Obama"s church? nonsense. Black have had it since the founding of the nation. Dwell instead on McCain's economic adviser: Former sen Grahama, lobbyist for the group that took us into the sub-prime swamp

Posted by: fred lapides at June 2, 2008 07:31 PM

This is what I find weird about Webb:


In a November 19, 2006 appearance on Meet the Press, Webb told host Tim Russert, "And I, you know, I’m one of these people who — there, there aren’t many of us — who can still justify for you the reasons that we went into Vietnam, however screwed up the strategy got."

I think it's actually a lot easiet to make a case for Iraq. There was never any danger that the North Vietnamese would attack us on our own soil.

Webb understood clearly what the fallout was from Vietnam - the slaughter that ensued in SE Asia, the lowering of American prestige throughout the world and the perception that the US was a "paper tiger," the contempt our servicemen were held in by the Left. It is certainly not difficult to determine that the Left's attitude toward the military remains unchanged today, although its' expression is (a bit) more masked than it was in 1970. Certainly the Dems are no more worried about the consequences of a premature withdraw from Iraq than they were about the fate of our South Vietnamese allies. The blow to America's power and prestige also doesn't appear to trouble them any more than it did in the early '70's. The important thing was,and is, to shame and humiliate a hated Republican president.

Webb knows all this, he's not a stupid man, and yet he sides with the people he despised 30 years ago. It is puzzling and sad, and the only reason I can think of for it is that his ambition took over and he figured out where the political winds were blowing in 2006 and jumped ship. Well done, Webb, you're a Senator - the same side of the aisle as Kennedy and Harkin and Kerry and Jay Rockefeller.

Posted by: Donna at June 2, 2008 07:34 PM

Well said Horst! Serving ones countryis a noble thing if the individual serving is of decent character! There are many contemptible people who have served their country, some with dstinction.
1)served for 4 years of the most horrible combat in human history.2) volounteered for every hazardous mission 3)ot of approx 12,000 men in his original division KIA 29,000 WIA 56,000+,and this man survived. 4)given his countries 3rd highest award for gallantry. That man......corporal adolf hitler. I rest my case

Posted by: Bx Tom at June 2, 2008 07:42 PM

Oops, sorry Cassandra, I didn't see your comment asking us to move on from Webb until after I had posted my rather lengthy comment.

Posted by: Donna at June 2, 2008 07:46 PM

I wonder when someone from 'The Onion' perhaps will take all of the worst quotations from Trinity Church, et al, and put them to some racist-sounding white voice. To be really mischievous pick a southern voice - someone "bitterly" clinging to guns and religion...

You might not even have to reverse the words "white" and "black". The voice alone should be enough to put the racist slogans from Trinity in context.

I'm astounded by the number of people who can't hear it for what it is!

Posted by: T. O'Connor at June 2, 2008 08:14 PM

Your point about "can't we please have something that's just ours" has another parallel.

Shortly after 9/11, a lot of attention was paid to anti-American rants by left wing college professors. These professors had been demonizing America in their classrooms for years, and were proud of it. But they didn't want it publicized for the whole country to see and hear. It was THEIR world, and no trespassing was allowed. When a spotlight was shined on their beliefs, these professors actually shouted "McCarthyism" for having their views exposed to the public.

The common link between left wing indoctrination in our universities and the anti-White, anti-American indoctrination of the likes of Trinity Church, is that while these people believe in "the cause", they know that their methods are sleazy.....using a classroom to indoctrinate young students, and using the pulpit to incite hate. They don't feel guilty for their beliefs, but when their methods are exposed to the public, they do feel some guilt for that, and they don't want to feel guilt. So please, just leave us alone.

Posted by: The Fop at June 2, 2008 09:06 PM

Way off the direction that the comments have taken, but as far as electing Quakers goes, you know our last Quaker president was Richard M. Nixon.

Sorry, I saw that on a cereal box 20 years ago and I haven't had a chance to drop it into a conversation until now.

Posted by: Brian J. at June 2, 2008 09:37 PM

.

> People have seen enough of this church that the term 'caricatures' is a bit much.

Not to Lefty eyes, which reject categorically anything that doesn't fit the agenda.

Since racism "isn't" part of the agenda (No! It can't be!! Lefties and black people CAN'T be racists, don't you understand?), it isn't there.

So clearly, all you've seen is some twisted GOP misrepresentation of the truthiness of it all.

Q.E.D. < -- -- and every lefty will confirm that.

.

Posted by: OBloody Hell at June 2, 2008 10:23 PM

This has been a pretty skillful counter-offensive since Jim Crow was banished.

Make the conventional wisdom be that it's the blacks that are the racists now--and that furthermore, "they" are the direct equivalent of white racists in time past!

It is so bold as to be very brilliant.

I would never have thought of a strategy like that, but hot damn it works!

Now people no longer have to feel guilty about any nasty racial beliefs that they may hold. After all, everyone has now agreed that it's the blacks that are the racists!

This is a good one!

Posted by: Jon at June 2, 2008 11:05 PM

we're supposed to believe he'll overcome his lack of experience with his superior judgment ...

Obama: "Not the man I thought I knew".

It took him 20 years to figure out Wright's character. We don't have 20 years for him to figure out Ahmadinejad.

when our president did squat but get us into a war based on a LIE.

What lie? There was no lie. If there were, you would have more than an unsupported assertion.

Just another example of Moonbat ignorance and stupidity over our post 9-11 foreign policy re Iraq. Bush should have communicated in simpler terms for them: A rotting tree falls on your house. After you clear away the remains, you notice th eother trees in the area are likewise infested with rot. YOU CUT THEM DOWN TOO. Idiot

Posted by: Fen at June 2, 2008 11:15 PM

First it was "the blacks" who were "causing trouble" trying to get the right to vote (and live where they want and go to school where they want etc.)and all that.

Now they're causing trouble again with their racism!

Whatever will we do with them?

They were at fault in the 60s and they are at fault now. They are always at fault! What a brilliant scheme.

I suspect when "global warming" catches on with the right, "the blacks" will be responsible for that too.

Blacks have their problems; but some people seem to actively not want to see the magnitude of the history behind where they find themselves at this point in time (450 years of either slavery or Jim Crow that only just ended within the lifetimes of almost all blacks alive today or their parents).

"Black privilege" is pure demagoguery, and don't even try to bring up "affirmative action" (because it is still more detrimental to blacks than to whites).

I cannot tell you what to do with your white guilt, but this post smacks of it (and some commentators).
Liberals and conservatives deal with white guilt in different ways, but they sure do both deal with it. You might want to think about that. In neither case is it pretty.

I say that the sooner people are honest with themselves about the way this country has treated blacks for most all of its history, then all the guilt will begin to melt away.
No reparations or government programs. No national day of mourning. No "apologies". Just a simple personal acknowledgment (to oneself) of the way things were (and sometimes still are).

That would be a lot more useful than guilt; and would save you having to compensate like this.

Stop "feeling bad" about history and go read up on it so you can move on.
The blacks are not the "New Racists".

But that's just my opinion.

Posted by: Jon at June 2, 2008 11:22 PM

that furthermore, "they" are the direct equivalent of white racists in time past!

No one is claiming that. Just you and your Strawman. But its interesting that you would define racism by the most extreme examples. In your own way, you just admitted they have a problem, else why would you need to set the standard of racism so high to defend them?

Make the conventional wisdom be that it's the blacks that are the racists now--

Now? Where do you live? Blacks are the most racist demographic in the country.

Posted by: Fen at June 2, 2008 11:24 PM

Jon:

Any possible conversation between you and other readers here would be far more to the point if you would confine yourself to responding to actual points made in my post, rather than to some imaginary post inside your brain housing group. Point by point:

First it was "the blacks" who were "causing trouble" trying to get the right to vote (and live where they want and go to school where they want etc.)and all that.

Nowhere in my post do I say, much less imply, anything even remotely resembling this. Not to put too fine a point on it, you have simply made it up so you can put words in my mouth that I neither believe, nor would ever say.

Now they're causing trouble again with their racism! Whatever will we do with them?

More irrelevancy from the recesses of Joe's overactive imagination. Stay on point.

....

I say that the sooner people are honest with themselves about the way this country has treated blacks for most all of its history, then all the guilt will begin to melt away.

Yeah, right. We are all so in danger of forgetting the tragic legacy of slavery because no one ever mentions it. If only someone would devote an entire month to studying Black history!

No reparations or government programs. No national day of mourning. No "apologies". Just a simple personal acknowledgment (to oneself) of the way things were (and sometimes still are).

First of all, I admitted this in my post (reading is fundamental).

...American society has changed to the point where pretty much every white person I know would not feel comfortable staying in the room, were a white preacher to make comparable statements about blacks. ..

I do not believe things were always this way in this country. Things changed because this kind of talk was not tolerated. Because it was denounced, just as those who uttered such sentiments were denounced by those who found them 'destructive and divisive'. That is the only reason those people who continue to feel that way to this day do not say those things. They know better.

Stop "feeling bad" about history and go read up on it so you can move on.

I hate to break this to you, but I suspect I'm not the one having difficulty 'moving on'. And I don't need to read up on history. I understand it. I also understand that it is... history. As opposed to the present. I don't feel guilty about the past, despite the ongoing efforts of some to make me feel that way :p

Nice try, Jon. No sale.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 3, 2008 05:36 AM

What Barack Obama appears not to have noticed (at least judging by his public statements) is that if a preacher makes political statements in church about race that, had they been made by a white person about a black person, would be considered by any reasonably objective person to be racist,

See, here's the thing. The left is trying to redefine racism. For most folks, racism is acting or thinking on the basis of racial predjudice, discriminating on the basis of race. To the left, racism is doing this AND being a member of a racial group that has power in American society. What that means is that blacks and Hispanics cannot be racist, since they do not have power in American society.

Really. I kid you not. So the conflict you present here is in fact not a conflict to the left. Rev. Wright is black. Therefore he has no power in American society. Therefore any statement he makes that shows racial predjudice is not racist. Honestly. They are teaching this in colleges these days.

Posted by: RonF at June 3, 2008 09:40 AM

So, he will leave his Christian Church that challenged his Christianity, and what he thought was Christ-like?

After 20 years?

Where will he go? What will he do? Homeless Christian presidential candidates. A mosque perhaps? A cleric that will help him resolve those nagging questions that keep him awake at night?

Posted by: Cricket at June 3, 2008 10:03 AM

What that means is that blacks and Hispanics cannot be racist, since they do not have power in American society.



This was almost the exact line Marion Barry used to use when he was mayor of Washington, DC.



Jon, I have ZERO guilty feelings about being white. I resent like hell all of the people who say I should feel guilty because of the color of my skin. The idea that I should be responsible for something someone else who shared my color did to someone else who shared your color 400 years ago is ludicrous in the extreme.



Selma was over 40 years ago, and the only people who don't seem to realize how far we've come since then are academics, professional grievance mongers, and their unthinking disciples.


Posted by: ereynol at June 3, 2008 10:38 AM

DL Sly said: "the almost Beatlemania-like fervor that this man has managed to create around his campaign."

Perhaps they are in a state of Obasmac ecstasy.

Posted by: Keith at June 3, 2008 11:55 AM

Jon, blacks aren't the racists now any more than whites are the racists.

A person is racist, and a black person is no exeption to that.

If you don't see that, then ask yourself why you think one race is superior to all the others that they can't suffer from the problem of racism.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 3, 2008 12:13 PM

Well, Keith, that would explain all the heavy breathing and screaming, the problem is, though, given his current track record, he won't be hanging around long enough to smoke a cigarette much less still respect them in the morning.

0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at June 3, 2008 12:35 PM

> This has been a pretty skillful counter-offensive since Jim Crow was banished.

Pay no attention to that man behind the pulpet! cries jon.

Yes, jon, write it off with a handwave. Don't spend a single instant arguing against the fact that whites, as a group, are probably the least racist bunch on the planet nowadays... because clearly no one of another race could EVER be racist. Only bad ol' WHITEY was ever racist. Only bad ol' WHITEY hever had a hand in the slave trade. BAD WHITEY!! BAD! BAD!

No, I'm not claiming that there are no racist whites by any means. Only that whites, as a group, discourage racist notions to an extreme, and most whites (esp. not "on the right"), even more so amongst educated ones, have no issues of any kind with blacks in high positions.

The only educated people making racist comments about black people nowadays tend to be people like Oliphant and G.B. Trudeau. Ya might want to check on their own party and creed affiliation, in case you weren't familiar with it.

This does indicate where any lingering racism lies in the USA (a notion bolstered by the fact that the Kerry election organization had no high ranking black people in it until someone actually called attention to this fact).

BTW -- "facts" aren't racist, even if they involve races.
"Black" people tend to be less subject to sunburns. This is a fact, and it's not a "racist statement", even though in does involve a racial distinction.
"Blacks" are more subject to sickle-cell anemia. Again -- a fact, but not racist, even though it does, in fact, make a distinction based on "race". Just thought I'd make that statement ahead of time, since it's often a source of confusion for geniuses like yourself and all.

"Racism" is when you make a racial distinction which is based solely on presumption and not on demonstrable fact.

"Statistics" are not racist (I'll grant that the causes behind the statistics can be racial in nature, and this does complicate cause-and-effect, which is relevant to actually solving problems identified with those statistics).

Posted by: OBloody Hell at June 3, 2008 06:05 PM

> Blacks have their problems; but some people seem to actively not want to see the magnitude of the history behind where they find themselves at this point in time (450 years of either slavery or Jim Crow that only just ended within the lifetimes of almost all blacks alive today or their parents).

You don't eliminate racism by encouraging more racism.

I'll grant some weight to the notion that Wright's rhetoric, born in the 60s, had value back then.

I argue that it's destructive NOW. In encourages blacks to hate whites who had little or nothing to do with their parent's problems -- and ignores that there have been a whole host of whites since the days BEFORE SLAVERY ENDED who made an effort to rise above those learnings and do what was Right:

My forebears were Confederate... Every factor and influence in my background -- and my wife's, for that matter -- would foster the personal belief that you are right.
But my very stomach turned over when I learned that negro soldiers, just back from overseas, were being dumped out of Army trucks in Mississippi and beaten.
Whatever my inclinations as a native of Missouri might have been, as President, I know this is bad. I shall fight to end evils like this.

- Harry S Truman -

Not all of them did it completely. Not all of them did enough. But they tried, and through their efforts, as well as the efforts of the blacks of the time the situation has changed, and radically. This entire current generation has been raised to the notion that there is no reason a black man or woman cannot be anything they choose. The popularity, all during the 80s, of the #1 rated show of the 80s, shows that. The fact that the #3 office of this nation has, twice in a row, been filled by a black person (without any negative comment from the "racist" party, at least), shows how little race matters to whites in this country -- only 60 years after those events Truman spoke of and fought against.

"But there is much to make up for!! They owe us for the things their grandfathers did!!"

NO. They do not. This generation owes not one damned thing to the current generation of blacks in "reparation". To argue otherwise is to begin walking down a very slippery slope:

I was told a story some years ago by a friend who was in Lebanon. They were in this little outdoor cafe, and everything was fine and nice -- it was a beautiful day, the sun was out, it was cool, clear, the birds were singing... then one guy came up behind some other guy in the cafe, pulled out a gun, and blew the guy's head off.

-- Apparently, the victim's grandfather had insulted the honor of the gunman's grandfather many, many decades ago.

1) This is not civilized behavior. Carrying hatred and resentment across generations is neither effective nor productive.
2) It seems equally obvious: We can all see how the victim's grandson now has cause to kill the gunman's grandson. When, exactly, does this idiocy END?

Further -- to argue this is to justify the exact same militarism that Hitler used to justify several of his early invasions (The Sudetenland, etc.), and which Saddam used to justify invading Kuwait.

"It used to be ours!!" is not adequate.

"You stole something from my great-grand-daddy!!" -- I got news for you -- unless you plan to go all the way back to Africa, that land you currently own or want to own was "owned" by the ancestors of some indian tribe out there, and probably stolen from them, by many rational arguments. So it's not going to be "yours" after you buy it. Are you going to be massively pissed, then, when some government agency decides to take it from you and hand it to some indian tribe in reparation?

You cannot correct past injustices by creating new injustices. The children of today do not owe the debts of their great-grandfathers. If you want to collect, you'll need to go to the great-grandfathers. If those men are long dead, you are flat out SOL.

Give it up, and get on with life. It's not always fair, but it's what you got. Deal with it. There is not a person on this planet who hasn't suffered some nominal loss due to injustices done to them, their fathers and mothers, and their grandfathers and grandmothers.

I can see the class-action lawsuit now....

"Yes, your Honor. We are suing the entire world for past injustices done to our client's great-grandparents. The world owes my each of my clients billions of dollars as a result!! We seek..."

Posted by: OBloody Hell at June 3, 2008 06:32 PM

See, here's the thing. The left is trying to redefine racism. For most folks, racism is acting or thinking on the basis of racial predjudice, discriminating on the basis of race. To the left, racism is doing this AND being a member of a racial group that has power in American society. What that means is that blacks and Hispanics cannot be racist, since they do not have power in American society.

Really. I kid you not. So the conflict you present here is in fact not a conflict to the left. Rev. Wright is black. Therefore he has no power in American society. Therefore any statement he makes that shows racial predjudice is not racist. Honestly. They are teaching this in colleges these days.

Posted by: RonF at June 3, 2008 09:40 AM

RonF is correct. I had to take a "multicultural education" course working on my M.Ed. This was pretty much the argument of the author of the textbook. And the instructor was also an instructor for those working on bilingual education degrees... She had us take a "quiz" she'd printed out from some website that was designed to imply the US/white people are privileged and arrogant. I made note of the site when we went over the "answers". Alarm bells went off when I saw a link about "social justice". I later went to that site when I got home. Some prof and another university (can't recall which, but I likely still have that website in my notebooks which I haven't thrown out yet). Also found links to all kinds of lefty propaganda poster & t-shirts (lots of Che...). Being a mature adult (as opposed to a college student straight out of high school), I was able to challenge the intent of the "quiz". Don't know that some wet-behind-the-ears college student would be able to do the same...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at June 3, 2008 11:37 PM

OBH,
Your reasoning is exactly why I think Mormons should sue the state of Missouri.

If anyone gets reparations, I am gonna be there.
No, wait! I will go back to France and DEMAND that they return to a Monarchy and give me my ancestral lands back! I want to be queen and let them eat cake!

In a pig's eye.

I am happy here and glad that my ancestors were able to come to a free country.

Excellent points well written.

May I borrow from you and quote you?

Please? I have a paper coming up and we are talking about this issue, so do I have your permission to cut and paste it to my files?

Proper attribution will be given, of course.

Posted by: Cricket at June 4, 2008 08:12 AM

Oh mah goodness! Mah guilt and shame! Lawsy me oh my whatever shall ah do? Preacher Jon has told me ah mus' look inside mahself, and acknowledge mah pawt in the ongoing racist oppression in mah very thoughts! When ah accept that into mah hawt, will ah be saved?

Praise the Preacher of Liberal Absolution!

*moonbat mode off*

Jon, that was total bs. I live in Georgia. A good friend of mine (we drop in on each other a few times a month and we have broken bread together many times)who is black told me that
racism was far more prevalent in the supposed liberal north and that it didn't exist in the supposed rock bound conservative south.

Missouri is one of those states I never ever hope to live in again until all the descendants of the
people who caused the Missouri Mormon war are dead and are willing to acknowledge their part in
the Extermination Order (up until 1976 it was legal to kill a Mormon in Missouri) enacted by Lilburn Boggs in 1836..I think.

Yeah, that'll show 'em! The state of Missouri must pay to me the inflated value of my ancestors' land. One lost 100,000 dollars in the 1838 value, so adjusting for over 100 years' worth of interest and inflation, we are talking about several millions.

Posted by: Cricket at June 4, 2008 08:29 AM

The whites-at-HBCU issue is very different from the TUCC issue or the 'black privilege' issue. America is, historically, a white nation. Its central, mainstream institutions were "white" by default (or by deliberate exclusion). Blacks were and are a minority, who had no proprietorship in those institutions - but had some of their own. And there is an inescapable loss when something that people have worked at dies or dissolves.



HBCUs are in a sense doomed - if blacks enroll in mainstream schools in proportionate numbers, who goes to the HBCUs?



There is an intrinsic difference between a majority and a minority, just because of the numbers. That asymmetry means a nominally equivalent practice is not necessarily morally equivalent.



And no, that's not how the KKK felt. The KKK existed to maintain exclusive white control of mainstream institutions and political power in the South.



Neither is it what Obama is saying about TUCC: he just wants to trade on black privilege to excuse TUCC's toxic doctrines.

Posted by: Rich Rostrom at June 5, 2008 01:34 AM

. Its central, mainstream institutions were "white" by default (or by deliberate exclusion). Blacks were and are a minority, who had no proprietorship in those institutions - but had some of their own. And there is an inescapable loss when something that people have worked at dies or dissolves.

Hmmm. Let's take this step by step:

1. Its central, mainstream institutions were "white" by default (or by deliberate exclusion).

And this article was about whether majority-black HBCU, which have historically been majority black by default, should remain as such by .... deliberate exclusion. So how is that different? Pardon my confusion.

2. Blacks were and are a minority, who had no proprietorship in those institutions - but had some of their own.

Whites are a minority at HBCU, and they have institutions of their own. It's hard to argue whites have 'proprietorship' at historically black institutions.

3. And there is an inescapable loss when something that people have worked at dies or dissolves.

I agree. As I remarked, I imagine the KKK felt that way too :p

In fact, I think *any* group (all female schools, all male schools, etc. would feel that way).

Ironically, I happen to support the right of free association. But that right was eroded by civil rights groups who demand it for themselves, but will not allow it for whites :p Be careful what you wish for. You missed my point entirely, didn't you, because you are so intent on your identity-based politics. People of all types have a natural desire to associate exclusively with those who are most like them.

But if you lobby to pass restrictive laws banning this right, you really have very little reason to whine when those very laws are used to deny *you* that right. Thanks to changes in the law, American blacks cannot be barred from attending the institution of their choice based on skin color. But the fly in that particular ointment is that they don't get to deny that right to anyone else, based on skin color, either. Justice sucks, sometimes, don't it? :p

Posted by: Cassandra at June 5, 2008 05:47 AM

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