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Bloggingheads
03-27-2008, 06:13 PM

graz
03-27-2008, 11:14 PM
Josh and Brink held a reasoned and interesting conversation.
Their dispassion was a welcome change of pace. The most interesting highlight for me was their characterization of Obama's misstep on the jobs lost overseas issue. It wasn't something I had focused on before, but they both made a good case against Obama's pandering on that point.
It was refreshing to hear an analysis that didn't presume to divine the effect and fallout.

TwinSwords
03-28-2008, 08:50 AM
There has been a lot of frank astonishment in the white community about the "crazy" conspiracy theories embraced by Rev. Wright.

It should not be that surprising, even if I agree most of it is untrue. Anyone who knows the first thing about black history would understand why these conspiracy theories carry weight among blacks. White people pride themselves on knowing nothing, or at least the minimum possible, about other cultures. So naturally they are astonished to find out that black people view the universe differently than they do.

Rightwing blowhard John Stossel did a fairly interesting report a few years about about the "urban myths" that are widely believed by blacks. This might help put Rev. Wright's remarks in context, somewhat:

Black Urban Myths (part 1 of 2) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diRVxeUPMyQ)
Black Urban Myths (part 2 of 2) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCWAMKppKO4)

As Stossel himself says, "When reality is as ugly as fiction, it's hard to know what's true."

bjkeefe
03-28-2008, 10:22 AM
Before I get to watching this diavlog, I want to say that the new "Heads" page is outstanding. Great addition!

In the same spirit, I propose another page, where forum participants could opt to have links to their own blogs/web sites/books* listed. Considering both the tone and mode of our communication, I nominate, for the page title, "YappingHands."

__________
* I expect R. Mirman will hasten to second this suggestion. ;^)

gwlaw99
03-28-2008, 10:25 AM
White people pride themselves on knowing nothing, or at least the minimum possible, about other cultures. So naturally they are astonished to find out that black people view the universe differently than they do.

Sorry but you aren't excused from horrible behavior just because it is "part of your culture". Otherwise any bigoted act by any group can simply be excused as part of their "culture". Your argument is relativism at its worst.

Bloggin' Noggin
03-28-2008, 10:35 AM
I thought Josh was exactly right that Obama took the risk of "talking up" to his audience, giving his audience the compliment of assuming that they could understand more than a three year-old in the way of complexity and nuance.

That of course, is precisely what Mickey can't stand about the speech. He hears it as lecturing and high-minded posturing.

Why does he hear it this way? I suspect it's partly because he's a journalist (or was trained as one, anyway). The speech wasn't simple enough to fit in a soundbyte, therefore, it won't do well in the media (which will only pull out soundbytes). As a journalist one can look at this focus on soundbytes as a drawback of television coverage and try to compensate, or one can reduce cognitive dissonance by just surrendering one's intellect to the Entertainment Tonight/Tim Russert mentality, where there is no distinction between appearance and reality: apparent scandals when they get big enough are real scandals, unclear statements about legislative process are crimes, and where candidates for office are expected themselves to discuss the horserace in their debates instead of actually running the race. Mickey seems to have gone for this strategy -- as had the ninnies that covered Al Gore and trashed him. "Gore actually tries to talk about his policies to people -- BOOOOO-RING!
And then he has the GALL to think he's smarter and more intellectually serious than we journalists are! How dare he! Doesn't he realize that the American people are the stupid ones, with the attention span of a pack of cocker spaniels? If he can't connect with US, the media elite, why then he certainly won't connect with those fools! And guess what! He won't have any chance to connect, because ultimately reality is what we say it is."
That is the journalist mentality: a vicious cycle of cynical perceptions creating a cynical reality which then seems to make the case for even more cynicism. Welcome to Mickey's world.
Of course, I don't know how the rest of the public felt about Obama's speech (especially since they only saw parts of the speech, not the whole thing), but I personally LOVED being treated as an adult by a major politician. I suspect that, if they heard enough of the speech that even far less educated listeners would appreciate being given that respect.

ohcomeon
03-28-2008, 10:50 AM
Well said BN.

Bloggin' Noggin
03-28-2008, 10:51 AM
Sorry but you aren't excused from horrible behavior just because it is "part of your culture". Otherwise any bigoted act by any group can simply be excused as part of their "culture". Your argument is relativism at its worst.

Your concluding remark presupposes an awful lot about what TwinSwords was trying to establish.
Lots of white people believe crazy things too -- for example, that without NAFTA, all those manufacturing jobs would come back to Detroit or that Affirmative Action has blighted the prospects of the white working class or that all Muslims are would-be terrorists.

The question is, what does one do when lots of people believe such fantasies? Does one just write those people off? Or does one try to engage with them? If one is going to engage with them, one must be associated with them in some way. If Obama is going to engage with the black community, he can't spend all his time casting off everyone who believes these urban myths. If he's going to be elected president, he probably can't tell white Ohioans that NAFTA isn't really the main enemy. Politics isn't a matter of purity, it's a matter of bringing people together where you can to achieve progress on one's priorities. If Obama had refused to deal with people who hold views like those assembled in the Wright clip-montage in his days as a community organizer, he'd have gotten nowhere beyond a solitary 'purity'.
I see nothing "relativist" about that point -- I'd call it "realism" or "pragmatism".

Bloggin' Noggin
03-28-2008, 11:02 AM
Thanks, ohcomeon! I'm glad to see you've kept on with the Hussein signature. I forgot to keep styling myself "Bloggin' Hussein O'Noggin" -- which I shamelessly adapted from your signature.

gwlaw99
03-28-2008, 11:23 AM
The question is, what does one do when lots of people believe such fantasies? Does one just write those people off? Or does one try to engage with them? If one is going to engage with them, one must be associated with them in some way. If Obama is going to engage with the black community, he can't spend all his time casting off everyone who believes these urban myths. If he's going to be elected president, he probably can't tell white Ohioans that NAFTA isn't really the main enemy. Politics isn't a matter of purity, it's a matter of bringing people together where you can to achieve progress on one's priorities. If Obama had refused to deal with people who hold views like those assembled in the Wright clip-montage in his days as a community organizer, he'd have gotten nowhere beyond a solitary 'purity'.
I see nothing "relativist" about that point -- I'd call it "realism" or "pragmatism".

You make a fair point, but the problem is that Obama did not "engage" these ideas in the last 20 years. Why did he give them a complete pass and bring his children to a Church where such ideas would be instilled in them.

If Obama had been confronting the ideas before it became a political issue you would have a point, but it didn't happen until it became a problem for his campaign. He just said this week that he would have left the Church if Rev. Wright had not retired. He had 20 years to leave the Church while listening to Wright, but suddenly he would leave?

The most favorable reading of this is that Obama is a member of his Church for purely political reasons. The least favorable is that he really agrees with Wright's ideas. The latter is definitely not true. The former just makes him as cynical a candidate as any other politician. I do not hold his against him. My own cynicism about politicians makes it unsurprising, but it certainly goes against the image that he has been presenting of himself to the country.

bjkeefe
03-28-2008, 11:38 AM
graz:

The most interesting highlight for me was their characterization of Obama's misstep on the jobs lost overseas issue. It wasn't something I had focused on before, but they both made a good case against Obama's pandering on that point.

Agreed. To be a bit of a nitpicker on fairness, Will and Kerry did touch on this point as well, in their most recent diavlog.

bjkeefe
03-28-2008, 11:50 AM
gwlaw:

The most favorable reading of this is that Obama is a member of his Church for purely political reasons. The least favorable is that he really agrees with Wright's ideas.

That strikes me as too simplistic, and as a false dichotomy. Another possible explanation for Obama staying in a church whose pastor said the occasional distasteful thing is that (a) he liked a lot else of what the pastor said; (b) he liked a lot of what the pastor did, and judged actions more important than words; (c) he got a lot else out of the community whose focal point was the church; (d) some or all of the above. I will concede that there could have been additional, less noble, aspects to Obama's decision to continue his association with that particular church, but I do not think these were paramount.

From my upbringing as a Catholic, and continued contact with friends and family who have stuck with that church despite all of the hateful stuff spewed by church people from the Pope down to the parish priest, I can well believe that the relationship one has with a church and its pastor is at least as complicated as any other human relationship.

It strikes me that you're trying to use Obama's long relationship with the church as a cudgel, just because you don't like him. It may even be that you did like him, but this was the dealbreaker for you. Fine. You have your own scale upon which to measure the importance of various elements of a candidate. But I do think you're being superficial to characterize this whole Wright issue as you do.

bjkeefe
03-28-2008, 11:54 AM
I second ohc: Very well said, BN.

And I second BN: Nice to see the persistence in your sig, ohc. I can't decide whether to change mine in solidarity, or to leave it alone out of respect for your creativity.

Bloggin' Noggin
03-28-2008, 11:55 AM
Well, there's cynicism and there's cynicism. Even the most idealistic politician must be "cynical" to the degree that he chooses his battles carefully, alienating only those he really needs to alienate in order to achieve the things he regards as most important.
A completely cynical politician would be one whose only interest is his own power. But even an idealistic politician must care for his own power and influence if he's to get anything done that he thinks worth doing.

I don't think we really know what Obama may or may not have done to confront such attitudes. The lack of evidence so far does not establish for me that he never argued with people who held such views. All we really know is that he didn't disown such people when they continued to hold different views.

We should also recognize that the clip montage is not at all representative of Wright's sermons or of his influence. Wright's sermons and his influence seem to have been very largely positive. A realistic idealist politician could quite reasonably regard Wright as a big net positive in a calculation of costs and benefits.

I think Lyndon Johnson deserves a great deal of credit for his championship of civil rights -- he knew there would be a huge political cost for the democrats, yet he fought hard for the civil rights bills. In some sense, he turns out to have been a kind of idealist. But if you look at how Johnson rose to power in the Senate as the protege of segregationists and machine politicians, there is just no comparison between how cynical he must have been and how cynical Obama has to be to associate with Wright.
I think it's important not to reduce all political pragmatism to pure cynicism or to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

I'm aware that Obama doesn't completely level with Americans (e.g., about NAFTA), but I like him because he does try to level with us where he can (short of political suicide).

Jay J
03-28-2008, 11:58 AM
Bloggin,

I had a response all picked out, but mostly I agree with you. I'm cutting my response in half, cuz I just ran accross this, and I had to post it:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/03/28/obama.pastor/index.html

I distinguish myself with some on the far left who perhaps didn't need Obama to do any clean up work at all. It was important to me that Obama say that he disagreed with the things his pastor said, in particular the way he said them. Once he did that, it was enough for me. I never needed him to give a big speech, though I thought it was great.

Now that he said he would have left his church had his pastor not retired...wow, that's WAY beyond anything I ever needed him to say.

I suppose he may be completely sincere, but it's hard to imagine that he didn't do any political calculus in his head before he made this statement. And on that front, I suppose the largest constituency who might be offended by his recent declaration are black voters, and I suppose he's going to get the overwhelming majority of those votes, no matter what.

One last thought: though there may be a way to reconcile this, one of the impressive and risky things about his speech is that he said he could no more disown his pastor than his white grandmother. I'm not immediately sure how that sqaures with his recent statement.

bjkeefe
03-28-2008, 12:04 PM
Brink: I really enjoyed listening to you this time around. I was especially impressed with your nuance: in your take on Obama's speech, in your discussion of the education/disparity problem, and in your analysis of McCain as a potential president. No glibertarian, you.

Josh: As usual, you many useful things to say. Speaking as a long-time fan, I do wish you would try harder to keep yourself to fewer points per turn in the conversation. I realize that there's a lot going on in that brain; it would be easier to appreciate it if the transmission mode were slightly more serial and not quite so massively parallel. It could be that I'm just a hyperactive twit with too short an attention span, but I thought I'd throw that out there. Please take my intent as constructive criticism.

bjkeefe
03-28-2008, 12:11 PM
Jay:

One last thought: though there may be a way to reconcile this, one of the impressive and risky things about his speech is that he said he could no more disown his pastor than his white grandmother. I'm not immediately sure how that sqaures with his recent statement.

One way to reconcile it is to imagine yourself having a relative who says the occasional problematic thing. You might imagine yourself growing from having to sit there and take it as a kid, to tentatively disputing it as an adolescent, to trying to engage in real debate as you further mature. Suppose also that as time goes on, your relative becomes more hardened and/or abrasive in the problem areas. At some point, you might stop visiting this relative, or only drop by once in a great while. You might even tell this relative, "I'm sorry, I can't be around you if you're going to continue in this vein." Seems a common enough family dynamic, and as I pointed out in another comment, the relationship one has with a church and pastor can be very much like a relationship with a close relative.

gwlaw99
03-28-2008, 12:29 PM
gwlaw: That strikes me as too simplistic, and as a false dichotomy. Another possible explanation for Obama staying in a church whose pastor said the occasional distasteful thing is that (a) he liked a lot else of what the pastor said; (b) he liked a lot of what the pastor did, and judged actions more important than words; (c) he got a lot else out of the community whose focal point was the church; (d) some or all of the above.

Would you be writing off such statements if David Duke was a good friend and honoree of the head of Clinton's or McCain's church? Or if the head of either of their churches made such conspiratorial and racist remarks about african americans?

The problem with these explanations is that this week Obama said that because of Wrights words, he would have left the Church if Wright had stayed. How can he explain leaving now and not earlier? How can he explain not standing up to Wright's crazy ideas before as he is now?

As I remarked before, I do not believe that Obama holds any of Wright's beliefs, but, for me, this has certainly worn the shine off his claim of being different from any other cynical politician.

Jay J
03-28-2008, 12:32 PM
Brendan,

Good points.

I suppose there were some unspoken assumptions in my question, and that's that apparently Obama thought that the past statements of his pastor were unacceptable but didn't rise to the level of disownment.

For him to now say that he would have left the church makes it seem like there was quite a big caveat lurking in the background of his statement that he couldn't disown his pastor.

His statement that he couldn't disown his pastor seemed to draw a sort of line in the sand, telling people who wondered why he didn't just leave his church that Pastor Wright's good qualities vastly outweighed his bad qualities.

His more recent statement however seems to erase that line drawn. It seems like as time goes on, more and more stuff keeps coming out about the church's outlandish associations and positions, and Pastor Wright's views. So much so that it's starting to get more and more difficult to believe that Obama was unaware of all this.

If he was aware of it, and still said what he did the other day in his landmark speech, why muddy the water now?

Though I accept your explanation as more than sufficient for how people behave, it doesn't seem to sqaure with the position took in his historic speech.

But hey, I could very well be overlooking something, and I speak only out of concern for how it will play in the MSM, since I'm an Obama guy.

I only want to know that my President publicly and unequivocally disasscoiates himself from wacky views like Pastor Wright's, I don't need my President to disassociate with everyone with such views.

And because of Obama's personal relationship with Wright, he's had to do more disassociating over the last few months than GOP candidates have with their crazy fundamentalist base over the last 25 years. It's starting to get very tiresome.

ohcomeon
03-28-2008, 01:02 PM
Feel free to use it, Brendan. I would love to see it go viral.

bjkeefe
03-28-2008, 01:22 PM
Feel free to use it, Brendan. I would love to see it go viral.

Thanks. Done.

bjkeefe
03-28-2008, 01:41 PM
Would you be writing off such statements if David Duke was a good friend and honoree of the head of Clinton's or McCain's church? Or if the head of either of their churches made such conspiratorial and racist remarks about african americans?

I don't think that's a fair comparison. I am unaware of anything good that David Duke has ever done. I am also of the impression that the racial hatred part of Duke is a much larger part of his character than it is for Wright. Minor second point: while Wright's most extreme remarks are no less distasteful than the KKK bile that Duke has spewed, it is a bit more understandable for a black man of a certain age to give vent to resentment and mistrust of whites than it is for a white man to do so regarding blacks.

The problem with these explanations is that this week Obama said that because of Wrights words, he would have left the Church if Wright had stayed. How can he explain leaving now and not earlier? How can he explain not standing up to Wright's crazy ideas before as he is now?

See my response (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=72709&postcount=12) to Jay J's similar question.

As I remarked before, I do not believe that Obama holds any of Wright's beliefs, but, for me, this has certainly worn the shine off his claim of being different from any other cynical politician.

I can see that, especially if one's first impression was of Obama was that he was entirely without flaw, and different from the stereotypical politician in every regard. This seems an unrealistic standard to measure him against, though. I urge you, instead, to evaluate how much of a "cynical politician" he is, compared to his competition. To me, there is no competition -- Obama is no angel, but he's still head and shoulders above the other two. I think he is sincere in wanting to drag politics up to a better place, but also realistic enough to know that politics is always the art of the possible.

As BN pointed out elsewhere in this thread, and as I have said on numerous occasions myself, you can't govern if you don't win. The reality of what it takes to get elected in America means that 100% purity is not an option. You might read the Ryan Lizza article, linked to in the sidebar, for a detailed look at how this has manifested in Obama's view of himself as a politician. Quite instructive, I thought.

AemJeff
03-28-2008, 01:47 PM
Would you be writing off such statements if David Duke was a good friend and honoree of the head of Clinton's or McCain's church? Or if the head of either of their churches made such conspiratorial and racist remarks about african americans?

The problem with these explanations is that this week Obama said that because of Wrights words, he would have left the Church if Wright had stayed. How can he explain leaving now and not earlier? How can he explain not standing up to Wright's crazy ideas before as he is now?

As I remarked before, I do not believe that Obama holds any of Wright's beliefs, but, for me, this has certainly worn the shine off his claim of being different from any other cynical politician.

We need a corollary to Godwin's law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_Law) for Klan references .

I had a pretty drawn out exchange on this topic on another board. Firstly, in your case, the Klan reference is a straw-man argument. There's no useful analogy between David Duke and Reverend Wright. To even suggest that analogy is offensive. Why? Firstly, unless you're a regular attendee at that church, you've only had access to a small sample of what his preaching is about. That sample was selected by Obama's political enemies, in order to inflict damage on Obama's candidacy. In other words it ought to be taken with a grain of salt, rather than assumed to be objectively representative.

More importantly there's a more than four-century history of slavery and oppression directed at blacks, by whites, in this country - the effects of which are even now afftecting the lives of blacks in this country. Comparing the rhetoric of a member of an oppressed class (regardless of the personal history of the individual involved) to that of a well known spokesman for the system of oppression is ugly, wrong, and as I said, entirely offensive.

If you don't like Obama, or Wright, that's fine. If you're going to use ugly, racist analogies you should be publicly called out, every time.

graz
03-28-2008, 01:48 PM
graz:
Agreed. To be a bit of a nitpicker on fairness, Will and Kerry did touch on this point as well, in their most recent diavlog.

Brendan:

True, credit to Kerry and Will. As Brink is also in this libertarian camp, it is a good sign that the potential swing votes that they represent may be persuaded to pull the lever for Obama. Kerry clearly would and Will would likely succumb viewing it as his least bad option. Brink still seems willing to champion McCain, even with his foreign policy concerns. I still hope that the debate will turn on Iraq and the race issue will have receded.

uncle ebeneezer
03-28-2008, 01:58 PM
As mentioned in a previous comment, I had a somewhat racist grandfather. So why did my parents bring me up around him and never openly denounce him in the 20+ years of my life that he was around? My parents must be incredibly racist and/or politically motivated. Or they just realized that I'm not a moron and that I can see shades of grey and create my own world vision that allows me to see and judge the world in a way that is appropriate for me.

We have no idea what Obama would say if his children witnessed any of Wright's more volatile sermons or even heard of them. It's entirely possible that (like my parents) he would have told them that some of the things Wright says are just ludicrous, but as a whole he does alot of good for the community and that nobody's perfect. I find it somewhat ironic that so many of the Rep leaning people I know who think that parenting is something that should be considered sacred and beyond the scope of the public and/or government (especially the ones who feel the need to spank their children and think it should be a God-given right to the parent) frequently bring up this "what about the children" attack on Obama vis a vis Pastor Wright.

And then there's the point that wasn't Wright quoting somebody else??!! These incendiary words were not even his own original thoughts. He was using them as part of explaining the mixed feelings of the world in the confusing days following 9/11 and trying to put them into a biblical perspective. Context does matter.

bjkeefe
03-28-2008, 01:58 PM
Jay:

There's not much for me to dispute about your impression of Obama's further distancing himself from Wright. It can be explained as I put it in my previous response to you, or as the usual political effort to put this behind him, or some combination of the two. My sense is about 80/20 (sincerity/calculation), especially after reading the Lizza article linked to in the sidebar. But ultimately, it's a gut feeling -- no way to know for sure.

The second part is how important any of this is, in light of all the other issues. I myself care a lot more about Obama's views on real matters of national importance, his potential to bring Americans together and to improve our image abroad, and the huge boost he has given the country in getting young people interested in politics and national affairs.

And because of Obama's personal relationship with Wright, he's had to do more disassociating over the last few months than GOP candidates have with their crazy fundamentalist base over the last 25 years. It's starting to get very tiresome.

Yeah, I completely agree. It's pretty obvious that at least 95% of this obsession over pastors-whom-Obama-has-known is being played as an appeal to racial fears and resentments among white voters. It's an easy way for Obama's opponents to say, "Don't vote for him -- he's a scary black guy," without having to say it out loud.

I would note that the GOP is not solely at fault here. Hillary Clinton has been inexcusable in this regard as well.

gwlaw99
03-28-2008, 02:05 PM
I don't think that's a fair comparison. I am unaware of anything good that David Duke has ever done. I am also of the impression that the racial hatred part of Duke is a much larger part of his character than it is for Wright. Minor second point: while Wright's most extreme remarks are no less distasteful than the KKK bile that Duke has spewed, it is a bit more understandable for a black man of a certain age to give vent to resentment and mistrust of whites than it is for a white man to do so regarding blacks.


I was comparing Duke to Farrakhan and I personally do not excuse racism no matter what the person's color.

See my response to Jay J's similar question..

I don't buy it. Obama is grown man not a child.

bjkeefe
03-28-2008, 02:06 PM
graz:

Brink still seems willing to champion McCain ...

I'd love to have the chance to talk to Brink about this, one on one. I know he is constitutionally loathe to accept Obama's views on matters of economic policy, but I'd really like to pin him down and ask, "Do you think McCain has even the slightest interest, let alone idea, of what to do in this area? Do you really want four more years of spin about the imaginary benefits of supply-side economics that really do nothing but exacerbate the wealth disparity problem, or can you swallow a little bit of nanny-statism in return for an honestly stated agenda, and fight over the specific proposals?"

Blancandrin
03-28-2008, 07:30 PM
The first sentence after this dingalink (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9740?in=00:09:49) sums up my own reaction to Obama's speech, though I'd specifically say modern politician.

People who really love the speech can't have seen many speeches.

Wonderment
03-28-2008, 09:09 PM
I distinguish myself with some on the far left who perhaps didn't need Obama to do any clean up work at all. It was important to me that Obama say that he disagreed with the things his pastor said, in particular the way he said them. Once he did that, it was enough for me. I never needed him to give a big speech, though I thought it was great.

I guess I will speak up (again) for the "far left." I do not think Obama should have backed away from Rev. Wright at all. He could have said he doesn't agree with a couple of the crazy ideas (on AIDs, for example), but otherwise he didn't need to apologize for Wright.

He did so as a political strategy, and it showed.

I don't believe for a nanosecond that Obama was previously disturbed by the content of Rev. Wright's sermons. If he had been, he wouldn't have written so lovingly about him in "Dreams from my Father" and then titled his second book in honor of another Wright sermon on the "Audacity of Hope."

Obama started to figure out that some white people would have a fit over Wright when he disinvited him from the presidential campaign announcement speech.

If you believe Obama was "appalled" by the Wright statements, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you with a sub-prime mortgage attached.

Globalcop
03-28-2008, 09:38 PM
Thanks for the links, fascinating videos.

donroberto
03-29-2008, 04:44 AM
Imagine that relative still believes that Liz Claiborne made racist remarks on Oprah even after it was pointed out that Liz has never even appeared on Oprah, or the relative still believes the ship on the Snapple label is a slave ship even after you point out that it is a scene depicting the Boston tea party.

How the hell do you deal with people's non-rational beliefs to which they are absolutely committed, even though they themselves cognitively and even rationally know them to be untrue?

gwlaw99
03-29-2008, 02:01 PM
We need a corollary to Godwin's law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_Law) for Klan references .

I had a pretty drawn out exchange on this topic on another board. Firstly, in your case, the Klan reference is a straw-man argument. There's no useful analogy between David Duke and Reverend Wright. To even suggest that analogy is offensive. Why? Firstly, unless you're a regular attendee at that church, you've only had access to a small sample of what his preaching is about. That sample was selected by Obama's political enemies, in order to inflict damage on Obama's candidacy. In other words it ought to be taken with a grain of salt, rather than assumed to be objectively representative.

More importantly there's a more than four-century history of slavery and oppression directed at blacks, by whites, in this country - the effects of which are even now afftecting the lives of blacks in this country. Comparing the rhetoric of a member of an oppressed class (regardless of the personal history of the individual involved) to that of a well known spokesman for the system of oppression is ugly, wrong, and as I said, entirely offensive.

If you don't like Obama, or Wright, that's fine. If you're going to use ugly, racist analogies you should be publicly called out, every time.

You are right except that I said no such thing. I said Rev Wright was friends with gave honors to the equivalent of David Duke ie Louis Farakan.

Namazu
03-29-2008, 02:20 PM
Barack Obama appears to have visited a brilliant feat of misdirection upon a segment of brie-eating white America by making the (easy) case for black resentment instead of the (hard) one for Liberation Theology. His own writing paints a portrait of a disaffected young man grasping at all manner of fashionable leftist straws well into his late 20s at least. I'm a lot less concerned about whether he renounces the sermons of Reverend Wright than how he (presumably) outgrew the teachings of Karl Marx.

bjkeefe
03-29-2008, 02:27 PM
I'm a lot less concerned about whether he renounces the sermons of Reverend Wright than how he (presumably) outgrew the teachings of Karl Marx.

And are you equally concerned about the programming that was visited upon John McCain during his years under control by Ho Chi Minh?

I am most concerned that Obama's time in Hawaii will lead him, if elected, to seriously suppress the use of consonants.

AemJeff
03-29-2008, 02:37 PM
I said no such thing. I said Rev Wright was friends with gave honors to the equivalent of David Duke ie Louis Farakan.


I read your reply to Brendan in which you clarified this. It didn't read that way to me at the time, but I can see how that's what your intent could have been. I'll go so far as to say that Farrakhan strikes me as a pretty loathsome character. I still think we need a moratorium on Klan references when we're describing blacks. I feel the same way about referring to Israelis in Nazi terms, even Godwin notwithstanding. History can void the usefulness of certain analogies, even (and I'm certainly implying nothing about Israel) if there is a certain seemingly useful irony in the construction.

graz
03-29-2008, 02:38 PM
Brendan:"I am most concerned that Obama's time in Hawaii will lead him, if elected, to serious suppress the use of consonants.[/QUOTE]

But consider the trade-off of the promotion of macadamia nuts.

bjkeefe
03-29-2008, 06:32 PM
But consider the trade-off of the promotion of macadamia nuts.

Another lobby that Obama is secretly in thrall to, for sure. He'll probably outlaw almonds and pecans.

TwinSwords
04-03-2008, 01:01 PM
Sorry but you aren't excused from horrible behavior just because it is "part of your culture". Otherwise any bigoted act by any group can simply be excused as part of their "culture". Your argument is relativism at its worst.

I wasn't "excusing" anything, I was proposing no "relativism," and there was barely even an "argument" present in my post.

I was simply pointing out that Jeremiah Wright's strange (to white people) outlook on the world is actually fairly common and widespread.

I further suggested that this should be expected by anyone who either (a) understands black America, or (b) understands black history.

When your history is riddled with the countless examples of white people conspiring -- violently and over centuries -- to keep them down, you might have some perspective which most white people today do not.

Apparently, Bill Clinton is the blackest candidate many people could imagine voting for.

I'm not and never would defend some of Wright's statements, e.g., the AIDS comment, but I think people should recognize that conspiracy theories about white malice carry an enormous amount of weight in the black community.

You should study some black history sometime. What do you know about the life of Marcus Garvey? How did Fred Hampton end up? Ever hear of a Supreme Court Justice named Roger Taney? What about a case called Plessy v. Ferguson? How long did Reconstruction last, and what replaced it? What prominent Confederate Civil War General founded the KKK following the South's defeat?

What makes Barack Obama's candidacy remarkable and hopeful is that it offers America the chance to begin a new era based on Thomas Jefferson's old promise about all men being created equal. It's a damn shame he has any connection at all to Jermiah Wright, but then, if you want someone who hasn't been touched or exposed to black thinking and black culture, you might want to vote for John McCain or another pasty white candidate.

(Thank you, Bloggin' Noggin', for correctly observing that GWLaw's post "presupposes an awful lot about what TwinSwords was trying to establish." He completely misunderstood what I was saying, which I will admit is my fault for not being more clear.)

TwinSwords
04-03-2008, 01:13 PM
Thanks for the links, fascinating videos.

No problem, glad you found them interesting. They really show how widespread are some of the attitudes expressed by Rev. Wright.

If you want to watch another extremely interesting program descrbing white efforts to control blacks since the early 1600s, let me suggest:

Slave Catchers, Slave Resistors: Deal with the Devil (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRnLzkXXUBc)
Slave Catchers, Slave Resistors: Stono Rebellion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayT0JWXrBUw)
Slave Catchers, Slave Resistors: Poor Whites (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR9pdnnfqJQ)
Slave Catchers, Slave Resistors: American Revolutionary War (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOrwQG8waRA)
Slave Catchers, Slave Resistors: David Walker (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Si-5pau4zZU)
Slave Catchers, Slave Resistors: Nat Turner (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1XNQVHgfek)
Slave Catchers, Slave Resistors: White Terrorism (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnkWe10vlAQ&feature=related)
Slave Catchers, Slave Resistors: The Free North (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEWe-J5_69E&feature=related)
Slave Catchers, Slave Resistors: The Civil War (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrPCRTvPX2k&feature=related)
Slave Catchers, Slave Resistors: Reconstruction & Jim Crow (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwM_mmA4YDc&feature=related)


Total runtime: 100 minutes.


As I've said, just a passing familiarity with what whites have done to blacks for centuries might help explain some of the attitudes of Rev. Wright and black America.

TwinSwords
04-03-2008, 01:17 PM
Imagine that relative still believes that Liz Claiborne made racist remarks on Oprah even after it was pointed out that Liz has never even appeared on Oprah, or the relative still believes the ship on the Snapple label is a slave ship even after you point out that it is a scene depicting the Boston tea party.

How the hell do you deal with people's non-rational beliefs to which they are absolutely committed, even though they themselves cognitively and even rationally know them to be untrue?

Good questions, but this is by no means a problem limited to black people.

Let me paraphrase: "How the hell do you deal with a presidential candidate who says that Iran is training Al Qaeda?" That's a crazy delusion, too, with just as much of a factual basis.