Monday, March 17, 2008
Ignore him, he’s my crazy uncle
What Barack tried to do in Philadelphia today is no less than despicable. He tried to divert the story from the ravings of his pastor to a story about race in America. He blamed us so we would not blame him. He really missed the point. What was more disturbing than the hateful sermons of the now in-hiding Reverend Wright is the enthusiastic response of his parishioners. They oohed, aahed, cheered and encouraged the right reverend Wright in his bombastic tirades against America. That was what Obama’s speech should have been about. He should have more clearly explained how his brothers and sisters in that Chicago church could cheer at Wright’s suggestions of America’s cruelty. He should have explained how Wright’s tirade about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were misplaced. Instead, at his speech in Philadelphia Barack asks us to sympathize with his inability to distance himself from the pastor who liberation theology has been an integral part of Barack's political upbringing in Chicago. Instead, he says we should focus on the fact that he is both white and black. That he is both African and Caucasian. That race relations, in his view, are the elephant in the room. He wants us to overlook the fact that he sat in the congregation for 20 years and never uttered a word of criticism until his political future depended on it. Overlook that he rarely mentioned his Caucasian heritage until it offered protection from reverse racism. As a 21st century American I have some news for Obama. Most white Americans in this day and age are far less racist than most black Americans. We have learned the lessons of bigotry, rejected Jim Crow and eschew the separate but equal doctrine of the 20th century. We are more capable than many of the country's prominent blacks, who can he heard on radio and television, of judging people by content rather than skin color. Caucasians are far more ready to accept a black man as President than black people are ready to accept the fact that Jim Crow and slavery no longer exist. Caucasians are more likely to overlook the ranting of a separatist preacher than black people are likely to overlook the ranting of a skinhead. And, we are more ready to treat black people equally than they are, it seems, to accept equality. Everybody may have a crazy uncle who brings embarrassment to the family, but Barack’s crazy uncle may to get a podium in the White House if his naive nephew becomes President.