During the hysteria-filled frenzy following the I-Man’s comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team last April, Barack Obama was the first presidential nominee to call for Imus’ ouster:
There’s nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group.
– Barack Obama, April 9, 2007 in an interview with ABC News
The hypocrisy of Obama’s statements is immediately obvious in light of the recent revelations regarding the candidate’s close connections to racist pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who was an advisor to his campaign until a few days ago. But the disconnect is that Imus’ comments, inappropriate as they were, were satirical. Reverend Wright’s statements, on the other hand, display hate-filled racism, justified by falsehoods(“The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color.”). [more statements from Reverend Wright]
People in Wright’s congregation no doubt use what they learn from their pastor on Sunday to justify their own weekday racism as well. This is very dangerous. He is inciting real violence when he declares that African-Americans committing black-on-black crime are “fighting the wrong enemy.” [WorldNetDaily]
Back in April ’07, Obama said that Imus’ remark was “verbal violence.” If Obama is even going to be emotionally consistent, it seems like Reverend Wright is at the very least engaged in “verbal violence.”
But it sounds like Wright is inciting real violence against people based on skin color. Imus’ NHH remark was the single most extreme example in a morning comedy program for adults, the exception that proved the rule. It took a Media Matters lackey 2 years of lurking to find something suitably offensive. Obama, on the other hand, took his children to hear Wright speak regularly. And Wright wasn’t being satirical. Indeed, if the black men passing by Obama’s grandmother on the street had just heard this sermon, she might have had a reason to have been frightened.
In the last few days, we’ve seen supporters of Wright defend his First Amendment right to free speech. That defense wasn’t enough for Imus’ satire, which was ripped completely out of every kind of context, down to a nub of 3 words. (At least Rev. Wright is allowed whole sentences and paragraphs.) New rules popped up last April to govern what someone can and can’t say, based on the apparent lightness of their skin. Obama wants the strictest possible rules for one group, the widest possible level of acceptance for another. Obama may not be a racist, but he is certainly an enabler of his pastor’s racist philosophy on one hand, the advocate of free speech limits for some—based on historical grievances and the skin color of the speaker—on the other.
(Plus, no one is saying Wright should be prohibited from saying these things, or anything for that matter, just that Obama is probably going to pay a political price for the association.)
Others claim this is unfair “guilt by association.” Obama is running for president, they say, not Reverend Wright. But this isn’t about guilt by association. It’s an illustration of the philosophy Obama has chosen to hear on Sunday, the ideas he wants his kids to learn early.
Now, one has to ask: What is the biggest example of racism that’s been dug up in the last year or so, the greatest modern-day purveyor of white racist evil? Imus fans know that episode was an absurdity, a few words from a morning shock jock taken out of satirical context, taken out of the context of Don Imus’ long history of deep admiration of the African-American experience(occasionally to the point of mimicry) and celebration of black culture. The evil that Reverend Wright is railing about in these clips is largely a phantom. In his Philadelphia race speech, Obama brought belief in this ghost to the level of presidential politics. He shares his philosophy with Reverend Wright. It’s more important to him than the Bill of Rights.
This is an example of what some call “liberal insanity,” which manifests itself in twisted double-think. It always finds reasons to justify its own feelings self-righteously, so hypocrisy and double-standards are never far away. Now, modern technologies make the loop on this stuff short enough for all of us to perceive. Yes, Senator Obama said a lot of good things to get the race discussion going again. But most of this is a generational process that is simply going to have to work itself out. We’re all equal. Of course where there are iniquities in education, health care, justice and opportunity those things need to be addressed immediately. Of course.
For many, the Imus incident last April was “when the war came home.” Unfortunately, it’s becoming more clear that I’m right about this.
Muslims nations: Defame Islam, get sued?
Many Muslims [are] against principles of freedom of speech enshrined in the constitutions of numerous Western governments.
“I don’t think freedom of expression should mean freedom from blasphemy,” said Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade, the chairman of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference. “There can be no freedom without limits.”
Delegates were given a voluminous report by the OIC that recorded anti-Islamic speech and actions from around the world. The report concludes that Islam is under attack and that a defense must be mounted.
These are the same principles Barack Obama has shown himself to support.
The biggest example remains the 2005 cartoons printed in Denmark. And today bin Laden is making death threats to the entire continent of Europe for “defamation” of Islam. Offended by some little cartoons? Blame an entire continent. Now that’s guilt by association.
Incredible. Barack Obama is enabling and justifying the words of Reverend Wright with almost exactly the same logic that Wright uses to justify the actions of Osama bin Laden.
Barack Obama has shown his cards again, and it’s the same hand he had last April. This guy wants to defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? No way. He has already shown how he feels about the First Amendment and freedom of speech. He does not defend them for all. For him, racial solidarity comes first, above the absolute quality of the First Amendment. In my book, a racist philosophy of viewing the world is racism. The civil rights movement has reached the end of the line. It’s over. We’re equal. Much of America is already in a post-racial world. That’s where Imus’ program existed. Come join us.
As a white man(a racist appellation I object to, but we’ll save it), I can personally attest to the fact that I’ve been passed by probably 20 times more empty taxicabs than have pulled over to pick me up. Besides, the only white cab drivers these days are in Las Vegas.
Can’t wait to have a black president, a President who happens to be black, just not this guy. No way.
• Please Show I.D.
• Geraldine Ferraro: Wright a “racist bigot”
• Obama: My grandmother who fears black men is a “typical white person”
• ABC: Obama contradicts a year of denial
• NYT: “Mr. Obama’s eloquent speech should end the debate over his ties to Mr. Wright”