Barack Obama had a perfect opportunity to transcend old racial attitudes and practice a new kind of politics with his A More Perfect Union speech. Unfortunately, Obama failed to distance himself from Reverend Wright by disavowing him and his divisive, hate-filled rants. Obama defended Wright’s statements as echoing the attitudes of his generation. He was not as generous to his “typical white” grandmother. Barack stretched to find some moral equivalence in a woman who never asked God to damn America, never said America invented the AIDS virus, never said Roosevelt knew about Pearl Harbor, never blamed 9/11 on America and never preached to thousands and proudly sold her remarks on DVD. While criticizing the grandmother who helped raised him, he defended Reverend Wright as a product of segregation and Jim Crow laws.

“This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted.”

That’s fine except for the fact that Reverend Wright did not grow up in a segregated South. It would also be very difficult to argue the Reverend’s opportunities have been systematically constricted in an honest look at his background.

At the same time most of the country was shocked by seeing and hearing the words of Reverend Wright for the first time, the Democrat dominated Illinois House was passing a resolution to honor Reverend Wright in his retirement from Trinity United Church of Christ. Another old style liberal Chicago politician, State Rep. Monique Davis of Chicago, sponsored the resolution which was passed by the House on March 11. The resolution does not describe a minister who grew up in a segregated South, attending segregated schools, drinking out of separate water fountains, being attacked by police dogs and sprayed by fire hoses. In fact, it says Reverend Wright grew up in Philadelphia, PA – were segregation was not the law of the land and is ironically the same city where Obama delivered his speech.

What the resolution tells us is that Reverend Wright attended integrated public schools in Philadelphia. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Union University, a Master’s Degree from Howard University and another Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago. Revered Wright enjoyed the advantage of some of the finest education American provides.

Rep. Davis also sponsored another resolution last year in celebration of Reverend Wright’s 35 years at Trinity United Church of Christ. That resolution tells us that Reverend Wright was a third generation family member to graduate from Virginia Union. His parents attended and met at Virginia Union and his grandparents graduated from there in the early 1900s. There are tens of millions of Americans of all backgrounds who would like to say their grandparents are college graduates, but can not. Reverend Wright’s opportunity was not constricted, nor was his parents’, nor his grandparents’.

”For the men and women of Reverend Wright's generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years….At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician's own failings," Obama said.

The last line is one of the few parts of Barack’s speech I agree with. If we are to believe Barack Obama wants to transcend race and rise above old racial attitudes, then what are we to think about his $22,500 donation to his church in 2006? If the lunatic rants of Revered Wright are simply driven by the fear and bitterness of a past generation, why bring your children to his church and expose them to such anachronistic hate?

The Trinity United Church of Chicago says that their congregation is “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian” and remain "true to our native land” of Africa. Barack Obama is unashamedly exploitative and unapologetically wrong and remains true to the heritage of old style, racial Chicago politics where you say anything and do anything it takes to be elected.
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7 Response to 'Barack Obama: Unashamedly Exploitative and Unapologetically Wrong'
  1. Anonymous'> March 22, 2008 at 9:58 PM

    Hank in Texas wrote:

    Republican presidents have been embracing anti-American, anti-minority, anti-Semitic, anti-gay, anti-women, anti-Catholic, etc., etc. Right-Wing Evangelical and Fundamentalist ministers for decades. People like Schaefer, Graham, Falwell, Robertson, Jones, Hagee and dozens of others have all preached that America and Americans are damned by God for one goofy reason or another. These religious bigots have been the advisors and confidants to Nixon, Ford, Reagan and both Bushes. But, the anti-American hate they spew is fine because it furthers the fear-based Right-Wing political agenda.

    Wright's only problem is that he isn't Right.

    The Right-Wing became a joke in its efforts to "prove" that Senator Obama is/was a Muslim. Having failed that, they turned to sensationalizing Reverend Wright and Trinity United Church of Christ. According to their warped spin, Senator Obama may be a Christian, but he isn't the Right kind.

    The Right-Wing is running its smear campaign against what they fear as the ultimate boogieman -- a Black president of the United States.

    OBAMA '08


  2. Anonymous'> March 22, 2008 at 10:08 PM

    Obama needs to apologize to white people for his racist comment.


  3. Anonymous'> March 22, 2008 at 10:32 PM

    I am an evangelical supporter of the GOP and dissagree with Obama on his stand on the issues. But to be honest he did a remarkable job and feel that this article is influenced by your political leaning. There was no way anyone would have been able to do a better job than what he did. As a Christian I think he showed great integrity in standing with his pastor when it was tough. i know that if he had thrown his pastor under the bus. he would have been criticized seriously for that. But i want to let you know that even though many evangelicals do not agree with stand on serious issues, he won the admiration of many by that speech and by the way he comes across. I notice that many the conservative media s against him. i wish it should be on facts otherwise many of us will be alianated by the way the conservative media is covering the campaign.


  4. Anonymous'> March 22, 2008 at 11:35 PM

    spot on


  5. Anonymous'> March 23, 2008 at 11:52 AM

    I can't believe nobody has commented on this yet. I feel exactly the same as this blogger. Another comment that Mr. Obama made that people should take exception to was when Obama said he couldn't reject Rev. Wright because that would be rejecting the whole black race. B*** S***! I reject George W. Bush and don't stand for what he believes in but that doesn't mean I reject all Caucasians! Also when GWB starts spewing his bile I turn the TV or radio off. I wont listen to his lies and don't want anyone else to hear them, if I can help it.


  6. Anonymous'> March 23, 2008 at 1:31 PM

    Anonymity is fertilizer to the cowardice of racism.


  7. walt'> March 23, 2008 at 7:22 PM

    The author of this piece shows their ignorance of what life was like in America in the 1960s. Obama never said that Wright grew up in the South. He didn’t need to. The whole country was segregated. While the south was admittedly more so, the North was far from a bed of roses. There is a reason there were race riots in major northern cities in the ‘60s: the whole country was badly segregated. While in the south it was more obvious, in the north the racism was less visible but no less insidious. If you can’t get a job in the north because you are black, how is that somehow better then not being able to use a drinking fountain? If you are harassed and persecuted by police officers since you are black, how is that supposed to make you feel about the country that allows this to happen?

    It should be noted that the colleges listed that Wright went and his family went to were segregated colleges. Virginia Union where Wright and his family reportedly attended, is a black college. Why are there Black Colleges? Because at the mainstream (read: white) colleges black folks weren’t admitted at all, or at best in some schools only a token few were admitted. Wright’s next degree was from Howard University, another black college. The black colleges did, and still do, their best to give opportunity to folks of all races, while the rest of the segregated society overlooked black people en masse. It wasn’t until Wright had to degrees that he attended a traditional mainstream college University of Chicago. If this list of schools was used to show how his education was not segregated, the author really needs to pay more attention, or stop trying to mislead the reader by saying that Wright had access to the “finest education” available. He wouldn’t have had such access if it were not for the historically black schools reaching out to give this to him.

    Further, while it seems clear to most of us that the US didn’t create the AIDS virus to punish black or gay folks, as has been alleged by many, how can you not look at the shameful “Tuskegee Experiment”, and not see why many people are justified in having this suspicion. (It has nothing to do with the WW2 Airmen…. Look it up: Our government between 1932 and 1972 conducted syphilis experiments on hundreds of black folks without their knowledge. This caused their family members to contract the disease as well. This only stopped when people found out about it.) What else is the government doing that we don’t know about but would shock us like this does? Why blame folks for suspecting more of the same?

    Is it unpatriotic to assume that a system that has allowed such evil will suddenly become good because it’s forced to stop a few of the evil things it does? No. In fact it is the definition of patriotism: working to help make our country, as Obama and our founding fathers said, a “more perfect union.”

    Stop the anger, and try your best to look at the world through someone else’s eyes. Maybe you’ll see more. Through this new awareness we can work to get rid of more of what’s wrong with our country and expand what is good. Wanting to ignore what’s bad, and therefore enabling its continuation, is far more unpatriotic than complaining about the bad stuff, regardless of how angry the complaining sounds.