et tu, reverend wright?

OK, I’ll just come right out and say it… What the fuck kind of friend is the Reverend Jeremiah Wright?

Unless I’m reading things completely wrong, the initial controversy over Wright’s inflammatory statements had pretty much died down as of a few days ago, when Wright chose to stand up in front of the National Press Club and start stoking the fire. Now, as a result, the Obama campaign has gone into full on disaster recovery mode. As it very well could cost Obama the Indiana primary, you have to wonder just what motivated Wright. Was it narcissism? Or, perhaps, is he lashing out at Obama for some perceived slight? Either way, he very well could have, through his actions, cost us our first viable black candidate for the Presidency.

And I realize that’s a lot to put on Wright. It’s likely that the Brady effect would have proven true and Obama would have lost in the general election anyway — a casualty of our deep seated racism. But Wright, by not keeping himself out of the spotlight, has given Americans a reason to cast Obama aside now. He’s given us an easy out. We don’t have to stand in the voting booth and ask ourselves if we could follow a black President. All we have to do is tell ourselves that, because of the association with Wright, others wouldn’t. It takes the pressure off of us individually and absolves us of any guilt. And I blame Wright for that.

My guess, and I hope that I’m wrong, is that we’ll start to see more super delegates making their way to Hillary in the wake of these recent events, as people acknowledge that America isn’t ready to confront its problem with race head on.

Sorry I can’t be more articulate on this. I’m finding it difficult to come up with the right words.

Let’s just have a musical intermission:

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  1. Posted April 29, 2008 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Oh, don’t be so pessimistic! Obama would have to have an unbelievably major collapse not to get the nomination, which as you say IS possible, but hopefully not likely. If there is a silver lining, the Republicans were gonna through this stuff at Obama. if Obama can fend off Clinton he can beat anyone. There is another good article on the Wright-Obama controversey here:
    Hello everyone, my name is Zaphod Zitmeister, and I am a man of integrity.

    I wish I could say the same of Jeremiah Wright, but this guy makes Al Sharpton look like a big cuddily teddy bear. Wright is a jerk, and does not deserve the microphone, no megaphone, that the media is giving him. Pastor Wright ZIP IT! You are doing no one any good, and least of all yourself. There is a good article on the Wright-Obama controversey here:

  2. Posted April 29, 2008 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    I thought Obama made a great speech about race following the original blow up about Wright. I didn’t think he went far enough back then of denouncing Wright.

    However, the latest speech I heard snippets of on the radio today, by Obama, I think put Wright in his place, at least as far as Obama is connected (or not connected) to him anymore.

    Wright has come out and as much as said he doesn’t endorse Obama. Obama can play that up to his favor quite well. I hope he does.

  3. Posted April 30, 2008 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    In a funny way it could even work to Obama’s advantage because now has an excuse to disown Wright completely.

  4. Tommy
    Posted April 30, 2008 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Mr. Obama is in a tough place. If he dumps the Reverend, he will be considered a flip flopper by the media and possibly an “Uncle Tom” (unfortunately, it will be media folk who stir this shit up, in their usual ‘it’s a fair question that needs to be considered kind of way’ that has subtle racism hidden just underneath the surface).

    Obama has erred on the side of hope in thinking that America has reached a point where we’re beyond all this. Sad to say, but we, as a nation, deserve Hillary or McCain. Makes me sick to even think of wars to come, corporations to fellate, reality shows to watch.

  5. Posted April 30, 2008 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    No, no, no. Rev Wright should be able to say whatever he wants. He’s his own man, as is Obama. I’m really getting tired of this, and bringing it up as a topic here is exactly what’s wrong with this whole controversy. Why are we focused on Rev Wright? We keep focusing on the wrong things; there is a much bigger picture here. Like Obama says, let’s concentrate on the issues that will move us forward. Be positive; don’t add fuel to the fire. It wouldn’t get so much attention if we didn’t pay it so much attention.

  6. Teddy
    Posted April 30, 2008 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I don’t think many here would disagree with you that, in a perfect world, Wright should be able to say what he wants, and it shouldn’t impact the election one bit. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world, and his words will be used to discredit Barack Obama. Wright knows this. He’s a bright man.

    And I agree that we’re most likely going to get not who we need, but who we as a people deserve. It makes me want to stick my head in a trash compactor.

  7. Pissed in the City
    Posted April 30, 2008 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Hillary, it turns out was right. All she had to do was hang on until American got scared of the black man.

  8. Dem Fatigue
    Posted April 30, 2008 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Regarding this blog post, Mark, I have to say that my pessimism is right in line with yours. The people who will sway the vote Hillary’s way in Indiana are not the people who will watch Obama’s in which he denounces and takes issue with Wright; the people who will vote for Hillary are those who see the six-second clips the media chooses to show of Wright’s most inflammatory bits, and the majority of undecideds will not think, “Hmm, I need to think more about this and hear what Obama says to defend himself.” Instead, they’ll knee-jerk into justification and self-rationalization about why they really shouldn’t vote for Obama. And fuck if I’m not bitter about this. I told my wife last night that I’m so fed up with the democrats right now because of this nominee shit. We ate dinner with my wife’s parents on Saturday, and they’re both anti-McCain (union folk), but I didn’t get a sense of which dem candidate they were for. I asked my wife’s dad, who hangs out with a lot of crotchety senior voters, if he’s heard any of them say that they weren’t voting for Obama because he’s black. He said yes, some. And then her mom said that she hears people still talking about how they’re not voting for Obama because he’s Muslim. And this goes on and on and on. And this shit… the He’s-Muslim shit, for instance, is two and a half months old. Yet still…

    So by next week the backwards state full of closet racists that is Indiana (I generalize, but I lived there for three years and I do not like Indiana, I’m sorry) is going to vote for Obama? No, I don’t think so. And while I’m ranting, fuck Hillary.

  9. Tommy
    Posted April 30, 2008 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    John McCain has just been handed the presidency of the United States! Hillary will get what she wants – the nomination. The Republicans will get what they want – Hillary as the Democratic opponent. Both at the expense of someone who brings hope and reason to a country that is in dire need of both. Focusing on issues would be un-American. Somewhere in a French Patisserie, right now, a ‘frog’ is laughing!

  10. Captain Pinecone
    Posted April 30, 2008 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    You have to appreciate the ridiculousness of the two things working against Obama:

    1) That he is Muslim
    2) The actions of his Christian pastor

    Makes perfect sense to me.

  11. Oliva
    Posted April 30, 2008 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Fine time for road trips to Indiana with our Obama stickers and signs and . . . hope! We need to convince Democratic voters next-door that their votes are partly for us here in Michigan.

    Thankfully, there are bright people like this letter to the editor writer from the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette:

    Look who’s calling Obama ‘elitist’

    Only in America. In what other country could this possibly happen, that a political candidate actually utters a few words of truth and is attacked by an opponent for being elitist? Barack Obama said about a lot of citizens in America, “They are angry. They feel like they’ve been left behind. They feel like no one is paying attention to what they’re going through.”

    This is elitist? Consider that the woman who uttered the word “elitist” made, with her husband, more than $100 million in this decade. She also said we Americans aren’t bitter and angry, that we’re optimistic and that when we face problems we roll up our sleeves and get to work.

    What? She hasn’t done a lick of work in, well, probably ever. What she’s really saying is we always protect the interests of the rich over yours.

    In other words, don’t complain, don’t despair, don’t get angry, and above all, don’t think. How could she make her millions if we stand up for ourselves?

    Bitter? Angry? Not me. I am outraged!

    TERRY DORAN Fort Wayne

    Oh, one more thing, though I realize I’ve veered away from the initial post about Rev. Wright: my NC friends say that Governor Easley, who endorsed Clinton yesterday, is considered Bush-Lite by Democrats in the state and is not well respected. Phew. Sure came off as a goofball yesterday.

  12. Oliva
    Posted April 30, 2008 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Oh, one more thing: my NC friend designed a funny bumper sticker, available at Cafe Press: “Another bitter old white person for Obama.” Check it out at

    Also, Obama supporters already know that today is a fine time to make a donation to his campaign, it being the last day of the month so the day for a tally to demonstrate support to the super-delegates. Gosh, even $6 would be wonderful. Or $25 . . .

  13. Andy C
    Posted April 30, 2008 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    If Obama gets it, Wright will have his book on the shelf just in time for the election. It will screw over Obama and make him a lot of money and that’s what it’s all about.

  14. obama_til_i_die
    Posted April 30, 2008 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Cheer up. Better to go through this now. Not that I wouldn’t rather not go through it at all.

    November is a long way off. Who knows what might happen with McCain; that’s not even counting that he’s an old guy with a history of health problems.

    I also thinks this temporary discomfort ups the chances for John Edwards to play a significant role. Veep? or, even better, AG or, best IMHO, Supreme Court Justice. That’s how Earl Warren got on the Court.

    And if Hillary thinks she can poison Obama’s run and sit it out for 2012 …. THAT’S JUST CRAZY!!!

  15. obama_til_i_die
    Posted April 30, 2008 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    P.S. wanted to second this from Olivia
    Also, Obama supporters already know that today is a fine time to make a donation to his campaign, it being the last day of the month so the day for a tally. to demonstrate support to the super-delegates. Gosh, even $6 would be wonderful. Or $25 . .

    me myself sends $31 dollars each month … one dollar a day for my children’s future.

  16. egpenet
    Posted April 30, 2008 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I’ve read Fanon and Eldridge and Bobby and Reverend Louis and agree with them all.

    But the time has come … especially with a Barak Obama in the lead.

    My opinion is that Liberation Theology should now mean that those folks who were once enslaved by white owners and who have since become “enslaved” by black ministers who are makinga LOT of money off Y’all … should be freed once and for all to be fully participating members of American society … speaking “American” any which way you desiree … and being my neighbor.

    Tell the Reverend Wright for me … and Sharpton, and Rev. Dr. Jesse, all of them, to let my brothers and sisters go … and Dr. Wright, too … all of you living off the fears and poverty of your own sufferingf people, go home, shut the f— up, and let history be made!

    This very well may be an even greater moment in Black History than ever. And it’s the black ministers who are gonna f— it up!

    Like they said in the Watergate scandal … follow the money. With Al and Wright and Jackson … follow the money. Barak is gonna have his hands full with those folks after the election.

    Nevertheless, this a a significant turning point. America has been cursed by slavery. And this moment may actually free us all from that curse.


  17. Posted May 1, 2008 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    That o’jays video is pretty sweet, though.

  18. Ol' E Cross
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    I hope Obama pulls it off. Really do. Given the chance, I’m voting for him. And, frankly, I don’t find anything that Rev. Wright said offensive, in the least.

    I’m hoping that if this is still an issue in the general election, everything McCain’s pastor said (e.g., David Duke is a great American) becomes fair game.

    As someone who is technically, an independent, though, I can’t shake the feeling that Republicans are greedy, self-righteous devils and Democrats are arrogant, self-serving idiots.

    And, now, even Unity 08 has thrown in the towel.

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