As the child of a retired media personality, one of the things my father drilled into me and my siblings was don't believe what you read in the papers (and the Net), hear on radio and see on television at first glance. You have to always ask the who, what, when, where and why questions. You ask yourself why is this coming out now, what's their agenda, and who's behind it.
My father's words were ringing in my ears when I first heard about the alleged hostile remarks of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. I didn't go into 'Attack Obama' mode like it seems that some whites have done who were looking for ANY excuse to NOT support him. I went into critical thinking mode.
I also considered where this video was coming from. FOX News.
This is a proven Republican propaganda mill that has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to lie, obfuscate, and bend the truth to accomplish its mission of electing GOP candidates.
The GOP is scared shitless that they will have to face Obama in the fall and contend with the massive voter turnouts and new voters that he would not only bring into the process, but swamp their candidates in a Democratic landslide. GOP electability is dependent upon low turnout elections. The more people brought into the process, the higher the probability of Democratic candidates for office getting elected.
The GOP has a long, negative history of using race baiting to boost their electoral chances, bait and switch campaigning and voter suppression tactics in minority communities to win elections. They were faced with a situation in which their old tried and true tactics weren't going to work. They were originally salivating at the prospect of a race with Hillary Clinton and had to find some way to negatively define Obama without looking racist as they always do.
Enter Faux News, Rev. Wright and edited video played in an endless loop with faux indignation spewing out of various conservative commentators mouths. I do find it interesting that this selectively edited video comes out not long after the GOP had a closed door strategy meeting a few weeks ago about how they were going to combat Sen. Obama's surging popularity and was timed to appear while Sen. Hillary Clinton's executing her 'kitchen sink' strategy.
By the way, here's the so-called 'hate sermon' in context.
Since when did non journalism award winning Fox News become a trusted news source? I'm a little sick of news organizations like CNN and others treating the propaganda arm of the Republican party as a news source.
But back to this controversy. It's interesting as well that this so-called 'hate-mongering' pastor was invited to this September 11, 1998 White House gathering of clergy that President Clinton held during the height of the Lewinsky scandal (and BTW, Sen Hillary's just released First Lady schedules show that she was there in attendance.)
Ask yourself this question. If Rev. Jeremiah Wright is such a 'hate mongerer', then why was he invited to this event?
I also find the hypocrisy and racism inherent in this high-tech lynching of Rev. Wright breathtaking. The conservative media is all over the edited out-of-context video of Rev Wright's sermons, but no similar sustained foaming-mouth outrage from my white brothers and sisters is forthcoming at Rev. Rod Parsley or McCain spiritual advisor John Hagee, who have longer histories of saying anti-American statements and jacked up comments.
Gee, I wonder why?
Hagee and Parsley have in the name of God, accused Catholics of aiding in the Holocaust, said that the victims of Hurricane Katrina got what they deserved, advocates wiping out more than a billion Muslims, and the fact that John McCain has enthusiastically solicited the support of people he once called 'divisive and dangerous' in 2000 is ignored.
What's even sadder is that the parishioners of Trinity UCC are being savaged by race-baiting conservative pundits who have no clue, don't want to know or don't care about our culture. What's even sadder is that people in my own party are repeating the Faux News talking points ad nauseum without asking themselves why Rev. Wright and this church is being attacked.
I also have to laugh at the conservative definition of racism, which is basically any Black person who is not only unabashedly proud of their heritage, but has the cojones to criticize this country, point out the reality of the color line and how it affects everything in this country.
Hell, I've been accused by some peeps in the transgender community of being 'racist' despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Jasmyne Cannick has also had the same 'racist' charge hurled at her because she's unapologetically Black as well and has called out the GLBT community on numerous occasions on her blog and in the various media forums she participates in for their racist behavior on various issues.
Y'all can fall for the Faux News okey-doke, or the bogus racism charges from Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly and the rest of the GOP-Conservative Noise Machine if you want to, but the facts are that racism is alive and well in this country. I've been saying it for years along with others and now this discussion is for better or worse, happening during a presidential political campaign.
One of the fears I'd expressed when I announced on the blog that I was supporting Sen. Obama in an earlier post was that some white people have higher than normal expectations for an African-American candidate than they do for a similar white candidate. An African-American candidate has to almost walk on water to get support from these peeps, and if they grudgingly give him that support, they are quick to abandon him if any bullcrap surfaces.
That is what I fear is happening now. I felt that much of the early white support for Obama was because of the fact he wasn't in their minds tied to the old Civil Rights Movement peeps, which some whites still harbor ill will to even in my own party. Obama also didn't feed into the 'angry Black' stereotype that some peeps still tar and feather any African-American who dares to think and candidly speak their mind with.
It's ironic that the best man for the job, who tried to avoid discussing race and run an issues-oriented campaign, may possibly end up not getting the nomination or end up in the White House because of the unresolved racial baggage of this country.
And that would be a tragedy.