The political divisions in the United States have produced a bizarre system of escalating tensions between left and right that can arguably be traced as far back in history as the first and second presidential terms of George Washington. That sort of esoteric historiography is the work of scholars.
But in the here and now I’m looking at a putative Democratic nominee for President of the United States whose radical, dangerous, and frankly racist and anti-American background is being ignored out of the ingrained fear of race that now exists in American public life.
Barack Obama’s deepest political training, over the past twenty years, came at the knee of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, now pastor emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.
Wright’s church is explicitly founded on the “black theology” of James Cone. The church explicitly teaches its black congregants that they are “captives” and that America is a white supremacist “captor” nation. The church doubletalks its black separatist teachings by warning congregants not to separate themselves from the black community to join the larger world of “middle-classness” and whiteness.
Cone’s “theology” teaches that reconciliation with white people is only possible if whites submit themselves to blackness. Jesus was not so much a Jew, in the vision of Wright and Cone, as he was a “poor black man” who was murdered by powerful white people. And white Christianity is evil and a manifestation of the devil. God Himself is black, but could never be white because blacks would then have no use for Him.
Now, in America, all sorts of strange out of the mainstream religions and philosophies are tolerated, but this one clearly disqualifies anyone belonging to it and presumably believing in its teachings (should we presume that one belongs for twenty years but doesn’t believe?) from even being a candidate for President of the United States. As a twenty year member of this church with its racist and black supremacist teaching, how is it that Barack Obama has become one of the two choices that Americans will have for the most powerful position in the country and, in fact, the world?
Does this make any sense?
Obama, after explicit videos (available from the church itself) of Jeremiah Wright preaching in the precise spirit of the explicit teachings of the church and Cone, professed that this was not the Reverend Wright that he knew. This is a bald-faced lie, about which no follow-up questions were asked. Obama simply danced away from his own background.
Can anyone imagine a white candidate in this era similarly dancing away from membership in a white racist church that was part of the Christian Identity movement? That would be impossible. Are we supposed to assume that white racists in public life in the past justify someone with a black racist background becoming President?
How is it possible that Obama was allowed to make his lateral move away from his own background and airbrush that background in a way to make it seem like he wasn’t from it nor part of it?
Is it possible, for instance, that someone who belonged to the Ku Klux Klan for the past twenty years could simply say, “I only went to the rallies because my dear uncle was running them, but I never set fire to any of the crosses,” and then get the reaction, “Oh, then that’s O.K., you can run for President of the United States?”
Maybe both sides of the political spectrum, people of good will from both parties, liberals and conservatives, blacks and whites, should think about this some more.
Barack Obama is projecting an image to America as an attractive young man, but where he has been the past twenty years is unattactive in the extreme and has been hidden in plain sight and airbrushed out of his image.
You all have seen Mr. Obama morph his views and positions since getting the nomination. He is clearly a typical politician in that respect. But atypically, he was a member the past twenty years of a black racist church where the finger was always pointed at white people as racists. This is the abominable skill of Doublethink, and a version of it, with the explicit church teachings airbrushed out, can be observed as part of the Obama campaign.
Americans of good will need to stop being afraid of race and start thinking about how a man with this sort of background is now one of two men who have a chance to become the next president. Think about what that, not the celebrated fact that Obama is the first black American to be nominated for president, says about America.
I’m just turning over the topsoil of this situation. It goes deeper. But the first question is why, with his background in a racist church with a racist “theology,” would anyone, black or white, possibly give Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt in his drive to become President of the United States?