Friday, April 25, 2008

Wrightgate Refuses To Go Away

From Does Barack Have The Wright Stuff? by Norm Jenson:

I think Barack has to make a total break from this nut. Perhaps a speech where he once again makes the case that this is not politics as usual. The problem is that there are so many of his statements that are clearly political, views he's tweaked to be more electable, that he'll have trouble selling it. I don't think he believes what his reverend believes, but I'm not sure he can convince the average voter. If he doesn't do a good job of addressing issues like this one, he'll lose. Step up Barack or you really will be unelectable.
I usually am in agreement with Mr. Jenson, but not this time. A lot of what Jeremiah Wright has said is not nutty. I also think that it is unfair to take twenty years of sermons and distill them down to a few sound bites. I seem to be in the minority, but I actually wish that Barack Obama was defending Jeremiah Wright’s right to freedom of speech. I am not happy that Obama has been distancing himself from Wright. He should show more backbone, especially against the likes of Sean Hannity (the source of all of this media crap about Wright in the first place). I am in agreement with Adam’s comment on Mr. Jenson’s site (the blog Adam refers to is Mr. Jenson’s
He gave a 45 minute speech on this issue, one compared by many respectably commentators with speeches by JFK and MLK. You may not agree with those assessments, but whatever that speech was, it challenged the American voter to deal with an issue in terms of a nuanced argument.

I am shocked by the willingness of the left to deal in this kind of petty bullshit--and it is, petty bullshit. And not just to deal in it--to drag it on, through the shit. A pastor of McCain can apparently say bat-shit-crazy stuff about the end of the world, Israel, New Orleans being flooded because the wrath of the Good Lord, whatever.

Look, most of the things Wright said are, in fact, when placed in context of his sermons, things that have been said on this blog repeatedly, such as that U.S. foreign policy plays some role in fueling terrorism, and much else.

Moreover, everyone is willing to condemn Wright about his injudicious AIDS comment--and it was, I agree, injudicious--but NO ONE--NO ONE--has mentioned the Tuskegee Experiments. (My source here is NPR, but this is all well-documented, historical fact). Question: Question: Why would a well-educated black person who came of age during this period believe the U.S. government wanted black people to suffer debilitating and ultimately fatal diseases? Because through the 1970's, the U.S. government conducted studies on syphilis to learn about its effects if left untreated; the way they did this by letting infected black men enroll in their study, not letting them know their diagnosis, and leaving the disease untreated in order to study it's effects (among which, in late stages, are massive neurological damage and eventually death).

Again, I ask: Why would a well-educated black person who came of age during this period believe the U.S. government wanted black people to suffer debilitating and ultimately fatal diseases? Because--although his accusations are false about AIDS--they had done so before.

So we can talk about how nutty his remarks are; we can ignore that something exactly like what he says about AIDS, while false about AIDS, has indeed and in fact happened before in recent U.S. history; we on the left make our criticisms that current U.S. foreign policy is in part a cause of terrorism against us, but smugly condemn it when other-- black people, a black preacher says that: then it's "Anti-American" obviously!

Race is the one issue we don't want to touch in this country. So let me say it--what is the main reason why many white, rural, uneducated, lower class voters don't want to vote for Barack?--it's because the dude is BLACK.
I do know of one person who has mentioned the Tuskegee Experiments. That person is Kevin T. Keith over at I previously blogged about his excellent article about Jeremiah Wright and healthcare among African-Americans a short time ago.

I am looking forward to Bill Moyers Journal tonight on PBS. Jeremiah Wright is scheduled to appear.

Earlier this week Mr. Jenson linked to my site and increased my traffic quite a bit, and this is how I pay him back. Sorry Norm, but I gotta call 'em the way I see 'em. No hard feelings I hope.

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