What Did You Think of Obama's Speech? I'm Not Sure.
Some of the Things I Agreed With
In No Other Nation - I agree with Obama's implication that America is something to be uniquely proud of:
I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.Reverend Wright's "Profoundly Distorted View" - I appreciated very much that Obama publicly chastised Jeremiah Wright for his overtly racist statements:
It's a story that hasn't made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts – that out of many, we are truly one.
But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial. They weren't simply a religious leader's effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.There is Much More to Reverend Wright Than a Couple of YouTube Videos - I am willing to believe that Wright's racist comments are aberrations of his real personality.
But the truth is, that isn't all that I know of the man. The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor. He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God's work here on Earth – by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.Some of the Things I Disagreed With
The Black Experience - I know many blacks have been in groups of white people where they have felt intimidated by them. Perhaps based on that there is the "black experience".
That has been my experience at Trinity. Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety – the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity's services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.On the other hand, I've been in groups of black people in which I have felt severely intimidated because of my color. I have been told by a black woman that as a white man I have no value. If Obama is serious about overcoming the racial divide in America, he shouldn't just give a nod and a wink to the racist facets of the "black experience".
Throwing Grandma Under the Bus, But Not Dad - Greg Allen hosted General Jerry Curry on The Right Balance this morning. Their conversation included a discussion of Obama's speech. Greg Allen made a good point, which I'll paraphrase. If Obama can say this:
I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, ... and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.then why did he not admit that his black father left him when he was two years old?
The Potentially Hidden Meanings
The "Long March" - When I hear this term, I immediately think of its pregnant meaning. Obama, who must have known what the term implies, said:
This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign – to continue the long march of those who came before us...Mao Tse Tung endured a long march of his own--to a power that ceased only upon his death.
Socialist Antonio Gramsci talked of the "long march through the institutions", advocating a patient, gradual change away from individual liberties and toward socialism, where the government takes care of everything for everyone. This, by the way, is why I will not vote for Barack Obama--his agreement with Antonio Gramsci on at least most things "social".
The Fervor of Unity - Barack Obama has used the word unity nearly ad nauseam in his campaign speeches. The way people swoon when he talks of such unity has me a bit creeped out. Unity behind what? I can think of several people who had unity behind the wrong principle:
- Benito Mussolini was adored by Italians. Women swooned. He was a marvelous speaker.
- Franklin D Roosevelt unified the people, many in worshipful genuflection, behind socialistic policies that still wrack the American economy today.
- Adolf Hitler was adored by fellow Germans. Not that Obama is thinking about putting all whites in concentration camps or anything, but their meteoric rises to "rock stardom" are eerily similar.
- Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, and Che Guevara suckered the Cuban people hook, line, and sinker. It was only after the Cubans realized they had been lied to that they were forced to choose whether (1) to suffer abuse, torture, and/or death, (2) to escape to the United States, or (3) to become one of the "unified".