Posted by Ron Coleman on March 17, 2008
[A]s Wright’s America-bashing gets more airtime — and as his Obama-boosting sermons put his church’s tax exemption at risk — Obama may have to go further down the road to explicitly disavowing his pastor. His connection to Wright isn’t the equivalent of John McCain’s going to Liberty University to make nice with Jerry Falwell. It’s the equivalent of John McCain taking his wife and children, most Sundays, to Jerry Falwell’s church. And the disconnect between Obama’s studied moderation and his congregation’s radicalism requires more of an explanation than he’s offered so far.
That’s as good a summary of the issue as you’re going to find, I think. I discussed the simmering issue of barely-sub-rosa antisemitism among black clergy (at that point, not Wright), in particular, here. Antisemitism of this sort is never found without broader hatred of America, and its values, and what do you know?
To me, the fulcrum of the matter as it applies to Senator Obama is this:
I don’t believe he believes what his minister says… exactly. He does, however, tolerate it, and consider it a legitimate level of discourse, albeit only in the “proper” context. And I believe this puts the Senator in excellent company among people of his class and race.
And I believe that it is the attitude of this excellent company, and not merely of Senator Obama, that is really what we should be looking at here. Because if he is indeed the man to prick the pimple of unreasonable race-based distinctions in this country, we need to know what is going on here, and why.