ain’t no future in frontin.

( from too sense, swiped from postbourgie)

I’m sure you’ve seen the video of Obama denoucning Wright yesterday, and the emerging narrative seems to be that Obama wasn’t forceful enough when he said this:

You know, I have been a member of Trinity United Church of Christ since 1992. I have known Reverend Wright for almost 20 years. The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church.

They certainly don’t portray accurately my values and beliefs. And if Reverend Wright thinks that that’s political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn’t know me very well. And based on his remarks yesterday, well, I may not know him as well as I thought, either.

Of course he wasn’t. What people want is not for Obama to denounce Wright, but to denounce black people everywhere who have the gall to be angry at America for how they are and have been treated. What they wanted Obama to say was that racism is uneqivocally a black problem, that white people have moved past it but that black people cling to greivances as an excuse for out of wedlock births, unemployment, or incarceration.

It doesn’t matter that rhetorically and policy-wise, Obama has struck the right balance between personal and governmental responsibility. It doesn’t matter that he’s confronted black anti-Semitism, black homophobia, black apathy. When Obama dared to mention that white people might harbor irrational prejudices of their own–he was pilloried by conservatives and liberals everywhere who don’t want to feel guilty suspecting every black teenager of being a drug dealer for “throwing his grandmother under the bus.”

They didn’t want him to condemn Wright, they wanted him to condemn black people. So of course they’re not satisfied. For all the talk of how white people are attracted to Obama and the alleged “absolution” he could offer them, what they really want is for him to publicly shift the blame for the racial divide squarely on the shoulders of the black community, so white people can stop thinking about it.

And he didn’t do that, so they’re not happy.

Being biracial, I know the feeling of searching for that “older brother” or father figure to help you make sense of the world in terms of racial and gender identity.

Obama had the added burden of his father being absent–and so he was looking to fill both a personal void and find someone to help wade through all the self-destructive bullshit black men are told to be. Though Wright was surely not the only one of these father figures, he was clearly an important one. And the idea that Wright would betray him so fully and completely is both heartbreaking and infuriating.

And anything Obama did or said in response was completely justified.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. AlteredThought
    May 04, 2008 @ 17:55:00

    Word!

    Reply

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