Herald Sun (Australia)
March 21, 2008
BARACK Obama's mistake was to choose to be black, and on Tuesday
he only made that mistake worse by betraying his white grandmother.
And as a result, his speech to excuse his links to race-baiting
black preacher Jeremiah Wright may have killed his chance of
becoming the next president of the United States.
Sure, Obama will still win the Democratic nomination, but
the polls are already turning sour and the man who promised to
bridge the racial divide looks like falling into it instead.
Obama is the son of a Kenyan man and white American woman. His
father soon abandoned his family, and Obama was later raised in
Hawaii with his mother's parents. So his strongest cultural
influences were ``white'' American, although he looked black.
This background meant Obama could have been above not only
racial stereotypes, but racial identity. He could have
been not just a black politician, but a multi-racial one --
representing Americans of every race.
But he chose instead to be black -- so black that in Chicago he
joined the Trinity United Church run by Jeremiah A. Wright -- who in
the two decades since has been Obama's pastor, mentor, adviser and
acknowledged source of inspiration.
Trinity is not a black church simply in that almost every one of
its members is black, or its black pastor discusses racism and is
Martin Luther King ran such black churches, too, yet still
reached out to whites to join him in recognising that all men and
women were equal under God, and should be equal under the American
flag as well.
But Wright is not that kind of black preacher. The man Obama
chose to follow does not fight racism, but whips it up
against white America, portraying its government and institutions as
In the past week excerpts from DVDs of his sermons -- DVDs
proudly sold by Trinity -- have been run on television to show
Wright in full flight:
``The government . . . purposely infected African-American men
with syphilis . . .
Continued page 19
From page 18
``(W)hat's going on in white America, U.S. of KKKA . . .
``Black men turning on black men that is fighting the wrong enemy
. . .
``We cannot see how what we (the US) are doing is the same thing
al-Qaida is doing . . .
``We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and
black South Africans . . .
``(With the September 11 attacks) America's chickens are coming
home to roost . . .
``The government lied about Pearl Harbor. They knew the Japanese
were going to attack . . .''
For 20 years Obama listened to a pastor with that message, and
called him friend and counsellor.
When rumours of Wright's preaching first broke, Obama feigned
ignorance. ``I don't think my church is actually particularly
controversial,'' he said. He hadn't heard Wright say stuff like:
``God damn America.''
But then the tapes hit the airwaves, and Obama realised he
had to address them head on with a speech about race -- and Wright.
True, he now admitted, he'd heard Wright say ``controversial''
things ``which expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country
-- a view that sees white racism as endemic''.
But the man and his church comprised both good and bad, like
``the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in
For that reason, ``I can no more disown him than I can disown the
black community. 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, a woman who loves me as much as she loves
anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of
black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one
occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me
And that's where Obama lost me -- and perhaps the election.
Reread Wright's claims.
Several aren't part of America's debate on race, but are wild
anti-American conspiracy theories of the far-Left.
Obama dismisses them as the heated rhetoric of a protester
against racism to make his failure to reject them earlier
seem less craven.
And why does Obama characterise such lies about America as just
part of being black in the US? Was that really part of King's
But worse is that Obama denounced his own grandmother -- still
alive -- and likened her private fears to the public hate-mongering
of his preacher.
His sin isn't just that he's betrayed his own grandmother to save
his skin. It's also that he's undermined the very point he tried to
argue -- that he is above the racial politics of a Wright and can
bridge the black-white divide.
He's instead demonstrated that to defend a black preacher guilty
of appalling bigotry, he'd shop even his own white relatives. I
doubt white and Latino voters will miss that message.