Race as Safe SPEECH

In the afterglow of Senator Obama's race-speech the other day, allegedly occasioned by the "racist sermons" over many years of his pastor and spiritual adviser, the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, the mainstream media has turned Obama into a messianic giant in the field of human relations, having been sucked-in by the "forgiveness gimmick," i.e., Obama exonerating all the current-day guilty white folks for oppressing him and his folks for hundreds of years right up to now. While attempting to explain why the Reverend was naturally inclined to his vitriol, he even threw his own grandmother under the bus in order to accentuate his angelic attitude.

Obama had to make a speech, of course, since he not only had had a 20-year connection with Wright but as late as 2006, when his book Audacity of Hope was published, using a Wright term for its title, was hand-in-glove with that relationship and has remained so up till now. What Obama or his handlers understood (or should have) was that Wright's garbage actually was not racist; rather, it was couched in equal-opportunity hate speech directed toward groups as disparate as whites (that white supremacist thing), Jews (the mention of – gasp – Israel in that 2002 sermon), Italians (garlic-nosed), etc.

Obviously, Obama could not make a speech about hate, the actual problem he faced since he had listened for years to Wright's hate-mongering, apparently making no public denouncement of the vitriol, that other people were just discovering in Wright's sermons, but had to make some kind of speech, so he chose the subject of race since hate is often though not always a part of racism. Hate by association was also much in evidence with regard to Wright, since Trump, the magazine published/edited by his daughters (inaugurated years ago by Wright), had awarded its "Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Trumpeteer Award" for 2007 to Jew-hater and Nation of Islam head-honcho, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan (aka Calypso Louie), whom Wright accompanied in 1984 to Libya in order to genuflect at the feet of Qadaffi, the world's most notorious supporter of terrorism at the time. In 1988, his thugs brought down PanAm 203, with 270 murdered. Qadaffi pledged $1 billion to the Nation of Islam in 1996 but that didn't bother the award-givers.

There was a further problem but it could not be broached for fear of appearing hopelessly politically incorrect, namely, Obama's "religion problem." Jeremiah Wright is currently the highest-profile minister in the 1.2-million-member United Church of Christ, thus, even if untrue, marking that denomination as one of hate. This means that, instead of a speech on race, Obama should have made a speech about his denomination and the hate-inspired influence it might exert over his performance in office.

This would have been nothing new. In 1964, John F. Kennedy felt compelled in his presidential bid to make a speech declaring his complete independence from the Pope, since JFK was a Roman Catholic at a time when there was great fear of "Romishness" in this country. Indeed, Congressman Father Drinan was ordered by the Pope much later to leave the Congress, and he obeyed (giving the world Barney Frank in the bargain). In 2007, Mitt Romney felt compelled during his campaign to make a speech regarding Mormonism (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) since he was a member of that denomination that once approved polygamy and was marked by a great deal of bloodshed in the 1800s.

But, alas, there was problem with making a speech about the United Church of Christ. In 2005 at its 25th General Synod, the UCC delivered itself of this resolution: "THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED, that the twenty-fifth General Synod of the United Church of Christ affirms equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender and declares that the government should not interfere with couples regardless of gender who choose to marry and share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities and commitment of legally recognized marriage."

This was the score in 2004: Thirty-nine states already prohibited gay and lesbian couples from marrying with laws modeled after the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Passed by Congress in 1996, the federal DOMA bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allows states to ignore gay marriages performed elsewhere. Four states (Maryland, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Wyoming) had laws or court rulings prohibiting same-sex marriage that predated the federal DOMA. Indeed, Six months after gay and lesbian couples began legally marrying in Massachusetts, opponents of same-sex marriage swept Election Day 2004, with voters in 11 states approving state constitutional amendments codifying marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution.

Obviously, the last thing Obama would seem to need to do would be to make a speech defending his denomination since to do so would amount to emphasizing that virtually all the states are wrong in this area; however, this is by Laura Douglas-Brown from Southern Voice of 01 February 2008: "On marriage, Clinton has only said she supports repealing the section of DOMA that denies federal recognition to gay unions. Obama, however, supports repealing all of DOMA, including the section that allows states to refuse to recognize gay marriages performed in other states. He's spoken out against the measure since at least 2004." Obama campaigned for the Senate in 2004.

So…Obama was faced with having to make a speech reflecting both his and his denomination's approval of homosexual marriage, anathema to most normal Americans and against the law everywhere, or simply on the hate aspect brought to the surface by Wright, using either of which subjects to paint himself into a corner. The obvious way out was to make the speech on race, actually a non-issue that has been talked to death for decades and therefore is a safe issue…a win-win situation. Give him points for cleverness, but if he's the candidate in November, events in September and October will be very interesting, as all this is brought out, especially the disingenuousness of it.