Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Audacity of Dopes

The right Rev. Jeremiah Wright was thrown off of a committee associated with the Obama campaign last night for making statements in sermons that are contrary to Obama’s chances of being elected President. I know less about Jeremiah Wright than I do the ancient prophet Jeremiah, or even Jeremiah the bull frog of Three Dog Night fame. All I have heard about him came from viewing snippets of his sermons last night on one of the cable shout shows. I doubt that the videos were taken out of context, since the statements in them , if not true, were at least valid opinions of a man who has dedicated a good portion  his life to justice for the poor.


It is always unpopular to say negative things about one’s country. Especially so when the country is facing crisis, and the specter of the bloody shirt is being waved in the public square (mostly by those who never bled, or even sweat in the defense of their country).So when Rev. Jeremiah says that America brought 9/11 on itself, he is not going to play very well in Peoria. But anyone who has studied history over the last sixty years, knows full and well what Rev. Jeremiah is referring to when he says that we have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and that might just have been the cause of radicals in  the middle east wanting to show America how the other half  lives. You don’t have to be anti-Zionist to question whether Truman’s decision to recognize the state of Israel might not  have waited until we saw whether the legitimate Palestinian interests were taken care of. Frankly, I have read enough to now believe that that particular problem could not have been solved at that time, but I don’t attack someone as un-American because he/she believes that it could have been, and that it might have lead to a more just world. Are we so blind that we will not see that American support of Israel has, at times, been not only  counter-productive but immoral. That does not mean we love our country, or our allies in Israel less, it just means that we ought to question whether we can do better, and try to do better and try to understand why people may have some hard feeling toward us.


But my favorite issues concerns those who are furious at Rev. Jeremiah for saying that because of skin color, Obama’s road to the White House is tougher than Hilary’s. What audacity. Everyone knows that black children from impoverished and broken  family homes have just as much chance to be President as those born to rich white suburban parents (who later married a future President of the United States). Why he ought to be defrocked for even suggesting that Obama was  at some kind of a disadvantage. Just look at our  list of Presidents. Look at the number of poor black people who have succeeded in obtaining that office. Was it inflammatory to say that “Hilary ain’t ever been called a nigger ?” I suspect that it is true that she has not been. I also believe that Obama has never been called a cunt (there, I might as well type out BOTH of the unutterable words of the English language in the same paragraph). Blacks and women have some despicable  detractors on the American political scene. As a white male, I have no experience to say who has the tougher time, but that does not mean that we should ignore the issue.



One of the problems with America is that we attack those who want to debate the big issues, the fundamental issues. Ron Paul said it best in a “debate” I saw early in the campaign when he said of his fellow candidates, why are we debating what to do and how much blood and treasure to waste in Iraq when we ought to be debating whether American should have a foreign policy based on colonialism. Maybe you don’t agree with Paul on that,  but I think that you solve a lot more problems by going to the root cause than by simply  debating whether or nottyou should pick up after yourself after you have made a huge mess of someone else’s country. It is absurd to close our eyes to the realities that we see every day, day in and day out, just because we are happy to be Americans, or worse, because we want to be President of those Americans.


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