Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Obama - a racist?

First off, having run into it a few times, I'll start out by being really clear on definitions. I believe (and I suspect most dictionaries agree with me) that racism is a two way street. It's not about either who is in the currently more advantageous socioeconomic position, or who has held that position in the past.

Racism is the hatred or fear of individuals belonging to a specific racial grouping based on membership in the target racial group(s). It is a subset of bigotry, ugly and vile, and neither its' vileness nor its' inherent ugliness is in any way ameliorated by which way it's pointed at the moment. In common use, racism is considered to include speech and actions taken to denigrate, intimidate, or actually harm persons and property from motives based in racism.

That said, by all accounts, Trinity United Church of Christ appears *to me* to be a hotbed of racism long festering in the Chicago community - unusual only in that the racists are black, and the targets of despite are white.

From my point of view, upon discovering oneself in such an organization, choices are limited. One can depart, confront the bigotry successfully, or become complicit in the bigotry. Confronting the bigotry unsuccessfully, and then hanging around while continuing to support the misguided group with your time, presence, and cash is perhaps an option - but not one that speaks of gumption or integrity.

The recent racially charged comments by Trinity's invited guest Father Michael Pfleger (currently ordered by Cardinal George to take leave to "contemplate his comments"), and the history of similarly charged comments by Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright (including the infamous "God Damn America" sermon), leaves me with a question or two regarding Senator Barack Hussein Obama.

The questions only become more pressing in light of the alleged full-bore anti-white-folks thirty minute rant by Michelle Obama at Trinity back in 2004 reported over at the blog of RobertaX. (The word alleged goes away right about the time I see a video of said rant, or a verifiable transcript) (CORRECTION: Pending further data, per Little Green Footballs - the "whitey" rant claim is false, and I suspect LGF would be dancing in the streets at such a morsel of anti-Obama goodness if it were true - thus a lack of motivation for falsehood).

Is Sen. Obama simply a racist fellow traveler spending 22 years at Trinity, does he lack the gumption to revile evil when he sees it, or is he simply too stupid to recognize racism when he sees it?

For us, the voters, I propose a different question - do any of the possible answers reveal a man that should be allowed within a half mile of the Oval Office?

It is presently among my fonder hopes that Hillary is rudely told to bugger off regarding the VP slot, and in high dudgeon runs an Independent campaign. One can *always* hope, after all.

I'm in a better mood, and more functional. That doesn't mean I'm suddenly a liberal or spontaneously enthused about those that suffer that affliction.

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