Obama gave a nice speech, except for everything he said about race. He apparently believes we’re not talking enough about race. This is like hearing Britney Spears say we’re not talking enough about pop-tarts with substance-abuse problems.
By now, the country has spent more time talking about race than John Kerry has talked about Vietnam, John McCain has talked about being a POW, John Edwards has talked about his dead son, and Al Franken has talked about his USO tours.
But the "post-racial candidate" thinks we need to talk yet more about race. How much more? I had had my fill by around 1974. How long must we all marinate in the angry resentment of black people?
As an authentic post-racial American, I will not patronize blacks by pretending Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is anything other than a raving racist loon. If a white pastor had said what Rev. Wright said — not about black people, but literally, the exact same things — I think we’d notice that he’s crazier than Ward Churchill and David Duke’s love child. (Indeed, both Churchill and the Rev. Wright referred to the attacks of 9/11 as the chickens coming "home to roost.")
Imagine a white pastor saying: "Racism is the American way. Racism is how this country was founded, and how this country is still run. … We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority. And believe it more than we believe in God."
Imagine a white pastor calling Condoleezza Rice, "Condoskeezza Rice."
Imagine a white pastor saying: "No, no, no, God damn America — that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people! God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human! God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme!"
We treat blacks like children, constantly talking about their temper tantrums right in front of them with airy phrases about black anger. I will not pat blacks on the head and say, "Isn’t that cute?" As a post-racial American, I do not believe "the legacy of slavery" gives black people the right to be permanently ill-mannered.
Obama tried to justify Wright’s deranged rants by explaining that "legalized discrimination" is the "reality in which Rev. Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up." He said that a "lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one’s family, contributed to the erosion of black families."
That may accurately describe the libretto of "Porgy and Bess," but it has no connection to reality. By Rev. Wright’s own account, he was 12 years old and was attending an integrated school in Philadelphia when Brown v. Board of Education was announced, ending "separate but equal" schooling.
Meanwhile, at least since the Supreme Court’s decision in University of California v. Bakke in 1978 — and obviously long before that, or there wouldn’t have been a case or controversy for the court to consider — it has been legal for the government to discriminate against whites on the basis of their race.
Consequently, any white person 30 years old or younger has lived, since the day he was born, in an America where it is legal to discriminate against white people. In many cases it’s not just legal, but mandatory, for example, in education, in hiring and in Academy Award nominations.
So for half of Rev. Wright’s 66 years, discrimination against blacks was legal — though he never experienced it personally because it existed in a part of the country where he did not live. For the second half of Wright’s life, discrimination against whites was legal throughout the land.
Discrimination has become so openly accepted that — in a speech meant to tamp down his association with a black racist — Obama felt perfectly comfortable throwing his white grandmother under the bus. He used her as the white racist counterpart to his black racist "old uncle," Rev. Wright.
First of all, Wright is not Obama’s uncle. The only reason we indulge crazy uncles is that everyone understands that people don’t choose their relatives the way they choose, for example, their pastors and mentors. No one quarrels with idea that you can’t be expected to publicly denounce your blood relatives.
But Wright is not a relative of Obama’s at all. Yet Obama cravenly compared Wright’s racist invective to his actual grandmother, 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 cringe."
Rev. Wright accuses white people of inventing AIDS to kill black men, but Obama’s grandmother — who raised him, cooked his food, tucked him in at night, and paid for his clothes and books and private school — has expressed the same feelings about passing black men on the street that Jesse Jackson has.
Unlike his "old uncle" — who is not his uncle — Obama had no excuses for his grandmother. Obama’s grandmother never felt the lash of discrimination! Crazy grandma doesn’t get the same pass as the crazy uncle; she’s white. Denounce the racist!
Fine. Can we move on now?
No, of course, not. It never ends. To be fair, Obama hinted that we might have one way out: If we elect him president, then maybe, just maybe, we can stop talking about race.