What you think I "seemed to be saying" was what you wanted to hear me say so that you could reply the way you wanted to. And what I was saying was different. Obama is in a presidential campaign, and if you think his cause was furthered by this event, I think you are quite wrong. My post had to do with that opinion, not that racism is good or bad.
The elimination of racism is a worthy endeavor, but politicizing it is a loser for whomsoever does it.
Let me try to recount the sequence of events, and then address my problems with your response from the perspective of the sequence of what has happened.
For twenty or more years Obama attended a church run by the now famous Reverend. Upon occasion, his sermons were taped.
Obama decides to become a candidate for President. Initially he perceived as a long shot, kind of a joke really. No one really pays him much attention.
Obama goes from nowhere in a large field of candidates to one of the top three, then top two and then, likely the top one seeking the Democratic Party's nomination.
Someone puts together a tape of the Reverend's most outrageous sermon segments/phrases/clauses and puts it up on U-Tube. The networks start playing it.
Obama makes a speech about race and racism in America. He gives a very personal and intimate look into his relationship with the Reverend, his family make up, and without any qualifications says he does not support the outlook on life that is represented by the extreme views on the video clips of the Reverend's sermons. He makes it clear he has voiced these objections to the Reverend personally. Finally he has removed the Reverend from his mostly ceremonial role on his campaign.
The speech goes on to describe Obama's very positive view of how, together, Americans can make America a better country.
You express an opinion that Obama, in this chronology, has played the race card, and essentially deserves to "suffer for the ramblings of his reverend"
because he held "a prominent place in the campaign (or used to, at least)."
You went on to say "You get to choose the people around you, and this was a bad choice, as this individual has chosen to polarize a very polarizing issue. The polarization cannot help this campaign, the candidate will lose no matter how much of an attempt is made to "shame" America for taking the likely side in it. Obama's attempts to deny knowledge come across as pure BS. He made a bad choice to have this man in his campaign.
I abhor racism in this country, it is sad that we are having this kind of discussion in the 21st century. It exists, though, and if Obama wanted to win, neither he nor his surrogates should have played the card first."
I object to your logic. My objection to your logic is based on the observation that Obama did not arrange to have the Reverend's sermons recorded, then distilled to the vile sequence that was posted on U-Tube then all over the various TV channels. He can not be held responsible for that sequence of events. So he didn't play that race card.
The Reverend had a mostly ceremonious role or position within the Obama campaign. Not really a prominent one, as until the tapes were played no one even knew who the guy was or if he even had a role on the campaign.
The Reverend, as should now be obvious, did not write, practice and give those sermons in front of a camera for the purpose of contributing to Obama's campaign. Your word choice above, "this individual has chosen to polarize a very polarizing issue
" suggests you think the Reverend made those sermons for the benefit of Obama's campaign, and "chose" to make them part of the campaign as an Obama "surrogate." I don't think the Reverend really played this race card in the campaign either.
I think the Reverend was making many of those sermons before Obama ever thought about running for President, and surely before he began to campaign. The media played this race card because it is good for business. Which is hardly something to pile onto Obama's cross to bear.
The whole Reverend sermon reaction is like having everyone who ever heard you say "fuck" in your life give a detailed account of it on tape, and then played the tape back without really disclosing it represented a lifetime of saying "fuck." It would very likely sound like you spent a good deal of your time, maybe even most of it, saying "fuck." Which is probably not accurate, but will sell a lot better than a story that says you rarely say "fuck."
Anyway, to suggest the Reverend's methods for connecting with his congregation, which he apparently does quite well, is a cross Obama deserves to bear is pretty unrealistic in my opinion. But, hey, lets say rather than argue that point, we will let him bear that cross. What does that mean? Does it mean he cannot continue as a candidate? Does it mean if he gives an honest statement outlining his beliefs, contrasting them with the scary snippets of the Reverend's sermons, that isn't good enough, ever? He has to leave the congregation? Put out a contract on the Reverend? Call him names on national tv?
As for the company he chooses to keep, well, while you are right, that is a choice, I think you have to do more than judge people using some scale of purity that is so unrealistically "white" as to be exclude a real person who has grown up in inner city America from ever running for President.
As I see this issue, the squeal about the Reverend is coming from people who have never really paid much attention to what goes on in Black, inner city communities, including their churches. What the Reverend in each of these congregations says is somewhat tailored by the location and make up of the congregation. How it should be evaluated is on how effectively it works to keep the families in these communities together and their kids out of gangs and the like.
If the Reverend's words don't work for you, but they do help people with a lot less than most of us could imagine remain hopeful, I think there is a strong net benefit to America. Not your cup of tea, or mine, but I am not volunteering to spend my life helping these people with an alternate message.
To get fixated on Obama's Reverend's taped and distilled to the near pH 0, acidic rhetoric sermons, to the point where you cannot hear Obama's actual message, is:
- a sign of being too ready to accept a reason to jump on the anti-Black guy for President wagon, or
- a sign that trying to see if there is any kind of reasonable real world explanation is just asking too much of you
I know this was a waste of my time. But, hey, I feel better doing this than just ignoring you without trying. Jim