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April 29, 2008
No, It's Not All Wright
Last go round, the media and other apologists insisted we were overreacting to out of context "snippets," misrepresentative of Jeremiah Wright's 30 years of preaching. Yesterday's disgraceful showcase at the NPC shredded all such pretext.
The reverend was physically addressing an audience of what can only be described as angry blacks who somehow overran the floor tables at the National Press Club in Washington, while the "working press" cringed in the cheap seats. Lest there be any mistake from the outset of the tone to follow, thugs either of Farrakhan's Fruit of Islam or intentionally costumed to look the part, stood and stared dauntingly at the audience and C-SPAN camera.
The ensuing sickeningly self-serving syntax of the speech ("This is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright. This is an attack on the black church") has been widely covered and can be viewed here.
But the real show would begin in Act II, when the Obama family's ex-pastor bullied USA Today reporter and Press Club Officer Donna Leinwand, whose job it was to read questions from index cards submitted by the press. Leinwand's very first question was for an explanation of the comments Wright made after the Sept. 11 attacks, when he said the United States had brought the terrorist attacks on itself. To which Wright abrasively snapped:
This, of course, sparked immense approval from the crowd. Not those with press badges, but rather those with angry faces.
As did his response to questions about his relationship with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan (The black EF Hutton -- "one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century") and his claims of government invented AIDS ("I believe our Government is capable of anything").
And when asked to address his "Not God bless America, but God damn America" comments, Wright replayed the "snippets on YouTube taken out of context" ploy.
But surely those YouTube videos certain to be ripped from yesterday's performance and replayed continuously on cable-news will abide no such subterfuge. We saw and heard it all, pastor. And our worst impressions of you and your hate-filled lot were only vindicated. And our questions will not be "nullified" as you so arrogantly declared that posed by the meek USA Today reporter.
So let the apologists shift gears from contextual excuses to those of megalomania and vindictiveness as they continue to shield their beloved candidate.
If Obama continues to brush aside this man's antics without directly forsaking specific words, the electorate at large is left to wonder exactly why.
Considered alongside the specter of the hallelujah choruses witnessed in the sermons and yesterday's speech, the idea that the Senator fears a backlash from a significant number of blacks simply cannot be dismissed.
For in the end - it's not all Wright.
And that's what's most disturbing.