Obama Channels Reverend Wright
After 11 years of hiding and hinting, the real Barack Obama is back.
The guy who spent twenty years listening to Reverend Jeremiah Wright preach the gospel of racial hostility has decided it is just too much trouble to keep his black-on-white resentment all bottled up.
So the president put it on full display last week at the eulogy for the pastor who was a victim in the Charleston mass murder.
And what we saw was quite a bit different than the fresh-faced, new-vision, ‘put race behind us’ guy who electrified the country with his speech to the Democrat National Convention in 2004.
Remember that guy? “This is why you go into this business, to watch a speech like that.” said David Brooks on PBS immediately following the speech. “It’s a shame the networks aren’t covering this tonight because they just missed a bit of history.”
“He lit it up,” said Mark Shields
And on and on and on. A post-racial media star was born.
When he made his national debut, Obama was still a State Senator from Illinois, getting ready for a run at the U.S. Senate. And despite what he was hearing in church, racial resentment appeared to be the farthest thing from his mind:
“There is not a conservative America, there is not a liberal America, there is the United States of America,” he told an excited crowd assembled to nominate John Kerry to be the President. “There is not a black America and a white America, and Latino America and Asian America. There’s the United States (dramatic pause) of America.”
The crowd was on its feet. Even Jesse Jackson.
That was then. “This is now: For too long we have been blind to the ways that past injustices continue to shape the present,” he said last week as he preached over the rose-draped coffin of the fallen pastor in Charleston . “Perhaps we see that now.”
That was now. This is then, 2004: “Tonight is a particular honor for me because, let’s face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely. My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats. Went to school in a tin roof shack. His father, my grandfather was a cook, a domestic servant to the British. But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place: America, that shone as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before.”
Eleven years later, Horatio Alger is gone; replaced with Reverend Wright-style rhetoric with news from a darker America, where “racial bias can infect us even when we don’t realize it,” as he said in Charleston.
This is Reverend Wright’s America: Those committing black-on-black crime are “fighting the wrong enemy,” Wright said. From the pulpit.
WND published pages of these quotes: Wright called on God to damn America -- or “white America, U.S. of KKKA,” as he refers to the nation in another sermon -- “for killing innocent people … for treating us citizens as less than human.”
But there was no talk of that in 2004, when Obama reveled in his newfound status and even his funny sounding name. “Baraak meaning “blessed,” he told us. “Believing in a tolerant America, your name is no barrier to success.”
In the intervening 11 years, something happened, because today, a name can contribute to the racist and “subtle impulse to call Johnny back for a job interview but not Jamal,” said the President in Charleston.
The funeral crowd loved that one.
In 2004, he claimed that America was such a great country that “in no other nation on this earth is my story even possible.” A place where his “parents shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation.”
“A place where you don’t have to be rich to achieve your potential.”
“Tonight we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation.”
The same nation his wife was ashamed of, though she would not admit it for four more years.
Eleven years later, affirming greatness was out, claims of relentless racism were in.
In 2004, crime was all about the “despair” of young people who could not find jobs. Eleven years later, whether Obama was at a Charleston church, a Black Caucus dinner, or a BET interview, the despair is gone, replaced by abusive police who stop people for “walking while black, driving while black.”
All, apparently, for no reason whatsoever.
Ditto for schools: In 2004, he reminded the delegates to the convention that schools were places where black people could make it, if only black students would stop condemning the other black students who excel at their studies for “acting white.”
Today, the gap between black students and white students is not about achievement. Or acting white. But racism, holding the black students back. That proclamation comes not from Reverend Wright, but from an executive order, signed by the President of the United States.
In 2004, Obama proclaimed “we are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes. All of us defending the United States of America.”
Eleven years later, Obama accused these same people of “avoiding uncomfortable truths about the prejudice that still infects our society.”
Reverend Wright would be proud.
Colin Flaherty is the author of the bestselling book: Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry: The hoax of black victimization. You can find it on YouTube.