Why is Barack Obama so comfortable around people who so despise America and its allies? Maybe it’s because they’re so comfortable around him.
He presents as the transcendent agent of “change.” Sounds platitudinous, but it’s really quite strategically vaporous. Sen. Obama is loath to get into the details of how we should change, and, as the media’s Chosen One, he hasn’t had to.
But he’s not, as some hopefully dismiss him, a charismatic lightweight with a gift for sparkling the same old vapid cant. Judging from the company he chooses to keep, Obama’s change would radically alter this country. He eschews detail because most Americans don’t believe we’re a racist, heartless, imperialist cesspool of exploitation. The details would be disqualifying.
So, instead, we get glimpses. The most profound influence in his life, his wife Michelle, is notoriously less circumspect than her careful husband about where she’s coming from. Her college thesis, which Princeton tried to keep under lock and key, testifies to a race-obsessed worldview. She may have refined it, but she’s never grown out of it.
After four years at one of America’s most esteemed academic institutions, Michelle recoiled at the thought of “further integration and/or assimilation into a white cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant.” That the sky has been the limit for her, that she has managed to ride the “periphery” from Princeton to Harvard Law School, to one of the country’s top law firms, and to a plethora of prestigious institutional positions, has not much altered her perspective. Through the windows of her mansion on Chicago’s south side, American society still appears as a caste system.
The United States, says she, is “just downright mean.” Never, prior to her husband’s presidential run, had she had a reason to feel proud of it, she told a campaign throng. But by last November, with Barack’s pursuit of the brass ring catching momentum, she suddenly got plenty proud. And confident: so much so that she was moved to tell MSNBC, “Black America will wake up and get it” — unite and carry him over the finish line.
THE REV. WRIGHT
Years earlier, the Obamas had gravitated to the baleful Rev. Jeremiah Wright, an unapologetic racist and hard Left firebrand. They were comfortable with him — and he with them.
By the senator’s own account, Wright is the inspiration for his memoir, The Audacity of Hope — the title is cribbed from a Wright sermon (“The Audacity to Hope”). For Michelle, who had written that a racial “separationist” would have a better understanding of American blacks than “an integrationist who is ignorant to their plight,” Wright’s Trinity Church mission statement had to resonate, right from its opening declaration:
We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian… Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain ‘true to our native land,’ the mother continent, the cradle of civilization.
Rev. Wright inspired his congregation — of which the Obamas were 20-year members — with “black liberation theology.” The doctrine is itself the inspiration of James Hal Cone, a professor of “Systematic Theology” at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Cone is also the author of several books, which a tendentious Wright urged Sean Hannity to read during a recent interview.
It’s a useful suggestion. For example, there is Cone’s 1969 opus, Black Theology and Black Power, in which he helpfully explains:
Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community…. Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.
Black liberation theology, as Wright has elaborated, is closely aligned with the “liberation theology” of Nicaragua during the seventies and eighties: i.e., the doctrine that catalyzed Marxist revolutionaries. It spurred an unabashedly Leftist movement that emphasized, you guessed it, the crying need for “change” — as George Russell aptly described it in a 2001 Time magazine analysis, “social change in the process of spiritual improvement.”
It is this same drive for upheaval, for supplanting a political order which purportedly treats blacks as “less than human,” that impelled Wright’s plea for God to “damn America.” In the oppression narrative, the murder of 3000 Americans on 9/11 isn’t terrorism but social justice. America, after all, had it coming. For Wright, it was “chickens coming home to roost.” Indeed, Wright sometimes prefers to call our country “the U.S. of KKK A” — a grotesque sentiment which, we shall see, is shared by others with whom the Obamas choose to associate themselves.
For their part, the Obamas couldn’t get enough of Wright. Barack and Michelle had him marry them. They chose him to baptize their children, who were routinely exposed to Wright’s race-baiting bombast.