The Corner

Locker Rooms and the Like

I think I can substantiate Ramesh’s casual observation on the type of creepy e-mails one receives. So far I haven’t received a single one that pertains to Obama’s race in negative fashion, but literally hundreds over the last couple of years voicing the worst sort of anti-Semitic references, in about equal measure from the hard anti-war left and the paleo-conservative right.

Re: Father Andrew Greely’s remarks: I have gone to a few bars and locker rooms recently, and haven’t heard a word of denigration about Obama’s race.

Fr. Greeley’s notion that racial prejudice guides the election, at least from my perspective, seems misdirected — though columns like Greely’s are unfortunately part of a cascading effort at a sort of racialist preemption to curb others’ criticism of Obama’s agenda, statements, and record in fear of, well, being denigrated as a sort of racist by custodians of public speech such as Greely. In that context, cf. Greely’s own rhetorical question:

“By what stretch of sick logic could the candidate be responsible for what his clergy said and did?”

In fact, by a number of healthy standards a presidential candidate might be held responsible for attending a church for 20 years, baptizing his children in it, marrying in it, subsidizing it with donations of several thousand dollars, and praising the voice of a racist clergyman in terms ranging form “not particularly controversial” and “an old uncle” to “brilliant,” while referring to him at various times (contrary to later disclaimers) as “friend”, “mentor” and one of his many “spiritual advisors,” to such a degree as to adopt the title of his best-selling book from a Wright sermon.

Again, what is sick is not the notion of holding a candidate responsible for all that (Obama, after all, did just that himself [why otherwise did he condemn Wright after the Rev.’s creepy National Press Club speech, and his NAACP exegeses on race, genetics, and brain chemistry, to ensure that we all knew he was no longer “responsible” for Rev. Wright?]) — but Greely’s own suggestion that such legitimate worry is “sick logic.”

But if Father Greely were really concerned about ubiquitious racism, rather than politics, why hunt for it in locker rooms, bars, and other stealthy places, while neglecting it when it is openly aired and audaciously voiced by Father Pfleger from the pulpit of Trinity Church?

I will offer another of the same tired predictions, namely that should Iraq continue to improve as its constitutional government defeats terrorists and reconciles factions, should the world settle down and begin to fathom that Islamic terrorism is waning while the U.S. continues to be free from another attack, should the fuel crisis enlighten Americans that they must produce more fossil fuel and nuclear energies so they can transition to alternate fuels, and thus should Obama’s position on terrorism, war, and energy resonate less by October, we are going to begin to see a lot more columns similar to Greely’s.


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