The Corner

Radicals Reinforced

Intellectually, this Newsweek story doesn’t exactly surprise me. Yet part of me still finds it shocking. Here’s the key paragraph:

Last Friday, in an effort to gauge just how “out there” Wright’s sermons are in the context of the African-American church tradition, NEWSWEEK phoned at least two dozen of the country’s most prominent and thoughtful African-American scholars and pastors, representing a wide range of denominations and points of view. Not one person would say that Wright had crossed any kind of significant line.

Newsweek’s finding is totally consistent with Byron York’s story yesterday. The question is, in the wake of Obama’s speech, will the folks who don’t believe Jeremiah Wright “crossed any lines” feel as though they need to rethink — or will they in fact feel justified and affirmed by Obama. The answer is clear. As the Newsweek piece itself implies, the very people who never believed Wright was wrong to begin with feel “defended and explained” by Obama. Rather than pushing radicalism aside, Obama is lending it a sheen of acceptability.

Stanley Kurtz — Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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