“I can no more disown [Wright] than I can disown the black community.”
Once Obama opened that gate, Wright was off to the races to gain national notoriety and finally cash in on the investment he made twenty years ago when he welcomed into the neighborhood a half-white, half-African Harvard Law School kid and taught him about, and protected him from, the hard-ball landscape of Chicago racial politics.
Wright won’t quit now for two reasons. First, he knows what he said for two decades, and where Obama was when he said it. So he bristles that Obama’s protestations of suddenly being “shocked” by Wright are empty and untrue, and designed to assure the very “rich white folks” whom Wright dismisses. Two, psychologically Wright resents the reversals in positions; the infant politician that he once sired and nurtured is now far better known precisely for rejecting, at least in speeches, the very mother’s milk Wright fed him for years. Wright knows he should not embarrass Obama — if for no other reason than it would be disadvantageous for him to do so — but he simply cannot resist given his pique. Obama is suddenly running now as a Colin Powell above race, but Wright chafes that race is what he once shocked a moribund Obama with to bring him to political life.
Who is to blame for all this other than Wright and Obama themselves? The elite African-American community, who, for the past months, has contextualized the hatred of Wright and the half-hearted apologies for it by Obama on the air, television, and in written commentary, shares the responsibility as well. The consequence of that moral failure and political expediency was the most embarrassing moment in recent civil rights history: an African-American receiving a standing ovation at the NAACP for confirming the old white racist slur that blacks are ‘musical’ and emotional while whites are rational and analytical, on the basis of genetically distinct brain chemistries. We haven’t heard that voiced in the public realm since the Bell Curve. The shame is that while most whites once lambasted the slur, blacks at a civil rights dinner now applaud it.
Then there are the white elites, who, in their near religious desire to elect a Kennedyesque, liberal African American, simply abandoned almost every historically-learned protocol about racial relations. So when Obama excused Wright’s racism weeks ago, they immediately declared a disturbing speech on race as the second Gettysburg Address. More interested in preserving their emotional investment in Obamism, and the alleviation of their guilt that it offers, they neglected to acknowledge that their candidate had just given all racists to come just the sort of context and rationalization they most surely will use (as we saw with Wright’s latest rants) to excuse their venom.
What is saving Obama so far? Hillary’s negatives are so high that many cannot quite jump over yet. Bush’s negatives are so high that many want to rebuke him at almost any cost. And students, blacks, and elite whites have invested so much in the long Obama campaign that they simply refuse to give up now.
So Wright goes on, Obama goes on, Hillary goes on. When they have all finished, the wife of the first “black” President, the candidate who “transcended” race, and “old uncle” Wright — and the liberal Democratic Party — will have done more to destroy racial relations than all the David Dukes in the world.