I agree entirely with Andy below. You know who made this a racial thing? Not Sean Hannity. Not Fox News. Not Hillary Clinton. Barrack Obama made Jeremiah Wright a race thing. It was his big “race speech” that transformed a singular black preacher into the living personification of the “Black Community.”
And you know what really bugs me about it? For all the gobbledygook about Barack’s race speech “finally” starting a conversation on race, the whole reason Obama made Wright into a racial issue was so that people would shut up. He tried to scare people away from an inconvenient discussion about race. He said to pay attention to Wright would be a distraction. It would divert people from what really matters. And by “what really matters” Obama meant “getting me elected.” The press got Wright’s message: Don’t you dare criticize Wright for this is black dirty laundry and an attack on Wright is an attack on all of us.
The press dutifully carried this water for the Obama campaign, proclaiming any mention of Wright to be out of bounds or even racist until it blew up in their face this week (as I mention in my column today).
But there are at least two problems with this. First, it is complete nonsense that Jeremiah Wright speaks for the entire black community or the black church, whatever that is.
But, second and more important, if that were true then shame on the black church and the black community too. I am so sick of hearing talking heads saying that Wright’s sermons are nothing unusual in black churches as if that somehow makes what he says ok. It’s as if something disgusting and untrue is outrageous if one person believes it, but it’s suddenly respectable if lots of people — or lots of black people — believe it. Hogwash.
(Funny how it’s not a defense of evangelical Christians to say of Pat Robertson’s blather “that sort of thing is said in white churches every Sunday.”)
Oh and one last thing, I’m not someone who constantly carps about how we need yet one more conversation about race in this country. But the people who do say that sort of thing the most seem to be the same people who want the conversation about Jeremiah Wright and what he represents to go away. That is outrageously dishonest. Unless of course your real aim is to have the same old conversation about race again and again and again, in which the only villain is white America and the only victim is black America, and all of the old cliches get one more fresh coat of Wrightwash.