This line in Obama’s speech didn’t jump out at me, but it’s rubbing some readers the wrong way:
I can no more disown [Reverend Wright] than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
As one reader puts it, “Fair enough, but it certainly sounds like he is creating a moral equivalence between a grandmother, who he did not choose and he was blessed to have in his life, and a pastor who he sought out, who he felt some sort of spiritual inspiration from, and who he does not share any bloodlines with… The idea that his grandmother expressing fear of black men is in any way equivalent or should even be mentioned in the same context as Jeremiah Wright’s racial diatribes is utterly ridiculous. I doubt if his grandmother ever got up in church on Sunday and loudly proclaimed her personal reservations about black men, nor did she blame them for all of her people’s troubles.”
As I type this, one of the lines on the bottom of the screen on CNN is “Obama: Can no more denounce Wright than his own grandmother.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Another reader noted, “The grandmother’s comments happened long ago. Wright’s hateful speech is recent. The two are not comparable.”