Thursday, March 20, 2008

Did Barack Obama "overcome" racism?

I just visited the Los Angeles Times site and saw a blog entry about Jeremiah Wright. Part of Wright's sermon was printed, and I post it here.

Wright didn't mention Obama by name but nevertheless recounted the candidate's life story. The minister spoke about a biracial child using hope to overcome racism, go to an Ivy League law school and become a politician.

"How many children of biracial parents can make it in a world controlled by racist ideology?" Wright asked.

"But if you use your mind, instead of a lost statistic in a hate-filled universe, you just may end up a law student at Harvard University. In fact, if you use your mind, you might end up as the editor of the Harvard Law Review. If you use your mind, instead of [being] a statistic destined for the poor house, you just may end up a statesman destined for the . . . Yes, we can!" Wright said, without mentioning the White House, but using the Obama campaign slogan to bring the crowd to its feet.

So in a "racist" society, Barack Obama was - up until just a few weeks ago - leading the race for the Democratic nomination. While his numbers among black voters in the upcoming primaries have apparently not fallen, his numbers among white voters have. In other words, whites were perfectly prepared to vote for this black man, until they found out that he had been friends with and attended for 20 years a Church where the pastor preached separatism, white guilt, white racism, etc. etc.

It was the white vote that was propelling Obama over Hillary.

Now that he's lost the white vote... is it because the white vote has suddenly turned racist... or because they've now found out a side of Barack Obama they had not known was there?

The key sentence in Wright's sermon was this one: "But if you use your mind,"

In other words, if you get an education, so that you can speak intelligently on a variety of subjects, if you embrace the English language rather than some separatist dialect, if you get an education, you can rise in America!

Derek Jeter is bi-racial, I believe. How much money does he make?? Halle Berry... bi-racial. Won an Oscar ya da ya da ya da.

Sure, it took a while for barriers to be broken. Jackie Robinson in baseball. Sidney Poitier in movie acting. Bessie Coleman in aviation. The Tuskegee Squadron in aviation. Bill Cosby on TV (1969 - first black man to have a co-starring role in I, Spy.)

Tremendous strides have been made. There's some woman called Condoleeza Rice....

Why do so many blacks live in poverty today? (And how many do, percentage wise, as opposed to poor whites? Of these, how many come from homes where the mother is not divorced from the father, but rather doesn't even know his father's name?) Is it because they're oppressed by the minority of white racists in this country? Or is it because their pastors are telling them not to get an education, don't practice birth control, don't integrate with white America, don't become middle class, don't "sell out" your people.

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