Life is full of lessons, like the ones we have been witnessing since hearing the vitriolic words from Pastor Wright’s sermons . . . sermons based on hate instead of hope.
Obama gave his grand speech on race relations yesterday, another speech that contained lofty words. Yes, the country needs to have a real dialog on race relations, but it won’t come from the national media or cable networks, the guys who don’t want context, only conflict.
If the grand speech was supposed to “do it” and we are all supposed to forget what we heard and saw in the Wright videos, it doesn’t work that way. For starters, had the speech been given a year ago, when Obama had declared his candidacy, that would have been brave, indeed, but he didn’t. If he had, I’d be blogging for him instead of Hillary, but he didn’t.
Obama gave the “grand speech” yesterday because he no choice. Barack tried ignoring the real problem of Pastor Wright’s inflammatory sermons. This wasn’t an impossible situation. Candor on Obama’s part would have made it a controllable situation. One thing experience teaches you is that problems like Pastor Wright’s sermons don’t go away by themselves. Lack of candor was exacerbated by lack of courage or foresight or both. Obama was forced to defend a man whose words are indefensible . . . ah, yes Barack’s situational ethics demonstrated yet again!
Here’s the bottom line. The speech changes nothing for the multitude of people who have been offended . . . white, black, and brown, Republicans, Democrats, and independents. We all heard Wright’s comments including, “God damn America!”
One of my favorite Wright diatribes is “Hillary ain’t never been called no nigger.” True, and I venture to say that Obama and Pastor Wright “ain’t never been called no cunt either!” Both are ugly words for “isms” that are alive and well in this country. There is, however, a difference between the “isms”; sexism is tolerated to greater degree than racism.
Let me give one tiny example of how we tolerate sexism in this country and in this political race on a daily basis. There’s a company that sells Hillary nutcrackers on the Internet. Yes, you can take a pecan or walnut and place it between the legs of metal implement with Hillary’s face on it and crack the nuts open. Funny you say, because we all know what a “ball buster” Hillary is, right. Just a little joke, right?
Well, let’s see, would you feel the same way if Barack’s face was on the nutcracker? And, while we are at it why not “super size” the nutcracker because we all know how big black men are supposed to be, right? Not so funny now, is it?
There isn’t a woman in this world who hasn’t experienced sexism in her life, who doesn’t guard (in her deepest recesses) against being raped or who hasn’t been groped by some idiot because he thought he was entitled to cop a feel “just because.” Some of us experience it to greater and lesser degrees than others, but we all experience sexism. There are women of color and women from other cultures who are demeaned and diminished in ways I will never experience first hand but will completely understand as another sister.
If one listens to FOX, Obama’s speech is not going to change much. If you listen to MSNBC, Obama gave the greatest speech since Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The FOX network is probably closer to the pulse of the electorate than the MSNBC, with the possible exception of Joe Scarborough. Obama may win the DP nomination, but he will not win the presidency against McCain. Why? The Wright videos won’t just fade away; they’ll be the Republican gift that keeps on giving.
Know what else? If there’s one thing Republicans and conservatives hate more than people who don’t practice sex their way, “God’s way” . . . it’s people they believe don’t love America . . . all of America, its imperfections and all. Michelle, are you listening? That includes you too.
To the Democratic Super delegates, are you listening? Ya know all those white votes Obama collected in the fly over red states. You can forget them in a general election. Conservatives and Reagan Democrats have long memories. If Obama is the one that goes up against McCain, he’s toast.