Friday, March 21, 2008

Obama's failure

There is part of me that wants to shrug over Barack Obama's reference to his grandmother as "a typical white person." Obama says he wants to encourage more candor in our conversation about race. My guess is that many blacks and whites hold on to assumptions about the "typical" black and white person and he's just being honest in revealing his own.

But having revealed his own racial presuppositons, what are we supposed to do about them. He's not apologizing so I take it that he believes that it is OK to say that he believes that white people "typically" have what I presume that he believes to be an unreasonable fear of black males. I assume that his defense of that belief would be that it is true. At least if there are not other reassuring social cues provided by things like age, dress and context, it may well be the case that many white people would be nervous about a young black male approaching them on a dark city street. It seems likely to me that the average white person - particularily one who is especially vulnerable in such circumstances like an older woman - would overestimate the danger that young black males pose.

But true candor about such things would probably eschew the promiscuous of the word "racist" in connection with both Obama's observation and the fact that he feels free to attribute it to white people generally. Our typical white person probably thinks she has good reason to be nervous. She may be well aware of the danger in applying racial stereotypes to individuals but that pales when she is listening to footsteps behind her.

On the other hand, if you are, say, a young black law student heading home from the library, it hardly reduces the injury of being presumed dangerous to be told that it's not personal.

And, if you are that young law student, you probably have reasons to be suspicious of the good faith of white people and may have come to overestimate the level of racial hostility you face. Like our white woman on a dark street, you know that it is unfair to presume the worst about others but racial injury stings and you don't want to leave yourself open to it.

Candor would require us to recognize and even, at least to some degree, understand these attitudes. But don't we want to struggle against them? Certainly we don't want others to feed these fears. This is one the reasons that some get upset by "Willie Horton" like political ads. They fear that they encourage racial suspicion.

But that's precisely ZRev. Wright's sin. He doesn't promote racial understanding but division. He isn't simply pointing to unpleasant truths, he's spinning tales that are designed to inflame rather than to heal.

We might be able to understand why he has come to this, but we should not accept it.

And that's what Obama did. He associated himself with the church and the man. He never condemned what it now seems apparent that he must have heard on a fairly regular basis. He never stood up for reason and healing. Until now.

What he needed to do in that pretty speech in Philadelphia is explain why.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really don't think Obama is any different than Wright. He's just using a different approach and all the progressives fell for it. Typical.

Seth Zlotocha said...

He never condemned what it now seems apparent that he must have heard on a fairly regular basis.

You're still, without any evidence, suggesting that Obama should've previously condemned statements he's said he never heard while in the pews. This seems to be based on an assumption that the statements that created this firestorm are characteristic of the thousands of sermons Wright has given over the years; yet, I have seen zero attempt on this blog or any other conservative blog that's put forth similar critiques to engage in any way with the body of sermons given by Wright over the years, in spite of the fact that much of it is accessible on the web. Seems this type of engagement would be useful if you want to demonstrate that your points are anything more than partisan.

You've made a conscious choice, Rick, to not take your critiques of Wright beyond the soundbites, relying instead on phrases like "he must have heard," even though that type of analytical depth is something that your quite capable of doing and, to be sure, have done in the past on this blog. But, when it comes to Obama, you've seemed to be content with the superficial.

As I said in previous comments, something can be controversial but still reasonable; Obama has made clear that the comments that started this firestorm -- specifically those that go beyond critiquing US policies and into the incendiary like "God damn America" or into the bizarre like those on AIDS -- are ones that aren't reasonable and he's never heard Wright utter. If you want to argue that Obama is lying, that seems to be something that requires a little more than "must have."

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William Tyroler said...

I have seen zero attempt on this blog or any other conservative blog that's put forth similar critiques to engage in any way with the body of sermons given by Wright over the years

Seth's are, ultimately, salami tactics: provide the whole context for each of the loon's individual ravings; prove Obama was there when he said them; prove Obama subscribed to them in some way; prove that the loon is out of step with typical African-American notions of theodicy. Etc. Personally, I don't think the electorate will buy this approach. We're going to hear endless soundbites from Wright that AIDS is a government conspiracy, etc., juxtaposed against Obama's glowing testimonials of the man, but increasingly temporized as heat is applied and ultimately morphing into quasi-denunciation (sure he said some mighty bad things but, hey, so did my grandmomma).

Seth wants still greater attention given the raving reverend? I, for one, can only hope.

Seth Zlotocha said...

For starters, William, I never said "prove," I suggested the need for evidence. And if you want to make the points that Rick and others have been making about what Obama "must have" known, then, yes, evidence and exploration that goes beyond the soundbites is helpful.

Personally, I don't think the electorate will buy this approach.

That's a separate argument. I actually think the electorate, for the most part, will buy the approach that those soundbites don't define Wright's life's work. But, more specific to this thread, I'm not making a case here to the electorate through the prism of the media, which is what campaigns are tasked with doing. I'm making a case directly to Rick, as a person who clearly appreciates and understands the importance of nuance in presenting a convincing argument, that more is required that "must have" to make his case anything more than transparently partisan.

You seem to be trying to make that case by providing a link to a discussion -- penned by an anonymous columnist writing from the conservative Judeo-Christian perspective -- about how Wright is operating in a tradition of black liberation theology. That's true. But it seems you may be operating under the false assumption -- perhaps b/c the columnist described above wrongly implied it -- that black liberation theology is equivalent to separatism, which isn't true; to be sure, Martin Luther King Jr. is also considered part of the black liberation theological tradition. As Wright himself has said: "The African-centered point of view does not assume superiority, nor does it assume separatism. It assumes Africans speaking for themselves as subjects in history, not objects in history."

But that's also not what this firestorm is all about. It's about the handful of comments made by Wright that have been plastered across the media over the past two weeks, which are statements that hardly define or characterize black liberation theology. If this was just about black liberation theology, you'd of seen plenty of other comments made by Wright plastered across the media, as well (to be sure, conservatives are already putting videos out there in an attempt to tie Obama to the black power movement, but those haven't quite caught on, at least partly b/c they're an obvious attempt to race-bait by playing on white misunderstandings about the black power movement). Instead, the comments by Wright that have been plastered were picked precisely b/c they demonstrate something beyond the pale, and Obama has denounced them as such.

William Tyroler said...

I'm making a case directly to Rick

No: that is something you would do by email. You're making a very public case.

penned by an anonymous columnist.

Well, the link itself Is to the non-anonymous Richard Fernandez, though you're right that he links to the anonymous "Spengler." Both are unsurpassingly articulate, by the way.

writing from the conservative Judeo-Christian perspective

This is an unseemly dodge. The margins of the Democratic Party are increasingly occupied by anti-Semites who speak in code: neo-con; Likudnik; The Lobby. (More recently, and less transparently: neo-Jew.) One question (among many others of course) is whether Obama is a stalking horse for these interests, who'd dearly love to press their obsession with Jews closer into the middle of the party. Sanitize Black Liberation Theology all you want, but as Fernandez points out, "(i)f there is anything worse than being white in liberation theology it is being Jewish." Your choice. The Dems either allow these forces in, or they resist them. (And no, I'm not going to play the game of linking to "proof" of my suppositions. It's opinion. Share it or not as you choose.)

Seth Zlotocha said...

No: that is something you would do by email. You're making a very public case.

Making a case directly to someone doesn't need to be private. What I'm doing here, while in the public view, is still something very different than making a case to the public, which is what you were referencing.

This is an unseemly dodge.

How is placing this writer in a religious tradition any more or less of a dodge than placing Wright in a religious tradition as a way to more fully understand his positions?

And your attempts to draw anti-Semitism into this -- whether it's a charge against me, Wright, Obama, or someone else isn't quite clear from your comment -- is based on nothing. It was a nice attempt to cover this by adding the disclaimer that you won't back up any of your points with evidence, but the fact is there isn't any evidence. While you are entitled to your own opinions, if you expect those opinions to be part of constructive dialog -- isn't that what we're doing here in the public view? -- then providing evidence is key.

As for where Obama stands in relation to black liberation theology, although he is clearly a religious person and engages with theological ideas on intellectual and religious levels, he's clearly not a theological person in the same sense as Wright, King, etc. But based on his statements (such as this one) to black church leaders over the years, including urging them to actively support gay rights and -- as a matter of fact -- stomp out an instances of anti-Semitism in the black community, it's pretty clear Obama would align himself with the liberal strand of black theology.

But, ultimately, Obama came to religion as a community organizer, and I think that background still shapes his views about the importance of religion in civic life (which is, as E. J. Dionne points out in his recent column, rare for a Dem politician these days). So rather than appreciate religion in a theological sense, I think Obama appreciates it much more in a social sense. As he wrote about his first experiences at Trinity in his first book: "It was a powerful program, this cultural community, one more pliant than simple nationalism, more sustaining than my own brand of organizing." And, as Dionne explains in his column linked above, this approach has led Obama to make connections with people in the white evangelical community, such as Rick Warren.

So, with Obama, I don't even think "The Dems either allow these forces in, or they resist them" is an appropriate phrasing of the question since I think he'd reject altogether that with us or against us mentality.

William Tyroler said...

How is placing this writer in a religious tradition any more or less of a dodge than placing Wright in a religious tradition as a way to more fully understand his positions?

Depends on whether one is interested in an honest accounting.

And your attempts to draw anti-Semitism into this -- whether it's a charge against me, Wright, Obama, or someone else isn't quite clear from your comment -- is based on nothing.

I charged you with nothing of the kind. Nor Obama for that matter; just, perhaps, not coming clean on what he knew and when he knew. Reacting to a silly dismissal of an opinion as being "from the conservative Judeo-Christian perspective" I indicated that Democrats ought to be vigilant about squelching pernicious forces gathering at the party's margins. Don't believe it's a potential problem if you don't want.

So, with Obama, I don't even think "The Dems either allow these forces in, or they resist them" is an appropriate phrasing of the question since I think he'd reject altogether that with us or against us mentality.

Have it your way.

Seth Zlotocha said...

Depends on whether one is interested in an honest accounting.

I'm still not seeing the difference between placing Wright in a religious tradition and placing these other writers in a religious tradition.

I charged you with nothing of the kind.

I didn't say you charged me; I said it was unclear from your comment why you were pulling anti-Semitism into the discussion. But when you imply that something I wrote is akin to tactics employed by anti-Semites, it's not too much of a leap to see an insinuation.

Nor Obama for that matter; just, perhaps, not coming clean on what he knew and when he knew.

I'd say he's done that.

Reacting to a silly dismissal of an opinion as being "from the conservative Judeo-Christian perspective"

I didn't use the writer's perspective to dismiss him; I just noted it since I find it useful in explaining his reaction to Wright's tradition. What I did say about the column is that it wrongly implies black liberation theology assumes separatism. And I'll add that it wrongly assumes the only two relationships Obama could possibly have with Trinity are either complete agreement w/ Wright or political positioning; this ignores completely the way Obama actually originally approached the church as a community organizer (which is significantly different than approaching something as a politician or, for that matter, someone looking for personal theological guidance).

I indicated that Democrats ought to be vigilant about squelching pernicious forces gathering at the party's margins.

If by "pernicious forces" you mean anti-Semitism, I completely agree. And, as I noted in my last comment, Obama has publicly urged black religious leaders to stomp out instances of anti-Semitism (and other forms of hatred like homophobia) in the black religious community. And that urging was made possible, in part, by the respect he gives that community; he wouldn't be able to say a thing if he just rejected it.

Have it your way.

I'm not seeing how Wright's reprinting of a column -- originally published in the LA Times -- by a deputy of Hamas is somehow evidence that Obama isn't interested in or capable of building bridges between religious communities in the US.

Anonymous said...

Seth -

Your defense of Obama's nuanced language is laughable. Even if Obama's statement that he never heard Wright's offensive sermons "while in the pews" is true (a tenuous claim at best, given that he has acknowledged that he has heard things some might view as offensive while in those same pews), you seem to have a very real problem recognizing the real issue, which is that Obama almost certainly knew about Rev. Wright's views.

mickey said...

Seth, I've was never in the same room with David Duke.
Son, you are getting your clock cleaned. If you had the sense of a goose, you'd fly away.
The sermons that we have seen are outrageous Seth. Wright was SELLING the sermons in question.
Seth, are you suggesting that the
1)AmeriKKKa sermon.
2)The GOD DAMN AMERICA X3 sermon.
3)The U.S. is no different than AL 4)QAEDA, merely different colored flags.
5)The U.S created the AIDS virus.
6)The U.S.gives drugs to blacks so they can use the 3 strikes laws to lock them up.
7)The U.S. knew about Pearl Harbor in advance......
Seth, do you see a pattern developing? Could your "spiritual mentor" say such things with anger on camera FOR SALE with REGULARITY and you NOT BE AWARE of it?
Seth, you need to get yourself some help.
DENIAL IS NOT A RIVER IN EGYPT SON.

mickey said...

William Tyroler, Seth isn't playing with a full deck. Liberals are used to claiming the moral high ground by fiat.
They are warm and tolerant.
Conservatives are hateful bigoted racists.
The truth comes bubbling to the surface, and Seth's heretofore unchallenged lib supremacy comes tumbling down. He tries any and all dodges and arguments to win an argument that was lost before it began.
ONE SUCH comment made in the presence of any Conservative would be trumpetted for weeks on end. The Conservative or Republican would have any notion of higher position or higher elected office scuttled. Many Leftists have pitied and pandered to blacks for so long, that they simply cannot fathom that the WRIGHT/OBAMA connection could actually exist. Such as it is.
Excuses for WRIGHT are made.
Excuses for Obama are made.
Excuses for Obama not being aware of Wright are made.
Excuses for Obama being aware, but not sharing WRIGHT'S filth are made.
Excuses for WRIGHT being RIGHT are made.
Excuses for US not understanding the BLACK MAN or the BLACK CHURCH are made.
I'll say this. If OBAMA was unaware of who and what WRIGHT is, after 20 years of WRIGHT being so very very very close to OBAMA including being his MENTOR and the official at OBAMA'S wedding and both of his daughters Baptisms.
What does that say about Obama's abilities as an executive and judge of charactor?

Seth Zlotocha said...

the real issue, which is that Obama almost certainly knew about Rev. Wright's views.

I don't think that is "the real issue," Anon. Most people care most about whether Obama shares or sympathizes with these particular statements made by Wright; and if the case is to be made that Obama needs to dump Wright in addition to denouncing the particular statements, then that case needs to involve an investigation of whether these statements define Wright's life as a pastor. Obama has said he didn't know about Wright's view on AIDS and his use of "God damn America" before this firestorm erupted; the fact that he knew about Wright's criticisms of US foreign policies -- as misguided as some of them are -- I don't think necessitates Obama leaving the church the moment he hears them.

you are getting your clock cleaned.

Wishful thinking, Mickey. I think you may want to read this thread again; but something tells me you'll just read what you want to read, anyway.

Seth isn't playing with a full deck

Yeah, me and most of the country. 63% of Americans say they agree with Obama's view of race relations; 71% think he did a good job of explaining his relationship with Wright; 84% say these events would either make no difference or make them more likely to vote for Obama.

If OBAMA was unaware of who and what WRIGHT is, after 20 years of WRIGHT being so very very very close to OBAMA including being his MENTOR and the official at OBAMA'S wedding and both of his daughters Baptisms.
What does that say about Obama's abilities as an executive and judge of charactor?


I think the problem, Mickey, is that you think you know Wright after hearing a handful of soundbites on TV.

Seth Zlotocha said...
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Seth Zlotocha said...

Here's that link to the CBS poll again. The one above doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

One question I have is whether, in 20 years of faithful, diligent churchgoing, what kind of financial support did Obama give so that Wright could continue to spread his messages of hate, whether they "define his pastoral life" or not.

Seth Zlotocha said...

One question I have is whether, in 20 years of faithful, diligent churchgoing, what kind of financial support did Obama give so that Wright could continue to spread his messages of hate, whether they "define his pastoral life" or not.

David Kuo offers some thoughts on that.

William Tyroler said...

I'm not seeing how Wright's reprinting of a column -- originally published in the LA Times -- by a deputy of Hamas is somehow evidence that Obama isn't interested in or capable of building bridges between religious communities in the US

I'm sure you don't see the problem. And that is the problem. The "deputy of Hamas" is a leading figure in a political movement which is explicit about its genocidal aims. (Something, by the way, you couldn't have helped but discern from my link.) You apparently look to Obama to bridge the gap between mainstream religious communities and Hamas genocidaires. Hamas is embarked on a project to rid the world of its remaining Jews and you want your candidate to seek out common ground. It is precisely the audacity of that hope that turns me away from him.

Seth Zlotocha said...

I didn't say anything about there being no problem with reprinting a column from a deputy member of Hamas; I said Wright reprinting something in the Trinity newsletter isn't evidence that Obama isn't interested in or capable of building bridges between religious communities in the US.

My point, William, is that you seem to be viewing Wright and Obama as the same person. You expect Obama to own everything that Wright has said and done, even things he's denounced, which amounts to nothing more than guilt by association.

You apparently look to Obama to bridge the gap between mainstream religious communities and Hamas genocidaires. Hamas is embarked on a project to rid the world of its remaining Jews and you want your candidate to seek out common ground.

Wow. I never said that, nor did I ever imply it. What I said was Obama is interested in and has worked on building bridges between religious communities in the US. While I don't doubt Hamas has some presence in the US, it would hardly reach the stature of a community here and, even beyond that, it's certainly not a group that Obama has ever reached out to in the past or expressed an interest in reaching out to in the future.

Look, I've pointed to instances of Obama publicly urging black religious leaders to focus attention on stomping out instance of anti-Semitism in the black community. He didn't need to do that; he could've ignored the subject altogether -- as well as the issue of homophobia -- when he had a chance to speak, but he didn't. He chose to use his time in front of these leaders -- which was time that was granted b/c of the respect he's given those leaders in spite of his differences with them -- to call out the skeletons in the closet. But you seem to want to ignore what Obama has actually said and done, and instead pin him with everything that Wright has said and done.

William Tyroler said...

While I don't doubt Hamas has some presence in the US, it would hardly reach the stature of a community here

Well, you might be surprised at the extent they've dug in. But that's a topic (including the way they're legitimized by front groups like CAIR) for another day.

and, even beyond that, it's certainly not a group that Obama has ever reached out to in the past or expressed an interest in reaching out to in the future.

Perhaps not. But his pastor -- the very same religious mentor who coined that fraught phrase "The Audacity of Hope"; who presided over 2-decades' worth of Obama's life cycles; who brought Obama to Christ; whose sermons were so meaningful to him; etc. etc. -- apparently feels otherwise.

Notice how the goalpost has been moved. You've gone from: prove conclusively that Obama heard offensive things; to: "you seem to want to ignore what Obama has actually said and done, and instead pin him with everything that Wright has said and done." No. I put forward Wright's in-church promotion of Hamas (a genocidal movement you yourself seem to regard as off-limits) as one more instance of Obama's exposure to Wright's offensive views. It's not that I want to ascribe Wright's views to Obama by absorption, it's that Obama's long-standing toleration of those views raises questions about his judgment and character.

Detailed analysis by Richard Landes includes the following observation:

Which brings me to a possible hypothesis about Obama. Here’s a man who has political ambitions, who moves to Chicago and gets advice about joining a church for the sake of his community work, who joins Jeremiah Wright’s congregation and receives a warm welcome, who listens to sermons that, even as they may strike him as inappropriate, seem so widely accepted, even popular, that criticizing them would only hurt him both personally and politically. And then, when he moves from the parochial to the national, from the victim narrative of the black community to the “post-racial” narrative of the American people, finds himself between a rock and a hard place.

He is in the same dilemma as the BU Professor who didn’t want to answer the question about AIDS conspiracies: somewhere he’s going to lose credibility. And somewhere he should lose credibility. Somewhere he needs to make some critical decisions. Maybe if Reverend Wright had taken seriously his own pious comments about the call of 9-11 to engage in some personal reflection, to “ask about my relationship to God” — a God who, at last check, in the Bible commands us not to “bear false witness,” there would be a productive place to move here.

To be sure, this is opinion, not fact. Equally certain, the indefatigable Seth won't buy it. The question is whether the electorate will.

Seth Zlotocha said...

Notice how the goalpost has been moved. You've gone from: prove conclusively that Obama heard offensive things; to: "you seem to want to ignore what Obama has actually said and done, and instead pin him with everything that Wright has said and done."

That's disingenuous. I haven't moved anything. It's been a long conversation and I've brought up different points as the discussion has progressed, as have you, but I haven't abandoned any of those points just to establish new ones. Nothing I've said is contradictory; I still support everything I've said from my first comment to my last.

I put forward Wright's in-church promotion of Hamas (a genocidal movement you yourself seem to regard as off-limits) as one more instance of Obama's exposure to Wright's offensive views. It's not that I want to ascribe Wright's views to Obama by absorption, it's that Obama's long-standing toleration of those views raises questions about his judgment and character.

Long standing toleration? Once again, I've pointed out instances of how Obama has used his relationship within the black religious community to speak out against anti-Semitism...yet you accuse him of tolerating sympathetic views of, not just anti-Semitism, but Hamas? That doesn't make any sense.

The question is whether the electorate will.

I think the CBS poll I cited earlier is pretty clear on that question.

Not to prolong this conversation, but I'm curious: How do you feel about Rod Parsley's views on wiping Islam -- and not just the jihadist segments -- from the earth? Here's a quote from Parsley's book: "The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed, and I believe September 11, 2001, was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore." McCain has referred to Parsley as a "spiritual guide," and I'm wondering if you have similar concerns about his presidency because of it (and, for the record, I haven't seen McCain denounce or publicly challenge these views in any way).

William Tyroler said...

Long standing toleration?

Yes, of Wright. Whether, as you say, "Obama has used his relationship within the black religious community to speak out against anti-Semitism," is beside that point. It's his relationship to Wright that's at issue. Until forced to, Obama never condemned his pastor for the hateful utterances he spewed out, and that says something about his judgment, if nothing else.

you accuse him of tolerating sympathetic views of, not just anti-Semitism, but Hamas?

His pastor and guiding spiritual pastor promotes the genocidal Hamas and Obama -- the great uniter and racial healer -- says ... nothing. What conclusions should one draw from Obama's diffidence?

McCain has referred to Parsley as a "spiritual guide," and I'm wondering if you have similar concerns about his presidency because of it (and, for the record, I haven't seen McCain denounce or publicly challenge these views in any way)

Apparently, McCain is saying that he met Parsley for the first time only a matter of weeks ago. If that's so, it makes the "spiritual guide" empty rhetoric or mere political cant.

I'm done. Thanks much for your thoughts, certainly including criticisms; they have a clarifying effect on my own.

Seth Zlotocha said...
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Seth Zlotocha said...

Whether, as you say, "Obama has used his relationship within the black religious community to speak out against anti-Semitism," is beside that point.

I don't think it's beside that point; I just think it contradicts your point. You're trying to argue that Obama is implicated in promoting Hamas b/c Wright reprinted a column from a deputy of Hamas. But the fact that Obama has spoken out against anti-Semitism in front of black leaders, including Wright, is clear evidence to the contrary. He doesn't need to single out Wright or reject him altogether in order to establish or make clear his own views on these issues.

It's also worth noting Obama's demonstrated hostility to Hamas in the past. In a trip to the Middle East in 2006, the ABC affiliate in Chicago reports: "At a meeting with Palestinian students Thursday, Obama said the US will never recognize winning Hamas candidates unless the group renounces its fundamental mission to eliminate Israel, and Obama told ABC7 he delivered that message to the Palestinian president." Adding: "Obama told Palestinians that they need to get their own house in order to successfully reign in violent factions and come to the table with Israel speaking with one voice. But even then, says Obama, the US will always side with Israel if Israel is threatened with destruction."

And here is Obama in a speech in March 07: "But the Israelis must trust that they have a true Palestinian partner in peace. That's why we have to strengthen the hands of Palestinian moderates who seek peace, and that is why we must maintain the isolation of Hamas and other extremists who are committed to Israel's destruction."

And, for the record, once the reprinting was brought to Obama's attention, he called it "outrageously wrong" and reiterated his opposition to Hamas.

But if you want to reject that as too little, too late, and say the reprinting by Wright trumps Obama's rejection of the reprinting along with his actual public statements against Hamas and anti-Semitism dating back at least two years, then I guess we're just going to need to agree to disagree.

As for McCain, I agree that his embrace of Parsley was just about politics; but that doesn't make a clear denouncement of Parsley's views on destroying Islam any less necessary (in the article you cite the McCain camp says it did that with Hagee, but that denouncement was specific to his anti-Catholic positions, not Islam).

Anonymous said...

I know you did not see the whole sermon and the context that Wright made his comments, but here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvMbeVQj6Lw

more here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/TRINITYCHGO

Also, the "Typical White person" comment was also taken out of context... it was in relation to white people who fear seeing black people... he did not call her a racist...
http://www.zshare.net/audio/9238560ba70a21/

Jim C. said...

Here's this blog on Falwell:

When Falwell annoyed me, I have [sic] to admit that I thought he was being stupid. But I never really thought he was venal or hateful.

My sense of the guy always was - when he said something as ridiculous as the statement you describe (which I agree was nuts), it was more out of a lack of brainpower than a darkness of heart.

Falwell, it hardly bears reminding, also claimed that the US deserved what it got on 9/11.