Thursday, March 13, 2008

The (Jeremiah) Wright Stuff?

Wassup, Y'all!

If you hop out into the blogosphere today, it's not hard to see just how low things can (and likely) will go in the days, weeks and months ahead. The Smooth Barack vs. Sister Hillary dust up is only the prelude and that's already funky and heading to funkier, but what's waiting on the other side of the democratic presidential nomination?

If Sister Hillary gets the nod (and the country survives a national 'Rodney King verdict Florence & Normandy' style outbreak at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver), we're all pretty familiar with the coming attacks. Here's a sample...
  • Unable to get healthcare passed the first time at a cost of over $13 million
  • Assumed authority over selecting a female Attorney General. Her first two recommendations, Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood, were forced to withdraw their names from consideration.
  • Had the entire staff of the White House Travel Office fired
  • Refused to release the Whitewater documents, which led to the appointment of Ken Starr as Special Prosecutor. After $80 million dollars of taxpayer money was spent, Starr's investigation led to Monica Lewinsky, which led to Bill lying about and later admitting his affairs.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah
Add in some of her recent behavior and that's more than enough for her to spend the entire fall campaign defending allegations. Why do you think that there's a concerted effort among conservative Republicans to get out the vote for Sister Hillary? 1) it extends the democratic nomination process and allows more mudslinging between the candidates, and 2) it opens the possibility that Sister Hillary will win the nomination giving the republicans the fall candidate they desire.

If Smooth Barack gets the nod, one look at the Google Hot Trends list today (the list that tracks which search terms are most popular at any given time) will show you where the conservative republicans will be heading. You'll see the name 'Jeremiah Wright' firmly stuck at #2 on that list. Reverend Wright was Smooth's former pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. He's cut in the mold of Malcom X - a fierce advocate of southside rights with no sense of political correctness when speaking. There have been drips and drabs posted about Reverend J-Wright - most popped up when folks were trying to splice Smooth and Louis Farrakhan together.

Today, Good Morning America's investigative correspondent, Brian Ross, put J-Wright on full blast by splicing together clips of his most 'incindiary' sound bites. In one such bite J-Wright inferred that the 9/11 attacks were a case of 'chickens coming home to roost' - the result of American policies overseas. Publication of this comment can only serve to turn off northside voters the same way Malcom's ill timed 'chickens coming home to roost' comment did in the wake of the JFK assassination.

There is no justification for terrorism - foreign or domestic and I'll admit that if you're a northsider listening to those collected sound bites, you'll definitely be taken aback since several of the bites don't hold the American experience in complete fondness. So just like the Republicans pounced on people who disagreed with the conduct of the 'war on terror' by labeling them unpatriotic, the same will be happening here with Smooth, the entire congregation of Trinity United Church of Christ and anyone who dares to think that there are both good and bad things about America.

The binary view of the world espoused by GW ('you're either with us or against us') is now the entire convervative republican philosophy - the war is either just or unjust, America is either good or bad.

That's the kind of environment that got 'Chelle into hot water with her 'For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country' line. Historically, southsiders and northsiders have had uniquely different experiences in this country. When southsiders arrived, despite a Declaration of Independence, which held that 'All men are created equal' southsiders were slave labor and considered 3/5 of a human being. When southsiders tried to exercise our equal rights under the law, we were beaten, firehosed jailed and killed. When southsiders asked for help in New Orleans after a devastating flood, well we know how that worked out. There is a 'racial experience' rift in this country that can't be cloaked in stars, bars or red, white and blue.

Make no mistake, there is no greater country than the US, but it, like all things, isn't perfect and highlighting J-Wright's more controversial comments will only serve to highlight this glaring gap in racial experiences. It's the elephant in the room that needs meaningful dialog to bridge, not nationalistic platitudes. It's a discussion, which can only be faciliated by a leader who can see the issues from both sides - a leader who has experienced these issues from both sides. So given all that, I ask you this: Who would be the better candidate to facilitate that discussion - Smooth Barack, Sister Hillary or John Sidney McCain?

Truthfully, that question's not even multiple choice, y'all.



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