Food For Thought

I expect the parsing of Barack Obama’s speech yesterday on race will continue for at least few days with everyone analyzing every little statement and nuance from his speech. Here’s a little food for thought on the subject of Obama being “troubled” by Wright’s words: “If Obama Was So Troubled by Wright’s Words… Why Keep Bringing His Daughters?”

The question was posed by Jim Geraghty over on The Campaign Spot at NRO. Granted the NRO is very conservative, but I think the question is valid and one that many parents would be considering in the wake of this. I know I wouldn’t have exposed my daughter to it. I can’t imagine why Barack and Michelle Obama exposed their daughters to it. Children are not able to separate the inflammatory from the good at such a young age and somewhere in their young psyche’s when exposed to this type of “divisive” and “racially charged” wording, it does sink in.

Food for thought…

In Philadelphia, Obama attempted to explain Wright’s anger as typical of the civil rights generation, with its “memories of humiliation and doubt and fear.” But Wright has the opposite problem: He ignored the message of Martin Luther King Jr. and introduced a new generation to the politics of hatred.

King drew a different lesson from the oppression he experienced: “I’ve seen too much hate to want to hate myself; hate is too great a burden to bear. I’ve seen it on the faces of too many sheriffs of the South. . . . Hate distorts the personality. . . . The man who hates can’t think straight; the man who hates can’t reason right; the man who hates can’t see right; the man who hates can’t walk right.”

Barack Obama is not a man who hates — but he chose to walk with a man who does.

As parents we seek to separate our children from influences that may not be in their best interest. As adults should know to separate ourselves from those influences as well. I am among those who find it hard to fathom why Barack Obama did not separate himself from Wright sooner.

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15 Responses to Food For Thought

  1. Gilbert Martinez says:

    John Lewis, one of the very few living heros of mine, doesn’t seem to be full of hate. Jesse Jackson, though a fierce advocate for progress, doesn’t seem to be full of hate. I don’ t understand where Obama gets the idea that Wright is typical of “the civil rights generation”.

    One of the things that has annoyed me to no end about Obama is how he and his surrogates always misrepresent history to their benefit. Must be why they are so cavalier in their blaming of the Clintons for playing the race card, even though Wilentz did a good job debunking that idea.

  2. Peace Out For Unity says:

    Why keep bringing your daughters? Can you imagine being 6 and hearing a minister scream GD America? Oh great,let’s talk about that on Monday at school because it’s repeated. “Hillary ain’t never been called a…..?” My friends are calling and their all teachers and the kids have heard the news! We don’t repeate those kinda of things and it’s complicated grown up business.”Yeah,but the minister said it.” Parents and teachers all conference ! Local news showing only clips of his speech in Charlotte and stations saying the controversy has slowed down response.

  3. CognitiveDissonance says:

    That hits the nail on the head. One of the first things I wondered after seeing those inflammatory videos was how Barrack explained to his duaghters what it meant when Wright was humping the pulpit and grinding his hips talking about Bill riding Monica.

    I also think his excuse for Rev. Wright does not bear scrutiny when you realize that Martin Luther King was a man of that generation, and never did he preach hate or use inflammatory rhetoric to incite his followers. In fact, what Obama and Wright don’t seem to remember is that there were many whites marching alongside Dr. King and working for Civil Rights. The horrible thing about hate speech is that it stereotypes everyone by their race, rather than by what King called “the content of their character.” Blaming racism on all whites is not only inaccurate, but completely counter-productive. Why chase away the very people who are trying to help you achieve social justice? Hate is never the way to accomplish justice, it only makes it even more impossible.

  4. Janis says:

    The “He’s jsut a man of his generation” excuse was also used to excuse Thomas Jefferson about owning human beings and selling them like furniture. It was bunk then, too.

    The whole point is that Jefferson was NOT the average man of his times. He wrote the freaking Declaration of Independence, so we have the right to hold him to a higher standard and be disappointed and angry when he failed to achieve it. Plenty of other men of his time manumitted slaves, including George Washington thankfully.

    This “reverend” claims to be a symbol of a religion that calls its main figure a “prince of peace.” We can also hold HIM to a higher standard, and be disappointed and angry when he fails to meet it. And you are damned right that analogy holds. Other great men looked beyond that sort of garbage; why couldn’t Wright?

    Not to mention a political official who, like Bill with Monica, should know better and should have been a bit more conscious of how his associations would come across. Obama should have freaking used his head. If you want to run for public office, is that the sort of company you keep?! It doesn’t only indicate that he has questionable ideas himself, but that he doesn’t use his head about how his actions will come across in public. A political official lives in a fishbowl; the Clintons have already figured that out. He hasn’t.

    Yet one more area in which Obama still has to get his butt handed to him a few times before he wises up. I’m not in the mood to wait for the guy to learn these lessons.

  5. Janis says:

    And BTW, I’ve heard the same excuses given to men about women as well. “He couldn’t help himself, he’s just a man of his time.”

    Bull. When you read the opinions on things like women’s suffrage and the education of women that were held even by a few men several hundred years ago, there is NO excuse for men who think that way nowdays. None.

  6. The math is really simple. I’m sixty today, so I was twenty in 1967. I can find things from the perspective of the Obama side that make more sense to me than the comments here seem to allow for.

  7. Darrell

    Maybe you can explain…

  8. Children can never be prortected from the real world, but they can (and, some would argue, must) be prepared for it. My fall back position is always to cite the battle that took place at Black Panther headquarters in Chicago in, as I reall, 1967. The entire country initially heard about a gun fight between courageous defenders of our way of life and black subversives who planned to enslave all whites under black rule. The small percentage of us who meticuously scoured the media of the time learned about the follow up investigation that concluded that what had taken place was nothing less than a massacre perpetrated by the Chicago PD. There were, in fact, no bullet shots fired from inside the building.

    I was there in the sense that I was alive, a citizen, and concerned about things being done that I would be responsible for if I failed to learn the truth and care about them.

    I think that our society has started down a better path since that time, but I also think that we are not far enough down it that we can afford to lose sight of where the journey began. To exclude ancient history from the education of our children can be excused. To exclude events of only forty years ago, however, is arguably to deprive them of the information important to construct a frame of reference from which to evaluate any number of significant things happening in the society which they not only inhabit, but which we someday have aspirations that they will inherit the leadership of.

    Do I believ that the past was different for some than for others? Yeah, I do.

    Do I believe that that matters even into the present day, even into influencing things that children still need to learn? Yeah, I do!

  9. Darrell

    You said the other day you still had not seen the video of Wright’s sermons. With out seeing it you can’t judge what he said as being something that parents should subject their kids to. Obama’s two daughters are very young, far younger than 20 year old Darrell watching the news in 1967 — there is no comparison.

  10. Darrell Prows says:

    Pamela: The strength of your argument comes from the point cited. That and the fact that I have never fathered or raised a child.

    Being human, however, I have every confidence in my own thought process and am prepared to agree to disagree.

  11. Darrell

    Kids need to learn things and not always be protected. Yes. But again, there is an age that children should under the best of circumstances not be subjected to certain things. Obama’s kids (7 & 9) now still fall in the zone where some things aren’t appropriate. And regardless, what Wright was preaching in those sermons was no history lesson. It was pure hatred.

    Have you watched the videos?

    We’re all entitiled to our opinions here. I have always said that. But I think we’re talking apples and oranges and they can’t be compared.

  12. Pamela: You’re right, I still haven’t found the actual speeches.

  13. jan, nc says:

    I haven’t read Obama’s book and was wondering if anyone can corroborate this I found?

    March 23rd,
    2:41 pm
    One of the commentors mentioned Obama’s grandmother. If you read his book you will discover that his grandmother was accosted by a black man. You will also discover that while living in Texas his grandparents both supported treating black people with the respect they deserve. So it surprised me when Obama equated his grandmother to Wright. A greivious error indeed. Not only greivious but shameful.
    — Posted by p

    Sunday, March 23, 2008
    New York Times

  14. Kendall A. Johnson says:


    Thank you for that post!!!! Obama also ignores the real fears that women face when in the street. Any man could pose a threat. I will not feel guilty because I decide not to get into an elevator alone with a strange man who makes me feel uneasy, regardless of his color!!!!!! We get followed, herrassed, attacked, raped and intimidated, by men of all colors. I’ll be damned, before I feel guilty for following my instincts!!!!!!

    And, Obama compares this to Wright’s hate rage. His speech sucked big time. He focused on parelelizing whites with guilt so they wouldn’t ask the questions we are asking here today!!! He also never addressed the anti-american hate that Wright spews. Again, the only lens he is capable of analyzing things through is race. He his not for all the people. He has problems with gay people as well!!! Go Hillary, she is so much more facited and multidementional!!!!! She will be a president for all the people!!!!

  15. Kendall A. Johnson says:


    Can you see Clinton’s side?
    Do you see the sexism towards her?
    Do you see the bias press against her?
    Can you really give a solid legitimate reason for the way she has been treated?
    Can you really look at her resume and question her qualifications, but yet accept Obama’s?
    Are you one of those who blame Hillary for what Bill does?
    Do you really think that Hillary is a c**t, b**ch, w**re, etc..?
    Do you beleive that women and men are equal?
    Are you threatened by the notion that a woman could be are next president?
    Are you programmed by the biased media?
    Do you really think they are telling you the truth about Clinton and her chances of winning?
    Do you think that the media played any role in working the public up into a frenzy building up to the Iraq war?
    Do you really believe that Obama is some great inspirational leader?
    Do you really think that the media is shoving Obama down our throats because the want him to be the president?
    Do you really think that Obama will be better than Hillary in handling the economy, globel warming, healthcare, and bringing the troops home?
    Did you know that General Electric, who owns MSNBC, is heavily invested in the war industry and in nuclear power?
    Have you ever wondered why Obama never seems to have specific plans about what he intends to do?
    Think about it!!!!