Magazine article The American Conservative

Obama's Mr. Wright

Magazine article The American Conservative

Obama's Mr. Wright

Article excerpt

He ain't heavy, he's my brother.

MILLIONS OF WORDS have been devoted to Barack Obama and his "post-racial" and "post-partisan" presidential campaign. As a candidate whose policy platform is almost identical to Hillary Clinton's, Senator Obama has been running largely on the charisma generated by widespread assumptions about the political implications of his personal background.

An avid golfer (16 handicap), Obama brilliantly positioned himself in his 2004 Democratic Convention keynote address as the Tiger Woods of politics, the product of a loving marriage bridging the racial gap, thus suggesting he's suited by nature and nurture to, in the words of countless journalists, "transcend race" and "heal our racial and political divides."

Remarkably, not until most of the primaries were over did almost anybody in America notice that the candidate's most personal relationships suggest the opposite of his artfully concocted campaign image.

Obama's famous persona began to show cracks in late February when his often peeved wife Michelle, an intensely ungrateful beneficiary of affirmative action by Whitney Young H.S., Princeton, Harvard Law School, and the Sidley Austin corporate law firm, was recorded saying her husband's triumphs meant "... for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country."

The serious blow, however, came with March 13 telecasts on ABC and Fox News of sermons by Obama's spiritual adviser, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A Wright Jr., who fulminated in front of a raucously enthusiastic congregation, "No, no, no, not God bless America-God damn America"

In response to the belated controversy, the candidate first claimed ignorance, even though Wright's history of Left radicalism goes back beyond his 1984 trip with Louis Farrakhan to Libya to meet Muammar Khaddan.

The failure to publicize this side of Obama marks one of the most egregious failures by the press and public in recent political history. How could it have happened?

That Barack Obama is black offers the country a potential advantage: it makes his intellectual sophistication and verbal adeptness more acceptable to the bulk of voters, many of whom found Al Gore and his 1330 SAT score too inhumanly cerebral to trust. If Obama, a superb prose stylist, were white, he'd be written off as an effete intellectual. But white voters are hungry for a well-educated role model for blacks. And blacks see the preppie from paradise's membership in Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ as evidence that he's keepin' it real.

That Wright was a radical leftist and that Obama shared much of his outlook was apparent to anyone willing to read closely the potential president's graceful but slippery 1995 autobiography, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. As I explained in my March 26,2007 article Obama's Identity Crisis" in The American Conservative:

Even [Obama's] celebrated acceptance of Christianity in his mid-20s turns out to be an affirmation of African-American emotional separatism. As I was reading Dreams, I assumed that his ending would be adapted from the favorite book of his youth, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which climaxes with Malcolm's visit to Mecca and heartwarming conversion from the racism of the Black Muslims to the universalisai of orthodox Islam. I expected that Obama would analogously forgive whites and ask forgiveness for his own racial antagonism as he accepts Jesus.

Instead, Obama falls under the spell of a leftist black nationalist preacher, Jeremiah A. Wright, who preaches African-American unity through antipathy toward whites.

My article was denounced as racist in the Washington Monthly and by David Brock's George Soros-funded Media Matters. Yet my conclusion identified the crucial question about this gifted politician that still remains unanswered:

He possesses one of the finest minds of any politician, but his personal passions routinely war against his acknowledging unwelcome truths, even to himself. …

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