Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wright's Impact on Obama Candidacy

While racial prejudice still infects America, it is not nearly as much as years ago. America will elect a Black president one day, and we are probably there now. Public policy has been anti-discriminatory for over 40 years. While the application has been imperfect, government at all levels has been moving in the right direction, too slowly at times, stupidly at times, excessively pushing at times, but always moving in the right direction. The question now is not one of public policy, but rather private acceptance.

And the question is no longer primarily one of skin color, but rather of cultural difference. I maintain that "diversity" is unnatural, and no amount of public policy will ever change that. Television and radio commercials that declare we have to accept diversity may have some effect, but only on a few people and in a relatively small extent. Only assimilation through a general blending of cultures will result in acceptance of a "lesser" diversity. All immigrant groups to this country, such as the Irish, Germans, and Italians, retained some aspects of their culture, but generally assimilated into the broad American culture. Granted these were all White immigrant groups, and mostly voluntary. That no doubt makes a huge difference.

I think Whites in America have, for the most part, come to realize the color of one's skin makes no difference; but the acceptance of the Black culture is very, very difficult. Rev. Wright seems to embody what we think that culture is like, or at least a big part of it. As I said in an earlier post in this thread, Wright, in stressing differences, seems to make the case for segregation and continued prejudice.

So I see his impact on the Obama campaign as two-fold:

1. Given that Wright thinks what he thinks, and given that Obama was a part of that religious-political culture for such a long time (and presumably still is), to what extent does he believe--perhaps down deep and mostly well-hidden--what Rev. Wright is saying? Might Obama be harboring thoughts that will result in his pushing policies that his supporters wouldn't support if they knew he would push them? Was his statement about clinging to religion and guns a small look through his public armor into the real Obama?

2. Rev. Wright has given a reason, and maybe permission, for White America, which desperately wants to absolve itself of the sins of our ancestors for their part in world-wide slavery, to vote against Obama for racial reasons.

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