Obama's Reverend Wright: "America's Chickens Have Come Back to Roost"
I don't care who your pastor is. I don't care who your childhood friends were or what they did. I don't care who you played a round of golf with or what they said, or who your children are or who their friends are. I don't care what your previous job was or who your boss was. I don't care what race you are or what gender, or what religion your friends, coworkers, enemies, mentors and relatives are.
Too bad the MSM won't listen to the common sense of the American public. After endless playback for more than two weeks, surely Rev. Wright's sermons are news no longer. Like the Dean scream, the corporate media has chosen to make the Reverend an issue not by presenting any new "news" but by persisting to inflame race-based sensitivities by constant replaying Wright's controversial (to some) remarks.
The 900 or so replays of the Dean scream that doomed that the Presidential candidate in 2004 showed the effectiveness of media saturation in undermining credibility. In short, the media showed that it could destroy any candidate, given the opporuntity, a fact which forces Obama to be very cautious.
Highly suspicious about the Dean scream repititions were the fact that the media steadfastedly stood with Bush in the lead-up to the Iraq war. CBS/Viacom refused to run a 60 Minutes report about Bush's national guard service was on the grounds that televising the report was too close to the '04 election (last weekend in October of 2004) on the grounds it could affect voter opinion. Oh foolish me, I'd been under the apparently false impression that reporting was supposed to generate an impact.
Heavily consolidated, the corporate Media fed political talking points in what can only be described as some unholy matrimony between a Bush-friendly press and a White House eager to launch a follow-up to Aghanistan just before the election. Much of the complicity with the lies came not just from the White House but from neo-con sympathizers like Sulzberger of the NYT and other controllers of a dominant portion of the mediaspace.
The press failed to keep the American people informed about the lies that led to the war--this we all know. The greater question, like 9/11, is just whether or not the press knew the Iraqi War was a set-up. Most likely, like the Good Germans, most people in the press simply let the lie persist, not willfully contributing to the falsehoods but doing nothing to confront them. People in the press were willing to exchange their dignity and duty as journalists for something perhaps more tangible--their jobs.
As I blogged, Obama's speech last week appealed to the common sense of the American people in acknowledging that there remains a racial divide in this country. As a real news item with profound insights into race relations, the speech got a flurry of coverage that quickly degenerated into bashing the perceived racism of Obama's former retired pastor in sermons from years hence.
How does an intelligent speech demonstrating profound insights into the persistent issue of race relations become a story about a former pastor who Obama acknowledges he didn't agree with? Anti-Obama forces in the media are a likely culprit; Hillary sympathizers are the likely perpetuators, the same crowd that backed the war propaganda and may fear Obama's unpredictability on the "loyalty to Israel" question although Obama did more or less blame bad Muslims as the source of Israel's problems. Poor victims O Israel! This is a constant refram made by politicians on both sides of the aisle, indistinguishable from Cheney's comments during a recent trip to Israel, that Arabs sought to do them harm. No matter who's in charge, the message from Washington is that Israel was free to using military force in whatever dose they choose.
Obama may only be marginally less loyal to Israel, which could move him into a more unloved status in the Media. Hillary undoubtedly passes the smell test with flying colors and is perhaps the biggest champion of Zionism of the three. McCain made a recent trip to Tel Aviv, more or less to affirm America's commitment to defend the security of the State of Israel. It's unclear which of the three remaining candidates will win the suck-up prize.
Dirty Little Truths
Obama spent years living abroad and in Hawaii. The experience likely exposed him to a plethora of cultures. From his parents divorce and moving around, Obama faced much volatility in his youth. What this effect has had on his personality in the present, I don't know as I'm not a psychoanalyst. For that we'll need to count on the mainstream networks to generate the finest talk head psycho-babble anywhere.
Newsweek unlocks this nugget about Obama's "identity quest" in its Mar. 31st issue:
"The identity quest...put him on a trajectory into a black America he had never really known as a child in Hawaii and abroad. In the end, he would come to see and accept that he was in an almost unique position as an American—someone who had been part of both the white and the black American "families," able to view the secret doubts and fears and dreams of both, and to understand them. He could be part of a black world where his pastor and spiritual mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., expressed paranoid fantasies about white conspiracies to spread drugs or HIV, because he understood in his gut the history of racism that stoked those fears. He could, for a time, shrug off Wright's more incendiary views, in part because he knew that whites, in their private worlds, often expressed or shrugged off bigotry themselves..."
The reference to Rev. Wright's "paranoid fantasies about white conspiracies to spread drugs" really kicked me because of what happened during the Iran-Contra period, when research by recently departed Gary Webb and others revealed that the CIA had been smuggled large quantities of cocaine into US, directly into neighborhoods like the Reverends'.
The Congressional Committee investing the roots of the crack epidemic in American cities got the chief of the CIA to admit it had been importing cocaine in powder form using independent drug-runners and even US government aircraft. The powder was converted to crack and distributed by Latin gangs. The profits presumably went to financing the illicit wars in El Salvador and Guatemala, which Congress had outlawed. Denied funding, the Reagan administration turned to covert means of sustaining the conflicts, including even the sale of jet aircraft parts to Iran.
With those facts on the table, it's clear Rev. Wright's comment on "white conspiracies to spread drugs" is hardly a conspiracy. Sorry Newsweek! The impact of drug importation was disporportionately felt in black communities as cheap crack flooded the 'hood.
To say that crack was a black problem would be fairly accurate, which raises some troubling issues about government's attitude towards blacks in our nations' cities. A little paranoia is surely a healthy thing in a neighborhood infested with crack. Proof of government conspiracies must have shattered black trust in predominantly white-run government. Fear and hatred of "whitie" would seem to be a rationale response justified by decaddes-old patterns of abuse by authorities. I don't see any harm in admitting what are prejudices held by many whites as well, a point acknowledged in the reference in Obama's speech to his white grandmother's off-hand admission that she had a fear of blacks.
I've heard that older black males like Obama's former retired reverend consistantly show up as the most racist demographic in America. I don't know the origins of this rumour, whether racism against whites is spawned by years of racist abuse directed at them by whites or for some other reason. If this theory holds true, Reverend White more likely to be distrusting of whites simply because he'd been the victim of racism, something far more omnipresent than a conspiracy.
If you are white, you were far less likely to have lived in crack-infested neighborhoods and were thus less aware or likely to be impacted by the government's large-scale importation of cocaine. Therefore whites are less likely to blame the government, or accuse it of racial bias. Whites must cringe at Wright's preaching, as the Media appears to know and their puppet masters in the Hillary campaign must have known.
Trying to stroke the fires of racism must serve one political constituency or another or there wouldn't be wall-to-wall coverage of Obama's former retired ex-preacher's ramblings made some years ago. Someone has to benefit from the incessant barrage that tries to polarize Americans according to race--my guess is Hillary.
Playing the race card at arm's length appears to be a way Hillary can exploit White America's thin but visceral fear of blacks. The endless Rev. Wright playbacks seem to have made a dent in Obama's poll numbers, the most likely target of the media campaign. Best of all, Hillary can maintain anonymity, and avoid alienating the black base whose vote she badly needs in the fall.
Mercifully the echo of Reverend Wright's sermon might be ebbing. Damage does appear to have been done to his poll standings, which I believe were down from being tied to trailing Hillary by 5 points, maybe 42-47%. Even that kind of spread would augur a brokered convention as neither candidate has amassed sufficient delegates to win the primary.
More MSM attention, and through it American mindshare, will be devoted to issues related to Obama's race. The very public scrutiny of his childhood history, and quickly degenerate into psycho-babble. Already the endless creening about Rev. Wright shows the corporate press' fixation on race.
So much replay of Wright's fiery speeches has been shown in an endless loop on the mainstream network, that it'd be lovely to see it relent as I'm tired of the constant repitition. Regardless of your political position on Obama or his minister, I hope you're sick of it as well. It's time to find a new victim to flay.
Alternet has a 2001 address by the Reverend Wright to his Trinity congregation here. It's made just after 9/11. About 2-3 minutes in, Wright describes the desire for "payback" for 9/11, which led to vengeance which "...has moved from hatred of armed enemies to the hatred of unarmed innocents..." A few minutes later he builds up and bursts with righteous indignation about US' use of terror and the "stuff we've done oversees." Powerful stuff--this is the source of this entry's title.
Too bad the media doesn't devote even a fraction of their obessions with Wright to confront the fact that McCain's personal minister--active and not or retired at all--is none other than evangelacist Hagee. See the scoop from Anthony Wade on opednews.com.
Hagee has a laundry list of red flags for the PC crowd to challenge--odd it is we don't see him covered at all. Unlike the attack on Wright, exposing the vitriolic Hagee doesn't do anything to benefit Hillary, whom we see benefitting from the constant attack on Obama's retired reverend.
Also on alternet is this article on McCain's relations with Hagee over the years, and Hagee's stance on various issues. Perhaps we'll see an expose on clearly a more controversial figure than Reverend Wright, the Good Reverend Hagee, if for nothing other than service to fair and balanced journalism--don't hold you breath. The corporate media largely serves Hillary if it serves her agenda, which is nothing short of Rovian, using the racist wedge to reduce Obama's popularity among white Americans.
The networks so eager to replay Obama's retired, ex-minister's comments are the same who denied any coverage of last week's stunning Winter Soldier commentaries. Its name based on a reference to Tom Paine homage to loyal American soldiers, the Winter Soldier movement was launched in 1971 by Vietnam veterans and received no mainstream media attention then.
See the antiwar.com write-up on winter soldier by Aaron Glantz here. Truthout.org has a special new section on the testimonies; the event was organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War (ivaw.org). Amy Goodman has an article on the event and background here.