Thursday, March 20, 2008

America may well be ready for a black president, but they sure aren't ready for that pesky thing called "truth"

Barack Obama's preacher is in the news. In the States, where facts and issues take a back seat to style and perception, this is a major story in the media. I passed by Hannity and Colmes yesterday, or as Al Franken calls it, "HANNITY and Colmes". Sean Hannity said, and I quote as best I can: "If Barack Obama secretly believes - and I'm not saying he does - but if he secretly believes the things his preacher is saying, and if he wins the general election, then we would have a racist, anti-semite, in the white house!" This is terrific reasoning. By that logic, if John Baird ate babies (and I'm not saying he does), but if he did, our environment minister here in Canada would be a real, honest-to-goodness baby-eater! And if Jack Layton (and I'm making this up right now) was secretly a member of an underground neo-Nazi organization, and if the NDP won the next election, (which apparently will be threatened but not actually triggered until 2041) then we would have a neo-Nazi as prime minister of Canada! Both these statements are, factually true. IF Stephane Dion were a murderer, AND the Liberal party won the next election, THEN we would have a murderer as leader of our country. On second thought, I retract these statements. After all, I like Jack Layton and Stephane Dion.

I was hearing, for much of the day today, vitriol and rhetoric against Obama. People, the vitriol said, are frightened and angry when they hear about this kind of extremist Christianity. And I stopped. And I laugherd. Then I cried a little. Then I composed myself and wrote this blog. People are frightened of Obama? Because of...seriously...Christian extremism? This is what I'm hearing. Ummm....didn't exactly work against Bush, did it? The fundamentalist, mentalist, mental extremist Christian vote put him over the edge the last two American elections, no? The craziest of the crazy, the most evangelical, the grass-roots Go Jesus nutjobs who were terrified that without Bush the gays would take over the country, and there would be Abortions For Everyone, and stem cells might be used to cure disease and prolong life...thos guys? And yet Obama's preacher, Jeremiah Wright, is scary. He is vile and evil and racist and everything that is wrong with America. And why? I had heard so much about this man that I had to investigate for myself. Here is an (edited for length) transcript of what he said:

“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye.”

“We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” (Sep 2001)

“The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.” (2003)

“In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01. White America and the western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns.” (magazine article)

“Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!…We [in the U.S.] believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.” (sermon)

“Barack knows what it means living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary would never know that. Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger. Hillary has never had a people defined as a non-person.”

“Hillary is married to Bill, and Bill has been good to us. No he ain’t! Bill did us, just like he did Monica Lewinsky. He was riding dirty.” (sermon)

“The Israelis have illegally occupied Palestinian territories for over 40 years now. Divestment has now hit the table again as a strategy to wake the business community and wake up Americans concerning the injustice and the racism under which the Palestinians have lived because of Zionism.”

Ummm...right. Well, with the exception of the venom spewed toward Bill Clinton (and that's simply because I don't know enough about that to really comment), I agree. With every statement this man has made. Absolutely, there is a culture of white-over-black in the States. In fact, in North America. Is it everyone? No. It's enough people to make it noticeable. Yep, they did nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yep, the government does give them the drugs and build bigger prisons. Yes...yes...what is this man saying that is so hateful? That is so inaccurate that Obama should distance himself? OK...here it is - America is responsible for the hatred that is directed toward them the world over, and it is that hatred that spawned 9/11. THAT is the thing he is saying that makes him un-American, racist, horrible. THAT is the thing they are talking about on the news I've seen. And here I thought America was ready for the truth. That their behaviour, as a country and as a government, exerting unilateral force the world over with no regard for other countries or people, came back and bit them in the ass. No, apparently America wants to continue living with it's head up it's ass, especially in the media, and continue believing that the only reason their World Trade Centres came down was because Osama Bin Laden had some kind of mental defect that made him homicidal, and he just wanted to kill people, and he hates America simply because he is insane.

What could be more insane than this belief? That some wack-job who just wanted to kill people chose an elaborate scheme, over several years, that involved stealing planes full of people and flying them into buildings, just because he was homicidal? Believe me, I have never been to most of the countries in the world, but if you just want to kill people, I can think of easier countries in which to do it, and easier methods whereby you could carry out this plan. The most obvious question America should have asked, from day ONE, was "why?". And not in a rhetorical manner, like "why- oh but I know why, he's a maniac"...but "why" as in, "what did we do to provoke this?" That is the question. And no one seems, even now, seven years later, able to ask that question, or contemplate the answers. Maybe that is why America needs Obama. Maybe that is why anyone who smells even a little like Bush and Rove and Cheney should be kept as far away from politics as possible. Boy, that truth stuff sure bothers people.

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