I half-watched MSNBC this morning as I sipped my coffee. Tim Russert had Tucker Carlson (sans bowtie) and Ryan Lizza on his show. The three of them devoted a sizeable portion of the show to dissecting the relevance of Barack Obama's relationship to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Jr. of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ vis-à-vis Obama's chances of winning the presidency. It almost seemed to me that they were making a point to keep the "controversy" alive. The good Reverend, you might recall, has been raked over the coals in recent weeks for making inflammatory (to some) comments referring to the black experience in America during his sermons.
FoxNews.com has a roundup of some of these statements uttered by Rev. Wright in some of his sermons. Given Fox's penchant for painting Democrats in the worst possible light, perhaps is isn't surprising that they would offer such a listing in hopes that readers might assume that Barack Obama is guilty of un-Americanism by association. A quick perusal of the FoxNews.com comments on this topic, though, indicates a comforting degree of fair-mindedness among FoxNews.com's readers.
Rev. Wright's statements that FoxNews.com offers for consideration are:
September 2001: "The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied."
September 2001: "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."
September 2001: "We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because of stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own backyard. America is chickens coming home to roost."
April 2003: "The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes three-strike laws and wants them to sing God Bless America. No! No No! God damn America ... for killing innocent people. God damn America for threatening citizens as less than humans. God damn America as long as she tries to act like she is God and supreme."
December 2007: "Barack knows what it means living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich, white people. Hillary would never know that."
December 2007: "Hillary ain't never been called a nigger. Hillary has never had a people defined as a non-person."
Jan. 13, 2008: "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."
(No date given): "Fact number one: We've got more black men in prison than there are in college. ... Fact number two: Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run."
(No date given): "We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns and the training of professional killers. ... We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God. ... We conducted radiation experiments on our own people. ... We care nothing about human life if the ends justify the means. And ... And ... And! God! Has got! To be sick! Of this shit!"
I don't know about God, but I, for one, am sick of this shit. I am not prepared to declare that HIV was created by the government, "as a means of genocide against people of color," and one might argue that Hillary Clinton knows exactly, "what it means living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich, white people." Those minor quibbles aside, I think Rev. Wright's statements, while perhaps embellished for dramatic effect at the pulpit, are rooted in truth.
Of course, there will always be those (white people in particular) who simply choose to view Wright's statements as un-American or even racist in an anti-white way. Many of these people are the same ones who think that a valid confirmation of one's patriotism can be summed up by one's decision to wear a flag lapel pin. Those who cannot (or will not) read Rev. Wright's comments and understand their general validity within the larger context of the history of racial issues in America, and who do not actively and/or consciously consider themselves racist, likely misinterpret Rev. Wright's comments out of sheer ignorance of the black experience in America. (Disclosure: I'm a white guy.)
Tim Russert and the bulk of the mainstream media (MSM), of course, will not let this issue drop. They will continue to mine this fundamental misunderstanding of the black experience by a sizeable portion of white America for whatever it's worth. Why? Because it's virtually all they have on Obama. The MSM wants to create a story where there is none. They want to keep the issue on the burner in hopes that Obama, who will have to continue to address it, misspeaks and provides the MSM with a much coveted "Gothcha!" moment.
This is how bankrupt the MSM has become. The most damning things that the MSM can dredge up about Obama are a handful of quotes that somebody else made.