Last Monday Barack Obama gave his speech on race. On the Left people continue to view him as a Messiah, while on the Right people continue saying how inadequate it was. The speech seems to fail to convince anyone of anything. Rather, Obama’s support is dwindling after vile rants of his pastor were revealed. I heard parts of his speech while I was driving to work. It did sound good. And, ironically, Obama seemed to be saying: "Enough already talking about racial origins of people". At least, it seemed that way to me. I would never vote for someone like Obama based on his policies, but I could not care less about his race.
So, I started to think: "Is it fair to judge Obama by his associations?" I started thinking about people I know. Some of them harbor mistrust of Black Americans bordering on racism. Others suspect every non-Jew of being anti-Semites. I don’t hold either of these views, so I don’t think I should be judged by the views of those people. But then I realized something. Those people I know would not be able to promote those views in my presence without me arguing against them. And if they would sound as vile as Obama’s pastor, they would not be able to maintain their relationship with me. When I was looking for a Hebrew School for my older daughter to attend, I actually looked for the one I would be comfortable with. So, in my case, I ended up with Chabad, even though neither my wife nor I are religious, because any Reform Congregation would likely be, in the words of Michael Medved, "Democratic Party with candles". Furthermore, if a rabbi in my synagogue would ever say anything even remotely close to the kind of crap spouted by Obama’s pastor, I would never set my foot in that particular temple again, and my daughter definitely would not be attending Hebrew School there. I would never allow my kids to be exposed to that kind of crap. So, I guess, in my case, I really should not be judged by the views of the people I know.
But what about Obama? For 20 years he sat there and listened to this stuff. He picked this church, the church that reportedly Oprah Winfrey left, presumably because she would not stand for this crap. He was married there and allowed his kids to listen to his pastor as well. Some pundits on the Right are quick to say that, while they don’t accuse Obama of sharing his pastor’s views, they want an explanation of why he listened to Rev. Wright for 20 years. That is political correctness at its worst. I will not sugar-coat this. I suspect Obama of sharing anti-American, anti-Semitic and racist views of Rev. Wright. There are telltale signs of just that: his wife’s being ashamed of this country, his refusal to wear an American Flag lapel pin etc. The fact that he kept coming to that church for 20 years can be most easily explained by the fact that he felt comfortable listening to his pastor’s rants. There is no real way around it. And so, there you have it: we have a Presidential Candidate from a the Democratic Party who very likely hates this country, or at least finds the views of his pastor justifiable. Thus, I am not judging Obama by his association with his racist pastor. Rather, I am judging Obama by his own views that allowed him to call Rev. Wright his mentor. And those views are disgusting.
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