August 27th, 2010 by John T. Reed
The Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. was Barack Obama’s pastor for 20 years before he retired. The church is Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. With 10,000 members, it is the largest congregation of any United Church of Christ in the U.S.
The church is described as an African-American church by Wikipedia and it certainly appears to be almost exclusively for blacks in videos of the congregation. With regard to the church’s racial orientation, the “About us” page of the church’s Web site says
We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian… Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain "true to our native land," the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community.
On March 17, 2008, Obama defiantly refused to quit the church. That means we can restate the above “About us” declaration as an “About me” declaration by Obama thus,
[I am] Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian… [My] roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. [I am] an African [man], and remain "true to [my father’s] native land [Kenya, but but not to my mother’s native land, the United States of America]," the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended [my] pilgrimage through the days of slavery [except since my father was a Kenyan, none of my ancestors was ever a slave], the days of segregation [which neither I nor any of my ancestors experienced], and the long night of racism. It is God who gives [me] the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a [black]. [I] constantly affirm [my] trust in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community.
It is the right of any American to feel this way, but these are disqualifying views for a presidential candidate. For example, the phrase, “I am an African man and remain true to my father’s native land of Kenya,” directly contradicts the presidential oath of office:
I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
The very idea of a church catering to a particular race is racist. The fact that there are many black churches does not change that. I am not aware of any white churches—other than Nazi or other white supremacists ones—and if there are any other churches that have few or no blacks members, I would assume they are unhappy and embarrassed about it and trying to change it.
Church is supposed to be about God. Indeed, the IRS is reportedly considering revoking the tax-exempt status of this and other churches of all colors who violate the legal definition of a non-profit organization by getting involved in politics.
Anti-white, anti-U.S. speeches by Wright
Wright has made a number of crude, profane, melodramatic, theatrical Southern-dialect-complete-with-bad-grammar, nutty, belligerent speeches that included wild accusations about racism in America, e.g., the U.S. government creating the AIDs virus to perpetrate genocide against blacks.
The reverend is not very reverent. He said that “Bill Clinton did us blacks like he did Monica Lewinksy.” He also said Clinton was “ridin’ dirty.” The Reverend is apparently referring to the former President’s repeatedly availing himself of Ms. Lewinsky’s fellatio services.
Wright claims to have a doctorate degree. Indeed he does from the United Theological Seminary near Dayton OH. In case you are wondering—as I was—United Theological Seminary is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Ohio Board of Regents.
Wright also has a bachelors degree and a masters degree in English from Howard University (an accredited black school in DC) and another masters degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School.
Wright was born and raised in Philadelphia. I was born and raised in the NJ suburbs of Philadelphia.
Talk like a grade-school dropout from Mississippi
So why does a guy from Philadelphia with degrees from universities in DC, Chicago, and OH, including a masters in English for God’s sake, talk like a grade-school dropout from Mississippi? Apparently because the vocabulary, grammar (or lack thereof), and pronunciation of Mississippi grade-school dropouts is the official linguistic affectation of America’s black “leaders.”
In my article on Obama, I noted that he, too, has adopted that affectation—using phrases like “I been here befoh” in a speech at Selma, AL last year and saying “You all” in other speeches more recently. Obama was born and raised in Hawaii and Jakarta, Indonesia and went to college at Occidental (Pasadena, CA), Columbia (Manhattan), and Harvard Law School (Cambridge, MA) and has chosen Chicago as his political base.
Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. not only made a point of getting a doctorate degree (albeit in part by committting plagiarism in his dissertation), he also made a point of speaking like an educated man. I surmise he did that because he was trying to overcome the Uncle Remus, Stepin Fetchit, Kingfish stereotype of ignorant blacks. It is probably safe to assume that he would be appalled by black men with doctorates and Harvard Law degrees like Wright and Obama pandering to ignorant voters and congregation members by talking like the worst stereotypes of ignorant blacks.
The only thing more disturbing than Wright’s words and demeanor in his anti-American sermons, are the behavior, words, and demeanor of the people in the video background in his congregation. They appear to be experiencing orgasms of pleasure as a result of his outrageous accusations. They wail and shout and leap to their feet and, in one scene, ran up to touch him. Another scene seemed to show a woman giving the Nazi salute. Obama has been called a rock star. In that church, Wright’s congregation’s response to Wright makes Obama look like a rock star piker when you compare his audiences’ response to him.
‘Guilt by association’
Predictably, liberal apologists for Obama like Alan Colmes and the New York Times have tried to spin unhappiness with Obama’s long association with Wright as mere “guilt by association.” That is an intellectually-dishonest debate tactic I call “sloganeering.”
Criminal guilt is not the issue
The phrase “guilt by association” also attempts to distract the listener red herring style by invoking a word from criminal justice principles. Under U.S. criminal law, we believe, “It is better to let nine guilty men free than to convict one innocent man.” The standard of proof in U.S. criminal trials is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
I have a news flash for Colmes and the other Obama apologists: the U.S. presidential election campaign is not a criminal trial.
We are considering whom to elect to the most important job in the world, the most important job in history. An accused criminal may be presumed innocent until he is convicted by a criminal court, but a presidential candidate is not presumed president until convicted in a criminal court. We do not believe that it is better to elect nine individuals with poor judgment regarding associates president than to reject one good-judgment presidential candidate. Americans have a higher standard for their presidential candidates, namely, they must not only avoid impropriety. They must avoid the appearance of impropriety. Criminal trial guilt is a far higher standard than the appearance of impropriety and is a ridiculous standard to apply to such a profoundly important position.
Is who a presidential candidate associates himself with relevant to whether he should be “President of the United States of America” to use the phrase Obama is so fond of? Suppose a candidate associated with Mafia members. Suppose he associated with drug dealers. Suppose he associated with prostitutes. Suppose he associated with foreign spies. Would we dismiss such associations as mere “guilt by association?”
Of course not. Rather, we would look at whom he is associating with, why he associated with him, how close the association was, and how long he associated with him. There is also the what did Obama know about Reverend Wright and when did he know it question. Finally, when he knew it, what did Obama DO about it?
The answer to the last question is he bobbed, he weaved, he shilly-shallied, he avoided, he soft-pedaled, he minimized, he let others speak for him. Clearly, Senator Barack Obama does not want to say or do anything with regard to Wright at all if he can avoid it. By behaving thus, Obama shows that he is black first and American second and that is a disqualifying characteristic when it comes to the office of “President of the United States of America.” Black first and American second is the description of a candidate for president of the NAACP. If Hillary were a woman first and American second, she should run for president of NOW. (I loathe her but I must say that she has not behaved like a woman first, American second. She has criticized and fired women who deserved it and some who didn‘t.)
As has been reported widely in the press, Obama’s association with Wright goes back 20 years, includes being married by Wright, having Wright baptize his children, and crediting Wright as an inspiration and mentor in his book Audacity of Hope, the title of which Obama said came from a sermon by Wright. Obama appears not only to have associated with Wright. By his own admission, Wright has had a long-running powerful influence on Obama. He calls Wright an “inspiration and mentor.” It sounds like Wright is the father Obama never knew. Obama’s recent attempts to dismiss Wright as a crazy “old uncle” are both dishonest and disloyal.
NPR and Fox News analyst Juan Williams did an excellent job dissecting Obama’s spin attempts on the 3/13/08 O’Reilly Factor. Williams, who is black, said Obama joined Wright’s church when he came to Chicago as a way to jump start his political career, which he apparently assumed would never go beyond representing a black Chicago district in Congress. One assumes that Obama ended up there after studying Michael Barone’s Almanac of American Politics to find the Congressional District where he was most likely to win office. Obama did run for Congress there and lost. In other words, Obama’s moving to that part of Chicago and joining Wright’s church seems to be a cynical ploy to quickly get black street cred and black authenticity and to replace, in the minds of black Chicago voters, Obama’s white mother, foreign father, and totally white upbringing.
If Obama wins the presidential election, his main activity from election day until some time after inauguration will be picking his associates for his administration. There is a book that comes out every election year called the Plum Book. According to the Government Printing Office, “the Plum Book lists over 7,000 Federal civil service leadership and support positions in the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government that may be subject to noncompetitive appointment,” You can see the 2004 version at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/plumbook/2004/index.html. So while Obama apologists are swearing associates do not matter, come the day after the election, associates will be about all that matters for several months with regard to the new President. We have to wonder what job the Reverend Wright was in line for before his inflammatory sermons were broadcast. Secretary of HUD? Secretary of Education?
Wright was on an Obama campaign committee
The Politico Web site says Wright was a member of Obama’s African American Religious Leadership Committee…
The Obama campaign couldn’t immediately say whether he’d remain on the committee.
Why not? Why does Obama even have a committee with the phrase “African American” in its name? I can understand a health insurance committee, a national defense committee, an energy committee, but not a committee named after a race.
If Obama considers removing Wright from the committee a tough decision, what is going to happen when the red phone rings?
Obama had originally intended to have Wright introduce him for his announcement that he was running for president. He scotched that plan when a February 2007 Rolling Stone article described a speech in which Wright complained about racism. Obama claimed that his reason for eliminating Wright from the presidential announcement was to avoid harm to Wright’s church. May I see a show of hands of those who believe that? Me neither.
The New York Times <http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/15/us/politics/15wright.html> reports:
In the interview last spring, Mr. Wright expressed frustration at the breach in [his] relationship with Mr. Obama, saying the candidate had already privately said that he might need to distance himself from his pastor.
With regard to judging Obama on his associations, there is not just one bad choice association with Wright. There are at least three, the others being Wright’s association with Louis Farrakhan, whose “Million Man March” Obama attended, and Obama’s unrelated association with former radical activists William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn and Obama’s “association” with his wife who appears to be Jeremiah Wright Lite. So another question that arises is how many associations with anti-Americans can this would-be “President of the United States of America” have before we can legitimately question his judgment and his true views on the country he wants to lead.
Obama and his apologists are, in part, trying to soft-pedal Wright’s sermons by calling them merely “controversial.” The word “controversial” implies that some people like the statements and others do not and leaves open the question who whether the statements may have merit. “Controversial” my ass. They are wrong. If Obama can’t see that, he is not fit to be a scout leader, let alone a president.
Equivalent to Geraldine Ferraro’s statement
Another Democrat spin is that Obama’s association with Wright is no more than Geraldine Ferraro’s statement that he would not be where he is now if he were not black (which is correct—for one thing he would have won fewer votes and delegates because of losing the increased black turnout and 90% black vote for him—he also would have lost all the whites who are eager to vote for a black to show their lack of racism). Democrats have also equated Obama’s association with Wright to endorsement of McCain by two nutty white ministers, and Billy Graham’s taped anti-Semitic comments in the Nixon Oval Office 37 years ago.
Good luck with that. Ferraro, a hero of the Democrat party for being the first female major party vice-presidential candidate in 1988 and for her life-long service to the party, is now persona non grata in that party because of white Democrat fear of the slightest hint of anything that could be construed to be racism by the most ignorant, illogical, chip-on-the-shoulder, looking-for-trouble black. McCain could have been a little more forceful in denouncing the kooks who endorsed him, but he had no relationship with them. Everyone denounced Graham’s comments including Graham himself.
Another Democrat spin being put on criticism of Obama’s association with Wright is that it is a “smear campaign.” That is an intellectually-dishonest debate tactic known as “name calling.” The other variation on name-calling that we can expect is for anyone criticizing Wright to be labeled as racist. The latter tactic seems to work great when it comes to silencing politically-correct critics, but I suspect it reaps the whirlwind in the voting booth where Americans cannot be intimidated.
The issue is not whether anyone is “smearing” Wright or Obama but whether the statements made by Wright are truthful and, given that they are not, why Obama would continue to associate with and praise Wright after he became aware of them. The character and judgment of a presidential candidate are legitimate topics of inquiry by the media and voters and legitimate subjects for criticism by those who think Obama is not the best candidate.
In 2007, Trumpet Magazine, which is published and edited by Wright’s daughter, presented the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to Louis Farrakhan. The award announcement said he, “truly epitomized greatness.” Wright said Farrakhan “[w]as one of the 20th and 21st century giants of the African American religious experience” and praised Farrakhan’s “integrity and honesty.” Wright went to Libya with Farrakhan in the 1980s. Last year, Wright said, “When [Obama’s] enemies find out that in 1984 I went to Tripoli to visit Colonel Gadaffi with Farrakhan, a lot of his Jewish support will dry up quicker than a snowball in hell.”
Is the Reverend relishing this prediction? Sounds like it. With friends like these, Obama doesn’t need any enemies. Obama is Willie Hortoning himself by parsing words in his denunciation of Wright.
I have associated with two guys in my life who later did bad stuff. One guy changed and when he did, I immediately admonished him that he was going the wrong direction. When it became apparent that he was determined to go that way, I publicly disassociated myself from him. The other guy liked to break rules for the sake of breaking rules—like John McCain’s self description actually. As soon as I saw that, I admonished him that it was not a good idea. When he called me up one day to ask me to break a rule for him, I ended my association with him. He later went to prison.
If my wife and I somehow ended up in a church service where the pastor said anything remotely resembling what Wright said, we would listen to about 20 seconds worth of it, exchange married couple glances that said, “We’re out of here,” and leave.
Think about your own associations. Have you ever associated with anyone like Wright or Farrakhan or Ayers? What did you do when you realized what they were about? I’ll bet it wasn’t continue associating with them for twenty years and naming them to an official position in your organization and writing a book that used their words as the title.
Out of context
Obama accuses critics of cherry picking Wright quotes out of context and ignoring Wright’s good work. But then Obama does the exact same thing: disassociating himself only with selected statements or “I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue.” Obama seems to be saying, ‘I disassociate myself from the comments that Wright made that you white people are upset about, but not one smidgeon more. And I am doing this in spite of the fact that there is nothing wrong with what Wright said, it’s just that you white people are oversensitive.”
Gee! What statements were those, Barack? He rejects “the statements” but will not say which statements he rejects. Furthermore, he will not says which statements the Reverend made that he accepts. He is afraid of losing the support of the many who support Wright—both in the Chicago congregation and around the U.S.
You gotta pick a side, Barack. At the moment, you are the Michael Jackson of politics trying to play both sides of the black-white race game. I’ll bet the two of you passed in opposite directions—him on the way to his face whitening or nose job and you on the way to your classes on how to speak like a Southern black. Like Michael Jackson, you are trying to have your race both ways. When you seek white votes, you are post-racial guy whose color is irrelevant. When you seek black votes, you are a poor grammar spouting, Jeremiah Wright embracing, black-separatist-church-joining brother who uses the phrase “our people.” And you complain about racism like would-be white man Michael Jackson whenever it suits you. In the words of comedian Robin Williams to Jackson during his child abuse trial, “You can’t complain about racism until you pick a race, honey.”
Are you with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and his supporters, or with the 90% of the American people who think Wright hates America? You’re trying to stand on both sides. That’s not an option when the sides in question are so diametrically opposed as Jeremiah is to whites.
Jeremiah Wright, Jeremiah Wright’s congregation, Michelle Obama, and the various people who are appearing on TV to “defend” Obama and Wright are digging the hole deeper and deeper. Instead of helping Obama distance himself from Wright, they seem to replicate Wright delivering their own angry speeches against whites. Invited to defend Obama, they instead defend Wright, making the whole situation worse for Obama. They may be unwittingly destroying the most successful black presidential candidate in history, a man they desperately want to become president. If Barack and Michelle Obama cannot see that they need to renounce Wright immediately, unequivocally, and comprehensively, they are too dumb to be President and First Lady.
Wright’s victory tour
After hiding for a time after the firestorm hit, Wright has now emerged and gone on a “victory” tour speaking to various packed house audiences who adore him. Asked about Wright’s recent comments, Obama looked stricken and could manage nothing more than a statement that Wright is entitled to say whatever he wants. Yeah, Barack, we already knew that. Thanks for stating the obvious and defeating an argument that no one has made (that Wright is obligated to remain silent).
With friends like Wright, Obama doesn’t need any enemies.
Wright has gone out of his way to dis Obama. He mocked Obama’s calling him his “spiritual mentor,” making fun of the phrase in a childlike taunt as if “spiritual” referred to ghosts. I would not have thought that a career pastor would find the word “spiritual” so foreign and inappropriate to the sentiment Obama was expressing. As I said elsewhere in this article, Obama seems to have latched onto Wright as the father he never had. Barack Obama Sr. abandoned Obama, Jr. and his mother at age two. (According to Time magazine, Obama, Sr. impregnated four different women and abandoned all of them and the resulting children.) Now, Obama’s adopted father—Jeremiah Wright—is going on national TV and mocking Obama’s referring to him as “my spiritual mentor.” In other words, Obama has been rejected—harshly—by both his biological and his adopted fathers, and softly, by his mom who left him in Hawaii while she went back to Indonesia as a single woman when Obama, Jr. was 11 to 18 years old. Rough. And there doesn’t seem to be much indication that his Indonesian step-father was much interested in him either. Obama’s biological parents and step-father are all now dead.
With fathers and “spiritual mentors” like these, Obama doesn’t need any enemies.
Wright also dismissed Obama as a “politician” who says whatever he needs to in order to get votes, implying that Obama is lying about denouncing some of Wright’s statements.
Wright also depicted himself as much higher on the moral food chain—a pastor—who answers to a “higher authority.” Actually, I believe the word from believers is that we all have to answer to that same higher authority, not just pastors. Furthermore, while pastors are generally more honest than the average person, the Reverend Wright is a shameless, bad liar as the many videos of his sermons starkly reveal. Politicians lie, too, but they usually have a more difficult audience to convince than the morons who attend Wright’s church.
‘Criticism of me is criticism of the black church’
Wright also invoked the now familiar game of black race hustlers: alleging that anyone who criticizes them is racist. Years ago, one heard that often about Jews and Israel. That is, if you criticized some Jews or Israel, you were instantly labeled as anti-Semitic. I have heard neither the anti-semitic accusation nor the complaint that it was leveled unfairly in recent years—except in rare cases like Louis Farrakhan saying Judaism is a gutter religion or Jesse Jackson referring to New York City as Hymietown. Those comments were anti-Semitic.
But many blacks and liberal whites are still playing the anyone-who-criticizes-a-black-is-racist game—as if we haven’t figured it out. Actually, you don’t even have to criticize a black anymore, just mentioning a black in a sentence that criticizes anyone get you labeled a racist. Rush Limbaugh got fired from Monday Night Football for saying that sports writers were accentuating the positive and de-emphasizing the negative regarding the on-field performance of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb because they wanted a black quarterback to succeed. Limbaugh was not criticizing McNabb. His position was that McNabb was good, just overrated, a common sportscaster sentiment about various athletes. Rather, Limbaugh was criticizing sports writers, mostly white. But he got fired by white empty suits who were intimidated by the racist accusation, no matter how baseless. I suspect we are not very far from a Saturday Night Live skit making fun of those who attack all critics of blacks as racist no matter how egregious the behavior of the black person being criticized.
An education on lots of blacks
This has been an education for me and I suspect a lot of non-black Americans. Apparently, huge numbers of blacks are in love with victimhood—so much so that they cling to ancient grievances and imagined recent ones to keep victimhood alive.
Black after black appears on TV and gets asked about Wright’s comments. Other than some commentators, black after black defends Wright, tells us about Tuskeegee, talks about the 60s civil rights movement as if it were still ongoing and needed. They absolutely refuse to denounce Wright’s comments vaguely claiming that many feel that way or that we have a long way to go or that blacks are being mistreated everywhere in America every day.
I said to one black guy who wrote me that the civil rights movement has long been in what the military calls a “mopping up operation.” He agreed, but I sense that lots of blacks, maybe a majority, want to believe that the civil rights movement was not victorious 40 years ago, that the race war still rages. They won’t take yes for an answer on emancipation and intergration and color blind decisions about people. As I said in my article on blacks and whites, our response should be to stand, hands on hips, weary of the continuing bullshit victim act, and say ,“How about you guys let us know when you are ready to admit this ended long ago and get on with normal life.”
I made an effort to watch many different channels with regard to the Wright issue. PBS’ Washington Week in Review totally ignored it. CNN, covered it but the comments seemed extremely understated and inclined to give Obama the benefit of every doubt until investigative journalists dig up whether Obama was lying when he said he had no idea Wright had these views until 3/13/08. I did not find the CNN commenters credible when they said they were going to wait for additional evidence before concluding Obama knew anything. They just seemed afraid to say the obvious.
Even Cooper Anderson or Anderson Cooper (Gloria Vanderbilt couldn’t afford to give the guy a first name?) seemed highly skeptical that Obama could not know about these extremely strongly stated views of Wright’s. Fox’s talking heads were very aggressive wondering if this would destroy Obama. Hannity called for Obama to resign from the Senate which I thought went well beyond the evidence.
Many black callers to talk shows seem not to understand what the fuss is about. That’s disturbing. Are all blacks talking like this when whites are not around? Is Obama one of those who does that?
I suspect he will now lose some black votes for his disloyalty to Wright and the black victimhood cause. I also suspect he will lose many white and young people votes on the grounds that he seems conflicted about extreme views that those voters do not come anywhere close to sharing—and indecisive and bewildered—an inexperienced pol who is amazingly slow to learn that you cannot straddle every fence. He is also losing votes on the basic issue of whether he is ready to handle the most difficult job in the world. He doesn’t even look ready to handle a single wacko associate. So much for charisma, rock star, change, and hope.
More ‘out of context’
Another tactic the Democrats are trying out is claiming that video of Wright’s incendiary sermons are taken “out of context.” That is another intellectually dishonest debate tactic that I wrote about in my article on intellectually dishonest debate tactics. Here is what I said before I ever heard of Jeremiah Wright.
20 Accusation of taking a quote out of context: debater accuses opponent of taking a quote that makes the debater look bad out of context. All quotes are taken out of context—for two reasons: quoting the entire context would take too long and federal copyright law allows quotes but not reproduction of the entire text. Taking a quote out of context is only wrong when the lack of the context misrepresents the author’s position. The classic example would be the movie review that says, “This movie is the best best example of a waste of film I have ever seen,” then gets quoted as “This movie is the best…I’ve ever seen.” Any debater who claims a quote misrepresents the author’s position must cite the one or more additional quotes from the same work that supply the missing context and thereby reveal the true meaning of the author, a meaning which is very different from the meaning conveyed by the original quote that they complained about. Merely pointing out that the quote is not the entire text proves nothing. Indeed, if a search of the rest of the work reveals no additional quotes that show the original quote was misleading, the accusation itself is dishonest.
Furthermore, those who claim a quote was taken out of context need to point to other statements in the context that directly refute and relate to the statement objected to. They cannot point to character-witness type statements and claim those refute the accusation that the speaker said and believed the offending remarks. For example, if Adolf Hitler said, “I will build the Autobahn, the world’s first limited access highway system, and I will kill all the Jews,” you cannot say that leaving out the Autobahn part is taking the Jew-killing statement “out of context.” The Autobahn (world’s first limited-access highway) portion of the statement does not refute or even relate to the Jew-killing one. It just shows that Hitler multi-tasked. No one criticizing Hitler’s evil statements feels an obligation to give him credit for the Autobahn in every discussion.
Wright’s supporters claim that he has made hundreds of speeches and that the media cannot show any parts of them unless they show all of them. As they well know, that is not going to happen. Furthermore, the media who are running the clips have not claimed they present a comprehensive biographical portrait of Jeremiah Wright. There is no interest in such a biography.
The issue is that one could not find comparable clips from the pastors of most Americans or of prominent politicians like President George W. Bush or Senator Dianne Feinstein or Hillary Clinton or John McCain.
A minor variation of the out-of-context tactic is calling videos of Wright “snippets” or “sound bites.” As everyone knows, electronic media are forced to use brief video and audio tapes of newsworthy events in order to fit their tight time slots. Some media, like NPR and PBS TV Lehrer Report, do fewer, longer segments. But as I said, that meant PBS’s Washington Week in Review ignored the Wright story. And also, PBS has lousy ratings. So demands that electronic media stop using sound bites and use longer video or audio clips are simply false choices.
Ultimately, the media use sound bites because they know their viewers will change channels if they use longer segments. It is not the media that choose sound bites. It is viewers. Indeed, the very people who complain about sound bites are the same ones who will switch channels if someone shows longer, less interesting audios or videos.
A while ago, the top Obama story was about his use of the phrase “Just words” to explain his lack of actions to point to to prove his fitness for president. Now, his supporters are now trying to have that both ways. Now they say Wright’s sermons are just words and ask us to judge him by other things that he done like his various actions on behalf of others.
So which is it? Words matter, or they don’t? If they matter, as Obama said in his “Just words” speech, then they matter when Jeremiah wright says them, too.
Another spin that the democrats are trying to use is that the videos of Wright are caricatures. That is totally invalid.
According to Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, a caricature is
the deliberately distorted picturing or imitating of a person, literary style, etc. by exaggerating features or mannerisms for satirical effect; a bad likeness; poor imitation; something so distorted, ugly or inferior as to seem a ludicrous imitation
By definition, a caricature is created by one person about another. Political cartoons are caricatures in the form of a cartoon that exaggerates whatever the cartoonist wants to exaggerate about the target’s views and personal appearance. Saturday Night Live actors also draw live video caricatures of politicians by portraying them in ways that exaggerate characteristics of the politicians regarding how they look, dress, speak, or their positions on various issues.
While the videos of Wright certainly meet the definition words of exaggeration, ugly, ludicrous, neither he nor his supports can fairly claim it as caricature because he did it to himself! If what he says and does in those clips is “distorted, a bad likeness, a poor imitation,” he has no one to blame but himself. If it is a caricature, he caricatured himself and he needs to come forward and say himself that he does not believe what he said, that he was just kidding, and explain why he did it.
Yet another Democrat tactic (they need a lot of them when they are really screwed as is the case with this incident) is to respond to questions with the order, “Move on.” In other words, “I refuse to answer your question because you have got me dead to rights in an indefensible situation. Therefore my best shot is to order you to change the subject bluffing that I have authority to order you around and hoping you will fall for it.”
Moveon.org is named after that tactic, which was used during the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky-Whitewater-Paula Jones-Juanita Broderick-Kathleen Willy impeachment scandal.
Obama’s on-camera response
Obama himself appeared on Fox News on 3/14/08 in a too-brief interview with Major Garrett. His answers and explanations were tortured. It reminded me of a guy who was asked what the preacher talked about in his Sunday sermon. “Sin,” the man said. “What did he say about sin?” “He was agin it.”
I know Obama was talking about Reverend Wright. But as far as how he feels about Reverend Wright, I’m not sure. It’s clear he wishes Wright had not been videotaped saying those things. Beyond that, I can’t tell whether he is for Wright or “agin” him.
On CNN, Obama seemed to say that he was unaware of what Wright’s views were until 3/13/08. He did not say that he was “shocked, shocked” to learn this, à la Casablanca’s Captain Renault. In fact, Obama forgot to look surprised at all when he said this was the first he heard that Wright held these views.
Obama is also very fond of his “like a crazy old uncle” dismissal of Wright. None of his allies are using that, but he has used it at least three times. Rush Limbaugh pointed out that the analogy is invalid because you can’t pick your relatives but you can pick your pastor. You tolerate the old uncle saying crazy things because he is your relative and you cannot change that. But you do not have to tolerate such behavior from non-relatives and no responsible person does tolerate it.
Also, it would appear that Wright’s dismissing Obama as a politician and mocking his calling Wright his “spiritual mentor” are Obama’s “crazy old uncle” chickens coming home to roost, if you’ll pardon the expression. Or to use another Wrightism, he and Obama are ridin’ each other dirty. (Gee, this is fun. I can understand why Wright looks so gleeful doing it.)
Obama’s denunciation of Wright on 4/29/08
Finally, on 4/29/08, Obama threw Wright under the train, as he had previously done with his “typical white person” and apparently still living grandmother.
Obama claimed he took the action he did on 4/29/08 because Wright “amplified” his prior remarks. No, Wright didn’t. He just repeated them. If anything, Wright actually toned them down a little. For example, he screamed “The government lied about creating the AIDS virus to kill blacks!” in the original sermon. At the National Press Club, he changed it to the “U.S. government is capable of doing stuff like that as evidenced by the Tuskeegee incident.” [Emphasis added] Big difference.
Obama did not throw Wright under the train because of any change or “amplification” by Wright. Rather, he threw Wright under the train because, as Wright alleged, Obama is just a politician who will say whatever he needs to to get elected. Obama took the 4/29/08 action because of the persistence of Wright’s effect on the campaign and on the voters and polls.
The salient impression I got from Obama’s 20-year association, and 4/29/08 dissociation with Wright is that Obama is weak. He associated with Wright all those years because his ultimate political ambition was to represent the district where Wright is a leader in Congress. He knew Wright was wrong, but he went along to get along. That’s unethical, immoral, and dishonest. But as many would say, that’s politics. If he had strength of character, he would have walked away from Wright the first time Wright lied or encouraged anti-white or anti-American feelings.
Then, to his surprise, Obama, got picked to speak at the 2004 Democrat national convention, and was a big hit. He realized that he had the potential to win higher office, like U.S. Senator, not from the 70% black First District of Illinois, but from the entire, mostly white state of Illinois.
At that point, an intelligent and decisive person would have realized that the alliances and associations built in the South Side of Chicago ghetto with the likes of Wright and Farrakhan and Ayers needed to be quietly dismanteled.
Once he realized Wright was a bad guy, and that the white public was going to find out about it, he should have decisively and unequivocally separated himself from Wright. He did not because he is not strong, not decisive, and is relatively inexperienced at the mixture of chronic lying and occasional changes of position that are required of politicians.
If Obama gets elected, and the phone rings at 3AM, it appears that Obama will respond weakly and indecisively and only months later finally realize that he has to change a prior position.
Obama is too afraid of looking inconsistent. Sometimes, changing your mind is the best course of action and when it is, just do it. Don’t weasel around about it for months while the entire population of the U.S. is wondering why you cannot see the need to make the change.
Obama is also too afraid of losing his racist black base. His foolish reluctance to separate from Wright was primarily caused by his fear of reaction among black voters. As I have said repeatedly, he is black first and American second and that disqualifies him from being president.
Refused to quit the church
On 3/17/08 I heard a clip where Obama defiantly refuse to quit the church—a course of action that TV reporter Juan Williams said Obama should immediately take.
Jason Riley of the Wall Street Journal Editorial Report TV show on Fox News made a good point. He said that Obama chose a church where Obama’s own mother would feel unwelcome. Indeed, and I would add that his white grandparents who actually raised him while his mother stayed in Indonesia would also feel quite unwelcome at the church. Obama spoke fondly of his white grandmother in his first book Dreams from my Father. I talked about Obama’s near denial of his white mother and upbringing and attempts to pass as a black in a separate article. The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley is black.
Another black, author and radio talk show host Larry Elder said the whites who voted for Obama in Idaho, Iowa, and all the other states would also feel unwelcome in Obama’s church.
I assume that Obama’s 4/29/08 speech breaking relations with Wright also means he will terminate his membership in Wright’s church. True, Wright is retiring and has been replaced by a younger pastor, but that guy has gone out of his way to show the world that he is on Wright’s side, which is to say the wrong side.
What will Wright do now? Ask a child psychologist. One would expect a child who is getting attention from misbehaving to continue to do so and even escalate the misbehavior to get even more attention.
Obama’s speech and Shelby Steele’s opinion article
The big event on 3/18/08 was supposed to be Obama’s speech on race. In that speech, Obama stupidly continued to try to have it both ways: to remain a member in good standing of the Trinity United Church of Christ and to remain the favorite candidate of white Democrats.
He admitted he lied previously when he claimed he had never heard Wright say any of the incendiary things. Not that he said, “I lied.” He’s a lying politician. They do not admit to lying in a straightforward manner. Rather, he simply changed his story and hoped no one would notice. Nice try. Now, he admits he has heard Wright say “controversial” and “incendiary” or “angry” things. Hey, Barack, you’re leaving out the fact that he said things that were false, irrelevant, ignorant, profane, crude, wrong, unChristian, and outrageous, not just “controversial” and “angry.”
The moral equivalence spin
He tried to attack white people in general by saying that his grandmother—“a typical white person”—once said she was afraid of groups of blacks that were walking toward her on the street. I once heard Jesse Jackson say that he was chagrined that, if he heard footsteps behind him on the sidewalk at night, he would be relieved if he looked back and they were white. He blamed it on general racism against blacks making them feel alienated or some such. I have also seen surveys that said both blacks and whites were more afraid of blacks than whites.
Barack Obama is just another lying politician—and one who does even less homework than the typical lying politician to prevent getting caught lying. He and his wife and daughters would probably be more inclined to cross the street to avoid a group of black teenagers than a group of white ones. Why? The incidence of crime by blacks is significantly greater than the incidence of crime by whites. (By the way, I do not believe that was the case when I was a kid in the 50s and early 60s and we would not have crossed the street to get away from an oncoming group of blacks back then. The situation seems to have been changed by militant black organizations like the Black Panthers and evidenced by black race riots in the late 60s and 70s.) The comments by Obama’s grandmother and Jesse Jackson are simple logic, based on tons of hard evidence.
‘Stop the loop?’
After the speech, Obama’s aides all wanted to know if the speech would result in the press stopping “The loop,” that is, the repeated playing and replaying of Wright’s outrageous remarks.
Apparently not. It’s now in Republican campaign ads, too, even against white Democrat politicians who have endorsed Obama. But it’s also probably too late. Americans have “The Loop” memorized by now. Plus, it will only stop it temporarily. Hillary and McCain claim they are above using The Loop against Obama. They were thrilled to have the cable news channels and talk radio play it. Now they are unhappy about it being stopped, but they cannot say so. However, while Hillary and McCain claim to be above using The Loop, Hillary is also above losing the nomination and McCain is also above losing the election. If they think they need to do so to win, they will themselves play The Loop again when it appears they may lose if they do not.
How did Obama end The Loop for now? He uses a similar tactic to Bill Clinton—seeming to be a plaintive, small child. Clinton did it by biting his lip and using a tremulous child’s voice. Obama does it with wide-eyed innocence and a quiet, halting way of speaking like a fearful child. Neither came out and whined, “Mommy, they’re picking on me” in those words, but both “say” it with the timber of their voices and body language whenever they get caught doing something they’re not supposed to be doing. Once they turn themselves into a picked-upon small child, their critics are made to look like bullies and have to stop.
In fact, the more worthwhile use of your time would be to read Shelby Steele’s same day Wall Street Journal opinion article. The article is brilliant. Steele is black and an expert in race relations, American social culture, and identity politics at the Hoover Institution.
Bargainers and challengers
Steele says that prominent blacks fall into two categories:
• bargainers (Obama, Oprah, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and I presume Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice)
• challengers (Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Jeremiah Wright)
He also says some, like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, fall into a third category, who ignore their race and behave as individuals. Seems to me that’s the only way any of them should act.
Bargainers, according to Steele, tacitly agree not to say “shame on you” and embarrass whites about slavery and segregation in return for white support of the individual in question.
One personal comment. I am not interested in that bargain. My Irish ancestors came to Boston in the late 19th century. They owned no slaves and I am sure they were too busy fighting discrimination against Irish to be guilty of that which Obama and Oprah would absolve me of if I vote for him or watch her. My German ancestors immigrated to the Northeast portion of America in the early 20th century. They owned no slaves while they were losing their home to foreclosure in the Depression. My West Virginia ancestors, as I explain elsewhere in this article, seceded from Virginia and fought with the Union in the Civil War because they refused to support Virginia’s slavery. And my Cherokee great great grandmother Emmaline sure as hell did not own any slaves. Plus, I am not my ancestors. Neither are any other living whites. In other words, you can shove your white guilt.
Playing on white guilt
Steele says Obama is playing the bargainer race game for all it’s worth and his lead in the Democrat nominating process stems directly from his success at letting whites absolve themselves of guilt by voting for him, from letting blacks declare an end to their inferiority as a result of Obama’s success, and from press fear of getting in the way of either of those events. Steele says,
…in the end, Barack Obama’s candidacy is not qualitatively different from Al Sharpton’s or Jesse Jackson’s. Like these more irascible of his forbears, Mr. Obama’s run at the presidency is based more on the manipulation of white guilt than on substance.
Politically, Steele says Obama’s actions since college reveal that he is a “mediocrity.” There are no accomplishments in either his record as a legislator or his time as a black community organizer or black civil rights attorney. His sole skill seems to be making a good impression on whites.
Steele says Obama’s positions on issues are all but identical to Hillary’s and that he refuses to explain how he will unite us or how he will accomplish any of the other campaign promises any more than he has accomplished anything else in his life thus far.
Obama himself, in a moment of probably ill-advised (for a politician) candor, said,
I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views…
Indeed. That’s why he says nothing but platitudes like “hope” and “change” and “the future.” That’s why people call him an “empty vessel.” (I said “empty suit” was more like it.)
But one of the other rules of politics is that if you fail to define yourself to the public, your opponents will do it for you—to your detriment.
Empty vessel or empty suit, Barack Obama, the former cipher, is now being filled and defined—not by his opponents, but by his friends. Turns out, he ain’t from da hood. And he ain’t no Colin Powell or Condoleeza Rice either. Yet he persists in trying to be Colin X or Condoleeza Sharpton—Dr. Jekyl when he campaigns and Mr. Hyde when he goes to church.
Obama still does not know who he is
Where is the great judgment he claims his early opposition to the Iraq war reveals? There is no way to reconcile what normal Americans expect him to be and what the congregation at Trinity United Church of Christ expects him to be. He has to do what he refuses to do: choose one or the other. Otherwise, he will be carrying the Reverend Jeremiah Wright on his back for the rest of the campaign.
Obama has often said that he had an identity crisis stemming from his Kenyan father and white mother and white upbringing. He used it to justify his cocaine use. The problem is that he seems never to have been able to resolve it and is still in its grip at age 46. He chose to be black—an option not really open to him considering that his mother was white—and appears to have chosen joining a “hate-filled, Anti-American black nationalist” church—to use Steele’s words—to do penance for having a white mother and to exorcise her offensive DNA from his soul. Steele says,
[Obama] was driven by insecurity, by a need to “be black” despite his biracial background. And so fellow-traveling with a little race hatred seemed a small price to pay for a more secure racial identity.
Black columnist Thomas Sowell said Obama’s membership in the TUCC was an example of the converted trying to be “more Catholic than the Pope” or in this case, blacker than thou.
Jeremiah Wright famously said,
Not God bless America! No! No! No! God Damn America!
By joining and remaining in this church, and by bringing his 25% white daughters to this church throughout their lives, Obama seems to saying, “And God damn my white ancestors and the white blood in my body and in the bodies of my daughters.”
Steele ends with,
[Obama’] public persona thrives on manipulation of whites (bargaining), and his private sense of racial identity demands both self-betrayal and duplicity. His is the story of a man who flew so high, yet neglected to become himself.
Is Obama, in effect, a newcomer to America?
After watching several days of coverage of the reaction of Obama and his supporters to the Wright controversy, I conclude, as the various talk show hosts seem to, that Obama and his backers just don’t understand the impact this has had on whites, Asians, Latinos, and other non-black Americans. Why would that be?
They react to questions about the controversy as if they were recent arrivals from a foreign country and they were expecting the American people to react to this story the way people in their previous country would react.
What country is that? Isolated poor black communities around America. Communities where people talk like Reverend Wright every day, communities where the black citizens have little or no contact with non-black people on a day-to-day basis.
Roughly speaking, Barack Obama is a guy who spent two thirds of his childhood in Hawaii and one-third in Indonesia. Since then, he has spent seven years of his life either in college at Occidental (Pasadena) or Columbia (Manhattan) or at Harvard Law School (Cambridge, MA) and 22 years in a poor black community in the South Side of Chicago.
Obama’s church is in the First Congressional District of Illinois. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress there. Here are some excerpts from Michael Barone’s Almanac of American Politics about that district [my comments in red]:
The South Side of Chicago has been the nation’s largest urban black community for nearly a century now. [That supports my suspicion that the politically ambitious Obama chose that place to move to, after college, because it looked like a place where he could get elected as a black in spite of never having any connection with the area.] …this ghetto…headquarters of the Nation of Islam and home to its leader Louis Farrakhan…[current Congressman Bobby Rush]…became…[a member of] the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, then went AWOL [from the Army] and founded the Illinois Black Panther Party where he recruited Fred Hampton who was later killed in a police raid. Rush served six months in prison for illegal possession of firearms…“I don’t repudiate any of my involvement in the Panther Party…” His son was murdered by a man wielding a handgun as he returned to his South Side home…Rush defeated Barack Obama for the Congressional seat in 2000. In that election, President Clinton endorsed Rush. The district was 70% black in 2002.
Rush was a pastor in that district.
Wikipedia says that the 1st District of Illinois has the highest percentage of blacks of any Congressional District in the U.S.
Barack Obama did not just live in this community. He went there to have a political career. His bio says he was a black community organizer and civil rights lawyer. It sounds like what he really was was just a wannabe politician laying the groundwork for his runs for Congress and State Senate. He was straining every day to become this community’s favorite son and its representative in every sense of the word. Blacker than black.
If a tourist came here from a foreign country to see what America was like and spent his whole five-day vacation in Illinois’s 1st Congressional District, I suspect most Americans would say that would give them an extremely distorted view of America. Barack Obama did not spend five days there. He spent 22 years and he was not a tourist, He was trying to convince the locals he was one of them. To do that, you must love and ingratiate yourself with their local “warlord” or “Imam” Jeremiah Wright
It appears that the 1st District of Illinois is essentially a foreign country. If so, Barack Obama has not lived in the United States since he was in high school in 1977.
Obama is ‘Donnie Brasco
“Donnie Brasco” is the fake name FBI agent Joseph Pistone adopted as part of his efforts to infiltrate the New York City Bonano crime family. That true story was chronicled in the movie title Donnie Brasco. He was a college graduate, former Office of Naval of Intelligence employee who became an FBI special agent. To infiltrate the mob, he had to go native, learning to talk like them (e.g., “fuhgeddaboutit”), act like them (slapped his real wife around once because of an inability to get out of character when he went to see her), and live among them.
To infiltrate the Trinity United Church of Christ congregation, white boy Barry Obama from Honolulu and the Ivy League had to go native, learning to talk like them (e.g., “I been here befoh, you all”), act like them (give no sign he had any objection to the minister spewing hate about his maternal ancestors and the paternal ancestors of his daughters), and live among them. After 22 years of that, he has become one of them, meaning the black community in the South Side of Chicago, and stopped being a mainstream American. That’s why he is oblivious to how the Reverend Wright’s behavior is so unacceptable to mainstream America and why he refuses to disown Wright and the community that loves Wright.
Politically, Obama has turned himself into guy who could go no higher than Congressman from the First District of Illinois. Not president of the U.S. Not even U.S. Senator from the state of Illinois. Against a decent opponent, which he did not have when he won his U.S. Senate seat, Obama would not be able to win a statewide election because of his now revealed “black first and American second” world view.
Brasco and Obama had slightly different goals. Brasco had to win the Bonano Family trust so he could gather evidence about their crimes to present in court. Obama had to win the trust of the people in the Trinity United Church of Christ so he would get their votes and endorsements to launch his political career. Both men had to conceal their true motives for ingratiating themselves into the group and their true identities.
Many in the media have expressed consternation at Obama’s willingness to let his daughters listen to Wright’s sermons, and that was without remembering that Obama’s daughters are 25% white. Pistone/Brasco had a wife and kids, too, but he left them out of his undercover work. Since Mafia guys also try not to involve their wives and kids in the business, he had no trouble explaining why his wife and kids were not there. But once you accept Obama’s goal, leaving the wife and kids out of his infiltration was not an option. The congregation would have figured out quickly that they were good enough to vote for Obama, but not to be around his wife and children. The kids had to be there in the church every Sunday to advance Barack Obama political ambitions.
I am less worried about what they heard on Sundays than about their safety and education during the week. Remember this is a Congressional district where the Congressman who defeated Obama saw his own son murdered. Where does Obama send his daughters to school? God forbid it’s Chicago’s public schools, but sending them to an expensive private school would separate him from the congregation.
Another thought I had watching Wright gyrate and dance and gesticulate and gleefully mug as if he is having the time of his life: he reminds me of Venezuela President Hugo Chávez and Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They taunt the United States and President Bush like school children to attract attention to themselves and to pander to a dumbest common denominator group of people in their community. All three of them strive for the most outrageous things they can think of: Chávez’s saying he could still smell the sulfur at the UN lectern where Bush had spoken the previous day, Ahmadininejad holding a conference to deny the Holocaust, and Wright changing the words of God Bless America to “God Damn America!” The networks and cable stations have had every type of analyst imaginable discuss Wright, but not the one they really need: a child psychologist.
Juan Carlos, the King of Spain, famously told Chávez to “shut up” at the Ibero-American Summit in Chile on 11/10/07. The problem with Wright is there is no one of Juan Carlos’s stature or character in the black community—not in Chicago, not nationwide, and certainly not Barack Obama, to tell Wright the same thing that Juan Carlos very appropriately said to Chávez.
Ancient or imaginary
It is noteworthy that all of Wright’s grievances against the “rich white people who rule America” are either ancient (e.g., slavery which ended 143 years ago) or imaginary (e.g., the U.S. government is giving drugs to blacks). In fact, if that’s all that blacks can complain about, their lives must be darned good. A similar conclusion could be drawn from their actions as opposed to their words. They hate living in a country ruled by rich white people, but apparently not as much as they hate living in one of the many countries ruled by poor black people (e.g., Haiti, Nigeria), as evidenced by the fact that they are still here.
Thomas Sowell’s column
Since the Wright story broke, I have been looking forward to columnist Thomas Sowell’s take on Wright. His column runs in the Friday edition of my local paper and the one on Wright was in the 3/21/08 edition.
Either great minds run in the same channel or Sowell has been reading this article by me. He used three of the same quotes I did: “What did he know and when did he know it?,” “shocked shocked,” and Shelby Steele’s statement that Obama “neglected to become himself.” Sowell and Steele are both fellows at the Hoover Institute at Stanford.
Is it just me?
Is it just me, or does the Reverend Wright seem to long for the “good old days” of legal discrimination against blacks and legal segregation of the races?
Is it just me, or did Reverend Wright seem to be thrilled to death that white U.S. Public Health Service doctors unethically pretended to treat 399 black men who had contracted syphilis, thereby allowing them to suffer tumors, heart disease, paralysis, blindness, insanity, and death, just so they could study the autopsies?
Is it just me, or did the Reverend Wright seem unhappy that more blacks did not die in the attack on Pearl Harbor, which he accused the government of knowing about in advance?
Is it just me, or did the Reverend Wright seem sorry that America has not suffered more 9/11s since 9/11?
Is it just me, or did the Reverend Wright seem to wish that his government really did invent AIDS to kill all blacks?
I don’t think the guy is about anything Christian. He is about self-righteously bitching and moaning about injustice by whites against blacks and he clearly wishes there were more injustices and more recent injustices for him to complain about. He is opposed to “rich white people” doing the right things, as they did with the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and, in his mind if not mind, affirmative action. Reverend Wright and his congregation get off on white injustice toward them—real or imagined, ancient or current. He wishes “rich white people” would do more unjust things toward blacks because he is in the complaining business and injustice toward blacks is good for his business.
In shameless hypocrite fashion, Wright is moving into a $1.9 million mansion built for him by the poor people in his congregation in a gated suburb of Chicago. Who else lives there? “Rich white people” make up 98% of the gated community’s residents. His final sermon could have been just, “See ya, suckers.”
I don’t know why Obama is getting all worked up about Wright’s looped “snippets.” They’re just words.
Here is a pertinent quote from historic black hero Booker T. Washington:
"There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs—partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs." —Booker T. Washington
I appreciate informed, well-thought-out constructive criticism and suggestions.
John T. Reed