Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Undoing of a Saint

It's difficult to escape a keen sense of Schadenfreude at Barack Obama's close relationship with a racist crank pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. When Obama came on the scene in 2004, even I was impressed. He appeared to be a black Democrat committed to going beyond racial politics and accepting that the United States has moved on substantially since Dred Scott. In fact, in the decades since the Civil Rights Movement, the country has largely become "post-racial," with racism confined to relatively harmless exercises in "blame-whitey" nonsense coming out of universities' humanities departments, and the occasional heavy-handed government attempt to impose racial equality where the evil to be cured no longer exists. Racism has been marginalized.

Obama represented, for me, the hope that someone on the Left would actually realize these facts and move beyond race-baiting. I was skeptical, however, of Obama's future success in the party, for the simple reason that a large part of Democratic appeal is its shameless race-baiting. For the party to dump this valuable political tool in the interest of ideological maturity was unthinkable.

Well, I was wrong.

The party didn't dump the tool, obviously, so I was right about that. I was wrong about Obama. The evidence is piling up that his post-racial rhetoric is empty indeed, and that he surrounds himself with people who look increasingly deranged complaining about anti-black racism when they themselves are doing extremely well, despite the supposed badge of inferiority inherent in their Blackness (see how I capitalized it? Fit for a Princeton thesis, that is!).

I'm unsure what Obama himself believes about race. It's impossible to tell because the people closest to him, including a man Obama has taken as a mentor for decades, are vicious racists, while Obama himself hasn't explicitly agreed with them. Still, as a post-racial guy myself, I can't see sitting in a church listening to a racist, or marrying a racist, but that's just me.

It appears that the candidate of X stands for ~X. The candidate whose only broad appeal was his post-racialism is likely to be the same old Jesse Jackson style racist.

Enjoy playing around with that, Democrats. Even I didn't see this one coming.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home