In his latest essay, Orson Scott Card talks about Obama and compares the senior theses of Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Obama has never said or done anything to suggest that he shares any of Wright’s offensive views. But I still hear people saying, “If he could associate with the man for twenty years, he must have heard some of this, and it’s bound to have rubbed off.”
Putting Rev. Wright’s remarks in context, he points out that Wright’s generation of black Americans have every right to be angry and unforgiving, and he was speaking as a black preacher to a black congregation in their own church, not as a spokesman for a presidential campaign.
He’s a preacher. He can use the word “damn” and it isn’t swearing. He can invoke the curse of heaven when he feels it’s appropriate. I don’t like that he said it or why he said it, but when a preacher damns something, it’s different from other people saying the same words.
I was bothered by the “Jesus was a black man” line. Jesus most assuredly was not a black man, he was of the people living in Palestine in the first generation of Roman occupation. They’re not black now and they weren’t black then.
But then I remembered all the pictures of Jesus I grew up with — the light brown hair, gently waving down to his shoulders, the white white skin — and I realize that for centuries, white Christians have reimagined Jesus as a German or Belgian. Why shouldn’t blacks have the same privilege?
Should we be suspicious of Obama because of Wright’s teachings?
Obama has made it plain that he rejects Wright’s racially divisive teachings. But he is tied to Reverend Wright by bonds of friendship that transcend doctrines.
They are friends. Reverent Wright and Obama worked together trying to make life better for poor blacks in Chicago. Wright was part of Obama’s spiritual awakening and of his search for an identity as a black man. Obama hardly knew his father. Wright took on some of that role in his life.
It’s not as if Wright has been accused of a crime other than saying things that make white people mad. I’m a white person. It makes me mad. So what? Wright’s not running for president; if he were, I wouldn’t vote for him.
Here is my question to those who think Obama should have broken off his friendship with Wright over Wright’s offensive statements:
Do you want as President the kind of person who would deny and abandon his closest friends in order to win that political office?
Think about your family. Has your father or your mother or a grandparent or a sibling ever said something you thought was appalling and embarrassing? Do any of them hold opinions that you disagree with?
If your answer to any of those questions was yes, did you respond by breaking off all contact with them and denying your connection with them?
Unfortunately, here’s where Card goes very wrong:
But if you insist on requiring that he completely separate himself from someone who has said offensive things, then what about a candidate who remains closely connected to someone who has committed crimes and done things that offend just as many Americans?
I speak of Hillary, who persists in her connection to an admitted perjurer who defiled the oval office with antics that would embarrass a randy college student (at last after he got sober and/or grew up).
Yet people actually honor Hillary for standing by her husband — and, by the way, joining him in lying about his opponents and never apologizing for her own false charges.
What’s sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose — if you think Obama should separate from Wright, then you should be calling for Hillary to divorce Bill before she becomes President. After all, we wouldn’t want to re-contaminate the White House with such indecency, would we?
I still maintain that what Bill Clinton did wasn’t that terrible. Many men in the same position would have done the same thing. It’s just human nature. It didn’t affect his governing ability and it didn’t harm the country. It was simply a non-issue. Our country’s puritanical streak is the only reason it’s even an issue.