Obama Did the ‘Wright’ Thing

Pajamas Media » Conservatives, Rejoice: Obama Did the ‘Wright’ Thing
conservatives have long argued that the black community is desperately in need of a leader who speaks out forcefully against the divisive, destructive worldview of “those who prey on hate” — the worldview of Wright, Sharpton and Jackson, of the race-baiters and the grievance-mongers. Why, conservatives have often asked, won’t somebody, anybody, take on the entrenched “old guard” of African-American political life, the aging charlatans whose continued relevance depends on perpetuating a poisonous culture of blame-whitey victimization?

Well, now it has happened. Barack Obama, a man who commands overwhelming support among African-Americans, and who stands a fair chance of becoming the next President of the United States, used the bully pulpit of his candidacy to unequivocally condemn the very sort of conspiratorial lunacy that is too often tolerated or even applauded within segments of the black community.

For Wright himself, of course, this controversy is personal, as the New York Post reported today. But it’s more than that. For those who, like Wright, see everything through the prism of white racism and black victimization, Obama represents a grave threat to their power. If he wins the presidency, it will be much harder for these charlatans to ply their trade.

Wright reportedly told Obama that “if you get elected, November the 5th, I’m coming after you, because you’ll be representing a government whose policies grind under people.” But surely Wright knows that the power of his message would be diminished in that event. His false vision of America as a fundamentally, unalterably racist nation –rather than a nation with pockets and instances of racism, but one that is genuinely working toward wiping out the vestiges of prejudice and discrimination– would be severely undermined by the specter of a black man in the White House.

It is therefore unquestionably in the personal best interests of Wright and his ideological and theological fellow-travelers for Obama to lose. All the better if he is perceived as losing because of a racially charged controversy. Then, especially, Wright & Co. can comfortably blame white racism for his defeat, preach that he never should have “betrayed” them, and return to business as usual, fighting again and again the battles of the 1960s as if nothing has changed since Martin Luther King dreamed his dream.

Such a result should be anathema to conservatives. Yet by continuing to harp on the Wright controversy, they may help bring it about. If Obama is torn apart by a two-front assault, with the left’s grievance-mongers arguing that his condemnations of Wright are an act of betrayal while the right’s harumphers dismiss the condemnations as tardy and insincere, it could set back the larger battle against “those who prey on hate” for a very long time. The takeaway lesson from such an event, rightly or wrongly, would be that no black candidate — not even one as talented as Obama, with his rhetorical skill, his fundraising prowess, and his almost cult-like, “post-racial” appeal — can successfully walk the necessary tightrope to succeed in racially charged America.

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