I didn’t catch Barack Obama’s speech concerning race and his pastor, but I did skim the transcript. In fairness, he does make some good points, but this one jumped out at me:
I can no more disown [Rev. Jeremiah Wright] than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
This is all true. Most of us have relatives who hold some, let us say, archaic views, especially when it comes to race. But we don’t choose our relatives. We do choose our ministers. It’s also worth pointing out that Obama’s grandmother, by his own admission, “confessed” that she feared black men. Presumably, the fact that she made a “confession” instead of a “statement” indicates that she knew, at least logically, that this was the wrong thing to believe, but that she just couldn’t overcome the racial ideologies that were considered “common sense” in her youth. What does that make her? Well, wrong to be sure, but her sin is one more of weakness than hate.
It would have been perfectly understandable if Rev. Wright had simply “confessed” that he sometimes had trouble trusting white people or that he feared racism. But the tone he used, and the hate he seemed to project (not to mention the language) is truly disturbing. It seems to be a sin of hate, pure and simple, not a sin of weakness or fear.
Cross posted at Tennesseefree