Once upon a time (OK, a little more than a year ago) there was a columnist who came to the defense of an embattled candidate for president who was being maligned for that most egregious of American political sins: he was kind of, maybe, sort of, appearing liberal.
Understand the candidate himself was not being accused of actually being a liberal, per se. It was the mere appearance of liberalism in his personal circle that was the damning mark. It seemed the candidate in question was, of all things, a Christian. Worse that that, the church where the candidate had genuflected for umpteen years was run by former American military hero-pastor, an exciting, altruistic, outspoken charismatic preacher who inspired millions the world over with his calls for humanism and justice.
Not surprisingly the candidate nearly lost his candidacy over such an outrage.
(The columnist, btw, nearly lost his 10 year job as a social studies teacher for writing such heresies as to defend a black man in print when townsfolk questioned whether he was dutifully attending to his day job as the village brainwasher of the future proletariat. The columnist however prevailed when the townsfolk came to realize that keeping up with the teacher’s supposed blasphemes might possibly require actual reading.)
What the mainstream media really wanted to say was that since Obama was a black man it was a guarantee that if he got to be president he would raid the chicken coop once the overseer took to wenching. But they couldn’t quite say that. So, they took to “God-damning” Obama’s far more phenomenal minister, the right Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a notable civil rights activist as if that were enough to darken Obama’s image. The suggestion was that since Obama had attended Wright’s sermons for twenty years he must’ve heard as least some of them.
The thinking went that if Obama had paid attention to Wright’s ideas about reshaping America so it actually was for-of-and-by the people, he then was now heir to the responsibility for pursuing the social justice ministry of the liberation theology so popular in certain Black churches—the types of churches that aim to free their parishioners from the earthly chains of oppression, rather than be the propagandists for those who sell such chains as “god’s will.”
So, that meant having a guy like that in charge would mean everything about the way America operated was bound get over-scrutinized then over-turned and generally and justly screwed over, because we all know America has been run for the elite oppressive few, not the huddled many. Any president who might actually work to improve the lives of his people and the world in general was obviously far too great a threat to go unchecked.
Immediately, throughout the blogosphere, all of America’s hard right pundit might was marshaled to do their combined best to lynch both men from the same tree in an effort to stop Obama from spreading Wright’s filth before it could infect the minds of young Americans.
Welcome to one year later.
Candidate Obama is now the current edition of the imperial president while Reverend Wright is nowhere to be found. And we discover, to little surprise, the poor old Right-wing got it wrong again. Obama wasn’t listening to those sermons.
For example, Wright wrote war was wrong. Having been there himself, he condemned the Bush violence and so must be cheering somewhere in absentia to see members of the Bush administration indicted in Spain thus launching an international investigation that will soon enough make their way to Obama’s front door though he has done all he could to ignore the pitter-patter of six billion little feat marching for justice. Meanwhile, in that same Democracy Now ebullient broadcast which brought the news of the Bush indictments in Spain, Obama admits to committing to an extra twenty thousand American invaders in Bushco’s War of Terror in Afghanistan and then re-brands Bush’s genocidal occupation in Iraq as “advisory and assistance brigades.”
Wright wrote repeatedly about poverty and racism while Obama allows Wall Street bed-partner Tim Geithner to tax the poor for the profit of the rich on the one hand, then closes his eyes to the apartheid in Israel and distances himself from his own Attorney General’s efforts to bring race into the spotlight in America in much the same way he once betrayed his once beloved minister.
Wright also wrote about the retribution America would face for our misdeeds if we will not change our ways, the karma we were creating. One wonders if Obama also missed the part of Rev. Wright’s sermons about chickens coming home to roost and unjust leaders meeting, not meting, justice someday.
This one certain columnist certainly is taking the audacity to hope that Obama wasn’t napping the time Wright wrote of the justice to come. That day might be coming his way sooner than Obama thinks.
--mikel weisser writes from the left coast of Arizona.