Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why Barack's Relationship to Reverend Wright Matters

Barack Obama is trying to dismiss the Rev. Wright controversey as a simple matter of taking 30 seconds of sound bites out of 30 years of ministry and playing them over and over.

I submit that Sen. Obama is grossly underestimating the significance of those sound bites.

The problem is the incendiary nature of the comments made have shocked many Americans to the core. These are comments that go so far beyond the pale that no one believes they were isolated incidents. No one can contain that vile a belief system and have it NOT contaminate virtually everything they touch.

More importantly it has provided disturbing context for many Americans to evaluate and understand previous statements and conduct by both Barack and Michelle Obama.

When I first heard Michelle Obama's comment about being proud of her country for the first time in her adult life, I was stunned. Here's a woman who is living the American dream, educated in the finest of schools and realizing incomes enjoyed by the tiniest of fractions of the one percentile. Yet, she has never found anything to be proud of within her country?

But now consider the frame of mind that might be engendered by listening to twenty years of Rev. Wright hate-speech: It's no wonder she's always had a negative outlook on America.

Now flashback to the video of the event where Barack, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards were at the same stadium event standing listening to the Star Spangled Banner. Hillary and John have their hands over their hearts, while Barack stands with his hands folded in front of him.

It was a subtle image, but one that left me scratching my head when I first saw it.

But now, in the context of Rev. Wright's anti-America rhetoric, I think I see how someone with such a privileged life could choose to not show the traditional sign of respect for our flag and national anthem.

The pieces of the puzzle begin to fit.

So, no Barack, this isn't about 30-second sound bites. It's about 20 years of being mentored by someone with these thoughts and attitudes and what the ultimate impact that has had on your thoughts and attitudes.

Within that context, we don't like what we see. Words do matter. So do actions.

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