Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Who is Barack Obama?

©2008 by LeeZard

Will the real Obama please stand up? Something has bothered me about this guy all along. Maybe it’s the lack of substance beyond his messages of change and unity. Nice rhetoric but (Gawd, I hate to invoke Ronald Rayguns) “Where’s the beef?” Events of the last 24-hours have only added to my reticence.

Now we have his daring speech on the Race issue. It troubles me. Is it a desperate move by a savvy politician or a bold statement from a true leader? Obama had to do something to blunt the damage to his campaign wrought by the inflammatory rhetoric of his “former” pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Jr.

In case you missed it, Wright over the years has sermonized in his (and Obama’s) Chicago church about the United States unleashing the AIDS virus and crack cocaine to kill Black people. He’s also damned our country for “a corrupt foreign policy that invited the deadly 9/11 terrorist attacks. He’s called this nation the “U.S. of KKKA.”

In his address to local supporters, elected officials and clergy members at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center, Obama called Wright’s remarks “offensive.” From all reports, it was typical Obama, a beautifully crafted, powerfully delivered oratory. He drew on his own experience as the son of a White mother and a Black father to compare centuries of anger and resentment amongst African Americans and the racial fears and resentment in White America. I applaud him for bringing the Black and White 800-pound gorilla out of the closet and onto center stage. I wonder, though, about his timing and yes, his sincerity.

Obama, the politician, first denied he was ever in church when Wright made his most inflammatory racist, anti-American remarks. In his Philadelphia speech Obama acknowledged for the first time that he was, indeed, in the church for some of Wright’s “controversial” comments. Hmmmm. Did he forget or did he just lie?

If Obama was in church for some of Wright’s extremist dribble, did he say anything privately to the preacher? As an elected official, should he have said something in public? If Obama had denounced Wright's outrageous remarks in the past, it would’ve added tremendous weight and credibility to yesterday’s speech. Given the timing of his “condemnation,” and his flip-flop on whether or not he heard Wright’s Wrantings, I am left with my doubts about Barack Obama.

Will the real Obama please stand up?