Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Obama Trying To Cool A Fiery Wright

One has to feel sorry for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Once considered a Golden Boy of the Democratic Party, he now finds that his image is being tarnished and his campaign falling apart by the hurricane known as Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.

Association can be a blessing and a curse and Obama has discovered the latter is true time and time again. Wright is constantly putting his bigoted fire and brimstone sermons on national TV.

Sure, he told the National Press Club recently that the media didn’t report his message of hope when he also told his congregation on the Sunday after the 9/11 attacks that the U.S. government is responsible for inventing the HIV virus to be used against people of color or that America’s policies brought on the terror attacks.

Now, of course the media is going to cover Wright’s controversial sermon. After all, a pastor is supposed to be preaching about hope and peace; he isn’t supposed to be shooting off wild, non-factual theories.

Obama did the right thing by giving his strongest criticism yet of Wright yesterday, by calling the pastor’s remarks “appalling” and that he was “angered” by them.

Since Wright’s racial and anti-American sermons were brought to light last month, Obama had to distance himself greatly. Now, he’s doing it more so. Hopefully, this alone won’t hurt his chances.

Should Obama be ostracized for being a member of Wright’s congregation? At the moment, there is no solid evidence that the Illinois senator knew about Wright’s best known rant before it was reported to the nation last month, which seems a little hard to believe, but anything is possible. And Obama himself said he wasn’t present that Sunday.

They say you can pick your friends, but not your parents. However in this case, you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick the time they decide to go into a racial tirade. And since there isn’t any solid evidence that Obama has ever agreed with what Wright said, then in an ideal world, this shouldn’t hurt him. But it will.

Because some people, especially supporters of Obama’s political rivals, can’t or won’t separate these two men. One man is a religious leader to a certain group of people and his messages are separating and damaging this country, not unlike those who share the beliefs of the American National Socialist Workers Party or even Indiana congressional candidate Republican Tony Zirkle.

The other is a man who aspires to be the leader of every single person that this country represents and he offers true hope and unity for all.

Obama, like any politician, has his faults. If he is to be criticized, it should only be for his policies or his own political blunders. But Obama's association with Wright shouldn’t be his downfall.