Obama: The audacity of hate

Mar 252008
Authors: Nick Hemenway

Before break, I discussed the cloud of mystery surrounding Barack Obama. So many people fanatically support him, yet they know so little about him.

Since then more has been discovered, revealing a disturbing look at one person Obama looks to for guidance.

In case you were partying a little too hard last week, video clips of Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, were found containing very explicit and hate-driven ideologies. In a sermon found from 2003, Wright proclaimed to his congregation, “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing God bless America? No, no, no! Not God bless America! God d*** America!”

The absurdity didn’t stop there. In another sermon, he dragged race into the presidential campaign, saying “Barack knows what it means to be a black man living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people! Hillary can never know that! Hillary ain’t never been called a n*****!”

He also accused the government of creating HIV as a form of genocide for African-Americans.

This is the man Barack Obama looks to for spiritual advice. Although he has tried to downplay his relationship with the reverend since these videos surfaced, one can’t ignore their 20-year history together. In fact, Rev. Wright was the one to marry Barack and Michelle Obama – not an honor taken lightly.

Barack feigned his innocence in the situation by claiming “those are not statements that I ever heard when I was sitting in the pews.”

Let’s pretend for a moment that Obama was somehow ignorant to the views of Jeremiah Wright, as impossible as that is.

Nearly one year ago, the big story of all media outlets was radio host Don Imus reference to the Rutgers basketball team as a bunch of “nappy-headed hos.”

As almost every prominent African-American was interviewed for their thoughts, Barack Obama talked to David Gregory on MSNBC. Obama supported Imus’s firing, declaring “I don’t think MSNBC should be carrying the kinds of hateful remarks that Imus uttered the other day, and he has a track record of making those kinds of remarks . He would not be working for me.”

So how can it be that Don Imus’s comments are so inexcusable, yet the outrageous remarks of his friend can be so easily excused?

Since Obama had been on Imus’s show in the past to promote his books, David Gregory asked him if he would ever return to the show. Obama said he wouldn’t, explaining, “I don’t want to be an enabler or be encouraging in any way of the kind of programming that results in the unbelievably offensive statements that were made.”

This begs the question, in the mind of Barack Obama, what exactly is “unbelievably offensive?” How do Wright’s comments fit in with the audacity of hope?

If this is Obama’s vision for the future, I don’t want to have any part of it.

Nick Hemenway is a senior mechanical engineering major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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