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Obama's Speech on Race; Still an Empty Suit
devil horns
scipio62
I didn't see Barack Obama's speech, but I did read it earlier today.  While I have to admit it seemed pretty decent after the first reading, in the end it was nothing more than the same socialist claptrap that "liberals" have been trying to push on America for some several decades now.  Obama keeps presenting himself as the agent of "change" and "hope"; unfortunately, it's nothing but empty rhetoric as he continues to try anything to sell the same old same old of the "liberals" and Democrats. 

And then I read it again, and began getting angry, and found how hollow this all is.  What's worse, the vast majority of the Democrat media will spin this as some sort of "turning point", without really explaining how they could come to that conclusion.  I can in one word, a poison word: diversity.

At one point, Obama actually did seem to want to say something different for a Democrat:
A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one’s family, contributed to the erosion of black families – a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened.
But in the end, it comes down to his leftist views:
Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze – a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many.
See?  It's corporations, capitalists, and those who gather together to influence politicians (never mind that many of those lobbyists consist of a class of "people" called activists, another name for someone who doesn't actually do any real work)  that are the problem, not the politicians or the government itself.  Then he adds this as indicative of what is wanted in the black community in America, adding in more identity politics for good measure [emphasis mine]:
But it also means binding our particular grievances – for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs - to the larger aspirations of all Americans -- the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man whose been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family.
He continues on with this theme several times.  But how does he want to address the health care that is already halfway towards socialism, or schools that are already 90% run by the various levels of government, or how companies have been allowed by government to financially benefit from hiring overseas?  By what his platform says, more government spending and involvement.  Like a typical leftist, the only "guiding light" in an otherwise endless tunnel of pain is the government.  The highest power, the supreme good.  In a way, Obama echoes George W. Bush in some of the policies and laws enacted during his two terms: No Child Left Behind (which should actually be "No Child Left Behind Since Public Schools Will Follow These Standards, But Do Need To Fund It On Their Own Dime"), the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Violation of the 1st Amendment, Medicare Part D, and others.  However, Obama and the leftists want more and more and more and more for all of these.

As I mentioned, I re-read the speech and started getting angry.  He does chastise Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and many of the hateful things he has said; but even here, he only goes so far.  Obama mentions "white racism", how "racism" defines the black worldview, "Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism...", Rev. Wright spoke about racism in society; nowhere here does Obama talk about black racism or black bigotry, or how they were incorporated into Wright's sermons.  It's the same old double standard pushed by "liberals" that because whites have always been in the majority and have taken advantage of many privileges, while at the same time blacks were truly struggling to get to where whites were in the early history of the country, blacks cannot be racists or advance racist notions.  Hogwash; Wright is a racist, just as is the case with Louis Farrakhan, and to a lesser extent the softer victim politics spread by Jesse Jackson, Sr. and Al Sharpton (which is amazing; once I heard Wright, I can see that Jackson and Sharpton are much less vitriolic).

Now, I'm not so narcissistic or arrogant enough to know what blacks have felt, or the impact that American slavery has on any black person.  I have no idea, and wouldn't hope to presume I do.  I wouldn't even presume to believe descendants of slaves don't have the right to get angry about the treatment they and they're people have gotten over the centuries.  But much of that anger today is stoked without any context, feeding a simmering rage that leads to divisiveness or worse.  It is dangerous and can do nothing but continue a segregation that the vast majority of people don't want in this day and age.

Adding to this charge of racism, it's not "some whites" who were racist, or "certain whites" who implemented racist policies; it's "white racism".  Now, I don't know about you, but my ancestors came to this country long after slavery was a thing of the past, and never lived in the South where the vast majority of "Jim Crow" laws were passed.  Even so, I am an American through and through.  One aspect of this speech, and that of the rhetoric from the "liberals", has begun to infuriate me.  The "liberals" love to talk how they are "for the troops" and "support the soldiers" while being against the Iraq war (Obama does this endlessly).  In the beginning of the speech, Obama discusses America's "original sin of slavery".  He goes on to mention how much of this was overcome [emphasis mine]:
And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States.  What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part – through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk - to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.
A civil war.  Not the Civil War, not the U.S. Civil War, but "a civil war".  Not only "a civil war", but this is the only place where the U.S. Civil War is mentioned, nowhere else.  This is how "liberals", Obama included, people who seem to see shysters and "journalists" as the only heroes to have ever existed in America, have reduced the Civil War, and the cost in blood and tears and destruction, the four years that allowed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution to be passed.  Everybody knows that the Southern Confederate states seceded from the union and started this war because they felt they needed a different country to...the answer is...maintain the institution of slavery.  Everybody also knows that Lincoln, who was a devout abolitionist (he was very much against the Mexican War because he believed slavery might be extended to any new territories taken as a result of that war), did not initially say the conflict was about ending slavery.  But it did come, and it came at a time when the Union was in a position of advantage after winning at the Battle of Antietam and thwarting Lee's first invasion of the North; the Emancipation Proclamation was a brilliant use of constitutional power by Lincoln.  He was able to set the course of the war towards a higher plain. 

And how much did that war cost the United States?  To this day, even factoring in only Union deaths, it is still the bloodiest conflict this country ever fought.  Many blacks took up arms to battle for their rights and freedoms, and 40,000 black soldiers died during the Civil War of battlefield wounds or illness.  However, that leaves around 320,000 whites, who would be included by Obama in his words as "white racists", who died on the Union side, who bled, whether they agreed with Lincoln or not, to set blacks free.  That's more than World War I,  Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq combined, and more than those American soldiers killed in World War II.  And it is this disrespect by Obama, Wright, Jackson, Sharpton, and "liberals" for what these heroes did, including Lincoln himself, that is maddening.  Lets refresh America's memory of what made Lincoln immortal [emphasis mine]:
"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."
With the disrespect shown by Obama in his one reference to "a civil war", I sometimes feel that these dead did die in vain.  I always tear up when I hear or read the Gettysburg address.  Obama and the "liberals" constantly talk about how nearly 4000 brave Americans have died unnecessarily in "Bush's War" in Iraq over the last five years; yet, none of us have experienced anything like those in both the Union and Confederacy who were left grieving after husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, some fighting against kin on the other side, would be killed by the thousands in one battle, and these battles continued this way for four years.  Obama's brazen underemphasis of the Civil War, what Lincoln's speech signifies, along with the sacrifice made by so many thousands of Americans, black and white, to make everyone free, something else comes to the fore: rage.

Alright; now I can continue.

And then, as has been mentioned by others, he throws his white grandma "under the bus":
I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.  I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
See this?  Grandma exhibited elements of bigotry.  At one point Obama does mention that Wright simplified and stereotyped and amplified the negative.  But did Grandma do this every time she talked to Barack?  Did she attempt to make him feel purposefully inferior, or that he was somehow superior?  Did Grandma try to get Barack to be more "white"?  While Wright may not have "simplified and stereotyped and amplified the negative" during every sermon, one has to imagine that over a twenty-year period, Obama had to have heard more of this from Wright than that of a woman he seems to have loved a great deal.  Let us add this to the mix; Obama didn't choose his grandmother, nor did he choose to live with her (his mother sent him back there to live while still a young boy).  But Obama did choose to listen to the preachings of Jeremiah Wright, and continued to do so for two decades; there is no way he could have missed some of those "controversial" statements of Wright over that whole 20 years.  Simply unbelievable.

Now does this mean Obama is a racist or practices racism as well?  No, I don't think that and don't ever think I would believe that.  Not where he is today with his political career.  I will have to say that statements made by Michelle Obama probably exhibit more of the qualities learned from Rev. Wright than anything her husband has said; but, I don't believe she is a racist either.  It's all moot anyway.  As I've said before, this whole thing isn't about racism, Wright, Obama being a black man (whose mother was white and whose father was not a descendant of slaves, but an immigrant from Kenya), none of that.  It has EVERYTHING to do with the platform Barack Obama would sell to the American people, and the judgment Obama has displayed over the years; these are the things that we as Americans will use to determine who are next President is going to be.  In all aspects of this, Barack Obama stinks; he, nor any other "liberal", deserves to be elected to any office, let alone to be the President of the United States.

The "liberal" blogs are all over themselves worshiping the "Messiah" in his speech of "unity", blah, blah, blah.  It was expected; no surprise there.  I don't know how the Democrat media is going to react to this, but I can guess pretty well.  Like so many, "liberals" in the media are big proponents of "diversity", that ridiculously shallow philosophy that tries to make all people and cultures equal.  The company I work for makes all of its American employees endure one "training session" every year.  You know what it's about?  Regardless of someone's work ethic or business savvy, I am supposed to take into account someone's ethnicity, skin color, gender, culture, and/or sexual preference as equal, an utterly ludicrous proposition that guarantees a company will lose productivity and business.  What "diversity training" does is ignore common courtesy, and an enforcement of respect employees should always show each other in order help the business do well, and allow we employees to enjoy the benefits of working at a particular company.

Unfortunately, the superficial use of "diversity" is manifest within the "liberal" mindset in the Democrat media, happy that this well-educated and very smart African-American is seeming to want racial and political unity, despite the fact that he hasn't said how he will do this.  Of course, Obama has been running on a campaign of "change" and "hope" which is completely devoid of either "change" or "hope"; as I mentioned at the beginning, Obama's policies are nothing more than the usual "socialist" drivel "liberals" have been espousing, and Democrats (and some Republicans) have been implementing, for decades.  What kind of change is that?  Again, it's not that there needs to be anything behind in the rhetoric of "change", since the "liberal" Democrat media only care who is presenting that "message".  However, I won't fall into the trap Geraldine Ferraro fell into on this.  It isn't that people are listening to Barack Obama because he is a black man, it's that the "liberals" see that it is a black man who is giving this message, regardless of substance; that is all they care about.  This is the superficiality of the "liberals".  And this superficiality is the definition of "diversity".  Like Barack Obama's policies and judgment, there is no depth.

I just hope the voters of this country figure that out by election day.

Don't be a hater.

(Anonymous)

2008-03-21 01:06 am (UTC)

Steve, you say, "In all aspects of this, Barack Obama stinks; he, nor any other "liberal", deserves to be elected to any office, let alone to be the President of the United States."

This statement alone speaks volumes about your unfitness to offer objective opinion. As a damned liberal, I can name quite a few conservatives who did indeed deserve to be elected to an office: Barry Goldwater, for instance; John Warner, for whom I've voted several times; just to name a couple. That you so off-handedly dismiss any liberal as possessing the ability to lead suggests that your dislike of liberals goes beyond disapproval of liberal policy or world-view. Instead, you just hate all liberals.

Because you hate us so much, I don't think you're qualified to host a rational discussion of the differences in political thought between conservatives and liberals. Politics is not about blind rage. It's about the common good. For instance, if you believe that big government is a hindrance to personal freedom, that's a political thought. If you believe that all liberals espouse "socialist drivel," well that's personal opinion. And it's rather superficial, to borrow your nomenclature.

I could retort by saying your comments would be more welcome at stormfront.org, but that would be stooping to your level of vitriol disguised as discourse. Instead I'll say, "It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced." What, Steve, are you doing to finish the work that those 360,000 died for?

Whomever you are, you are confused

scipio62

2008-03-21 12:58 pm (UTC)

First off, thanks for visiting. Come back again.

Second, get this; I don't hate Barack Obama, and you missed the point of what I'm saying. That crack regarding stormfront.org was totally uncalled for. I know who they are and what they stand for. If you had ever taken the time to read this blog, I do get who is a racist and who isn't, and it doesn't matter what color a racist's skin is.

And for the record, I hate anyone who is a Nazi, one who espouses the views of Hitler. Pure, unadulterated hatred. But it isn't irrational. They believe in murdering everyone who is not a member of the "Aryan race", a promotion of violence, violations of the law. As such, this shouldn't be considered protected speech under the 1st Amendment. As far as I'm concerned, any of these neo-Nazi groups would fall under the auspices of being corrupt organizations engaged in promoting illegal acts. I would also believe that investigations of these groups would find that their funding is garnered from other illegal acts, regardless of what they are. That is the definition of racketeering. I would RICO them out of existence.

Third, nobody is going to redirect the point I am making here, that it is Barack Obama's politics and judgment that are at issue here, legitimate concerns for determining who will be the President of the United States.

Just because I call Obama unfit or undeserving of political office, or that of any other "liberal", it is strictly because of the politics that I say this. As one who lives in a "liberal paradise" such as Illinois, and this is under both Republicans and Democrats, I've seen the "benefits" of how it works. I've also seen how these "liberal" policies have been at work in the federal government for the last several decades. They stink. As I mentioned in a previous post, 32 years out of the last 75 saw the U.S. as a one-party Democrat state at the federal level (there was a one-party Republican state at the federal level for 6 1/2 of those same 75 years), and this is where all of the programs that are bankrupting this country came to fruition: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, expanded welfare, four new Executive Departments (Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, with a combined cost of around $200 billion a year). I've seen "liberal" politicians (and it doesn't matter if they have a (D) or an (R) next their name) handle crime by violating the rights of its citizens, and then not effectively battling the criminals because they somehow have more "rights". No thank you.

Lastly, if you don't like it that a conservative can get angry, get over it; it's a part of life. I've been seeing nothing but anger and irrational discussions for years on the part of those who claim to be liberals; starting out rational discussions on wholly irrational premises and seething hatred doesn't work. I didn't start out this post on an irrational premise, and drew my conclusion that neither Obama or any other "liberal" deserves to be in office rationally. But instead, you try to change the conversation based on something I said in the middle, attempting to take the whole thing out of context, and ignoring the rest. Don't even try it.

What am I doing to finish the work of the 360,000 who died for the Union during the Civil War? I'm doing it. But it is based on a rational belief system. That will be the subject of an upcoming post.

Re: Whomever you are, you are confused

(Anonymous)

2008-03-21 04:31 pm (UTC)

I'm Chris from Virginia, and anonymous only because I'm too lazy to sign up for open ID or LiveJournal. And, OK, the "StormFront" remark was uncalled for. I regret saying it and I sincerely apologize. Nazis are indeed a bad bunch--the lunatic fringe, much like militant Islamist extremists, and gay-bashing hyper-Christians. And, I'm glad to let conservatives get angry. I've been angry for about seven years now, myself.

I guess my point is that I take exception to the notion that no liberal is fit for leadership. Liberals and conservatives alike have been responsible for the bankrupting of America. I'm sure the vast sum of money being wasted in Iraq each day, by our conservative administration, does not sit well with true "less-government" conservatives. Likewise, the erosion of individual rights by the Patriot Act is an awkward but prime example of fighting crime by violating the rights of individual citizens. And are not the bid-less and astronomical contracts awarded Haliburton, KBR and their ilk to rebuild Iraq merely a form of corporate welfare? [Not to mention the Bear-Stearns bailout this week.]

In your piece above you admit that, at first blush, you felt Obama's race relations speech "seemed pretty decent." I was profoundly moved by the speech, not because it forwarded an agenda I agree with or anything. But just because it seemed like an honest response to the bewildering tornado of modern politics. I believe Obama's remarks came from an uncalculating place in his heart. And I don't know of any politician, conservative or liberal, who has ever accomplished that as well.

In picking apart any speech of that length, it's easy to find passages that, taken on their own, change the complexion of the overall theme. For instance, a single passage from the Bible, when taken out of context, led a man to found a church of snake-handlers a century ago. Surely, testing our faith with rattlesnake venom and strychnine was not the intent of the New Testament.

On June 6th, 2001, I saw George W. Bush speak at the dedication of the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va. [if you're ever out this way, it is not to be missed!]. I didn't like the man then and like him less now. But, I was moved by his speech. And I've said so often.

Maybe you should go with your original response to Obama's speech, that it was a decent response to a very tricky position he's been put in -- not an opportunity to forward some socialist agenda.

There are many things that liberals do that irk me. Just as there are undoubtedly actions conservatives take that leave you scratching your head. But I try not to lump all conservatives together [it's hard sometimes, I admit it]. Perhaps if you dropped the quotation marks from the word "liberal" occasionally, your thoughts would seem more reasonable to outsiders like me [a visitor who truly appreciates your reasonable response above] and less like a foamy liberal-bashing exercise.

I get the sense that you're smarter than that, Steve. And I do encourage you to rock on.

Re: Whomever you are, you are confused

scipio62

2008-03-21 10:53 pm (UTC)

Welcome Chris. I hope you come back here often. You may not agree with what I write about, but that's fine. And please comment.

Don't worry about the stormfront comment. You were PO'd, and that's fine. I say plenty in anger when I should hold my tongue (or fingers, when I'm typing).

I think one thing you should know about how I write is when I refer to liberals and "liberals". There are many liberals, people with open minds, open to new ideas, that I agree with on many things. My favorite is Christopher Hitchens. But I also view NPR journalist Juan Williams as a liberal, one I would listen to, but don't agree with everything he says. I'm sure there are others but don't have their names handy.

When I refer to "liberals", with the quotation marks, I don't consider them the same as liberals; open-minded, rational, compassionate, etc. In my opinion, and it is my opinion, those whom I call "liberals" are none of those things. What's worse, there are many liberals who get suckered by the "liberals" into voting for them or taking their positions. The "liberals" are the ones who believe government funding is the first answer in solving problems like health care, retirement, education, dealing with energy, etc.; people who believe the government must act somewhere between socialism and soft Marxism/Communism. This isn't new, this isn't open-minded, this isn't compassionate, none of it. In fact, all of it is a failure. There's no way I'm going to see Social Security when I hit retirement; but, if the country lets the "liberals" fix it, I'll go broke paying into it. The U.S. can't work expanding the welfare state as they've done in Europe, simply because we need our big military to protect their sorry asses, and to protect this country.

One thing you also might want to know, Chris; I consider Bush somewhat of a "liberal", especially with what he's done domestically.

And then we come to foreign policy. "Liberals" like Obama, are appeasers. I've read his platform; he plans on turning over much of our foreign policy over to that cesspool that is the UN, much like Clinton did. Foreign policy is where Bush has been good; not great, but good. But you never hear that from the American media because the vast majority of them are political opponents of the Bush administration. They'll even distort what is going on based on some turncoat in the administration, as if the low-level bureaucrat knows more about what is going on, when that isn't possible. This is my opinion.

As far as the war against the Islamists and against Iraq, I hate to break the news, but it was coming. Saddam should have been captured and hanged in 1991, when it would have been a lot cheaper to do it. Now it's 2008 and it's terribly expensive. But we were going to have to get rid of him or his sons (had Saddam turned things over, and then died) anyway; imagine how much the war would have cost in a few years. And we had every reason, and the right reasons, to get rid of him. As a small-government conservative who doesn't like overreaching governmental powers, I've looked at most of the major legislation and programs (Patriot Act, terrorist surveillance, etc.); they all have sunset provisions based on a date. They should have one in that says it ends when the war ends, but there it is. I accept this temporary extension of governmental power during a time of war. Wars end. Paying for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and an extension of government health care will never end and only get more expensive. That's the difference.

I'm no fan of KBR, no-bid contracts, company bailouts, corporate welfare, none of that. I think this is one area where conservatives and liberals can come to agreement.

Obama put himself in this tough situation, and I'm not sure he did anything to help himself. Maybe if I'd heard it, it might have been different. But it didn't happen that way. There were parts that were good. But in the end, he did define black problems like a nanny-state "liberal".

Again, Chris, thanks for coming over, and come back often. Hey, if anything else, we can agree to disagree, on some things, and discuss how to solve things. Maybe you can point out something I didn't know, and I can do the same.

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