Barack Obama just wrapped up a press conference trying to deal with his former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. “napalm of truth” that set the bridge of obfuscation separating the two a flame. Radio talker Roland Martin is all over how Wright’s speechifying, which was often flippant and in flagrance of polite Negrotude. Obama, again, claimed that this “Fuck You, America” was new-to-him. I still don’t see Obama getting away with that excuse, but Wright didn’t do his former ace no kind of help as his performance was long on ego and short on humility.
I said yesterday that Wright has nothing to apologize for. This was all about Wright trying to redefine himself in light of attacks on his character. But I knew the press and lots of other people would not get that “Obama and Wright are two different people” memo.
This press conference, where he could finally make a precise split from Wright, Obama claimed that this was not the man he once knew and respected.
I was entertained by Wright’s negrotude but at the same time I cringed through his Press Club performance as I knew this was not going to come off in a “politically correct” manner. Mostly because he has broken the “11th Commandment” of the covenant between black Americans and Obama = don’t fuck this up.
There are lots of black Americans who think Rev. Wright did and said nothing wrong. There are lots of black people who think like Rev. Wright. And now Rev. Wright has hiked up his pants and done the mash potatoes up and down that that napalmed bridge, leaving Obama with few options. It was finally time to throw Rev. Wright from the train. But, in fairness, Wright tossed Obama off first by saying Obama was a politician who had to do what politicians do, implying that the bitterness was long brewing.
But Obama has two problems:
1) He bellied up to Wright’s bar long ago when he was trying to define and discover his blackness. They became friends and the minister went on to marry him and Michelle and Baptize their children. In Obama’s books he speaks glowingly of him and up until recently, Obama used his church every chance he could get to stave off “secret Muslim” hate-talk from the right.
2) A lot of black people like Wright and share his views. Is he shoving a plurality of black Americas off that train with Wright?
Everyone thinks this is a about white media and white voters and it is to a degree, but just like Hillary’s dying from the lack of black voters on her side, Obama can’t distance himself from blackness. Not so long ago black voters went from lukewarm to red hot in their devotion of him. This was after nearly a year of black people giving him the side-eye. He has to burn a bridge with Wright that blow sparks down stream and set the whole city on fire. He can’t afford to bewilder and upset his bridge to black Americans at the same time.
He can’t take the black vote for granted.
Different versions of Obama’s “blackness test” are happening every day. In regard to recent acquittal of three police officers in the shooting of Sean Bell, Obama made statements calling for peace and orderliness, raising the ire of Rev. Al Sharpton saying Obama was playing into the media’s riot lust.
Barack Obama made a call for nonviolence in the aftermath of the Sean Bell verdict – infuriating the Rev. Al Sharpton, who accused the presidential candidate of trying to “grandstand in front of white people,” sources told The Post.
During what a source described as a “heated” phone call yesterday, Sharpton told Obama he was disappointed with the Illinois senator’s words on Friday, when Obama said “resorting to violence to express displeasure” was “completely unacceptable and counterproductive.”
“[Obama] issues this statement and not a single rock had been thrown,” said a source. “How does the candidate of change ask people to accept a verdict that is unjust?”
The source said Sharpton had hoped Obama would “side with the Bell family” and not use it as an “opportunity to grandstand in front of white people.”
And this is not going to stop.
I have a larger column that I waiting later in the week to run, but I may run it tomorrow on another troubling factor in Obama’s efforts to be all things to all people. It’s about the damaging side effect of Obama running for president. He can not whole-heartedly embrace blackness in the same way white Democrats and other black politicians can. There are too many people in the press and too many white Americans who do not understand the complexities of black America, or do not care to know.
Basically, Bill Clinton could embrace Rev. Wright years ago and no one would bat an eye, but if Obama makes the same embrace he’s been touched by a leaper of America’s past sins.