Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Obama vs. Wright: Divide and Conquer

"...I HAVE OUTLINED A NUMBER OF DIFFERENCES AMONG THE SLAVES; AND I TAKE THESE DIFFERENCES AND MAKE THEM BIGGER. I USE FEAR, DISTRUST AND ENVY FOR CONTROL PURPOSES. ...DISTRUST IS STRONGER THAN TRUST AND ENVY STRONGER THAN ADULATION, RESPECT OR ADMIRATION. The Black slaves after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self-refueling and self-generating for HUNDREDS of years, maybe THOUSANDS. Don’t forget, you must pitch the OLD black male vs. the YOUNG black male, and the YOUNG black male against the OLD black male.


Excerpts from the "Willie Lynch letter: The Making of a Slave".

I got a call while I was out at lunch from my girlfriend Tiffany. Sounding alarmed and excited, she wanted to know if I was watching CNN. She mentioned that she was in a restaurant or something and could see the picture but not hear the what was being said. Barak Obama was on and the words she was reading did not sound so good. As I turned on CNN for myself, I was in total shock at the words splattered across the screen. Barak Obama was standing at a podium at a press conference, visibly ticked-off, disclaiming everything (see Obama 'outraged' by Wright's remarks article at CNN.com) that Rev. Jeremiah Wright said yesterday during the National Press Club appearance.

Obama took questions from the press and was clear to brand Wright's appearance before the National Press Club yesterday (see video here) as a "performance" saying "yesterday was a bunch of rants not grounded in truth." "It was a show of disrespect to me...she [Michelle] was similarly angered." Obama also stated that everything that Rev. Wright said contradicts who he is and what he believes and that Wright didn't show consideration for him or his campaign.

Now, the question that the media has posed for weeks is how will Rev. Wright affect Barak Obama's electability? Prior to today, I would have said that it wouldn't have had much of an effect, but now I'm not so sure. Is Barak getting caught playing politics? Is Rev. Wright insensitive to Barak's campaign and speaking out at the wrong time? Should Barak have stood strong in defense of his pastor? Should Wright have backed out of the spotlight to let Obama shine?

The bible says that a house divided against itself cannot stand. The Willie Lynch letter (whether fictional or not) proves that division can be institutionalized and used for generations to control people. I believe that we are in the midst of watching that theory try to play itself out. Pitting old black man against the young black man and the young black man against the old black man. Now, we are taking sides. We either agree with the old black man or the young black man. We are deciding to vote for Obama or against him based on whether or not we perceive that he is standing up for his "house". We have watched the media create a frenzy around Rev. Wright and Obama. They have injected distrust and anger, fears and vocabulary words that most of us have now incorporated into our normal lexicon. We are now standing on two sides. Divided by our desire to see history made and our desire to make a sound decision that will impact our generations. Divided by our desire to hear Obama stand up for Rev. Wright and our knowing that he has to play the political game. Divided by the feeling that Barak sold Wright out for political gain and that Wright sold Obama out for the purpose of pontification.

Karl Rove recently published an article giving some "advice" to Barak Obama and I hate to say I saw it coming, but his #2 pointer was:

When you get into trouble, pick one, simple explanation. And stay with it. Take the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. You said you weren't sitting in church when he said those ugly things. Two days later, you excused him, saying his comments didn't give "a well-rounded portrait" of him. Two days after that, you condemned his statements as "not only wrong but divisive" but still couldn't "disavow him" any more than you could your grandmother. Ten days later, you implied if Wright hadn't retired, you might have left his church. It would have been better to say from the start that Wright's words were wrong and offensive and you should have spoken out earlier. The applause would have been deafening.

Is Obama buckling under the pressure to conform to Washington politics? I wonder if we will see his campaign strategy conform to Rove's advice. I'll be watching closely. You should too.

These recent developments beg us to revisit the question, "What is the Prize?"

Tracking Hurricane Gustav