Barack Obama Gives ‘Race Speech’ in Philadelphia

“A More Perfect Union”

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama

Constitution Center

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

As Prepared for Delivery

“We the people, in order to form a more perfect union.”

Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America’s improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.

The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation’s original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.

Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution – a Constitution that had at is very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.

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.

This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign – to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America. I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together – unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction – towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.

This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story.

I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton’s Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I’ve gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world’s poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners – an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

It’s a story that hasn’t made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts – that out of many, we are truly one.

Throughout the first year of this campaign, against all predictions to the contrary, we saw how hungry the American people were for this message of unity. Despite the temptation to view my candidacy through a purely racial lens, we won commanding victories in states with some of the whitest populations in the country. In South Carolina, where the Confederate Flag still flies, we built a powerful coalition of African Americans and white Americans.

This is not to say that race has not been an issue in the campaign. At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either “too black” or “not black enough.” We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. The press has scoured every exit poll for the latest evidence of racial polarization, not just in terms of white and black, but black and brown as well.

And yet, it has only been in the last couple of weeks that the discussion of race in this campaign has taken a particularly divisive turn.

On one end of the spectrum, we’ve heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that it’s based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap. On the other end, we’ve heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike.

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely – just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.

As such, Reverend Wright’s comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems – two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.

Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way

But the truth is, that isn’t all that I know of the man. The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor. He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God’s work here on Earth – by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

In my first book, “Dreams From My Father,” I described the experience of my first service at Trinity:

“People began to shout, to rise from their seats and clap and cry out, a forceful wind carrying the reverend’s voice up into the rafters….And in that single note – hope! – I heard something else; at the foot of that cross, inside the thousands of churches across the city, I imagined the stories of ordinary black people merging with the stories of David and Goliath, Moses and Pharaoh, the Christians in the lion’s den, Ezekiel’s field of dry bones. Those stories – of survival, and freedom, and hope – became our story, my story; the blood that had spilled was our blood, the tears our tears; until this black church, on this bright day, seemed once more a vessel carrying the story of a people into future generations and into a larger world. Our trials and triumphs became at once unique and universal, black and more than black; in chronicling our journey, the stories and songs gave us a means to reclaim memories that we didn’t need to feel shame about…memories that all people might study and cherish – and with which we could start to rebuild.”

That has been my experience at Trinity. Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety – the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity’s services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.

And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

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.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable. I can assure you it is not. I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias.

But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America – to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.

The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through – a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.

Understanding this reality requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point. As William Faulkner once wrote, “The past isn’t dead and buried. In fact, it isn’t even past.” We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven’t fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today’s black and white students.

Legalized discrimination – where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments – meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today’s urban and rural communities.

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. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods – parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement – all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us.

This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted. What’s remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them.

But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn’t make it – those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination. That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations – those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future. Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wright’s generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician’s own failings.

And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews. The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright’s sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.

In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience – as far as they’re concerned, no one’s handed them anything, they’ve built it from scratch. They’ve worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they’re told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.

Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren’t always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.

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. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns – this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.

This is where we are right now. It’s a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years. Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naïve as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy – particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own.

But I have asserted a firm conviction – a conviction rooted in my faith in God and my faith in the American people – that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice is we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union.

For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. 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. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives – by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.

Ironically, this quintessentially American – and yes, conservative – notion of self-help found frequent expression in Reverend Wright’s sermons. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change.

The profound mistake of Reverend Wright’s sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country – a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old — is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know — what we have seen – is that America can change. That is true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope – the audacity to hope – for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination – and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past – are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds – by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.

In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world’s great religions demand – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother’s keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister’s keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.

For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle – as we did in the OJ trial – or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina – or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time.” This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn; that those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

This time we want to talk about how the lines in the Emergency Room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care; who don’t have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together.

This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life. This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn’t look like you might take your job; it’s that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit.

This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should’ve been authorized and never should’ve been waged, and we want to talk about how we’ll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.

I would not be running for President if I didn’t believe with all my heart that this is what the vast majority of Americans want for this country. This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected. And today, whenever I find myself feeling doubtful or cynical about this possibility, what gives me the most hope is the next generation – the young people whose attitudes and beliefs and openness to change have already made history in this election.

There is one story in particularly that I’d like to leave you with today – a story I told when I had the great honor of speaking on Dr. King’s birthday at his home church, Ebenezer Baptist, in Atlanta.

There is a young, twenty-three year old white woman named Ashley Baia who organized for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina. She had been working to organize a mostly African-American community since the beginning of this campaign, and one day she was at a roundtable discussion where everyone went around telling their story and why they were there.

And Ashley said that when she was nine years old, her mother got cancer. And because she had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her health care. They had to file for bankruptcy, and that’s when Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom.

She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs, and so Ashley convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches. Because that was the cheapest way to eat.

She did this for a year until her mom got better, and she told everyone at the roundtable that the reason she joined our campaign was so that she could help the millions of other children in the country who want and need to help their parents too.

Now Ashley might have made a different choice. Perhaps somebody told her along the way that the source of her mother’s problems were blacks who were on welfare and too lazy to work, or Hispanics who were coming into the country illegally. But she didn’t. She sought out allies in her fight against injustice.

Anyway, Ashley finishes her story and then goes around the room and asks everyone else why they’re supporting the campaign. They all have different stories and reasons. Many bring up a specific issue. And finally they come to this elderly black man who’s been sitting there quietly the entire time. And Ashley asks him why he’s there. And he does not bring up a specific issue. He does not say health care or the economy. He does not say education or the war. He does not say that he was there because of Barack Obama. He simply says to everyone in the room, “I am here because of Ashley.”

“I’m here because of Ashley.” By itself, that single moment of recognition between that young white girl and that old black man is not enough. It is not enough to give health care to the sick, or jobs to the jobless, or education to our children.

But it is where we start. It is where our union grows stronger. And as so many generations have come to realize over the course of the two hundred and twenty one years since a band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia, that is where the perfection begins.

Comments

  1. Derrick from Philly says

    Well, I don’t know how many will hear/read this speech in it’s entirety; but if they do, and they still can’t distinguish Barack Obama’s sentiments from the Reverend Wright’s– well, they were looking for a reason NOT to vote for Barack Obama all along.

    At this point, no one is saying that the Clinton Campaign should give up, but if they steal it (and the theft is obvious), then we Democrats loose in November. A large portion of our own Democratic Party will see to that.

  2. Nevin says

    Saw this speech on tv this morning. It was pretty powerful. Obama is really being tested with this issue, and if he survives it and is vetted, he’ll be in a stronger position come November.

  3. Kevin says

    I’m already an Obama supporter, so maybe this doesn’t count. But I read the entire thing online, and I was very moved. It was a very intelligent, nuanced explanation of race in America. Unfortunately, do 5 second spots on news channels allow for nuance in this campaign? I doubt it. Obama almost seems like a 19th century orator. I wish people would watch the entire thing.

  4. Cadence says

    It’s a great speech, and one that mirrors his community activist work, political history, and how he has run this campaign.

    Sadly, many won’t take the time to listen to or understand what he said. The thirty second sound bites or Rev. Wright or easier to digest than this long, but truthful speech.

    As Obama said, nothing will change until we start to deal with these issues. But, it is easier to blame people who are different from you for your problems; has anyone figured out how it is gay people’s fault that the divorce rate is so high, or why gay people getting married is a threat to heterosexual marriage?

  5. astonedtemple says

    “Barack who?”

    Barack Hussien Obama: The 44th President of the United States of America.

  6. John says

    Warp 10, indeed.

    So, words are good enough for His Holiness’ election campaign (or have we forgotten the “I have a dream…just words?” speech just a few weeks ago).

    But the white people need to back up their words with actual deeds because black folks are angry. And words simply won’t placate them anymore. Obama has shown himself to be just as duplicitous as any other politician in America.

    Do as I say, not as I do.

  7. none@haughtmail.com says

    The speech doesn’t address Wright in any way. For example, the 9/11 remarks were not racial.

    B.O. seems to now be spinning it as a race issue. The more he spins the more he looks like every other politician — which is the opposite of his campaign of “change.”

  8. Wes says

    How can Obama be spinning this as a race issue when its clearly already one?

    I’m not an Obama supporter, or a supporter of anyone at this point. But politically, Obama did the smart thing here. He took the lemons given to him and he tried to make lemonade.

  9. Landon Bryce says

    I am disappointed that Obama did not strongly state that all of the charges of racism which have been leveled at the Clinton campaign have less validity than the firestrom that Wright’s words have come. He cannot expect to get past this unless he deals with the hypocrasy and arrogant nastiness of his supporters. And, of course, it would be nice if this major address on race dealt with the hatred and bigotry toward gays that are endemic in the black community.

  10. Cadence says

    None, people made Wright’s words racial, even though some would argue that the words he used, although harsh, were truthful. And what have you been reading that told you this wasn’t about race? Every newschanel and media outlet made this about race. He hasn’t spun anything.

    Did you read the speech? He mentions Wright throughout. He talks sbout Wright’s comments about this country, and he calls the country great. He puts Wright’s comments in context, and says that they are angry, but they come from real experiences, but that Wright isn’t aware that time has changed, and that things can be better. Please read the speech again, and then do a google search of all the outlets who have made it sound like Wright is a Black militant, and that his words would upset White Americans.

  11. EnigmaticAnswer says

    He tried to distance himself from the comments, all the while trying to make excuses for why Rev. Wright feels the way he does and why he gives the hateful sermons he has given. I found it offensive that Obama did that. I don’t care why Wright said what he said. He said it. Period. I don’t need Obama to make excuses for him.

  12. 24play says

    “The speech doesn’t address Wright in any way.”

    Those 14 times you see his name in the text? Ignore ’em. They’re just words.

  13. Bob R says

    In all of that magnificent speech,there is a lot of truth. Many things are discussed in closed company, many feelings not expressed in public. Why do I feel like one of those? Why do I feel that I have been excluded? We acknowledged the struggle and hardship of black, white, Asian and Latino. I suppose that I am partially included in the white man references, but as a gay man, not even a tip of the hat.

    Very good speech. He pretty much covered all the bases and I wish him well. But, for some reason I still feel left behind. But, as they say, we’ll see how it “plays in Peoria”. But, it seems I’m not part of Obama’s America either.

  14. Kergan says

    This man continues to inspire me. As white gay men raising two African American sons, my partner and I are acutely aware of the inherent racism which exists within most everyone, including the most enlightened liberals. Too often this issue is pushed aside, as if it has already been dealt with, but Obama’s speech has started the wheels turning towards a better understanding of the enormity of issues involved.

    That he could do so, and still inspire hope, is amazingly intoxicating.

    No matter her personal accomplishments, Senator Clinton will never be able to inspire and unify the country the way Obama can.

    For my children’s sake, as well as my own, I pray that he will triumph and set this country back on a course towards greatness.

  15. Emmy says

    Speechifying is great, taking action even more demonstrative. The good Rev. McClurkin, anyone?

  16. MIKE says

    HOW COULD ONE STEAL AN ELECTION FROM A PERSON WHO JUST THREW IT AWAY??? IT IS OVER FOR OBAMA…KISS THE PRESIDENCY GOOD BYE!

  17. Zeke says

    The speech won’t change anyone’s mind. People who already disliked or hated him will continue to do so. For those who are die hard McCain or Hillary supporters no speech, no gesture, no action and no act of God would change that. They will only see it as insincere, to little, too late, too this or too that.

    People who already supported Obama will continue to do so and will be satisfied and even moved by the speech.

    People on both sides need to stop acting as if they were fence sitters until this whole thing blew up. I’ve gone back and read through a lot of the archived comments checking up on some of the people here who have claimed that this “scandal” turned them from being an Obama supporter. Sorry, but the record doesn’t bear you out and it can easily be proven.

    At this point I’m seriously considering not reading any more of the comments under the political stories until after the nomination is decided. I honestly can’t stand watching Democrats tearing each other apart like savages. The Republicans can never HOPE to draw as much blood from us as we’ve drawn amongst ourselves.

  18. Cadence says

    EnigmaticAnswer, he put Wright’s words into context, condemned them, and then gave ways how we can move on from anger to actually getting things done for the whole country. He also showed how Wright’s words aren’t unique to him, or to Black people, they can also bee seen in White people who feel they are been displaced by Blacks and HIspanics. And Hispanics who feel threatened by Black people and White people. HIs point was that the words of Wright hurt in making change, but we all need to address the issue in order for things to get better.

  19. Darren says

    Great speech.

    It’s nice to be able to listen to a Presidential candidate give a great oration.

    I cannot wait for the words “strategery” and “nookular” to pass from the veil of Presidential politics this coming January.

  20. astonedtemple says

    You just don’t get it Emmy. Probably never will.

    It looks like Obama is rising up in the polls again. Lets see if the speech makes a homerun tommorrow.

    Its really really sad so many Clinton supporters will be voting for McCain this election.

  21. anon says

    I like Obama because he gives you a speech you can actually think about. Hillary on the other hand just lists a bunch of buzzwords; healthcare, global warming, deficit, etc. And that’s also why Hillary appeals more to the democratic base than Obama does – because she speaks liberal speak.

  22. Derrick from Philly says

    KERGAN, thanks for your insightful comment, and thanks for your decision to be a parent to some young folks who need you.

    ENIGMATICANSWER, Barack doesn’t have to make excuses for Reverend Wright. No one does. Reverend Wright’s sentiments are justified by history.

    LANDON, electing Barack Obama will send a message about homophobia and anti-gay behavior to the black commnunity. Black people’s anti-gay verbal & physical abuse is directed AT black gay people. Most black folks have never seen one of you…except on television. But I’m glad you care about what happens to black gay people. Although, I’m not sure that focusing on the “hatred & bigotry toward gays that are endemic in the black community” would have done much to help Matthew Sheppard.

    NONE, I met a Palestinian student back in the 80s. Very handsome, of course. He was explaining the Palestinian/Isreali Conflict to me. He talked about how America’s foreign policy had deprived him of a home land–that’s how he felt. He said that he HAD NOTHING TO LIVE FOR. Very early during after the events of September 11, 2001–I thought about that young handsome Palestinian and what he said to me.

    I enjoy Towleroad, and I’ve gown fond of most of the regular commentors. I try to use humor to get my point across…most the time. But every now and then, one has to put the jokes aside: Barack Obama’s job was to explain to White Americans (those willing to listen) why so many Black Americans understand and agree with Reverend Wright’s sermons. He does not have to create “excuses” for anybody.

  23. Dan says

    Saying a great politician is ‘just using words’ is like saying a great artist is ‘just using a paintbrush.’

    Grow up, people. Words, when they come from the next leader of the free world, are pretty damn important.

  24. says

    Zeke and Derrick from Philly:

    Y’all give me a little hope. It’s hard to keep hope alive when the Dems are tearing each other apart like this. If it doesn’t stop, then we truly truly truly deserve to lose.

  25. Kergan says

    The role of the President is to lead, inspire, set policy, and to hold his team accountable for its success (or lack thereof.) To denigrate Obama’s considerable ability to inspire is to misunderstand the role of the President.

    Presidents don’t sit in on meetings each and every day, twisting arms and writing tomes. They set a tone and direction, and serve as a guidepost.

    While I may disagree with some of Obama’s decisions, such as Rev. McClurkin, I also realize that the great complexities of our times cannot be solved by either “side”, but by a combined plurality. To think otherwise is to buy into Bush’s current mandate of “You’re either with us or against us.” Life is not that simple, and Obama recognizes that.

    With this speech, as with his others, Obama has proven his mettle for tackling difficult issues with skill, sensitivity, understanding, and wisdom. And in a way in which he inspires and challenges every one of us to better ourselves and society.

    What more can we ask of a President than that???

  26. rucka says

    By constantly referring to Wright he kept the speech earthbound and common, not lofty and inspiring, imho.

    Also why so focused on race, he still has another intolerant minister is his camp. That homophobe McCulkin (sp?). One in your camp is a crazy uncle, 2 is starting to show a trend…

  27. soulbrotha says

    I’ve basically stopped reading the comments on political posts here on Towleroad because I think its time to stop with the bickering and get on with unifying for purpose, regardless of who wins. No more bile is needed. Either you are inspired by Obama (btw, beautifully stated, Kergan. I agree with you wholeheartedly) or you are devoted to Clinton.
    I could not agree more with what Zeke said. People have been one-sided on here from the beginning. For all the talk of their “concerns” about gay rights, honest politicians and such, it will be interesting to see how united some of the more acidic (ass-idic?) commenters will be (both on and off this blog) once the nomination is final.

    And Mike, TYPING IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS THAT “IT’S OVER FOR OBAMA” DOES NOT MAKE IT A FACT. It’s time to look at the the numbers. His support has not waned. Get over it, already.

  28. Sebastian says

    His beautiful powerful words will fall on deaf eyes and ears with most of the posters here who are as intolerant as those they decry, but, at least he laid it out for all to understand, and, now Hillary and McCain and the est who only have race as a wedge issue will have to find something else to try and smear him with.

    And, props to Andy for even posting this since any Obama thread gets the most catty, nasty posts of all.

  29. says

    This was an inspired speech. I am NOT an Obama supporter, but he took straw and he spun gold – that has to be admitted. His mixing of the races in “tails of trial” and his call to “reason” were magnificent – yet, there is always that whiff of the snake-oil salesman and the demagogue lurking in his vest. I wish, I really do, that he was genuine, but he is not – look at the facts. And if you find yourself, on the day of election, wondering what happened, yet again, to Democratic hope, recall the charismatic speeches while the battle was lost to the professionals.

  30. Brandon says

    I feel for Obama. He had to distance himself from the comments when, in all honesty, I understand what Wright was saying. When I heard the furor, I though Wright was saying something ridiculous. But, 9/11 being chickens coming home to roost? Um, didn’t we train the Muhajedeen in Afghanistan and then pull out when the Soviets left. And as for rich white people running the country, isn’t that true? Aren’t the richest people, the captains of industry, and the most powerful politicians white men? Oh and given that African Americans are disproportionately poor, have less education, lead almost every negative public health statistic, why should “black people” be “happy.” There’s no reason why white America should be surprised that some black people are a little upset. It shows that there is still a huge communication gap between the races in America. That said, one of the reasons why I like Obama is the tone that he brings to a discourse. Sometimes its not just the substance, but the way in which a message is delivered. Obama could have made the same points as Wright, but delivered it in a much less divisive manner. I think he can do that on a number of issues and hopefully bring that balance to other contentious issues (like health care reform) so that we can get a consensus.

  31. says

    Um, of course he’s going to say these things to a national TV audience. He’s going to say “let’s all move past race,” but then he’ll wink and play the race card and adopt MLK’s speech cadence when he’s talking to black audiences. He wants to be black when it suits him and not black when his SPIRITUAL GUIDE says horrible, racist things.

    That was nothing less than a political stump speech. Good for him that people keep hanging on his political speeches as though they’re something else.

    I couldn’t care less who wins the Dem nomination, but every day this guy sounds more and more insincere.

  32. Ben says

    The problem with Obama’s Rev Wright “problem” is that most of white America DOES NOT GET IT. They do not at all GET what it’s like to be black (or Black as it is/were) in the USA. Obama can explain until the cows come home – they probably won’t get it. Hell, I don’t GET it. I can’t, as I’m white. I might be gay, but even that isn’t the same.

    But I’ve seen the genesis of what Rev. Wright talks about. I’ll never forget it. I was shopping at Express. (So you know the counter clerks were trendy cute little gay boys.) My ex (who is black) and I were both making purchases at adjoining registers, making idle chatter as we waited. (We had only been dating for a few weeks at that point.) We were both paying with credit cards. I wasn’t asked for ID. My ex was. I didn’t get it. No other shoppers paying with credit in front of us had been asked for ID. And yet, when questioned, the clerk didn’t feel as if he’d done anything untoward. The manager apologized, but clearly felt the umbrage with unwarranted. Even as we waited in the store to speak to the manager, the clerks rang up further customers (all white) using credit cards without asking for ID. My ex was angry, but kept his cool. “I’m used to it by now.” I on the other hand wanted the clerk fired on the spot and wrote a letter to the corporate offices. No, there was never a response.

    It’s the “small” things such as this – presumptions and stereotypes installed in white America’s thinking by history, by television, by family, by news coverage that always seems to show the black male criminals in cuffs, (though rarely the often white abusive husbands,) etc – that Obama’s hopes to reverse. I hope he can. I don’t see it as a problem one man can fix, despite his embrace of a potentially transcendent moment. It will take time, the dilution through generations as a result of experience, blending, greater understanding, dying of the ignorant, etc.

    Meanwhile, we gays should know better – we’re faced with a similar contempt throughout our lives by an equal ignorance – but often we do not. I’ve often witnessed greater racism in the gay community than I sometimes see in larger society short of KKK wackos and the ilk. We are, after all, a swath across all parts of society. Thus we reflect most of her good and her bad, often at heightened levels.

    Ok I’ve rambled on enough. Point is, Obama’s words have power and should carry weight to the masses. But we know how lazy those masses are – anything heavier than a soundbite or text message is likely ignored in favor of what we already think we know as opposed to the uncertainty of a existential questions.

  33. silverskreen says

    ZEKE –

    It works both ways, my friend. Die hard Obama supporters wouldn’t be giving Hillary a chance either, nor have they, and that’s fine for them. But to turn around and condemn us for being as “pro” our candidate as they are about theirs, is laughable and pathetic.

    Granted, I was not expecting to hear anything interesting from Senator Obama’s speech today. Speeches are his thing and there was no denying it was going to be well put together. That said, I found that I didn’t hate it or find myself mocking it. It was what it was and we’ll see what happens.

    Throughout this whole Rev. Wright business, I can’t say that I have found myself thinking Sen. Obama should be finished or that this be his last stand. That would be absurd. Still, to not question him and hold him accountable for actions that were in direct conflict with his rhetoric and campaign stance would’ve been just as absurd, if not insulting.

    And DERRICK FROM PHILLY –

    I would argue that he was speaking to America as a whole, those that had questions, because I am not white and I needed this issue addressed.

    ASTONEDTEMPLE –

    I agree that it would be sad for Clinton supporters to vote for McCain. His stance on the war and the conservative Supreme Court justices he would appoint are the two main issues not to vote Republican. It would be disastrous. That said, it would be no sadder than the Obama supporters who would vote McCain should Hillary be the nominee. So many people speak of her being “un-electable”…un-electable because she’s not THEIR choice for candidate. Imagine how electable she would be (or he, for that matter. To those that think he can’t win either) if we all put our own agenda and arrogance aside and voted for either one of the Democrat candidates.

    I hear so many people talking about how one candidate or the other is the only real person that can lead or unite us. The funny thing is that they don’t see that the operative word in their statement is “US”.
    Neither candidate can achieve anything unless WE as a people are behind them and holding THEM accountable for their ACTIONS or lack there of. It is of the people, for the people, by the people, damn it!

    KERGAN –

    What you’re doing is incredible, and I applaud it.:) Congratulations and all the best to ya. Here’s hoping we all get our act together for all our sakes.

  34. Landon Bryce says

    Derrick:

    Many black people deny that there are gay black people, and still hate gays. I have trouble supporting Obama in large part because of his involvement in the black church community, which is one of the strongest bastions of hatred directed at me because I am a gay person. Obama already blew the gays off for Donnie McClurkin. That is completely relevant here, and he failed to address it. In a world where the NAACP gives an award to Isaiah Washington after he becomes one of the world’s most famous bigots, Obama’s tepid and occasional mentions of homophobia in the black community are not enough.

  35. silverskreen says

    LANDON BRYCE –

    I’d forgotten about the Washington thing and the NAACP award. huh….interesting.

  36. 24play says

    Landon, Obama’s denomination is extremely pro-gay and Wright himself has often spoken out against anti-gay bigotry.

    So is what you’re really saying that you will never vote for a black person because some blacks are anti-gay bigots?

    Shall I assume then that you never vote? Because the world is full of anti-gay bigots of every color, race, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation.

  37. Derrick from Philly says

    LANDON,

    They may deny that there are black gay people, but they certainly DON’T deny that there are black “faggots and punks”.

    LANDON, gay-bashing and homophobic attacks are basically INTRAracial activiities. When it comes to politics (referenda, anti-gay initiatives)–that’s when the black and white gay communities have conflict. Even with that, many black Democratic officials still have pro-gay voting records which puts them at odds with many in the black church community. That is exactly what Barack Obama did a couple weeks ago! He had no politically sound reason to chastise a black chuch congregation about how “un-Christian” their hatred of gay people was. But he did, and didn’t get much credit for it from many gays–so it appears. Like I said, obviously, he had no sound reason to do it.

    SILVERSKEEN, after your response to my comment, I googled “lynching, race riots, Reconstruction, Mary Turner, etc…”–just to assure myself that I wasn’t being too emotional & unyielding on this subject. After visiting a few sites I’m even more convinced that no Black American should ever need Barack Obama to explain to us what Reverend Wright was talking about in his sermons.

  38. Brandon says

    TWO POINTS:

    (1) To Landon and other folks who have issues about “black homophobia”: there are bigots of all stripes. There are plenty of black ones. However, I am surprised as why anti-gay prejudice from a black person somehow gets wrapped up in race where a white anti-gay person is simply anti-gay? Why does the entire “black church community” have to pay the freight? Why isn’t the concern directed at the “church community” generally. When I last checked, most of the major religions in the world have some issue with homosexuality. Is it any wonder that black people who would go to church might have an issue given that teaching.

    And exactly how many black people need to say something pro gay for the entire black community not have the anti-gay albatross laid around its neck? Coretta Scott King supported gay rights. Al Sharpton (a minister) supported gay marriage when he ran for president. The Congressional Black Caucus got an award from HRC for being supportive on gay issues. Hell, my former boss who is an african american second generation minister knew I was gay before I took the job and was totally cool. Black people are individuals like everyone else and I think it’s a more than a little racist to talk about them as one group. If the Klan burns a cross on someone’s lawn, it’s the individuals that are racist. If a black person says something or does something, the black “community” pays the freight. That’s NOT cool.

    (2) BEN: the credit card thing is so true. I’ve seen it happen and people try to pretend like they didn’t do anything. One clerk tried to excuse asking for ID by saying it was because the person paid with an AMEX and not another credit card. I was like, um, dude. I’m a lawyer and I’ve negotiated an agreement with Amex. By those contracts, you have to accept AMEX on the same basis as other credit cards. So, if you don’t need ask for I.D. for a VISA, you cannot ask for one for AMEX. It’s sad because prejudice is so endemic that people don’t even think about it. Good for you for calling attention to it. Even if they didn’t get it, they will hopefully think twice about doing it again. That could save one other person from the psychic pain of having to go through what your ex went through.

  39. Jimmyboyo says

    “If you want to ogle some cutie then gash out your eye.

    If you want to masturbate then cut off your hand.

    The Jews are the chosen people and gentiles are inferior. (going so far as to call a gentile woman beggig for a miracle a “dog”)

    If your mother doesn’t love me then kill her with a sword.

    If you are my enemy then you will burn in a lake of fire for eternity.”

    Jesus sumed up

    All preaching is whack and any xtian condeming the rhetoric of rev wright (who has always suported gay marriage by the way) just because Obama isn’t there prefered canddate, needs to check their hypocricy at the door.

    All religons are anti somebody, somethig, and epecialy anti democratic america.

    Judaism hates america because it calls for jews to seperate from gentiles and keep seperate = anti-democratic. Might as well round them up then

    Islam and xtianity hate america because they can not and will not accept plurality= undemocratic = round em all up

    Budhism hates america because we are a capitalist society which is the opposite of anti-materialsm true budhism

    et
    etc

    Round em all up.

    Oh wait. It only works when it is your not prefered candidate’s crazy preacher. When it is your crazy ass religion then it is all good.

    Whatever

    Hillry is behind in the delegate race and can’t catch up no matter what.

    She is behind 700,000 in the popular vote and can’t catch up barring Obama screwing a boy on tv while strangeling him.

    Get over it already and stop blowing up this non scandal into a kurfufle in the hopes of “?????what????” There is no hope for Hillary to be at the top of th ticket.

    The supers will not overtrn the will of the people.

    Hell, the sermon most in question was spoken back in 2002 when most hillary supporters were themselves saying “God damn america and God damn bush”. A sermon that Obama in fact wasn’t even there for. He was in Miami as per video tape proof.

    If there is a scandal it is that all candidates to get elected in america
    must go to church or synagogue = temples of ignorance.

    Now where the hell are Hillary’s tax papers?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  40. Zeke says

    SILVERSKREEN,

    This thread is specifically about the Obama speech and my comment about how people will react to it was only in respect to this specific speech, not to the campaign in general. I agree that people’s minds are set on both sides and few people are going to change their minds at this point. I really resent your misstating what my comment said and then calling the statement I didn’t make laughable and pathetic. That is the very definition of a straw man and it is exactly why the discourse of this campaign has turned so venomous.

    Is it not possible for Democrats to disagree with each other without making ad hominem attacks and trying to draw blood from their own?

    Is there ANYONE here (other than Republicans) who thinks that this in is our best interest? Is there ANYONE here willing to change the dialogue?

    People may dislike or hate Obama and they may think that his speech was insincere but I don’t think anyone can deny that he was right when he said we have to change the dialogue, we have to change the way we talk to each other and we have to change the way we deal with differences.

    I am willing to pledge here and now that I will reserve ALL of my future political attacks for our TRUE opponent John McCain. I will continue to support my candidate of choice and tell people why I support him. I will continue to defend him when I think he has been wrongly attacked. I WILL NOT attack Hillary supporters by belittling them, or using ad hominem attacks against them (I don’t think I ever have). I will continue to point out where I disagree with them but ALWAYS in a civil and respectful way (it CAN be done).

    We aren’t going to be able to change the rest of the blogosphere but it would be nice to have just one port in the storm to be able to have political discussions without coming away bloodied and enraged. Out of respect for each other and out of respect for Andy, I would like for that place to be Towleroad.

    Everyone has a choice as to what contribution they want to make in these discussions and anyone who doesn’t like the tenor and tone of these discussions has the right and ability to refrain from reading them. If the tone and tenor of these political discussions doesn’t change then I will make the choice to remove myself from them.

    I will support whichever candidate wins the Democratic nomination. I think both would make great presidents. I’m just not willing to lose friends and fond acquaintances over the hair’s bit of difference between the two. I’m really amazed at how many people seem to be willing to do just that. And this is all over who is the best DEMOCRAT. I can’t imagine that the general election could possibly be worse than the last month.

    PS. I take back what I said about the speech not changing any minds. While I was typing this very long comment my 70+ year old aunt from Mississippi, who was an ardent and longtime Hillary supporter and who had completely bought into the rumor that Obama was a Muslim, called me up. I fully expected her to be calling to rub this Obama/Wright thing in my face. To my COMPLETE surprise she told me that the speech had changed her mind and that she is now supporting Obama. I just about fell out of my chair. She was really struck by his interest in changing the way we address racism and other social ills and this is coming from a woman that I suspect still has a bit of racism just below the surface. Maybe this speech is going to have a greater affect than I thought it would. I certainly hope it does.

  41. Sami says

    DERRICK, you, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar. I always look forward to what you have to say, and today especially, you never disappoint.

  42. silverskreen says

    DERRICK FROM PHILLY –

    Let me be clear. I don’t need Senator Obama or anyone else, for that matter, to explain to me what Rev. Wright said. I’m perfectly aware of what he said, where he said it and what he meant. He’s free to do so as he pleases – more power to him.

    My questions where to Senator Obama and his judgment to associate himself with someone who makes these divisive statements. Then denying he had any knowledge of the Rev.’s views, only to say today he knew and strongly opposed them…but didn’t distance himself. I find that those actions speak directly to his judgment and the weight I can apply to his words to the contrary.

    So, google judgment and you won’t find a picture of Obama as a good definition.

  43. Ben says

    RE: there are bigots of all stripes. There are plenty of black ones. However, I am surprised as why anti-gay prejudice from a black person somehow gets wrapped up in race where a white anti-gay person is simply anti-gay? Why does the entire “black church community” have to pay the freight? Why isn’t the concern directed at the “church community” generally.

    I’d like to add something that I see alluded to, but not stated in regard to this hostility toward the ‘black church community.’ That hostility, frankly, is a result of WHITE gay MEN being bashed by BLACK people. White men control the world, gay or straight. They are not socialized or accustomed to being the object of derision. Hence, the overarching drama of ‘coming out.’ (And further revealing why it’s even worse for black men – already oppressed and now saddled with a secondary oppression point.) I did not realize this until I went to a family dinner with my previously mentioned black ex-bf. The wife of his mother’s minister would not shake my hand. She wouldn’t even look at me directly. She’d look at my ex, then me with this look of complete disgust. I was taken aback and enraged at that same time. How dare she? Who is she, how is she morally superior to me to behave so, etc etc. Only after I de-compartmentalized the experience did I realize the sad state of the situation, my own expectations (re: biases) at work, and the need for me to move past it without holding it against any future ‘black church person’ I might encounter.

  44. 24play says

    Zeke, I’m so glad to hear about your aunt. Do you think you could possibly persuade her to leave Mississippi and move to Missouri or Virginia or Pennsylvania or Ohio? Before September, of course.

  45. Jimyboyo says

    Something funny

    A month ago Obama was a muslim bent on destroying america and israel.

    NOW those who dont like him (the same that swore he was a muslim) have tied him so tight to one preacher and say that he is most definetly a radical afro-centric xtian.

    Next month if it serves the purpose of the obama haters he will be a die hard hindu bent on destroying amrican farmers ad ranchers

    OY

    Hillary supporters

    What exactly is your hoe?

    She can’t get the delegates

    She is behind 700,000 in the popular ote and a 15% win in Pensylvania will only get her 100,000-200,000 more than Obama. Beating him in the popular vote is impossible

    The supers who haven’t comited have all pretty much said they will NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! go againt the pledged delegates and or popular vote

    What exactly are you hoping for?

    The only logical explenations are
    -racism against a black man
    -wanting to harm obama enough that mccain winsand hilary can tryagain 2012
    -jut spite

    What exactly are you hoping for?

    Because there is no logical hope of Hillary being at the top of the ticket.

  46. Ben says

    Furthermore, as I catch up with the ensuing comments, it seems holding Sen. Obama accountable for all of Rev. Wright’s negative statements is akin to holding every Catholic on Earth accountable for every nasty thing the Catholic Church hierarchy has ever done, including the abuse of young children. That doesn’t seem wise or reasonable in either situation.

  47. Sebastian says

    Jimyboyo, that was hillary-ous! Team HRC is too much, her hatred that she is not in the drivers seat and has more or less lost to a *gasp* black man has her and her supporters in a tizzy. let them stay in it, they are so anti Obama, that they will have 4 more years to get gay rights trampled into the ground by McCain, who good old HRC will probaly vote for herself.

    If those who hate Obama for whatever reason they have pulled out of the air, would actually listen to the speech without the typical negative judgement they have, guess what, you might learn to not be so narrow minded.

  48. silverskreen says

    ZEKE –

    I wasn’t calling YOUR comment laughable and pathetic. I should’ve separated that from where I was addressing you. My apologies.
    And if that was a Straw Man, well I hope it means my fat ass is gonna lose some weight. Somehow I know I’m wrong, yet again. UGH!

    oh, and let me clarify something else before someone jumps all over it.

    “Then denying he had any knowledge of the Rev.’s views, only to say today he knew and strongly opposed them…but didn’t distance himself.” (at the time…I know he does now)

  49. Jimmyboyo says

    The Talmud has many rabis of the past saying that non Jews are not human

    Oops all Jews are now quilty of hate

    Jesus said to gouge out your eyes for ogling a hotie.

    OOps you anti rev wright xtians need to gouge out your eyeballs you hypocrites

    The budha left his wife and son to fend for themselves in a society that didn’t look kindly on single mothers.

    Oops you Budhists have a lot to answer for for your ties to that mysoginistic hater.

    etc
    etc

    Hypocrites.

    As long as it isn’t your crazy relgion and or your own personal crazy preachers.

    Hypocrites one and all stirring a tempest in a tea pot because you have no hope of Hillary being at the top of the ticket.
    Get ovr it alredy and face reality.

  50. Silverskreen says

    JIMMYBOYO –

    Oh, I had to leave my church for all the crazy crap they spewed there. I went as a child ’cause I had to. Those Baptists at my church…crazy! Lemme tell you.

    I gotta say, however, your constant dismissive comments about Hillary and her supporter don’t make it any more pleasant to vote for Senator Obama in November. Not that you have to, mind you. But it does help make the dislike of his followers tactics more ardent. Plus it’s not exactly following in the footsteps of his gospel of “unity”.

    Oh, and it’s always been so interesting to see that whenever anyone speaks of racial issues in America, it’s always categorized in a black/white divide. All other ethnic minority’s are left aside. Whites don’t get this, blacks don’t get that.
    America is not made up of only two races, and as a member of the current biggest ethnic minority, it’s always a bit insulting to only be brought up when Immigration is the topic. Of course only African Americans know about racism.

  51. silverskreen says

    JIMMYBOYO –

    The last paragraph of my last post was not addressed to you. I neglected to separate that from what I was saying to you.

  52. Jimmyboyo says

    Silverskreen

    I appologize for coming off so dismissive.

    I have tried in the past to push for an Obama/ Hillary ticket

    I’m pissed and probably went overboard.

    I appologize

    We are all supposed to be united against the repubs.

  53. Derrick from Philly says

    Thanks, Sami. When you try to be humorous on so many blog topics, it’s hard for some folks to ever take you seriously. I appreciate your comment–very much.

    SILVERSKEEN: You write very, very well.
    I am hardly what one could call “militant”. In fact, a few mohths ago on this blog, I was called a “Stepin’ Fetchit” by a black commentor. The white folks I come in contact with, I have no problem with, even get along well with many of them. But I do have a long history of being interested in Black American history, and uncovering a Black Gay American history. So, even though I criticize homophobia and anti-gay violence in the black community using the same language as any “bigoted” white gay, I still have an emotional recognition of Reverend Wright’s firey condemnation of my country’s treatment toward Africans and people of African descent…and me, I guess.

    I told a strong Obama supporter months ago, “it may not be anything Barack or Michelle have said or done that’s going to be used against them, but it will be their associates…going back to elementary school that will be investigated.” I knew the Republicans would try this sort of thing; I was too naive to believe the Clinton Camp would use it. This is why it took me so long to support Obama. I didn’t/couldn’t believe that race would NOT be the factor which stopped him.

    The longer we go on with this primary race, the more I feel that the opposition to Obama is indeed racial. It was Obama’s message that caught the attention of so many white voters. Contrary to Ferraro’s statement, if Obama was a white HE WOULD HAVE THE NOMINATION BY NOW. I believe that if John Edwards had had the same message as Obama–he would still be in the race–tied with Hillary & Barack. If just Hillary & Edwards? THe nomination would be Edwards’ by now–IF HE HAD OBAMA’S MESSAGE.

    But I’ve made my commitment now. Yes, I could still vote for Hillary Clinton, but that isn’t going to happen unless the super delegates steal the nomination from Barack Obama. If that happened, there would be millions of young black, Latino, Asian & WHITE newly registered Democrats who would say, “fuck this shit. I aint votin'”

  54. silverskreen says

    Jimmyboyo –

    Understandable…apology accepted (sniff, sniff) LOL. Just wanted to point it out, actually…but the apology was sweet, thank you:)

    And yes, let’s tear down the old man!

  55. silverskreen says

    Derrick From Philly –

    Point taken, Mr.
    I know I sometimes get so worked up when starting my posts that I completely go off in a tangent because I’m so incensed. Of course I then have to take a step back and realize my own misgivings and personal biases to try and not make it all about me. And I must say, it ain’t easy. I’m a stubborn and opinionated Mo’fo – and often short sighted, to my own dismay.

    I was basking in your comment about “you write very, very well” with my ‘I do? (GRIN), I do?! (hugs keyboard)’, only to read back the last post where I said “minority’s” when I meant “minorities”…ugh, I’m a hack. LOL
    Still, thank you, and let’s keep the hack part between us:)

  56. Landon Bryce says

    Derrick responded to me by saying, “LANDON, gay-bashing and homophobic attacks are basically INTRAracial activiities. When it comes to politics (referenda, anti-gay initiatives)–that’s when the black and white gay communities have conflict.”

    Yes. This is a political speech. I care about Obama only as a politial figure. Political conflict is what is relevant here. It is ignorant to claim that antigay bigotry is not a specific problem of the black church community- Obama is regularly praised for recognizing that it is. Of course, most churches are antigay. Most are also less bigoted on that issue than black churches.

    It is even more ignorant to claim that Wright is a spokesman for gay rights, even though he did once acknowledge the antigay bigotry which is endemic in the black community. Obama shares his pastor’s views on gay marriage (both oppose it, as does their congregation, DESPITE the fact that most churches in their demonination do not.)

    I write this recognizing that many people confuse holding black people to the same standard (not hating me, not congratulating those who advertise their hatred of me) I have for other people with racism. It is the opposite of racism.

  57. 24play says

    Landon,

    You wrote:

    “In a world where the NAACP gives an award to Isaiah Washington after he becomes one of the world’s most famous bigots, Obama’s tepid and occasional mentions of homophobia in the black community are not enough.”

    Well, unless I missed something in the news in the past year, the NAACP and Isaiah Washington don’t have a goddamn thing to do with Barack Obama. You seem to be holding the man accountable for all the anti-gay bigotry ever voiced or espoused by any black person.

    And that is the very definition of racism.

  58. Zeke says

    SILVERSKREEN, apology accepted. Now THAT is class my friend! It’s amazing how your kind, thoughtful and consiliatory response to me changes the entire tone and tenor of the thread. Thank you.

    Thanks JIMMYBOYO AND SILVERSKREEN for changing the dialogue.

    Let the healing commence!

  59. Landon Bryce says

    24PLAY wrote:
    “Obama’s denomination is extremely pro-gay and Wright himself has often spoken out against anti-gay bigotry.”

    I wrote:

    “It is even more ignorant to claim that Wright is a spokesman for gay rights, even though he did once acknowledge the antigay bigotry which is endemic in the black community. Obama shares his pastor’s views on gay marriage (both oppose it, as does their congregation, DESPITE the fact that most churches in their demonination do not.)”

    Caught in a lie, 24PLAY returned to my earlier post and tried another tack.

    The NAACP is very much tied in with the SCLC. It represents the most public face of the power which is centered in black churches. Since my post was about my hesitancy to a support a candidate who is tied as strongly as Obama to that culture.

  60. Zeke says

    24PLAY, I probably didn’t make it clear but my Aunt is from Mississippi, as I am, but she lives in a suburb of Tampa very near me and my family. Trust me, we need her vote in FLORIDA too although we never know if it will count or not.

    This is the aunt who took me in when my family threw me out and disowned me. That’s why I’m in Florida. She is a WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL woman and in some ways more of a mom to me than my mom (who finally came around).

  61. patrick nyc says

    People who already supported Obama will continue to do so and will be satisfied and even moved by the speech.
    ———————
    Sorry ZEKE but I did support him from day one, I just never thought middle America would. Even his misstep in SC I still backed him. If he gets the nomination, which is in serious jeopardy, I will now have to hold my nose to do SC. He is a major disappointment to me and our country.

  62. silverskreen says

    ZEKE – cheers 😉

    PATRICK NYC –

    Yikes!! Was it this whole thing with Wright that changed your mind?
    I remember your support for him.

    I find this whole thing very interesting, needless to say.

  63. patrick nyc says

    SS

    When I first heard the remarks on video it made my stomach turn. To read them is one thing, but to hear that kind of hate. Not only did Obama sit through it for over 20 years, on Friday he lied and said he never heard them. Once a person lies to me I can never trust them again. No matter how much he says he’s sorry, he’s just cost himself the election. Middle America just will not forgive him, neither will I.

  64. silverskreen says

    PATRICK NYC –

    It remains to be seen, bud. I hear ya, however. Loud and clear.

  65. sugarrhill says

    “America is not made up of only two races, and as a member of the current biggest ethnic minority, it’s always a bit insulting to only be brought up when Immigration is the topic. Of course only African Americans know about racism.”

    African Americans were this country’s only bonafied slaves though and therefore that will always be the main prism through which race will be viewed. For Christ’s sake Italian immigrants were lynched in the South because Southern whites thought them to be black. Discrimination and bigotry don’t disappear overnight. Obama’s speech addresses many of the issues that people gloss over. With every generation race relations get better, but the work is not over, obviously.

    I’m a Clinton supporter and it saddens me to read others being so derisive when referencing Obama. I support Clinton because her positions are more detailed, but I also recognize that Obama and Clinton share virtually the same position on every topic that I think is important. I would be more than happy voting for either candidate. The idea that a Democrat would either not vote or defect to McCain’s camp is retarded. McCain is at the other end of spectrum of these fine candidates. And it voters don’t know that and elect another Republican then this country deserves to continue going down the crapper.

  66. 24play says

    Zeke,

    Florida’s okay. But Ohio, Missouri, or Virginia would be SO MUCH better. See what you can do. It’d do you all good to get out of Florida for the summer anyway. And you can all be back in plenty of time for Thanksgiving!

    Landon,

    I posted no “lies.” Not only has Wright spoken against anti-gay bigotry, he did so in the very same YouTubed speech where he made his disparaging remarks about Senator Clinton, saying, “I want my gay-hating holy folk to hear God’s message on Christmas. God’s good news is for all people!”

    And as for Wright (or Obama) not supporting marriage equality, if you’re arguing that Kucinich or Gravel should be the Democratic nominee, then I’ll gladly accept your criticism. But if Clinton is your candidate, you have no standing to criticize Wright, Obama, or me on the issue.

    Finally, on the subject of the motivation for your anti-Obama stand, I don’t think I can make it any clearer. You are holding Obama responsible for disagreeable actions by other blacks, blacks to which he has no connection. That is a textbook example of racism. You can deny it to everyone here, as well as yourself, or you can take the time to examine your feelings and motivation and try to get past the ugliness.

  67. silverskreen says

    SUGARRHILL –

    “African Americans were this country’s only bonafied slaves though and therefore that will always be the main prism through which race will be viewed.”

    No denying they were – absolutely. Still, I can’t help but take that statement as dismissive of any one else’s plight, and it really angers me to the core, I must say.
    I’m sure it wasn’t meant that way, maybe it’s just something in the water I’m drinking today, but yeah.

    Retarded as the notion of a Democrat not voting or voting for McCain may be, it’s also a very real possibility for many a supporters.
    Not I, mind you, but they are out there.

  68. ruralarch says

    I hear and read a bunch of talk but yet not much action. This is the same guy that threw us under the bus and allowed a homophobic Rev drive the bus then rethinking his deeds the other “O” thought he might need to mention folks need to be open minded in MLK’s former church. I hear the other “O” speak and not address the issue or distance himself from this Pastor and condeming him. Only to use the phrase the AFA and Dopson use hate teh sin not the person. I dare say if this was a pastor of any other shade ALL THE REGULARS jess and AL would show up and go after them. I fear should the “O” get the nod there is going to be a lot of shoe kissing from those who sort tugged on MLK coat. I view his speech equally to what Strom or Goerge Wallace spewed in the 60’s. The “O” is not someone who will answer the freakin questions or back up his words hes just merely another politician wanting a vote to go back on a promise after elected. I dare say we as a community will be in the back of the bus regardless

  69. patrick nyc says

    Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely – just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.
    ——————-
    Where to begin. When I read his statement at work this morning I could hardly read. I just was so angry at being let down. When I got home tonight I felt it important to hear the words from the man himself, all 40 minutes.

    While I no longer am a practicing Catholic, in my 48 years I have never heard any priest or member of the church speak in that way. It is clear they are homophobic but it is never at the level of hate in Wrights clip. In this past year or so I have been to both my parents funerals, my Godson’s wedding, and two of my brothers children’s baptisms. This is not something you hear from them.

    While I was angry when I read his remarks this morning tonight I started to cry. I had such hope for this man and in turn this country. Like our past Governor Spitzer, he threw that away. It is a sad day for America.

  70. Sebastian says

    Well, Sugarhill, as one who could never support HRC,too Republican for my tastes, I must say, you have been one of the few supporters of her’s who has ben civil in regards to my candidate of choice, Obama. So, they had all better get ready for the McCain years, since, somehow, if Obama is the nominee, I doubt if any of the HRC supporters on this blog will vote for him if he is the nominee,too petty and out of touch with the real world and issues, and, will be the ones most vocal of McCain’s anti gay stance.

  71. FunMe says

    Obama’s speech was SUPERB!

    It was very moving, and for this originally Edwards supporter, his words made me have even more enthusiasm for him.

    He is someone that is needed NOW more than ever. He’s truly the UNITER not divider – he will turn those words into ACTION vs. the current slected prez who said that.

    Oh the mainstream media whores try so much to bring him down with negativity and more. They want Hillary cuz they know they can beat her. But now with Obama, he’s comes from almost out of no where, and they can’t smear himor railraod.

    Obama responds back with his WAM! BAM! back at you MSM bitches. But he does it with a calm, cool & collected demeaner. This is what I call “shortcircuiting” the press and others who know they can’t win over HOPE, the reality of a united America and more.

    Today confirm what my instinct have been telling me ever so strongly:

    Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States of America!
    :-) :-) :-)

  72. John says

    @ patrick nyc

    Oh. My. God.

    You’ve never heard of ANY church speak this way? No tele-evangelists etc.

    Ok. Right. Sorry.

  73. Mark says

    Well, he certainly did a fine job of revealing all of the hidden and underlaying intricacies of racism. And while I can appreciate that every black person in this country finally feels like maybe, just maybe they have been heard…what the hell you gonna do about the economy? Iraq?

    No…I’m not being a jerk. But I am not voting for anyone due to their sex, race, religion, etc. I want to know what the fuck they are going to do to clean up this Bush disaster.

    It’s all very nice, and the oration is virtually impeccable – but I’ve been in those rooms at those big companies with big diversity policies. It’s is still fucking queer, and it is still fucking nigger – or kike or wetback. Those narrow minded bastards will die off sooner or later, and while I await their demise – Obama, what the hell are you going to do about the economy??? Iraq? Oil Independence? Or is there a mandatory “come to Jesus” meeting first?

  74. Bill Perdue, RainbowRED says

    I can’t believe that any self respecting GLBT person would vote for a right-centrist Democrat like Obama or Clinton or a rightist Republican like McCain. They jointly support the war. They jointly support NAFTA, union busting, deregulation and cuts in medical and financial aid for the growing numbers of poor people. They jointly stabbed us in the back with DOMA and DADT and by gutting ENDA and then scrapping it and the hate crimes bill. They join in the abuse of immigrant and imported labor or at best turn a cold shoulder to them. Both parties refuse to support laws to raise the minimum wage to trade union levels to even out the racist discrepancies in living standards. Etc.

    But given that, we should do all we can to protest and reject race baiting by the Clintons. The election campaign has already produced an increase in anti-GLBT violence, including murders. If Obama wins the nomination the Republicans will pick up where Bill and Hillary left off. (They’ve already done polling to see what they can get away with.) That’ll most likely lead to racist violence as well.

    Secondly, Wright has a healthy contempt for racists and racism inslucidng it’s extension into the Middle East which is support for the zionist apartheid state and the oil piracy in Iraq. He has a perfect right to his opinions. How could any one object to that?

  75. Landon Bryce says

    24PLAY:

    My point in bringing up marriage equity is that it is ridiculous to praise Wright for belonging to an inclusive denomination when he objects to its inclusivity and has kept his congregation as antigay as possible. His opposition to justice for gays would be more excusable if he was not opposing his own church in doing this.

    Naturally, I expect to be branded as racist for saying that black churches have a tremendous amount to answer for in the way they have treated gay people and that it is hard for me to support a candidate whose ties to that community are so strong that he borrowed one of Wright’s sermon titles for one of his books.

    The Youtube statement from Wright that irritated me most was his claim that Hillary Clinton never had to work twice as hard as everyone else to be taken seriously. This myopic view, which ignores not only sexism and homophobia but all forms of racism which have not hindered them personally, is one which many people like him share. It is this quality in the NAACP which allowed them to give Isaiah Washington an award for calling TR Knight a faggot.

    And I fear that it is this quality in Obama that made him let Donnie McClurkin shout, “God delivered me from homosexuality!” at his rally, and do so with no public criticism from Obama or from his campaign. The candidate’s behavior there remains despicable. I had hoped that this speech would help me move past that incident- I’ll vote for the Democratic nominee, who I certainly expect to be him– but he did not address his willingness to allow the black Christians who love McClurkin to revel in their shared hatred of gay people. It was a very relevant to the discussion, the essential part for me, and he ignored it.

  76. z says

    For 20 years he sat there and listened and nodded to Wright and all his racist comments. He brings his family every Sunday. His children learn from him. He teaches racism. You can’t blame Hillary for Wright’s 20 years of racist rants. A beautiful speech will not makeup for 20 years. At anytime his family could’ve gotten up any never come back. He chose to stay and nod in agreement. He chose his spiritual leader. He chose one of the most controversial black churches. 20 years and now he wants “CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN”? LOL

  77. MP says

    I read it as written, a POLITICAL DAMAGE CONTROL speech. Initially he stated that he had never heard Rev. Wright speak that way, then he clarified that he wasn’t present when those speeches were made. Wright’s pulpit speeches were not isolated. I would bet that Obama, his wife, and children have been in that church during some of these tirads hollering ‘hallelujah’ with the rest of the congregation. Oprah was a member and left, Obama stayed. Wright was his advisor, or more specifically, as he would say, spiritual advisor. They have been friends for 20 years and now Obama denounces his statements. Face it, Obama got caught, literally with his pants down and had to do something. He is now finding out what it is like to be scrutinized. Clinton has had it her whole time in Washington. We know Clintons skeleton’s, we are now finding Obama’s. He has portrayed himself as an African-American, yet he is half caucasian and was raised and supported by his white mother and grandparents. Where, really, do his priorities lie? If he, in his speech, stated that he was not Black, not White, but just an American, he would have impressed me. Instead, his race speech, as he stated in an earlier (plagerized?) speech are “just words”.

  78. Michael Bedwell says

    In the speech that got him more attention than any in his life; that was broadcast live, in its entirety, on some cable networks, Barack Obama spoke of wanting to

    “build a coalition of”

    Whites – check
    Blacks – check
    Hispanics – check
    Asians – check
    Native Americans – check
    Women – check
    Young – check
    Old – check
    Rich – check
    Poor – check
    Veterans – check
    LGBTs – ?
    LGBTs – ?
    Hello?

    Barack Obama chose to “talk about”

    Improving race relations – check
    Health care – check
    Education – check
    The economy – check
    Jobs – check
    Iraq withdrawal – check
    Veterans support – check
    LGBT equality – ?
    Escalating hate crimes – ?
    Hello?
    Hello?
    Hello?

  79. Zeke says

    For those of you who keep repeating ad infinitum that Obama sat in this church for 20 years listening to these “racist” “anti-American” rants on a “weekly” basis, lets put the rubber to the road here and stop with all of the straw man rhetoric.

    Give me an example, ONE SINGLE EXAMPLE, where OBAMA himself has EVER said ONE THING racist or anti-American. Google it. Check out his record in Chicago, in the Illinois legislature, in the U. S. Senate or in his private life. Go to Fox News Archives; if it ain’t there, it don’t exist.

    If you can show one single time where OBAMA showed that he repeated these views, held these views or in ANY WAY agreed with these views.

    I you can’t show a single example of any of the above scenarios then your incessant ranting about that he went to this church and found spiritual guidance from a man who had 36 years of ministry beyond the 5 minutes of cherry picked video clips that are being replayed over and over and over again, is hollow and nothing more than inflammatory rhetoric.

    Obama quickly and rightly released Wright from his campaign advisory staff.

    The reports Obama’s demise were premature. The polls are showing that he didn’t take that big a hit and he’s already rebounding.

    PATRICK NYC, I really respect you. I understand how this angered you. I suggest that you take a deep breath and read/WATCH the Obama speech again and base your decisions on HIS words rather than Wrights. More importantly look at his ACTIONS and his RECORD that show a man who loves America deeply and loves both sides of his racial heritage. I don’t think you could possibly find anything outside of a Fox News broadcast that would suggest that Obama is racist or anti-American. If after doing that you still can’t support him then fair enough.

    I personally think that today he showed just how capable he is in turning a crisis into a learning moment and a time of national healing. I think that is EXACTLY what our country needs right now.

    Peace.

  80. Jimmyboyo says

    Enough

    The experts as vs us little people at towleroad have spoken.

    WAPO, TIME etc are all praising his speech and feel that he did a lot to deal with the kurfufle.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

    huffpo’s front page has all the links to the experts.

    The nick name “teflon kid” is proving to be true.

    Nothing bad ever sticks to Obama.

    Time to get over it , lets move on. Time to get the old man Mccain bush jr.

  81. Zeke says

    I didn’t finish one of my sentences.

    I meant to say:

    If you can show one single time where OBAMA showed that he repeated these views, held these views or in ANY WAY agreed with these views, then I will concede this point and immediately jump on the bandwaggon with the others here who believe that this shows that Barack is a clone of Wright and should not be the Democratic nominee.

    That’s a pretty sweet deal for Hillary supporters.

  82. z says

    For someone that has made judgements a major concern in his campaign, he didn’t show very good judgement for 20 years. Rezko is another bad judgement. this is not a person I would want making international judgements for me.

  83. liz says

    Zeke, I believe he was there nodding in a agreement to Wright preaching .

    Oh, and how were you not able to finish one of your sentences when you are typing and responding 5-6 times per article, usually bashing anyone that disagrees with you or calling them idiots because they don’t match up to your intelligence.

  84. GIOVANNI says

    “Retarded as the notion of a Democrat not voting or voting for McCain may be, it’s also a very real possibility for many a supporters.”

    Then they get what they deserve.

  85. Brandon says

    Landon: I really think you need to reflect on what you are saying. You’re not being branded a racist because you’re trying to hold black people to the same standard. In fact, I don’t think anyone called you a racist per se. What some folks have said, me included, is that it’s racist to hold Obama accountable for what the NAACP does or other black people do as a general proposition. It’s reasonable to chide Obama about his pastor, but alarm bells go off when we start going from the specific to making generalized comments about black people and black churches generally.

    Do you want to be held responsible for what other gay people to whom you have no direct relationship do?

    Was Wright wrong about Hillary Clinton not having to work as hard: yes.

    Have many black churches failed to be supportive of gay people: of course.

    But haven’t most churches failed to be supportive of gay people? Why do black churches have some special role for tackling homophobia. In all honesty, it doesn’t sound like you are applying an equal standard. You’re trying to apply a higher standard to black people.

    (As an aside, I also don’t understand precisely to whom black churches have a lot to answer for. But, I’d assume that the individuals that should be most upset about homophobia in black churches would be black gay people– not non black people.)

    What’s really problematical is your description of the NAACP giving Washington an award for calling TR Knight a faggot. First, Washington didn’t call TR Knight a faggot. He stated that he wasn’t someone’s faggot. He SHOULD NOT have used the word, but we need to be clear about what he said. Second, the NAACP image awards was an ACTING award. The NAACP did not give him award for spokesperson of the year or representative of the race. Third, I have no idea how they choose the award or about the votes, but Julian Bond (the chair of the NAACP) condemned the remarks and said that the nomination occurred before the remarks and that most of the ballots were cast prior to the remarks. Fourth, I do know that the NAACP does not conduct a national negro plebicite to give out awards. So, unless ALL black people are voted for Washington after he made his comments, I’m not sure how this figures into the mix about “black” homophobia or is evidence that black people are myopic about other people’s issues. Perhaps Wright is, but I am not sure how you go from Wright to the great black collective.

    I mean if the HRC gives someone an award, does that mean all gay people back them? Is the fact that HRC gave Nancy Pelosi and award evidence of the “myopia” that many gays have about transgender issues?

    Again, my concern is that you go from the specific to make generalizations without, I think, understanding all of the things driving your thoughts.

    But, let’s go with this line of thinking for a moment? What about Dog the Bounty Hunter? He called his son’s girlfriend a “n*&^er.” I mean hello? And what happened? His show was put on hiatus and now it’s BACK. Does that fact that A&E is allowing this bigot to have a show mean that white people don’t take prejudice seriously. (I think A&E’s decision is reprehensible, but I see it for what it is: commerce. It isn’t an indictment of white america.)

    Perhaps your experience is that black people are homophobic and you are looking at what happened as further evidence of that.

    If that’s been the case, that’s truly regrettable. But, it is no more acceptable to hold all black people liable for the actions of some than it is for black people to hold white people liable for every racist incident by a white person.

    The only path forward is to treat each other as individuals.

  86. Jimmyboyo says

    LIZ

    Oh, really????????????????

    Turns out the specific sermon in questio which was reported on has seen the reporter admiting that he has no notes from that semon 2002.

    It has also been revealedby many news statons that their is video o Obama being in MIAMI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on the day of that particular sermon.

    Obama is great but he isn’t divine and able to be omnipresent.

    LOL

    Support hillary all you want but don’t lie and say that obama was there noding his head.

    LOL
    LOL
    LOL

    There is freaking video of him being in Miami on that day.

    LOL

    Lieig liars and the lies they spin

    LOL

  87. noah says

    Reading many of these comments help confirm how much racism is embedded in the gay community. Talking about the “black church” and homophobia as if all black churches are the same is racist.

    Gee, Obama has to fall on a sword for all the homophobia committed by any black person. Why isn’t Hillary required to do so for the sins of white homophobes, like the Rev. Phelps or the Pope?

    Why aren’t there similar attacks on Catholic politicians who are members of a church that fights against gay rights with tooth and nail? Given the Catholic church’s turning a blind eye to the rape of children, why aren’t you condemning all the Catholic politicians or even yourselves for being members of the church?

    Most of the anti-Obama comments aren’t about his policies or anything he’s done but simply reflect the racism he discussed in his speech.

    The Catholic Church and the evangelical white churches have done more political damage to gays of all races in this country but no one seems to be railing and ranting at them with the same level of venom expressed about the “black church.”

    More ludicrously is tying the NAACP to the “black church.” Just how is the NAACP connected to every single black church in America? That is incredibly ludicrous. There are hundreds of thousands of churches.

    Do some research, the NAACP has been losing membership for years.

    Again, how does Obama have any responsibility for the actions of the NAACP? Because half of his DNA is African? Wow! Guilt by genetics, isn’t there that whole anti-semitic thing where all Jews were blamed for the death of Jesus?

    Logic, integrity, decency, justice, are just words that don’t apply to “black” people.

    Over the last year, when Towleroad reported on the homophobia in Jamaica and eastern European countries, there was a striking difference in the comments.

    The Jamaicans inevitably faced broad, generalized comments that were frequently racist. The Poles, Russians, and Lithuanians didn’t. Only the actors were condemned. The violence and oppression in Poland and Russia were state sanctioned. In Poland, the President and Prime Ministers encouraged the homophobia. In Russia, the mayor of Moscow and the leaders of the Orthodox church also supported anti-gay oppression.

    Towleroad is a microcosm of the United States. The shameless racism presented here reflects the attitudes that exist throughout America.

    What’s always fascinating to me is how racist gays can justify their bigotry but then rage against homophobia. One kind of bigotry is acceptable since it doesn’t affect some people. Having someone underneath your feet to despise is comfortable.

    Dobson and company are only too happy to spread anti-gay hate because they know that there are plenty of people who have anger about gays wanting “special rights,” demanding accommodation in employment and housing like “real” Americans.

    George Bush won the 2004 election using anti-gay bigotry. It’s pretty interesting to see how some gays are quickly able to forget that.

    As other posters have said, Jeremiah Wright has been a supporter of gay rights and gay marriage. Because someone is angry at white racism and rails against it doesn’t mean that person hates all white people.

    Larry Kramer raged against the U.S. government. Did that make him a traitor? How many gays marched in protest with ACT UP? Following the 9/11, the Pentagon began surveillance of gay rights groups, in particular ones that fought for the rights of gays in the military. Were those people anti-American for calling the government on the carpet?

    It’s also interesting to see how Isaiah Washington is demonized for using the word “faggot” but white actors who use it like Scott Caan or even the bozo on Big Brother don’t experience the same hatred.

    Some of are more equal than other; and rules only apply to some people.

    The next time you read about some gay bashing victim and read about the ambivalence of the police or the larger community, look at the words written here that embrace anti-black racism and excuse it. Then look in the mirror and understand the straight people who don’t care about gays and their struggles look a lot like you.

  88. Zeke says

    LIZ, I challenge you to show me ONE example where I bashed anyone or called ANYONE an idiot.

    I challenge anyone to show me an example of where I’ve bashed anyone or called anyone an idiot.

    I really resent your making this spurious accusation.

    You are clearly trying to flame bait me in order to make me break my earlier pledge. Well it won’t happen.

    LIZ, I’m calling you out here and now. Either produce evidence to back up your accusation or do the descent thing and apologize.

  89. Landon Bryce says

    Brandon:

    Thanks for the sensitive and well-considered response. Please note that I do state specifically why I think Obama is more tolerant of bigotry when it comes to religious blacks and their hatred of gay people than any presidential candidate should be of any sort of bigotry: Donnie McClurkin. This is the cause of my discomfort with this specific candidate and this specific issue. Am I making generalizations based on race in believing that this arguably racist incident belonged in Obama’s speech on race?

    Re: Washington

    I have never seen it disputed that what he said was, “I’m not your little faggot like TR.” Check that out- I’d be very interested to see anyone who was there claim that those are not the words that were spoken. I can see how someone as self-infatuated as Mr. Washington would be able to say with a straight face that he was referring to himself when he said this, not TR. I can see no reason why anyone else would see this as not calling TR a faggot.

    Have you seen the videotape of Washington accepting his latest Image Award? He got a standing ovation. That happened after his eccentric performance at the Golden Globes.

    And, certainly, the HRC displays myopia in many, many ways. The award to Pelosi is nothing compared with siding with the DNC in the suit filed by the employee who they fired because beause his boyfriend said gays should stop giving to Dems unless they showed some actual commitment to gay issues. The current HRC is much more a Democratic organization than it is a gay organization.

  90. Zeke says

    LIZ, you said that I claimed that people didn’t match up to my intelligence rather than that I called them an idiot.

    Still I challenge you to prove this claim.

  91. Landon Bryce says

    Dear Noah,

    Again, I do think the McClurkin incident is relevant. If you don’t, I’d like to know why. Although the Catholic church and white Evangelical churches have done infinitely more damage than almost anyone else, Hillary did not choose to put a gay-hating bigot on the stage to raise votes and money from Catholics or Baptists. Obama did put a gay-hating bigot on the stage to raise votes and money from members of black churches. That seems to me to be a significant issue.

    Racism in the gay community is horrible. I no longer go to the Lone Star in San Francisco because of a nasty racist incident a friend had with a bartender there. I spent two years as half of an interracial couple. I actually know a little about this.

    I think the state-sanctioned nature of gay oppression in Easter Europe tends to make it feel less personal than the hit Jamaican songs about what a great idea it is to kill me do. But, yes, I would never say that gay people were not at least as racist as the general population.

    Scott Caan apologized before his studio ordered him to, never denied it, has not claimed that the other guy was really at fault, and has not been given an award by a major advocacy group or a blog on the Huffington Post. Again, these seem like significant differences to me.

    Larry Kramer was the first person to come to mind when I heard Wright on YouTube, and I did think that the same people who have been most horified by Wright would be even more horrified by Kramer. And I would have qualms about a gay politician who was as close to Kramer as Obama is to Wright, especially if he had already shown signs of Kramer’s messianic streak.

  92. Michael Bedwell says

    If the speech had been soley about misdunderstanding between races, I wouldn’t be asking why LGBTs were not mentioned. But he moved from that to an assortment of political agenda issues that he’s running on.

    McClurkingate was a “teaching moment”—Obama effectively described it as such himself at the time. But no one got taught except us…not to expect him to choose us over votes. Today was his greatest teaching moment opportunity of all…in fact of any candidate on either side in this election…with the whole world watching but again he chose to leave us out. Wasn’t there room for mentioning brave gay and lesbians in the whole paragraph he devoted to the war and soldiers and veterans?

    Somewhere around “those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids,” couldn’t he have worked in a couple of words about not kids not killing other kids like Lawrence King because they’re LGBT? That schools should not just be better but safer? So many missed opportunities—so many he CHOSE to ignore.

    I don’t know whether to say he threw us under the bus or just hid us in the back under a blanket. But I do know that the greater tragedy is that so few even noticed.

  93. gr8guyca says

    I doubt that anyone will read all of these comments, but if they do,a few thoughts on Obama’s speech yesterday:

    I thought this was a great speech, perhaps even an historic one.
    Obama could have taken the easy way out and distanced himself from his pastor. He would then have watched as the media and Republicans showed his past ties to him. They would have trotted our news about Obama’s marriage ceremony and the baptism of his children. Instead, Obama didn’t shy from the issues. He addressed them and then went on to address some deeper problems in this country. He showed more awareness of the issues that both White and Black people face than any other person who has ever run for the office of President. When was the last time that any politician of any persuasion so frankly confronted the flaws in our “perfect union.”

    To those who say that Obama didn’t address gay right as part of this problem, I think that this was neither the time nor the place for that discussion. It would have been a distraction. This was billed as a speech about race in America – not gender rights or marriage rights. That’s a separate issue. But it’s an issue that Obama will address at some point with the same wisdom and compassion that he showed in this speech.

    I do believe that Obama will forcefully support equal marriage rights after he has been elected. One must remember that when Obama’s parents were married, it was still against the law in many states to inter-marry. How can someone with that history not also see the current inequality and ingrained bigotry in the discrimination against gay Americans? He said that this country is still working towards a more perfect union and this country is special for its ability to change. I think that he could just as easily have been addressing the issue of gay marriage rights.

  94. patrick nyc says

    Oh. My. God.

    You’ve never heard of ANY church speak this way? No tele-evangelists etc.

    Ok. Right. Sorry.

    POSTED BY: JOHN | MAR 18, 2008 9:10:41 PM
    ———————–
    I wish people would read and perhaps re-read posts before they reply. I said in my 48 years I had never heard IN MY CATHOLIC CHURCH. Yes the catholic church itself is homophobic and I’m sure many are just as racist, but not preached from the pulpit as Obama implies.

    My oldest brother is a born again Evangelist Minister and even he does not spit out this kind of hate.

    It has been five days since this story broke and it is clear it’s not going away. And Jimmyboy do not tell me when I should get over it. I had faith and this liar and fake took that away. I do not take it lightly and how dare you mock me for feeling so. And please use spell check. Your posts are like reading a retarded two year olds rants.

    Zeke, thanks for the kind words, I wish I could put this all back in the bottle but that is not going to happen. I can stomach being pissed off by scum like Bush and Cheney, but Obama does not get a pass on this one.

  95. z says

    Obama was not in Wright’s church on July 22nd. He was in Florida on the day in question. There is video of it. Wait a second, what’s going on here. I thought he didn’t campaign in Florida?

  96. Jimmyboyo says

    LIZ

    Zeke is one of the nicest posters if not the nicest poster at Towleroad.

    Your acusation about him bashing is way off.

    ————————————–

    Z

    The sermon in question “God Damn America” etc…was pre- election. What sermon are you talking about?

    Years ago.

    Come on people

    Support Hillary. Critic the rev’s words. BUT please stop making up crap about Obama being there and bobing his head in agreement, and please stop making up stuff about people who post at Towleroad that you happen to disagree with.

    Come on now

  97. Jimmyboyo says

    Patrick

    I admit whole hearedly that my posts are full of typos. I appologize regularly for that.

    I did not call you out by name kid.

    But you did me.

    SO

    HYPOCRITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You might not hear crap from the pulpits at catholic churchs when you attend family funerals, marriages, and baptisms…………….BUT you are supporing the pope’s words on gays

    The pope. The vicar of christ. God’s physical rep on earth. The ruler of the kingdom of christ till jesus’ return.

    NON celibate gays comit a MORTAL SIN = instant hell fire and damnation if unrepented and unconfessed to a priest.

    YOU hypocrite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hold yourself to the same standad as obama. You can’t attend funerals, marriages, and family baptisms by the standards you are holding obama.

    Get over it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A retarded 2 year old I might very well be, but at least I am not suporting some sky fairy worshiping dress wearer that damns all sexualy active gays to hell.

    Also, looking back at your posts……you have been a Hillary supporter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!NOT an obama supporter

    On top of it all, you are a liar.

    Your past posts all support Hillary.

    LOL

    Now you boo hootht you have lost faith in Obama

    BS

    Your pat posts all support hillary!

    Liar.

    Like I said, a retarded 2 yr old I might very well be. A crazy nut job for sure. A horrible typist beyond compare

    You sir are a liar and a hypocrite

    Have a wonderful day.

  98. Sebastian says

    Wow, Noah, talk about keeping it real, you have spoke the truth on so many levels, and, a hearty thank you! Too bad these angry posters won’t get it!

  99. Michael Bedwell says

    I have consistently made clear to those willing to listen that LGBT rights are not only not my only concern, they are not my MAIN concern in this election. Rather it is the long arc of Supreme Court appointments and the immediate horror of Iraq. I wrote earlier that I HOPED Obama would succeed in this speech because Wright’s pulpit pathology had unnecessarily torn open a wound still trying to heal and could contribute to McCain being elected.

    But Obama chose to employ over 900 words at minimum to a litany of issues beyond race—as many as a typical newspaper editorial-and yet chose to leave us out of his teaching moment when the whole world was watching.

    How inconsistent and indefensible is that in one who asks for all our votes to be all our President? I respectfully submit the words of someone who, like gay black activist Mel Boozer …unlike me and most here .. had been called BOTH a “nigger” and a “faggot.” Someone that Rev. Wright should pay more attention to than his bosom buddy Louis Farrakhan—and Barack Obama more than to Rev. Wright.

    QUOTE: “[B]ecause we stand in the center of progress toward democracy, [gays] have a terrifying responsibility to the whole society…. First, the gay community cannot work for justice for itself alone. Unless the community fights for all, it is fighting for nobody, least of all for itself. Second, gay people should not practice prejudice. It is inconsistent for gay people to be antisemitic or racist. These gay people do not understand human rights. …

    [Gay] people should recognize that we cannot fight for the rights of gays unless we are ready to fight for a new mood in the United States, unless we are ready to fight for a radicalization of this society. …[For example] feed[ing] people…adequate Social Security…These economic concerns must go hand-in-hand and, to a degree, precede the possibility of dealing with the MOST grievous problem—which is sexual prejudice.”

    Today, blacks are no longer the litmus paper or the barometer of social change. Blacks are in every segment of society and there are laws that help to protect them from racial discrimination. THE NEW ‘NIGGERS’ ARE GAYS. No person who hopes to get politically elected, even in the deep South…would dare stand in the school door to keep blacks out. Nobody would dare openly and publicly argue that blacks should not have the right to public accommodations. Nobody would dare to say any number of things about blacks that they are perfectly prepared to say about gay people. It is in that sense that gay people are the new barometer for social CHANGE.

    Indeed, if you want to know whether today people believe in democracy if you want to know whether they are true democrats, if you want to know whether they are human rights activists, the question to ask is, ‘What about gay people?’ Because that is now the litmus paper by which this democracy is to be judged. The barometer for social CHANGE is measured by selecting the group that is most mistreated. To determine where society is with respect to CHANGE, one does not ask, ‘What do you think about the education of children’? Nor does one ask, ‘Do you believe the aged should have Social Security/” The question of social CHANGE should be framed with the most vulnerable group in mind: gay people.”

    – Bayard Rustin, from an address to the chapter of Black & White Men Together in the same city and in the same month in which Barack Obama delivered his speech….except Rustin’s was twenty-two years ago…right about the time Barack Obama met Jeremiah Wright.

    Emphasis mine, and I’m confidant today Rustin would have said LGBT rather than just “gay” and asked Obama WHERE we were.

  100. Daniel says

    I think people need to remember that Obama has known about this hate speech for a long time. How do I know this? Because even I have known about Wright’s sermons since summer of 2007. In Obama’s speech a few weeks ago, he talked about “words” and how they matter.

    These quotes from Wright are not isolated sermons that are being taken out of context, Obama’s church has been selling these sermons on DVD/CD for a long time. Almost (in my opinion) peddling this hate rhetoric.

    I went to a church with my family a few years ago, and I was given one of the churches CD’s. On the CD I heard the Pastor talk about homosexuals and hell and how we are sinners, etc,etc. I made the decision at that moment that I would not go to that church with my family ever again no matter how much I love them because I don’t beleive or accept the message that church was giving and I will not support any kind of hate.

    So my question is, If Obama says words matter, then why would he not leave that church on that basis? Does he beleive that way of thinking? Did he get political gain from going to that church? I think these are valuable questions.

    And one other point, if Obama has made cornerstone his excellent judgement as the reason in which he is qualified to be President, what kind of judgement does he have in closely alligning himself with this hate-filled Pastor. Not only a Pastor that speaks this way, but a Pastor who has gone on trips and given awards to Louis Farrakhan, a man who has spoken so much about the hate for the white community, the gay community, the jewish community. Research it people.

    We in the gay community have made issue (correctly I beleive)of the Pat Robertson/Jerry Falwell indorcements and those poloticians who they support vocally and quietly. But this is even more dangerous in my opinion, Rev. Wright didn’t just go out and indorse Obama, Obama indorsed Wright by going to that church for 20 years and having Wright on one of his Presidential commitees.

    We as democrats need to look long and hard at the facts and have integrity in how we are examining these canidates.

  101. banjiboi says

    To Derrick From Philly:

    I was looking forward to posting a rather lengthy response to some of the comment here, but it seems you have summed up my feelings rather well. Why reiterate what’s already been said, and rather eloquently, I might add.

    I, myself found so much truth in Obama’s speech, and suffices to say, my truth is different to someone else’s truth. I think that is one major point I took away from his speech. It stuck me very hard, indeed. For that is what I see going on as far as some of the comments here.

    That said, I hope that we can all move past this and reach a common understanding, for if only to ensure that the right party party is occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue same time, next year.

  102. Silverskreen says

    M.BEDWELL –

    Thank you for finding that speech and sharing it here. It’s helped calm me down a bit this morning, and also have a little self reflection on the issues at hand.

    DANIEL –

    Good post. Thank you.

  103. Zeke says

    Still waiting for the single example of Obama ever saying anything racist or Anti-American. I’m still waiting for the evidence that it was Wright’s occassional racist outbursts and not the thousands of hours of social justice guidance that most influenced his moral, ethical, spiritual and political beliefs. I still maintain that this should be the issue here.

    I’m also waiting for LIZ to back up her spurious accusations against me.

    [sounds of crickets chirping]

  104. sugarrhill says

    Congrats to Noah on a finely crafted post. Unfortunately, it has fallen on deaf ears. Obama’s speech is about imperfection. America is beautiful but not perfect, with every new generation our prevailing attitudes about certain subjects (i.e. racism, homophobia, etc.) changes for the better. I don’t understand how anyone can misconstrue this as pandering. He choose to give a very nuanced and adult speech about race in this country. Unfortunately, nuance doesn’t play well. Most people like to frame things in black and white terms because they’re too lazy to examine all the grays.

    Some posters are willing to give Bush and Cheney a pass, but not Obama? Really? Seriously? You need to ask yourself who has and could do more harm to the queer community? If you’re honest with yourself you’d know it wasn’t Obama.

    But I’ve accepted the fact is that it’s no win situation for those people. Nothing Obama says or does will be good enough for them. And that’s just sad. The Democratic Party has two very qualified candidates and we should be thrilled, but instead we have people acting like children. Threatening to defect to the other side in retaliation? It’s asinine. Wanting Obama to renounce his candidacy for a hiccup that doesn’t even directly involve him is like asking Hillary to step down for Ferraro’s comments, stupidity. I expect these candidates to duke it out until the end because it’s so close it would be a disservice to their constituents if they just gave up. However, I fully expect democrats to unite once our candidate is selected, because, ultimately this country can’t not withstand another Republican presidency.

    I also want to address how posters continue to make mountains out of molehills, especially in reference to the African American community, and they should be ashamed of themselves. Whether some posters want to admit it or not there is a double standard on this site when the subject of homophobia in the African American community is concerned. And for some reason, African Americans rarely get the pass their white counterparts do. I think those posters need to examine why they’re prone to do that.

  105. douggyfresh says

    Zeke:
    How about what Michelle OBAMA said:

    “Hope is making a comeback and, let me tell you, for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country. Not just because Barack is doing well, but I think people are hungry for change,”

    Zeke, in your adult lifetime, have you ever been proud of America before this year?

    I’d say that statement by Barrack’s wife is pretty anti-american.

    I can tell you I have hope you’ll become straight soon, but you’re a faggot now. Is that statement anti-gay, I think so. Same with the anti-american statement.

    Everything wrapped in “hope” sounds better though.

  106. Jimmyboyo says

    douggyfresh

    I assume you are male andprbably Non-brown

    Just try to imagine being an african amerian girl being born just 4 months after the 16th street baptist church bombing that killed 4 little black girls for just being black.

    Now try to imagine as that girl growing up on the southside of Chicago. It wasn’t park avenue. Think ghetto where she had to share her bedroom with her brother.

    You might find yourself a little less then happy with america.

    Now add to that going to princeton and being dismissed because you are both a female and black though yo end up doing better than ALL your classmates and graduate with top honors.

    You go on to Harvad Law and though you graduated from princeton cumma sum laude yet that means nothing because you are both woman and black.

    You raduate and constantly hit your head on the glass ceiling that ALL women of whatever color experience.

    That is Michelle Obama’s actual life

    If you can’t understand how such a person could possibly not find a ton of things to be happy with ameica about then you sir need to get out of your non- brown people country club and stop sippng that tea and eating your crumpets

  107. douggyfresh says

    Jimmyboyo:

    You have assumed correctly that I am non-brown.

    But I can tell you that since 1991, I have volunteered more than 30 days a year, every year, giving time, money and energy to provide medical treatment to orphan children with HIV/AIDS in the country of Haiti.

    I can also tell you that I grew in a small town in Ohio where in 1984 I experienced a boy 7 years older than me beat to death because he was gay (long before the media was reporting these stories) This experience also gave me reason to fear people’s prejudice and for my own safety.

    But I have seen hardships in other countries, and everytime I have come back from Haiti, I am in awe of this country and how wonderful it is, even with it’s problems.

    To give me the example of Michelle getting to go to an Ivy League University, with many acceptance issues along the way, is in my opinion not a valid answer to why someone might be anti-american.

    I would challenge you to volunteer outside of this country and see that even at our worst, there is much to be proud of in the US.

    I am not saying that all is well, I am saying that if we want to elect a President to be our representative to the world, I would like for the President’s wife to be proud of her country more than just now in the time in which her husband is running for the office of President.

  108. Patrick nyc says

    JIMMYBOY

    Where to begin. First as I wrote in my post ‘I wish people would read and perhaps re-read posts before they reply. I said in my 48 years I had never heard IN MY CATHOLIC CHURCH. Yes the catholic church itself is homophobic and I’m sure many are just as racist, but not preached from the pulpit as Obama implies.’

    I not only said in my experience, I was replying to what Obama said about he was sure it happened in other churches. As you can see I also mention that the church is homophobic and racist, not to mention anti-semitic. While I do go to the church when my family has an event, I do not receive communion and have not gone to services otherwise since I left the church as a practicing member when I was sixteen. Which Obama should have done when he heard that hate speech. I openly call the church when the pope or anyone bashes gays, or anyone for that matter.

    You call me a hypocrite because I called you on saying get over it, yet earlier you say you are sorry to Silverskreen,
    ———————-
    ‘I appologize for coming off so dismissive.
    I have tried in the past to push for an Obama/ Hillary ticket
    I’m pissed and probably went overboard.
    I appologize
    We are all supposed to be united against the repubs.’
    ———————
    Yet when I respond to your remark, while not directed to me by name, to people who are upset at Obama, which I happen to be, you call me on it. You are wrong about me never supporting Obama, I did openly since he announced and as I even write in my post you trashed, plan on voting for him if he gets the nomination, something that he just put in great risk. I started to question his judgement over the SC fundraiser in October. As you can see from this other post others know this to be true.
    ——————
    PATRICK NYC –

    Yikes!! Was it this whole thing with Wright that changed your mind?
    I remember your support for him.

    I find this whole thing very interesting, needless to say.

    POSTED BY: SILVERSKREEN | MAR 18, 2008 6:22:31 PM
    —————-
    Go back and look up my posts and you’ll know it is true and while I will not call you a liar, I will say you have major anger issues. People like you should not use Andy’s blog as a way to blow off your hate at those who disagree with your point of view.

    At least I now understand your screen name, you act like a little boy. Unless you are posting about your not so secret crush Obama, then you sound like a little girl.

  109. sugarrhill says

    “I am not saying that all is well, I am saying that if we want to elect a President to be our representative to the world, I would like for the President’s wife to be proud of her country more than just now in the time in which her husband is running for the office of President.”

    This country isn’t perfect nor has it ever been perfect. The Obamas are very truthful about that fact. You don’t change the status quo thinking that everything is perfect. Change happens when problems are addressed and not sugarcoated. If that is the only reason you are unhappy with his candidacy then you are not being honest with yourself.

  110. Zeke says

    PATRICK NYC, with all due respect my friend, I think you misunderstood SILVERSKREEN’s comment. He was being serious, not sarcastic. He said that he remembered that you were supportive of Obama. He found it interesting how all of this was playing out. That’s all.

  111. Jimmyboyo says

    Patrick

    You can not in any way compare yourself to Silverskreen. He has class

    You did not call me out on my dismissivness and ask for an apology, you atacked.

    If you hadn’t done the whole 2nd grade bs then most likely I would have apologized if you had simply said you felt offended. In fact I would have gladly appologized. NIC, Silverskreen, and many others have called me out before on not being cordial or whatever and I appologize and try to become a better person.

    But tired old queens like youself like to get caty instead of saying simply they were offended.

    I am not sorry at all for being dismissive of you. You attacked. You do not have the moral high ground.

    Again, I call you a liar. Your past posts here at towleroad have all been pro Hillary. You have admited voting for hillary.

    You never had faith in obama and somehow now feel betrayed.

    Stop your lieing.

    Ughhhh

    You come off as such an OLD tired queen.

    Dougyfresh

    I personaly never said I do not have anything to proud of about america. I to have traveled abroad and done voluntere work in Egypt. I am very grateful to be living in america. I am white and my family was well off.

    BUT, I can empathize with Michele’s point of view.

    I am going to quess that you yourself just like many Hillary supporters in the past have said things like america sucks, fuck america, etc. Most democratic voters do at one point in their life because our country does have a lot of faults.

    BUT it now benefits hillary suppoters to blow Michele’s and other associates of Obama words out of proportion as if they were traitors to america. Very repub of you to question the patriotism of others.

  112. Silverskreen says

    Hey fellas,

    Been busy at the old salt mine today and didn’t really get a chance to check in until now.

    What’d I miss?…

    Oh…

  113. Michael Bedwell says

    The first of the following poll results are surely to change again, one way or the other. I post it to note its significant changes over previous polls NOT to assert this is where we’ll be even next week. The second might also change but I find it fascinating.

    “New Gallup Poll Daily tracking finds Hillary Clinton with a 49% to 42% lead over Barack Obama in national Democratic voters’ presidential nomination preference. …

    [John McCain] holds a statistically significant lead over Obama, 47% to 43%, in registered voters’ preferences for the general presidential election. That is the first time any of the candidates has held a statistically significant lead since Gallup Poll Daily tracking began reporting on the general election race last week. McCain’s 48% to 45% advantage over Clinton is not statistically significant, but it is the first time he has had an edge over her in Gallup Poll Daily tracking.”

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/105205/Gallup-Daily-Clinton-Moves-Into-Lead-Over-Obama.aspx

    “CBS Poll: Gender Matters More Than Race –
    Voters Say Woman Candidate Faces Slightly Bigger Barriers To Presidency Than A Black Candidate

    Voters are slightly more likely to say that a woman candidate faces more obstacles than a black candidate when it comes to presidential politics even as they see racism as a more serious problem for the nation overall, according to a new CBS News poll. Thirty nine percent of registered voters said a woman running for president faces more obstacles while 33 percent said a black candidate does.

    When it comes to the 2008 presidential election, voters say Hillary Clinton has been judged more harshly because of her gender than Barack Obama has because of his race. Forty two percent said Clinton has been judged ‘more harshly’ and six percent said she has been judged less harshly because of her gender. Twenty seven percent said they think Obama has been judged ‘more harshly’ because of his race while 11 percent said he has been judged less harshly.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/03/19/opinion/polls/main3949396.shtml

  114. patrick nyc says

    PATRICK NYC, with all due respect my friend, I think you misunderstood SILVERSKREEN’s comment. He was being serious, not sarcastic. He said that he remembered that you were supportive of Obama. He found it interesting how all of this was playing out. That’s all.

    POSTED BY: ZEKE | MAR 19, 2008 8:38:22 PM
    —————
    ZEKE sir, I did not misunderstand SILVERSKREEN, I said he supported me and backed up my initial support of Obama, which that clueless child JIMMYGIRL seems to ignore. That’s why I cut and pasted his post to me. Thanks though. Sorry you guys have to weed through my smack down with this twerp Jimmyboy.
    Again what he posted was:

    ——————
    PATRICK NYC –

    Yikes!! Was it this whole thing with Wright that changed your mind?
    I remember your support for him.

    I find this whole thing very interesting, needless to say.

    POSTED BY: SILVERSKREEN | MAR
    ———–
    He remembers I supported Obama, which if anyone like you who knows me know is true. And again I will vote for him if he gets the nomination.

    This ruthless attack by JimmyBoy is without base.

    He says: “You did not call me out on my dismissivness and ask for an apology, you atacked.”

    I did not ask for an apology because I don’t want one from an idiot like you. I have long ago dismissed anything you say, knowing you are a clueless twit. I did not attack you sir, that’s right, and check the spelling again you mental midget. There ought to be a way to bump idiots like you who can’t even use spell check to edit their idiotic statements.

    What I did was address your tirade at me, over my disagreeing with you over whether we people who are upset over the whole Rev. Wright situation should as you put it ‘get over it’. You do not get to tell me or anyone here to get over anything sir, or I should say child.

    As for this gem of yours, “In fact I would have gladly appologized. NIC, Silverskreen, and many others have called me out before on not being cordial or whatever and I appologize and try to become a better person.”

    The fact that many have called you out on your rants and “not being cordial” just shows how many holes are in your defense. You little boy are a fake and fraud. I will not use your term of liar, I will just continue to say you are both clueless and an idiot.

    Two final things. As for me “Stop your lieing.” Again get a freaking dictionary you douche, it’s lying.

    Second, I may be tired, it’s 11:30 here in good old NYC, but I’m not a queen. I am a proud Irish-American Gay White Male. Who for over 35 years has done volunteer work to help all those in my community. Gay, started with the GMHC in 1983, straight, worked on my Uncles Campaign at age 13, and was a big brother to three boys in Harlem. Worked on the NGTLF crisis line for three years. Worked for the NYC RRC, working on the marathon, and any other races I did not compete in. Coached with the Gay Front Runners of NY for many years, president for two.

    I will stand up to you any day you idiot. You are not fit to shine my shoes or wipe my ass.

  115. Zeke says

    MICHAEL BEDWELL, God knows I love you to peices, but come on.

    I’m curious as to why you’ve JUST NOW discovered polls. Why haven’t you posted any of these polls over the last month or so?

    I also notice you that you didn’t post the Rasmussen poll or the others that show a significant upswing for Obama over the last two days.

    Polls or no polls, I’m still waiting for someone, ANYONE, to show me the math where Hillary can win the nomination without the Super Delegates voting contrary to the popular vote and the primary/caucus delegates.

    Another current poll out (that wasn’t mentioned) shows an overwhelming percentage of Democrats believe that Super Delegates SHOULD NOT go against the popular vote and seated delegates. Strangely enough, according to the same poll, the percentage of Hillary supporters who feel this way is 26%. I wonder why that would be? It doesn’t sound like a very DEMOCRATIC way for the DEMOCRATIC PARTY to select a nominee and it really does play into the “win at all cost” accusations.

    What’s your take on that?

    Jesus, insomnia and internet access are a DANGEROUS combination!

    :)

  116. nic says

    i came to this thread late. i read the comments yesterday and i was so disappointed and disheartened that i had to change the subject in my own head, so i went elsewhere for a while. what is happening to us? we are supposed to be the open-minded ones, the smart ones, the nonjudgmental ones, the forgiving ones. yet, all of a sudden, we are so thin-skinned. we are on edge. we are like cats that will defend themselves “boca arriba” (cats with their backs to the ground). i disdain the turn this discourse has taken. some of the stuff i’ve read on this thread and the previous obama speech thread is no better than coulter-speak or hannity-speak. i’ll be the first to admit that with reason enough and provocation enough i can be a bitch. we all have been there. after the Wright debacle, ZEKE said that I and Bedwell could gloat. and i did, sad to say. the gloating, however, had nothing to do with obama, but everything to do with the people who had been heaping scorn on ferraro (to my mind, a liberal icon) and by association, hillary and bill as racists or race-baiters. i could never gloat about good men (obama and bill) or good women (ferraro and hillary) being dragged through the mud. it is all shortsighted and stupid. i do not believe that obama is a racist or unpatriotic anymore than i believe that the clintons are racists or crooks, much less that the clintons (15 fucking years ago) could have done any better than DODT or DOMA. anyone who thinks that they (ugh, how i do detest this phrase.) “threw us under the bus,” has no knowledge of the political climate then, and is little qualified to comment on events now. for, you see, history is a continuum: all historical events need to be taken in context. i may have offended Zeke, Soulbrotha, and others. if i did, it was in the interest of fairness, and i apologize. however, let me be clear: i will follow obama or hillary into hell and back if it means winning the presidency, but i do not want to self-immolate in the service of nothing. let us focus our considerable negative energy away from each other and toward a common, productive goal. let us light a candle rather than curse the darkness. simply, we are not repugs. we are Dems. when we pitch a tent, we pitch a huge tent, hehe! ZEKE, this is an addendum. for some reason i have been having the darndest time trying ti post. nevertheless, i am glad for my sake that you might have a little of the insomniac in you. it is not often a good thing. once in awhile i have it too. maybe this time it is a good thing. i don’t think that you and i, or most people on this blog, have ever been at cross-purposes. at logger-heads? oh yeah! we want the same thing, but how to get there and who will better help us to get there is the conundrum. perhaps we can decypher it. i hold no enmity or rancor toward you. in fact, i enjoy reading your opinions, as well as bedwell’s, derrick’s, soulbrotha’s, silverskreen’s, jimmyboyo’s, peterparker’s, et al. we can all learn from each other.

  117. Zeke says

    NIC, I’m right there with you brother! I appreciate your comment. Other than the non-related issue we had a while back, which we have resolved, I haven’t taken offense from you. I don’t much care for the “I’m starting to worry about you” type tags at the end of some of some of your responses to me but it’s no big deal. I’m a big boy

    For the record, I have never said nasty things about Hillary or Ferraro. I think the archives will bear me out. I respect and admire them both. I did say that I thought Ferraro’s statement was inappropriate but I didn’t think she was the racist people were making her out to be.

    I refrain from attacking Hillary’s character or her abilities or her worthiness to be president. I prefer instead to challenge what I think are misstatements and exaggerations by her and her supporters. I also take great exception to the “win at all cost” “kitchen sink” dirty politics devised by Penn and followed to often by Hillary. By all accounts, MANY if not MOST of the other advisors to Hillary share my concern about his style and scheme. I also like to point out where and how I think Obama’s various positions and policy proposals are superior to those of Hillary.

    I really hate the ad hominem attacks on the candidates AND their supporters that we’re seeing tear our party apart. I poured my heart out about this earlier in this thread.

    I think it’s important that individuals in the Democratic Party keep their disagreements and their discussions above board and civil if they EVER hope to have ANY level of credibility when they find themselves in a position that they will need to support their second choice candidate in the general election. For the life of me I can’t IMAGINE how some of the people here (on either side) will be able to do that without looking like complete hypocrites.

    That’s why I try to limit my discussions to lifting my candidate of choice up and defending him when I think he is being unfairly attacked rather than getting down in the pit of mud slinging with the silly Swift Boating distractions. I don’t want to lose credibility should I have to switch gears and support Hillary should she legitimately win the nomination. MOST OF ALL I don’t want to lose the White House again in November. THAT should be ALL of our FIRST concern.

  118. Derrick from Philly says

    Absolutely, Zeke. You’ve never said anything disparaging about Ms Rodham Clinton herself or her supporters. Now, where is this poster, LIZ who accused you of doing that?