Were Obama truly courageous, as well as audacious, he would acknowledge Jeremiah Wright as a significant and accepted representative religious voice within large portions of mostly urban black America. By denying, or re-inventing what Wright represents, he is selling out portions of his black constituency. And he’s also abdicating any chance of being the very thing he’s professed to want to be – a bridge of sorts.[# More #]
If Senator Obama were to make this appeal, it would work —because it would be true. From a retired ghost:
Everyone has heard the clips of Pastor Wright. Three minutes? Five minutes? Be generous. Ten minutes? Ten minutes of a lifetime spent beside poor and burdened people.
Do you know how long Pastor Wright has been at Trinity? I have been there twenty years. He has been there far longer.
Do you know how many minutes are in 20 years? There are 1440 minutes in a day, and 365 days in a year. So I guess 3, or 5, or 10 minutes are a fair sampling of Pastor Wright’s words.
But I wonder about what was left out.
I wonder why the YouTube warriors didn’t extract his words from the funerals of young men Pastor Wright conducted?
I wonder why the YouTube warriors ignored his words directed at the pushers and the killers?
I wonder why they skipped over his words of encouragement and hope, his demand for hard work and pride in hard-won achievements?
I have heard Pastor Wright for twenty years, and if I did not to hear that which would make him sound extreme –if I simply could not hear it– it is because I have been too busy seeing a man pour himself into a community, give himself wholly to the people he shepherded.
I will not become president by walking over the reputation and sacrifice of men and women who have paved this road. I won’t let human imperfection or passion be used by media and the enemies of change and progress. I am responsible for what I say and do, but I am proud of my friends, and of their commitment to justice and the way forward. The language of the past is not the language of the present, but we all need the kind of courage and passion that drove the pioneers.
Are we going to allow operatives with Apples to define lives and destroy the good?
I refuse. This campaign rejects the politics of the past and the tactics of the past. And I ask the voters of Pennsylvania and North Carolina and West Virginia and Indiana to join me in telling the media that we are sick and tired of this. We won’t put up with it anymore. We demand more. No more three minutes, or five minutes, or even ten minutes. If we are going to bring this country together, we are going to have to turn our backs on sound bytes and yes, even YouTube.
We are going to have to tell the big media that they have to tell the truth.
Tell the truth. Even if it is hard, and even if it makes you work. Tell the truth. Even if it takes time. And the truth of a life cannot be told in three minutes.
Race is a hard subject for America. It is a hard subject for the world. I have written two books about it and I continue to think about it, every day.
Because it is so hard, all of us who work to figure it out sometimes get it wrong, use the wrong words, give the wrong meaning.
But we can’t stop trying, and that is why we cannot crucify Pastor Wright, though he would be th elast man to object if it moved the country forward.
Pastor Wright loves this country, just as I do, just as Michelle does.
We believe in it, in its promise, in its transforming potential.
But that potential cannot be realized if we remain trapped in the gotcha culture of 3 minutes, or 5 minutes, or 10 minutes.
This is the moment we change. We have to go backwards to the time when converstaion mattered, when FDR could give a talk on the radio and people would listen, to the time when Lincoln and Douglas could debate for hours and hours.
We cannot solve our problems in 3 minutes, or 5 minutes or 10 minutes.
And today I am telling you I will not even try to do so. It is time to change. I won’t run from my friends, and I won’t hide from the heat. Let’s have the conversation, the debate, and the change.