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On January 27 we posted “The Blacking of Obama.” This cited Bill Clinton’s remarks during the South Carolina primary that likened Sen. Obama’s victory there to that of Jesse Jackson’s two decades previous. The inference was clear: Jackson won because he was black in a state where most of the Democrats are black; i.e., Obama’s just another black candidate who won a Democratic primary in a black Democratic state. In effect, “So what?”
Reverend Wrong! has gone Bill Clinton one better. He’s a black man who, by his long term association with Sen. Obama as his spiritual advisor, has put race back into an already highly complex campaign. At the moment, his motives are known only to him. His effect, though, is clear: Aid and comfort to Sen. Obama’s opponents, both Democratic and Republican.
As for his motives, there are the obvious. Perhaps first among these is being excluded from Sen. Obama’s campaign opening ceremony in 2007. Next, the Senator’s Philadelphia speech where he disavowed the Reverend’s God damn America! speech. There is another, however, and he may not he even be aware of it. Should Sen. Obama win the Democratic nomination and go on to win in November, the base on which Reverend Wrong! has built his following and place would be shaken to the core. And this base? A black person cannot win in America. The tragedy of Reverend Wright may well be that he can’t deal with African American success.
Be that as it may, the effect of Reverend Wrong! is to play directly into the hands of those urging the Super Delegates to disregard the primary votes and focus on electability. For many, the Democrats’ nightmare is a Sen. Clinton nominated by Super Delegates over the committed delegates won by Sen. Obama in the state prinaries. The fear is that this would outrage African American Democrats across the country, perhaps fatally crippling Sen. Clinton’s candidacy in November. However, if Obama’s electability is brought low at the hands of his own spiritual advisor, an African American, then the racial overtones in going for Sen. Clinton are greatly mitigated, if not eliminated.
Reverend Wrong! is no friend of Sen. Obama, nor of all those in this country who seek change, who believe that the need for renewal is critical. Indeed, Reverend Wright has shown himself to be Sen. Obama’s enemy. If the Senator does not have the wisdom and judgment to see this, and possess the courage to act, then he is not fit to be President. Leadership in this country means, and requires, knowing right from wrong and holding to the former, no matter the personal cost.
For Sen. Obama, the time is now. If he wishes to be our President, he must emphatically separate himself from Reverend Wright. The time to act is now. In this, there is no tomorrow.