By Mr. Curmudgeon
“I’m a surrogate for the Obama campaign,” said Newark Mayor Cory Booker during an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, “I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity … I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of the record of Bain Capital, they’ve done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses.”
Many a conservative commentator seized on Mayor Booker’s pronouncement as a sign of weakness – that some within Obama’s camp see the discussion of economic matters as a losing proposition for the incumbent president. That Gov. Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital should be off limits as a campaign issue.
They miss the point entirely.
Booker saved the real meat of the matter for last. “Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity. Stop attacking Jeremiah Wright …”
Ah, yes … the Rev. Jeremiah Wright … Obama’s Achilles’ heel.
Timid Republicans took Booker’s statement as an olive branch from the Obama campaign – a promise to go easy on Romney’s Bain Capital association in exchange for the GOP candidate going easy on the Obama-Wright association.
“The issue is not Reverend Wright,” said the ever compliant GOP House Speaker John Boehner, “The issue is the economy. This kind of nonsense shouldn’t happen. The election’s going to be about the economy and getting Americans back to work.”
What the dim bulbs of the GOP fail to grasp is that Obama, the economy and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright are inextricably linked.
Dr. Gardner C. Taylor (called “the dean of American preaching”), who for 45 years pastored the Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, New York, described the Rev. Wright as the “Pastor and mentor who prepared President Barack Obama for the role of President of the United States.”
“Mr. Obama had hardly any grasp of the meaning of being a black person in the United States,” continued Dr. Taylor, “By example and exhortation, Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., cured that deficiency, sending to Washington a president qualified to give America a chance to actually become a democracy!”
The Rev. Wright fleshed out what he taught the future president during a 2007 sermon before his congregation at Chicago’s Trinity Baptist Church:
“Who cares what a poor black man has to face every day in a country and a culture controlled by rich white people?” said Wright in his sermon. But Wright noticed that some among his African American parishioners were uncomfortable with this sentiment, “… you got nervous because we’ve got some white members here.
“I am still in the text,” Wright said pointing to his Bible, “Jesus was a poor black man who lived in a country and who lived in a culture that was controlled by rich white people. The Romans were rich. The Romans were Italian, which means they were European, which means they were white. And the Romans ran everything in Jesus’ country.
“It just came to me within the past few weeks why so many folks are hating on Barack Obama. He doesn’t fit the model: He ain’t white, he ain’t rich [sic] and he ain’t privileged. Hillary [Clinton] fits the mold. Europeans fit the mold. [Rudolph] Giuliani fits the mold. Rich white men fit the mold.
“Hilary never had a cab whiz past her and not pick her up because her skin was the wrong color. Hilary never had to worry about being pulled over in her car as a black man driving in the wrong [neighborhood] … Hilary was not a black boy raised in a single-parent home – Barack was. Barack knows what it means to be a black man living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary can never know that.”
This sense of perpetual victimhood is what James H. Cone meant when he wrote “A Black Theology of Liberation” in 1970. “This book is written primarily for the black community, not for whites,” wrote Cone, “Whites may read it and to some degree render an intellectual analysis of it, but an authentic understanding is dependent on the blackness of their existence in the world. There will be no peace in America until whites begin to hate their whiteness, asking from the depths of their being: ‘How can we become black?’”
Sighting the Gospel of Luke, Wright recounted how a repentant Zacchaeus gives away half of his possessions after encountering Jesus. “You won’t hear this passage … preached on Wall Street,” said Wright, “You won’t hear this scripture … exegeted in the comfortable pews of the rich folk, the greedy folk or the Tea Party praisers. That is called restorative justice and theology – restore the stuff that the greedy stole from the needy.”
Gee, I may not have the mental agility of Washington’s GOP brain trust but “restorative justice’ sounds a lot like “spreading the wealth around” – with a slightly more menacing feel of a Black Panther goon wielding a led pipe outside a Philly polling station.
Maybe it’s just me, but hearing how the Rev. Wright arrived at these notions should pose more than a passing interest to voters – in light of the fact that Wright’s twenty-year parishioner (Barack Obama) took these transformative ideas to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
That radical transformation of America most certainly does not come from authority granted by the United States Constitution, as the Supreme Court will certainly decide this June.
Obama’s authority uses government-run health-care as a pretext to dictate the religious doctrines of the Catholic Church. It sees no problem with selling weapons to Mexican drug cartels at the expense of hundreds of innocent dead if it serves as a pretext for eroding the constitutional right of Americans to bear arms.
If law does not sanction Obama’s authority, where does this transformative moral power that transcends the limits on constitutional government originate?
John Boehner may not have much of an inquiring mind, but that does not mean the rest of us should fear knowing a little more about the man who “prepared President Barack Obama for the role of President of the United States.”
That man is the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.