Barack Obama is getting high praise from the MSNBC/NYT types for having the "courage" to tell America that there are a lot of chronically hissed-off black folks.
Duh. White folks know all about it; they buy more rap records than blacks, and if they didn't read the Autobiography of Malcolm X, they caught a few minutes of the movie on cable.
But it's wrong to read Rev. Jeremiah Wright's jeremiads as racism against whites, his church as "black separatist," or his anger as a uniquely black phenomenon. Rev. Wright mostly rails against the adolescent Hollywood image of the bad guy: rich white men, the common enemy of all mankind, what Peter Sinfield called "gargoyles chewing on dead cigars." There are white faces at the Trinity Church services nodding in agreement along with the black ones---the tirades against the gargoyles are hardly different than what you'd hear from a caucasian/minority-wannabe like Ward Churchill, at any Young Democrat chapter meeting, or at most lunch tables on the Harvard campus. You don't have to be black for your politics to be jejune and angry, you just have to be a member of the left.
And there's the rub with Sen. Obama---little of this has to do with race, and little of the upset on the part of conservatives, and most importantly, the independents he must court. It was Obama who made the focus of his speech race and racism, in a clever 3-Card Monte. The problem with Rev. Wright isn't that he's black and angry, it's that he's wack.
Look, in a two-party system, you can hardly expect the other guy to boot out all his strange bedfellows, because if you do, your bed gets pretty empty in a hurry. Lord knows the GOP doesn't discourage the snakehandling vote. For Obama to accept support from the black left, indeed the left as a whole, is as American as, well, declining to wear an American flag pin.
But when you climb into the strange bedfellow's bed all on your own instead of the other way around, that's when it's worrisome, and that's what Sen. Obama did by joining Rev. Wright's church two decades ago. If he truly disagrees with Rev. Wright's stance on most things, then he evidently cannot tell the difference between the duties to principle, the reality of two-party politics and mere cynical opportunism.
Either way, most Americans don't want a wack leftist for president, or an opportunist either. Senator Obama has done little to prove he's not one or both.