Taking Up Obama's Gauntlet

Burt Prelutsky

4/4/2008 12:01:00 AM - Burt Prelutsky

Barack Obama gave a speech that his disciples compared favorably to the Gettysburg Address and the Sermon on the Mount, but which I thought came a lot closer to Richard Nixon’s “Checkers” speech, a desperate attempt to keep himself from being relegated to the trash heap of history.

Coming in the wake, as it did, of all we had come to know about Rev. Jeremiah Wright, I thought Obama’s speech was far too little and much too late. Say, 20 years too late.

Frankly, I’m surprised that so many people, and not just liberals, were so willing to give Obama a pass. It’s one thing, after all, for this half-white fellow to join the Trinity United Church of (a Black) Christ in order to use it as a launching pad into Chicago’s scummy political scene. That’s just playing the game. But when one not only sticks around for two decades, but has the creep perform your wedding ceremony and baptize your daughters, and you then bring those children into church to listen to this demagogue damn our country and vilify white people, I really don’t understand why everyone isn’t as disgusted with Mr. Obama as I am.

The junior senator from Illinois first campaigned on the premise that he’s the one person who can put racial differences behind us, but when it’s discovered that he’s joined at the hip with Louis Farrakhan’s best friend, insists that he’s ready to engage in an honest dialogue on race. Well, I don’t believe he is, but I am. What’s more, I’m sure it’s not the dialogue he has in mind, which is just more of the same old dump-on-whitey bilge that Jesse Jackson, Charles Rangel, Maxine Waters and Al Sharpton, have been spewing out for so many long and profitable years.

It was back in 1964 that the Civil Rights Act was passed. In the intervening 44 years, this country has spent billions of dollars to compensate people who hadn’t suffered from Jim Crow laws for the simple reason that they hadn’t even been born yet. Be that as it may, the government continues to fund Operation Head Start; continues to use Affirmative Action as a means by which to leap-frog underachieving black students over, in most cases, better-qualified Asian students; and continues to favor black-owned businesses with low interest loans. But it’s never enough and God knows there’s no end in sight.

You’d like an honest dialogue about race relations, Sen. Obama? As Jack Nicholson’s Col. Jessep yelled at Tom Cruise’s Lt. Kaffee in “A Few Good Men”: “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!”

The truth is, in America, anyone with brains, grit and self-discipline, can rise to unimaginable heights. But of course, a guy with a racist agenda, a con man like Jeremiah Wright, won’t tell you that. No, instead he uses his bully pulpit to insist that we honkies cooked up the HIV virus as a means to exterminate black people. Believe me, if we had extermination in mind, we wouldn’t have come up with anything that fancy. Why would we invent a disease that would infect whites as well as blacks? And we surely wouldn’t be blowing our tax dollars to combat the disease in Africa.

If we were a racist society, Oprah Winfrey, your fairy godmother, certainly wouldn’t be a billionaire; she’d be fetching someone’s mint julep. And Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice wouldn’t grow up to be secretaries of state; they’d be sweeping out the stables. And Will Smith and Denzel Washington wouldn’t be movie stars; they’d be in the fields picking cotton .

I don’t claim to speak for all white Americans, only for myself. But, personally, I think it stinks that there’s even a single black American who has the gall to blame white Americans for the troubles that continue to plague black communities in 2008. I mean, how is a 70% illegitimacy rate the fault of white people? How is the fact that young black men are more likely to wind up with a rap sheet than with a college degree our fault? Too many blacks, in and out of politics, get away with claiming that whites are the only racists in America because only whites have political power. But how is it that we all agree that the Ku Klux Klan is a racist organization although, aside from Robert Byrd (D), no Klan member holds high elected office? And how is it that, in this allegedly racist society, there are any number of black congressmen, governors, mayors, police chiefs and even a black United States senator?

By the way, how is it that if whites are the racists, there is far more black on white crime than white on black? Far, far more. It’s not even close.

This isn’t to suggest that we whites are blameless. Some of us are innocent, but surely not the members of the Democratic party. You’ll never hear one of their politicians utter an unpleasant truth about black underachievement. They’re quite happy to pay off black ministers at election time to extend their blessings and their pulpits to any hack with a (D) after his name. Their favorite pastime, though, is tossing tax dollars away on black so-called entitlements, otherwise known as bribes. After all, it’s not their money and they wind up with 90% of the plantation votes in their pocket.

I, myself, wouldn’t mind at all voting for a black president. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that I was quite prepared to vote for General Colin Powell when it appeared he might make a run for the White House. And, frankly, I think a cabinet filled with people such as Shelby Steele, Walter Williams, Ward Connerly and Thomas Sowell, would be as good as it gets.

The sad irony of Obama’s candidacy is that so many white Americans are convinced that by voting for a black racist they’re proving how wonderfully tolerant they are. All they really prove is how childish and naïve some people are, whatever their age.

By sitting in that pew for 20 long years, soaking up Rev. Wright’s poison, Obama convinced me he’s as big a race hustler as Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. The only real difference I see is that he doesn’t shout, try to sound like Algonquin J. Calhoun or insist on giving speeches that rhyme.

Oh, how I long for the good old days when the worst thing that anyone could say about Barack Hussein Obama is that, down deep, he might really be a Muslim!